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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Coffee Grounds

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 19:13

I've been using it for years by sprinkling it around the borders to good effect.  I would say that as long as you don't put down a thick layer of it, you will be fine using it as a soil conditioner. 

Got any 'ose?

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 19:05
Verdun wrote (see)
Bob, sorry to admit I know little about those fruits
Wine berry, jostaberry, lingonberry or Worcesterberry
How do you rate them? How do they compare with "usual" fruit like gooseberries, raspberries, etc?
Like Fairygirl, can you educate us a little please?

Hi all, those are all new to me, too.  I've already got quite a few fruit plants (including gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, chokeberries, bilberries, strawberries, apples, plums, pears and a peach) so decided to go for something unusual and hope that when the birds stuff themselves silly (as per usual), they still leave some for me!
Japanese wineberry is a bit like a raspberry but has decorative hairy red stems.  Apparently, the fruit is at its best sprinkled with red wine - looking forward to confirming that -probably several times, just to be sure!  Jostaberry is purported to be a cross between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant, as is the worcesterberry.. but different (jostaberry is thornless.)  Lingonberries (aka cowberries) are evergreen and are supposed to taste a bit like cranberries.  They need acid soil but are not as fussy as cranberries.  They are widely grown in the nordic countries and northern eurasia.  Very hardy. The lingonberry will be grown in a large pot so I can keep the soil acid, but the rest will go into the fruit patch when they've grown a bit.



Posted: 09/04/2013 at 00:55

I agree, they can take weeks to germinate and you mustn't allow them to dry out at any point.  In my judgement it's too cold at my location (E.mids) to sow mine yet.  One 'trick' I use for outdoor sowing is to prepare a wider then normal row and do 3 side by side sowings, each a week or so apart, marking each row with string so that the previous sowings are not disturbed.

Indoor Grape Vines how to look after?

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 00:26

Peter, I'd be tempted to give it a little water if the top couple of inches in the pot is dry.  I grow a huge one outdoors (it's at least 40 years old and 50-60ft long) and it is as tough as old boots.  Whatever you do though, do not prune it now or it will bleed, possibly to death.  If you are growing it along the length og the GH, train it using the 'rod and spur' system and once you see the fruit forming in a few months, count 2 or 3 leaves from the bunch towards the growing tip of the shoot (spur) and nip it off there.  Those 2/3 leaves will be ample to feed the developing grapes, but if you let the shoots keep growing (and, boy, do they grow fast!), the vine will waste its energy in them instead of putting it into the fruit.  Don't let more than one bunch of grapes form per spur.  Growing as a standard is slightly different (see RHS link below.)

As it's in a pot, once it starts growing, water very regularly and feed occasionally with something like tomato feed.

Ideally, you would plant the vine permantly just outside the GH and train it inside through a small opening, or plant it in the GH border.  See the comprehensive RHS advice for glasshouse grape cultivation:


Used Compost?

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 00:03
hollie hock wrote (see)

I mix it up with new compost to use in pots etc. Might consider throwing it on the beds though now. Is it best to dig it if you want to improve the soil or does it just become incorporated over time?

Just use it as a mulch and the worms will incorporate it into the soil for you.

Heating the greenhouse

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 23:56

My low-tech approach is to have lots of 2l plastic pop bottles filled with dark liquid - comfrey feed (I make *lots* of that!) filling all gaps between pots etc around the borders of my GH.  They absorb the sun's heat really well and slowly release it at night.  It's far from perfect but does help keep the frost out at this time of the year.  The bonus is I always have liquid feed very close at hand.

All you experts I need help - germination techniques

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 23:47

What works for me with echinacea is growing them quite large in 5" pots before planting out.  If they're not big enough, I overwinter in a coldframe rather than plant out, pinching out any flower shoots that may develop.  All of the larger ones I planted out last spring went on to flower (mostly just one flower) and are now showing several shoots.  There are about a dozen overwintered ones in the CF which will go out as soon as I can find the time.

Got any 'ose?

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 23:33

Bit late posting today as I had to plant a bare-root Maraval sweet chestnut tree in a large 60x60x60cm container as soon as I got home from work, before it went dark.  Took ages to fill with a mix of my clay soil, MP compost and JI No3, then had my dinner and fell asleep!  Tomorrow's job when I get home is planting a Japanese Wineberry, a Jostaberry, a Lingonberry and a Worcesterberry! 

Spring sweethearts

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 22:58

Some beautiful photos everyone!  Here's my humble effort.  Only mini daffs, about the same size as the snowdrops, but they really made me smile this morning.


What has happened???

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 22:27

I know what you mean, chicky!  My 'Lizzie' early plum has had flower buds on for nearly 2 months and I don't think she can hold it in much longer, poor thing!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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1 to 15 of 25 threads