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Tomorrow 19°C / 11°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 16/11/2013 at 10:19

Morning all, just in for a cuppa after pulling miles of ivy from the surface of the long bed.  It's amazing how many 'runners' grow from the wild hedge at the back over a year (plus all of the new self-seeded ones of course.)

Still, at least it's done.  Last year I 'forgot' about it until the Spring and then I couldn't get it all out because of all the bulbs coming through which I didn't want to damage.

Right, now refreshed for stage two so out with the saw, sledgehammer and screwdriver!

Green figs

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 19:10

They can sometimes survive the Winter and ripen next year giving an early crop, so try leaving them on - if they get too frosted they'll fall off by themselves.


Posted: 15/11/2013 at 19:07

Temperatures in the negatives here early this morning between 5 and 9am and feels very nippy now at +3C and falling.  Job for tomorrow was to finish replacing the timber on my long raised border but I think cutting back all of the dahlias will now need to be added to the list.  If anyone notices a bite taken out of one of those scones it wasn't me, 'onest guv! 

Snow Drop Or Not?

Posted: 14/11/2013 at 20:13

Leucojum vernum?

little know facts

Posted: 14/11/2013 at 19:20

Too right, punkdoc.  I always laugh when I see some conspiracy theorist write "do some of your own research" and then proceeds to list dozens of conspiracy theorist sites, none of which usually has any scientific evidence whatsoever.  Mind you, our governments (of whatever flavour) don't help - if they commission research and don't like the results, they sack the head scientist instead of examining their own political dogma!   Whoops - rant over!

Little flys

Posted: 14/11/2013 at 19:09

They're known as fungus gnats aka sciarid flies.  Not usually harmful but a nuisance.  There's a useful pdf from Which magazine here:



Posted: 13/11/2013 at 18:26

I fully agree - both rosemary and thyme are Mediterranean plants and hate cold and wet.  Mature plants usually survive the Winter in the UK provided they don't get waterlogged but young ones will have real trouble establishing themselves at this time of the year.

Butternut Squash

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 19:37

I love them simply sliced, seasoned and roasted - delicious!

If you do the same and then blitz them in a food processer and add some stock, the end result is fantastic soup.  

On well matured squashes the skin can become extremely hard on some varieties when roasted so I always remove that before cooking.

Oh yes.. also try them halved, seeds removed and stuffed with bacon, chopped tomato and cheese then roasted for 45 mins - superb!

Clay Soil

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 18:54

Dove is bang-on - it's always preferable to improve clay that way.  In severe cases lime will help but it's best to do a soil test with a cheap kit first as adding lime to an already alkaline soil isn't a good idea - there are far more plants which prefer neutral to acid soil than those which prefer alkaline conditions.  In really bad claggy alkaline clay, adding gypsum (builder's plaster is the cheapest way to buy it) will help it break down  without increasing alkalinity.  Frost will do a fine job, too - leave big clods of clay on the surface over Winter and they will be broken down a little every time there is a frost.

Clay is naturally very fertile and although it's hard work to improve the structure, once done you will have one of the best soils there is.

Compost again

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 18:27

It will still help John.  The composting process is exactly the same in Winter but just proceeds more slowly.  Anything which provides a bit extra Nitrogen will help accelerate composting.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 225
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 252
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 863
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 650
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 607
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 568
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 443
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 378
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 688
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 612
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 1070
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 689
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 1043
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 415
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 747
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads