Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Mango Seed

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:29

You can grow them as houseplants for a few years until they get too big and can then either cut them back and hope for new growth or start off new ones.  As others have said, they have no chance of survival outside in the UK.

Are these climbers dead?

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:26

Yes, that or something similar, Janer2.  On grapevines, some of the side shoots die completely every year and only the main stems remain alive but don't risk cutting into those at this time of year to find any green as they can bleed to death and should be pruned (if necessary) in December.  If you don't see any swelling buds on side shoots close to the main stem by the end of June, that would be the time to consider it dead.

Gravel paths in veg plot

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 11:44

I'd do both, a quick spray (especially along the edges) with roundup and cover with weed membrane.  To protect the membrane from being punctured by the sharp edges of the gravel I'd recommend a layer of woven landscaping fabric on top of the membrane, too.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 11:44:33

Are these climbers dead?

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 11:34

I think the 'controversial' climber (ie 'not boston ivy') with the red leaves and tendrils is an ornamental grapevine.  That won't show signs of life until quite late, probably May.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 11:36:02


Posted: 04/03/2017 at 12:47

Agapanthus have proven to be absolute thugs in my borders - huge spreading roots which prevented anything nearby from growing.  That's why I dug them all up and now only grow them in pots - not because they like it! 

As for the depletion thing, the microbes which break down woody matter require nitrogen to do so and will take it from the soil.  However, unless you mix (say) sawdust well into the soil, they can only take it from the top few mm so nothing to worry about when mulching as that is always left on the surface (else it wouldn't actually be a mulch!)  Judging by the amount of nitrates in our food and water, a bit of depletion might not be a bad thing..

Lots of gardening 'lore' is probably just misinterpretation.  If someone find a method of consistently growing a particular plant well, they will do it again and tell others.  Take a (made-up) example that adding crushed egg shells to the bottom of a hole before planting hostas makes them grow better.  They do an experiment with 100 'eggshelled' hostas planted side by side with 100 'un-eggshelled'.  The differences are clear and repeatable.  One might assume "it works because it increases the calcium levels" when, in fact, it may simply be because it improves drainage.  After a few rounds of 'chinese whispers', it becomes a 'fact' that hostas need extra calcium. 

Potatoes fertiliser

Posted: 03/03/2017 at 20:37

The NPK ratios of potato fertiliser are very similar to those for rose fertiliser and are roughly 1:1:1.5.  In reality, the ratios do not matter much, but leafy veg do use more N while roots take more P and flowers/fruit use more K.  I'd use it as a general fertiliser but provide some extra Nitrogen for brassicas and other leafy veg.  Don't bother fertilising carrots though as they don't need much of anything.

Raspberries (summer) which didn't do anything last year - leave them be or start again?

Posted: 02/03/2017 at 18:53

Keep the ones which start growing leaves but you may as well pull the other ones up and replace them as they are almost certainly dead.  Bare-root raspberries can be a bit hit-and miss but those which survive will rapidly spread once they are established.  The dead ones will likely pull out easily whereas any which have grown roots will not, so a gentle pull is an easy way to tell which are alive and which aren't.  If you replace any, consider getting 'Polka', an autumn fruiting type which many on the forum grow and we always have super crops.  Keep summer and autumn fuiting types in different areas though, so if you do go for it you could move the live ones you have to the same area and use the other for the autumn fruiting ones.  Polka are easy to prune - just cut the lot down to the ground in Feb each year.  For summer fruiting types, you cut down only the canes which have fruited after harvesting them and leave the new canes which have grown from the base alone, as those will provide next year's fruit.   

Last edited: 02 March 2017 18:54:15

Any idea what these are?

Posted: 02/03/2017 at 18:35

Agree fidget for the first 2 pics.  Green 3-leaved things in the bottom photo look like wild strawberries which can be a nuisance.

What's this buried under our garden?

Posted: 01/03/2017 at 18:58

"It puts the lotion on it's skin, or else it gets the hose again."

How to dig up large shrub roots

Posted: 26/02/2017 at 22:29

I wouldn't be without my mattock for this sort of work.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
Replies: 1    Views: 170
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 261
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1343
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 69    Views: 6613
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 919
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 438
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 503
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1435
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1071
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 17    Views: 2410
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 729
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 737
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1388
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1148
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1204
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17
1 to 15 of 38 threads