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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 27/08/2015 at 15:14

Hi Sue and welcome!  Mushrooms/toadstools break down woody matter and are nothing to worry about.  I wouldn't recommend eating them unless you are 100% sure of identification but they won't poison the soil or any crops which you grow; very few mushrooms are deadly poisonous but many will give you an upset stomach.  In fact, without fungi we would all be several metres deep in dead leaves and twigs as fungi break most of these down and return the goodness to the soil for plants to re-use.

symbols for emotions

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 14:53

Hi Logan, here's my take:

Happy or good intentions intended.

Very happy.

'Knowing' wink.  Often used when giving tried and trusted advice.


Very unhappy.


Blushing (eg embarrassed.)

Unsure (eg how did that happen?)


Referring to a comment above or rolling eyes (as in 'I knew that would happen!)

Referring to a comment above and probably disagreeing.

Referring to a comment above and strongly disagreeing.

Any of the above 3 can also be used as in "looking up at the heavens."

"Erm, I really didn't expect that!" or weird.

same as ?





Verdun  (eg I might not have really meant what I wrote)

Verdun in a different mood!

I shall say nothing!

not sure about this one..

Happy and carefree (as if on holiday)

Clever clogs






Plant problems

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 14:37

It's always better to underwater than overwater cstonenw5 as most plants can survive an occasional lack of watering but many will be killed by overwatering.  My "rule of thumb" is to stick my finger in the compost;  If it dry an inch down then water otherwise leave alone.


Posted: 27/08/2015 at 13:00

Yes, plant out now.  It's a bit late for the brussels to be honest and you may not get sprouts but beetroot are fast growing and should give you a crop.  Plant the brussels deep, right up to where the the bottom leaves emerge from the stem and firm them in really well.  Plant the beetroot at the same depth as they came.  Both will appreciate a high-nitrate fertilizer with a liquid feed best right now as it can be taken in by the plant immediately.

Shrub ID

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 12:43

Possibly one of the Osmanthus (aka holly olive.)  Can you remember if it had flowers and, if so, what they were like?

Espaliered Apple Tree Recommendations for SW France

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 12:35

I don't think cold will be an issue as apples are as tough as they come in that respect and actually require a certain length of cold weather but summer heat might be an issue although your irrigation system will undoubtedly help.  Look at the Orange Pippin site for advice on suitable varieties.  These are recommended for southern Europe:

They can also give you advice on which of those varieties are suitable for training as espaliers.

begonia's what s the best ?

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 12:22

Tuberous begonias are actually enlarged hypocotyls (seedling stems) as are cyclamen just to confuse the issue further.   Really rolls off the tongue doesn't it!

Summer fruiting raspberry issues :/

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 10:26

They are probably an autumn fruiting type.  Any canes of that type which are not cut down in February will fruit early (often earlier than summer fruiting types) and the new canes will fruit at their normal time in autumn, but with a much lower yield.  To regain control, cut them all back to the ground in February or, if you are getting decent crops, continue as you are and enjoy a double crop each year.

My nuts are floating :(

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 22:36

Yes Nicky, squirrels can tell whether there is a good nut inside so pick them direct from the tree yourself to have a better chance.  A couple of years ago all the nuts from my hazel disappeared in just 24h thanks to squirrels - they seem to wait until the perfect time and then snatch the lot!  None of the ones left on the ground had anything inside.

Vermiculite or Perlite

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 22:30

I use both.  Perlite is good mixed in to provide a very light and free-draining growing medium, good for striking cuttings.  Fine grade vermiculite is great for lightly sprinking over surface-sown seeds to help stop them drying out but still lets light get to those types which need it.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 657
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 329
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 368
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 964
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 747
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 707
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 665
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 534
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: 457
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 789
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 699
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: 1179
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 838
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: 1302
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 511
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads