London (change)
Today 15°C / 12°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 12°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Stacey & her chilli bits

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 15:26

These are pavilec - a very prolific medium-hot variety I got from Realseeds.  Might have to try one soon - can't wait for the colour change!

Growing aquilegia from seed

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 14:58

 Not tried that nut - great excuse to get some (and no doubt several other types I don't have) though!

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 14:46

The General (Sikorski) has a second flush of 'medals' with plenty more to come and is looking great today:

Staying on a blue theme, ageratums are stunning when looked at closely and look like some sort of exotic sea anemone:

In the front garden, the Helichrysums (strawflowers) are looking good, too:

Finally, this giant dahlia (which was grown from seed planted earlier this year) is now taller than me and standing proud:

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 13:38

I'm going to stop growing F1 varieties of calabrese/broccoli.  Yes, they produce nice big heads which taste lovely, but they produce them all at once and I'm never happy freezing this stuff.  Successional sowing doesn't seem to work very well - those sown 4 weeks later just seem to catch-up and crop just a few days later.  

Black bugs

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 13:29

They looks like the larval stage of one of the shield bugs.  I'm pretty sure it is a bug (ie a sap sucker) rather than a beetle.  See if you can find something similar here:

probably on these pages:


Growing aquilegia from seed

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 13:10

Yes, I have one or two of those still producing the odd flower, nut.  Lesley, that's a great site.   My personal favourite is the blue and white Aquilegia caerulea - I've been trying to cross those with McKana hybrids but the genes of the yellow and red ones must be dominant as no blue with any yellow or red in them so far.

Tomato problems

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 12:56

I wouldn't worry about damage on the upper leaves - they will still be doing their job of feeding the plants so leave them unless they become diseased.

Growing aquilegia from seed

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 11:59

Guilty of over-sowing most things too nut.  It doesn't matter how many times I tell myself to sow more thinly, I always seem to know better when it comes to actually doing the deed.  I must start listening to myself (which, unfortunately, is unrelated to talking to myself!)

I give up!

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 11:51

Unless you use effective protection against slugs (which, unfortunately, means pellets as all other methods are only partially effective or worse), insurance by means of multiple redundant spare plants is the way to go.  Most decent suppliers put so many seeds in the packet that the average household couldn't possibly consume all of the produce if they were all planted and grew to full production.  For one 2 metre row, I sow 15 beans individually in 3" pots in mid April (depends on where you live - I'm in central UK- add or subtract a couple of weeks depending on location and/or weather.)   Plant out when 8 inches tall.  When planting out, push a bean seed into the soil a few inches away (insurance policy 1.)  Take the empty pots and sow another 15 beans ready to replace those which you have planted out and which will inevitably be eaten by the slugs (insurance policy 2.)  When you plant these out, push another seed into the ground a few inches away (insurance policy 3.)  Most packets have 60 seeds.  Now you know why!   

Growing aquilegia from seed

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 11:36

Same here nut, no problems ever when it comes to germinating aquilegia other than I tend to sow them too thickly and have problems separating.  I sowed some at this time last year and left them through the winter in the seed tray in a cold frame.  The roots grew so much that it was a nightmare separating them and some root damage was inevitable.  The ones sown in January actually overtook them and neither set flowered this year, so I'll also be sticking to January sowing from now on to make life easier for myself.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 108
Last Post: Yesterday at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 337
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 196
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: 183
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 502
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 312
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: 692
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 412
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: 485
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 246
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 543
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4244
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1716
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads