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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Poly tunnel water harvesting.

Posted: 27/01/2014 at 21:21

Hi James, I've a polytunnel on the way so have been thinking about this myself and have decided to use cheap household plastic guttering.  What I'm going to do is hammer some vertical wooden stakes in along the long sides so that they are about 3" away from the tunnel sides.  Then fit plastic gutter clips to the inside face of the stakes to hold a length of plastic guttering against the polytunnel wall at the point the curved roof becomes vertical (ie about 3ft above the ground.)  Finally, I'll run polytunnel sealing tape along the length to seal the join where the gutter touches the tunnel wall to ensure water runs into the guttering.  B&Q 76mm Mini Line guttering is pretty cheap so might use that.

apple canker

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 17:24

If you can find any of the things mentioned in the RHS apple canker control page which Dave mentioned:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=63

they may help a little but there is no cure as such.  A lot of the chemicals mentioned are no longer available though.  Any time over the winter while the tree is dormant is fine for pruning out the damaged areas which I think is probably your best bet if you want to try and save the tree.  Hard pruning will encourage lots of 'water shoots', most of which you'll want to remove in the summer, but you can let a few develop into new branches and fruiting spurs.  Advice from the RHS on this (called 'renovative pruning') is here:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=279

Good luck and hope you can nurse it back into health.

 

apple canker

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 14:22

Hi PP, there's not much you can do other than the options you've already considered - either cut the affected branches out or live with it.  Canker is not usually fatal on a mature tree so just keeping an eye on it would be my advice.  If growth dies beyond the canker you will  have to remove the affected parts - if you can cut it back to another branch lower down the limb do that otherwise the whole branch should come off at the trunk.  The other possibility is to start a replacement tree in a large tub now with a view to removing the old tree and replacing it in a few years.  You could even try grafting a healthy scion from the old tree onto the new one if you don't want to lose it completely.

 

Soil warming cables

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 13:08

Hi Brumbull, that's exactly the type of cable I already bought, ready for my heated bench.  I have a different thermostat (from something else) but the one you show is also what I'd recommend for anyone starting from scratch.

Old timer2, I'd also recommend the Parasene cable.  Information from the company recommends that a 6m long cable is ideal for a 4'x2' box, so your 8'x2' would need twice that, so a 12m cable should be perfect.  They are on Amazon for £23 + £3 delivery which is very good value.

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 18:15

Hi all, over the next couple of weekends I'm building a heated propagator from various bits of wood etc which I have left over from other projects around the house and garden and will post photos as I go.  Feel free to ask any questions if this sort of thing interests you.  

Today I made the base from left-over decking boards and some outdoor-grade plywood I happened to have:

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36539.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Screwed together using stainless steel screws and painted with clear wood preserver before being put into the greenhouse overnight to dry.

 

in the green

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 17:59

I move bulbs even in flower (except deeply planted ones like tulips) nut, but I dig a whole clod of earth out with the bulbs inside.  Seems to work ok.

ORNAMENTAL APPLE TREE

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 17:48

Bumped for rubber

winter care of fruit trees

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 17:41

Yes, a bit too eager rubber!  They will start fruiting properly from the 3rd year and steadily get better.  The greenfly are 'farmed' by ants so the trick is to put a thick band of Vaseline all the way around the trunk, just above where it's tied to the stake.  This prevents the ants from climbing up into the tree carrying young aphids which they deposit on the youngest leaves.  The ants feed from the sugary honeydew which the aphids exude as a waste product when sucking sap.

Make sure you prune the young trees properly during winter for the first few years as it's important to form the right shape while they are young.  There are a few posts about how to do this on the forum - I'll bump them up for you.

Camera Corner

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 17:29

KEF, I usually only get a handful of nuts as the squirrels always beat me to them but got about a litre of them this past autumn - no squirrels for once!  Welcome back Fairy - missed you!

Camera Corner

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 15:37

Here's a pic of catkins on my hazel which were taken just before the thunder & lightning arrived:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36534.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

If you zoom-in you can just make out the tiny female flowers (red bits on the end of some buds) which eventually turn into nuts.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 733
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 537
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 838
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33

Drought

No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 403
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 429
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1014
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 810
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 783
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 726
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 598
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: 509
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 859
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 763
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: 1250
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 923
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30
1 to 15 of 31 threads