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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Laurel plants

Posted: 15/01/2013 at 19:45

Laurel is the fastest growing evergreen shrub suitable for hedging that I can think of.  Do keep on top of the pruning when it matures though, otherwise it can get out of hand (you will end up with a row of laurel trees!)  The good news is that overgrown laurel can be cut back hard (to the ground if needed) and it will quickly grow back.  As you are making a hedge, I'd suggest planting them about 40 to 50cm apart.  Also best prune using secateurs as a normal hedge trimmer will damage the leaves which will then look a bit unsightly and may allow diseases to enter, such as leaf spot and shothole. 

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 14/01/2013 at 20:22

Another vote for Sungold from me.  I find they consistently start cropping earlier, and also finish later, than any other cherry type I have tried (and that's quite a few over the years!)  A similar one is Golden Cherry - in fact, I can't tell the difference and wondered if they were in fact the same variety under a different name.  For a red cherry, try Tommy Toe, an Australian variety which is very similar to Gardener's delight in flavour, but seems to have better disease resistance and is less prone to spliiting.

Waterbut downpipes

Posted: 13/01/2013 at 17:11

Hi Jatnikapyar,  this one looks like the right one - to fit 25mm built-in guttering:

They do seem expensive though.  It would be difficult to make something due to the design - mine is the same, they push into the end of the square-section aluminium gutter.  I lost one of the end-stops at the other end, so water just ran out, but I fixed that by replacing it with a large blob of silicone sealant (blu-tack would probably have done!)

Can anyone identify my new fungus?

Posted: 13/01/2013 at 16:32

The only one I know which looks anything like that is "Lion's Mane", but that grows on logs.  As you probably realise, it's fiendishly difficult to positively identify fungi, even with several good illustrated books in front of you (and those give you the best possible chance.)  It actually looks a bit like some lichens.

potato problem

Posted: 13/01/2013 at 01:27

Hi Daisytwo, There is a pest called potato eelworm, but the worms are minute and need a magnifying glass to see, so it probably isn't that.  I suspect the holes are being caused by keeled slugs and the worms are a secondary infection.  Neither of these pests are easy to eradicate, unfortunately.  Crop rotation on a 4-year cycle is usually recommended, but your best bet may be doing that and growing slug and eelworm resistant varieties for a few years.  This factsheet may help:

Digging up and storing the potatoes as soon as the haulms die back will help, too.

raspberry canes

Posted: 12/01/2013 at 16:53
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

I was reading up on Polka  - some sites recommend not cutting the old canes down until the following summer, which allows them to produce two crops - one on previous years canes in early summer, then a late summer crop on the new canes.  Has anyone tried this?

Yes, I do this with some of my Autumn fruiting varieties - it gives you an early summer crop.  I wouldn't do it to all of the canes though, as there's a chance the late crop wouldn't develop in a bad year.  I leave canes which came up late and didn't fruit uncut and only cut down those that have fruited at the recommended time.  Works well.

Waterbut downpipes

Posted: 12/01/2013 at 16:45

If this:

isn't the right one, perhaps give them a ring - phone number is at the top of that page.

Stag Beetle Grubs?

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 21:56

If they are Rose Chafer, they are very beneficial as far as helping the composting process goes.

Stag Beetle Grubs?

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 19:41

Most likely Rose Chafer larvae, which are often found in compost heaps and are about 20mm long, which fits well with the 3/4 inch size quoted.  Stag beetle larvae are a fair bit bigger than that (up to 110mm, but usually about 50-80mm) and are usually only found in (or in the soil under) dead wood.

Can anyone help identity this plant?

Posted: 08/01/2013 at 18:50

If Agapanthus, as meganrose mentioned, they will have thick white hairy roots.  Probably not those though as most varieties lose their leaves in winter unless in a very sheltered spot.  If they are, they're more likely to start flowering in a pot though, so I agree with everyone else on taking that course of action (whatever they turn out to be!)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 240
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 407
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 361
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 229
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: 206
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 528
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 359
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: 831
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 457
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: 511
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 264
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 568
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 590
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4647
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1829
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads