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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

New small pond for frogs/toads

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 10:11

With a slug population that large I think your idea of using nematodes is a good one.  Those are completely natural and exist in small numbers in the soil anyway.  Perhaps your garden has low numbers of natural slug predators in general, so it's worth trying all of the suggestions here.  Frogs and toads are not a panacea against slugs but they will eat a few of the smaller ones each night so a pond can only help.  For snails you do need to try and attract thrushes and hedgehogs.

over wintering fuschias

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 20:08

The answer to that is "hardly at all".  Dormant plants are easily killed by a combination of overwatering and cold when they may survive the cold alone.  Once the leaves have fallen and the plant is dormant, the compost only needs to be barely moist.  I'm a great believer in the 'finger test':  Poke a finger into the compost and as long as it feels slightly damp about an inch down then no water is necessary.  The top inch can be completely dry with no ill effects.

Garden Fencing

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 19:36

Triangular section arris rails are used as there's no chance of detritus building up on top of them thus giving rot a place to get started like it would on a rectangular section horizontal batten.  Probably less wood needed too, which will be the real reason of course!

Any suggestions

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 19:12

Trained fruit trees for me!  Peach, nectarine, fig and pear far a start - in fact most fruit trees would love to be trained against a lovely heat-retaining wall like that.

Edit: just read your other message regarding altitude and being a frost pocket so maybe not!

Spent Tomato Compost

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 18:44

I was just about to write exactly the same thing, artjak.

unidentified veg

Posted: 16/10/2014 at 18:57

Yep, forked white carrot from the rainbow mix I reckon.  Nut is right - if it smell like a carrot, that is what it is.

Moving clematis

Posted: 16/10/2014 at 18:52

You could try taking some softwood cuttings in Spring as insurance, Mrs G.  I've found the cirrhosa types much easier to root than other clematis.  Details on how to take softwood cuttings here:

No digging required!

Apple tree problems

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 20:51

The RHS now advise against using anything on tree wounds as there is evidence that it can trap fungal spores and bacteria underneath the wound paint and actually slows the healing process.

I'm not sure I'd do what you suggest though in removing the whole limb above the support.  Cutting a large branch like that half way will cause more problems than it solves.  I'd just remove the short stumpy bit if you aren't going to remove the whole thing to the main trunk.  I like Alan's advice and suggest looking at the RHS advice on renovative pruning of old apple trees:


Dying trees....

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 18:55

Zina, have a read of this factsheet which is very helpful in understanding Honey fungus.  It is a  document from the government of Guernsey but applies equally well to anywhere:

It also contains lists of both susceptible and resistant trees and shrubs which can prove very useful if you do have HF in your garden like some of us here do;  Basically you just have to live with it but can help stop it spreading by removing dead stumps and regular cultivation of soil in areas you know are affected.


Apple tree problems

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 18:39

Hi Steve,

I'd consider removing that low supported side branch completely as long as it doesn't make the tree look odd.  That short dead branch stump on it (immediately above the support post) is not good for the tree and will let in disease.  You ought to at least remove that and cut it flush with the branch as it will never heal if left like it is.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 692
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

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

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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: 289
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 599
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 495
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: 936
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 559
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: 606
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 331
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 634
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 681
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 6986
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads