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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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.

Gardening Buddy.

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 11:29

Bobin the Robin is always within earshot to sympathise with my mutterings and curses while I'm out in the garden.  Also a pair of hedge sparrows (dunnocks) hang around at ground level, flitting in and out of the plants as I wander around.  The house sparrows are back in force this year and around 50-60 sometimes startle me as they fly out of the hedge when I approach.  They cost me fortune in seed for the feeders but it's worth every penny to see that their numbers have increased from about 2-3 years ago when they were at their lowest (maybe 3 or 4 pairs.)  They aren't all lightweights when it comes to helping in the garden either - aphids infestations have all been cleaned by the birds whenever they appeared - I think they are used to provide liquid for their young.

Tomato problems

Posted: 16/08/2014 at 11:10

Holes/rips might be from hail damage as you mentioned storms.  Another possibility is slugs/snails - they always climb up things during extended periods of rain.  Lower leaves on tomatoes invariably start to look tatty at this time of the year anyway though - as soon as they start to turn a bit yellow you may as well cut them off.  The plants look healthy enough to me and there seems to be no sign of disease.

To pot or not to pot

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 18:58

Can you list the perennials you have germinated Bev?  Each one may need slightly different treatment.  In general, once they have formed true leaves (rather than just the 2 initial seed leaves) you prick them out from the seed tray and place each one into a small pot (7cm, 3 inch) and grow them on, preferably in a cold frame where you can leave them over the winter.  In the spring when they appear again, you can plant them into their final growing positions in the ground.

Meteor showers

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 18:41

Hi Dove, yes - when I remember to check!  It is really bright and fast moving isn't it!  Probably responsible for quite a few 'UFO' sightings..  Here's the link Topbird posted:

and some others:

You have to select your location on here too (see top right) then you can get predictions for the ISS and many other things, too:

This one shows you where the ISS is right now:

Crazy fungus

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 23:11

Yes, slugs love most mushrooms - even those which are poisonous to us.  I agree with others, it's one of the Boletus types.

Meteor showers

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 23:03

I have an all-sky video camera on my observatory roof and a computer detects and records meteors automatically.  It's been out of action for a while but I fixed it recently, so of course it's been cloudy since!  Here's an old sequence from 2010 I uploaded to youtube though:


Pumpkin problem

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 22:54

If the weather has been hot and dry in your area recently, another possibility is spider mite.  Look at the back of the leaves with a magnifying glass in order to see them.  Cobwebs at the growing tips are another sign but are not always present.

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1 to 15 of 25 threads