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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Exotic plant or weed or triffid?

Posted: 17/12/2014 at 18:01

Possibly one of the weedy toadflaxes - I have a form of purple toadflax around here that gets everywhere (especially neglected pots), and look just like that at this time of year (it is evergreen.)  It's quite nice apart from the fact that it seeds everywhere.

Growing True Potato Seed

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 23:19

If grown from seed, it's unlikely a potato plant will be able to grow tubers large enough to harvest for use in just one growing season, but you could save those small tubers and use them as 'seed potatoes' for the following year.  As you say, not all varieties will set fruit though so you would be limited to using those that do.  It is indeed possible and I've had small potato plants appear which clearly came from self-sown seeds rather than 'volunteer' potatoes left in the ground as they were rooted very close to the surface and there was no sign of any tubers.  New varieties come into existence this way of course but it takes years before enough tubers can be produced to make it commercially viable.  That doesn't stop us trying it ourselves and having fun though!

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 18:47

I took a chainsaw to my pampas grass a good few years ago Gardengirl but the stump is still there and refuses to rot away.  Nasty stuff in the wrong place!

Indoor Cyclamen

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 18:44

The thread is titled 'indoor cyclamen' but is it an outdoor type you are trying to grow indoors?  If that's the case the outdoor types like Hederifolium and Coum don't like indoor conditions much at all.  Persicum types (aka florists cyclamen) are what to grow indoors and Dove and Steve are spot-on about the growing conditions for those - only water when the compost is dry on the top and only water from below.  Keep them on cool windowsills etc - they really hate centrally heated rooms.  Persicum types are easy to grow from seed and make beautiful, highly scented and long lived houseplants.

netting crops

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 13:52

The maximum hole size in mesh for protection against small cabbage white butterflies is 7mm.  Google 'butterfly netting' and check that it states the holes are 7mm or smaller.  I have some heavy duty stuff from HH which is a few years old now and still in good condition - some of the cheaper types tear or fall apart after a year or two.  It is also strong enough to protect against woodpigeon assault - they are an absolute menace when growing any kind of brassica and can scoff all of your crops in just a few hours!

Is it too late to cut hedges?

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 11:35

The racecourse with which I have an adjoining native (mainly hawthorn) hedge cut it yesterday as they always do at this time of the year, so I expect it's fine to do it now.  They use a rather impressive tractor attachment, which they need having several miles of hedges to cut.  Think of a 5 foot wide cylindrical lawnmover on the end of a hydraulic arm like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vmFq6K2OJw

 

has anyone ignored tomatoe growing advice

Posted: 10/12/2014 at 18:28

Yes, I found a larger crop was produced but ripened much later than the plants I had treated as cordons.  In fact the season ran out and half of the fruit on the 'au naturel' plants never had time to ripen.  If you live somewhere with a longer growing season than central UK or have a heated greenhouse then it might be worth trying.

Crop rotation, sequential cropping tips and hints

Posted: 10/12/2014 at 18:19

Celery can be a bit of a challenge too Gemma.  Seems OK in some gardens but not others.  Over the years I've tried just about everything veg-wise and now know what grows well here and what doesn't.  Your own experience is the most valuable thing there is so my advice is to give everything you fancy a go and see how you get on!

I agree with Mel - nothing quite as useful as a running 'garden diary' complete with sketches of what you planted where and when.  That works for the whole garden and, apart from being an invaluable future reference, stops you slicing through those lovely tulip bulbs you forgot you planted right just there!  

I'd also never remember which of my 40-odd clematis were which if I didn't have a diagram.  Labels just don't work around here (and I'm not keen on seeing them anyway)!

Your favourite tomato varieties

Posted: 05/12/2014 at 18:16

'Sungold' for orange cherry sized ones, 'Suncherry premium' for the red equivalent, 'Marmande' and 'Legend' for large ones and 'Cristal' for the reddest of red standard sized tomatoes.  All of those are very tasty.

What do you have left to do in the garden this year?

Posted: 29/11/2014 at 22:56

The 'to be shredded' pile is getting rather large here, nut!  I'm also going to coppice a Hazel as it's grown so large that it's shading some fruit trees so thinking about removing it completely.  It has produced some babies (probably with the aid of squirrels) so I'll move a couple of those to a more suitable area if I decide to dig it up.  I'll wait until I've enjoyed the catkins for a few weeks first though.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 198
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 468
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 439
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 377
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 246
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: 233
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 549
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 403
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: 861
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 492
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: 536
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 282
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 581
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 610
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4954
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
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