Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Plant losses, phormium, fatsia japonica

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 22:43

Are you sure it's not a two-legged pest?

What could this be?

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 22:33

If the leaves are something else then it could be buddleia which is another tree which likes to grow in such places.  The smell test is diagnostic for elder though.  Buddleia leaves are slightly furry when young and don't really smell.  It's difficult to tell scale from the photo but if the stump is less than 2 inches in diameter, I wouldn't be worried about structural damage.  The stump must be killed though.

What could this be?

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 22:10

If those leaves belong to it, it could be a sambucus nigra (elderberry) which are notorious for growing in places like that.  However, there is little evidence of elder causing damage to foundations.  If the roots penetrate drainage pipes they can eventually block them but if there are no signs of drains being blocked then a regular dose of a brushwood killer such as SBK will kill it and the remaining stump will rot away after a few years - much quicker than (say) an ash tree sapling (which is another common tree which likes to seed itself into similar situations, but far more damaging.)

To be sure, crush a leaf between your thumb and fingers - if it smells highly pungent then it is almost certainly elder and not a great worry.

Growing sweet potato

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 18:58

Hi Chris, I tried large (15cm long), well developed plugs of 3 different varieties which were recommended for UK conditions (purchased at quite some cost as I recall) and grew them in a polytunnel in Leics.  The top growth was excellent but, come harvest time, the resulting crop of tubers was very disappointing.  Others on here have had better results though.

growing carrots in containers

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 18:48

Yes and as HC says, sand or fine grit rather than gravel or they will fork.  They will grow in pure sand if you give them a regular liquid feed but I usually grow them in 50/50 sharp sand and used compost.

Last edited: 06 February 2017 18:48:39

Winter Aconite

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 18:44

What will kill them is being baked in dry soil in summer.  They are woodland plants so need shade in summer and soil which doesn't dry out.  If you can provide that, I think it trumps pH by a large factor.

Outside Cucumbers

Posted: 05/02/2017 at 16:51

Watering will be the biggest problem.  Cucumbers can be grown in pots but they have to be large ones.

Rejuvenate Dracaena Massangeana

Posted: 05/02/2017 at 14:45

It is unlikely to sprout new shoots now that it has shooted from the bottom - all of the energy is going into that shoot.  You could try removing the bottom shoot and trying to root that to produce a second plant (put it in a pot of a 50/50 mix of compost and grit or perlite.)  The bare stem should then produce new shoots, hopefully from further up.  New shoots come from swellings on the stem and I think I can see one near the top. 

Last edited: 05 February 2017 14:46:54


Posted: 05/02/2017 at 14:38

You can indeed use them as salad potatoes - just dig them up when the tubers are smaller - they are quite waxy.  For that, just lift them in July/August as needed (assuming they are planted at the usual time for 2nd earlies, in the first half of April.)


Posted: 05/02/2017 at 13:02

Excellent variety which is immune to most pests.  I grow it every year as my soil has keeled slugs which make holes in almost every other variety (and I've tried most available varieties over the decades!)  Great flavour and I find I can leave them in the ground until needed so effectively grow them as a maincrop.  Wouldn't be without them!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
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Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Gardener's World about to start now!

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Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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Renovate or remove privet hedge?

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


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1385
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1145
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1199
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17
1 to 15 of 38 threads