Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Spots on my olive tree

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 12:50

Looks like an extremely severe infestation of scale insect.  I would normally recommend rubbing them off or dabbing with methylated sprit but it looks too severe for that.  Spray it with Provado systemic insecticide which will be absorbed by the tree and will kill the insects.  A second treatment may be needed in a few weeks.

Last edited: 24 September 2016 12:51:14

Caterpillars, nasturtiums

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 12:04

I think you need to consider planting something else as anything which will kill unwanted caterpillars will also kill beneficial insects.  How about a wildflower meadow mix?  That will look after itself with just one big chopping down each year needed.

Tree Identification

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 11:28

Agree nut, need better photos to be sure.  I noticed the large clusters of berries at the top when I zoomed in which look typical of winterberry to me.  It's an old and big one if it is though!

Grass dying and going brown?

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 11:22

Looks more like leatherjacket damage - nematodes are the answer to those.  Looks like lots of thatch too, so a good scarifying will help.

Tree Identification

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 10:42

Might be Ilex verticillata, aka winterberry.  The cultivar Winter gold has orange berries, as does Goldfinch.

Last edited: 24 September 2016 10:44:24

Lupin Aphid

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 10:34

American lupin aphids are very difficult to deal with, so much so that I had to give up growing lupins as the only thing which worked was regular spraying with insecticides and that's something I decided to stop using completely several years ago.   I might try growing them again next year but they will be removed instantly if lupin aphid makes an appearance.

Strawberry Runners

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 10:20

Roy, As Fairygirl mentions, if your patch is getting crowded you can identify the oldest plants as those will have developed woody stems about as thick as a finger and a few inches long.  Once they reach that size they are past their best and you should dig that whole plant out and could replace it with one grown from a runner.

When grown in a patch like this, strawberries will naturally colonise the area by sending out runners which will root where they touch the ground.  Because of this, the patch can get a bit overcrowded so if that has happened to yours just remove some of the oldest plants and dig a bit of well rotted manure into the spot where it was and  this will feed the surrounding plants and give them a bit of room to grow.

It's also best to move the whole patch every few years as the plants will exhaust the soil and pests and diseases will build up, making it less and less productive each year.

Last edited: 24 September 2016 10:20:29

Solar Lights

Posted: 22/09/2016 at 22:38

NiMh and NiCd are both OK and good for about 500 charge/discharge cycles (so there's your 18 months!)  NiCd are more tolerant of very low temperatures but neither type really like it, so best remove batteries in the coldest part of the year.  NiMh should, in theory, last longer (up to 1000 cycles.)  They also contain slightly less noxious chemicals (Cadmium is particularly nasty stuff if released into the environment) so always take dead batteries to a proper battery recycling point and never put them in your household waste.

Weed Identification Help

Posted: 22/09/2016 at 21:24

Look up Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) to see if it looks similar.

What's this colourful leaf plant?

Posted: 21/09/2016 at 19:05

Yes, taking cuttings is the same way as you do with pelargoniums (which used to be called tender geraniums.)

Last edited: 21 September 2016 19:06:18

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1160
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 84    Views: 6110
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 840
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 367
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 451
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1360
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 984
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 2105
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 675
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 694
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1311
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1102
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1145
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1143
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 1003
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04
1 to 15 of 36 threads