Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Topsoil, compost, etc

Posted: 02/02/2017 at 18:32

I have no transport so all bought online.  I stick to stuff available from Wickes (own brand MPC plus various Westland products.)  30-60 bags at a time to make the most of the delivery charges.

Roof Shading for Greenhouse?

Posted: 31/01/2017 at 23:11

Hi CW, I have a 10x8 in the same orientation and only needed to shade the West side.  Since then a 'family' dwarf apple tree planted directly to the south has grown tall enough to provide shade in the height of summer so no need now.  Ventilation is probably more important - the more automatic roof vents and louvres you can get/afford, the better.

Last edited: 31 January 2017 23:11:59

How can we improve drainage & prevent a bog (photos)

Posted: 29/01/2017 at 15:18

It could be that your soil is simply compacted and that's causing surface water to be slow to drain.  Your soil doesn't look like particularly bad stuff to me.  Rotovating it, especially if you add grit etc. will improve drainage and perhaps enough for your needs.  Mixing in mushroom compost would also help with the soil structure and the lime helps break down clay.  If it doesn't work, you have still improved your soil.  Hard work but not too expensive to try.  Alternatively, consider building raised beds around some or all of the perimeter and fill with those with soil extracted from the centre.  You could then lay a thick layer of hardcore or gravel for lawn drainage and cover with 15cm of topsoil to lay the turf on.

Rowan - which is best?

Posted: 28/01/2017 at 17:09

There's a list of trees suited to chalk on this page which may help you in your research:


Posted: 27/01/2017 at 18:34

As nut and LB say, fix it down to the ground and it will be fine.  If you surround it with temporary fence panels, there's a good chance those will be blown onto it and shatter the glass.  Toughened glass is indeed tough and is heavy enough to not be easily blown out of the frame, which is where the danger lies.  Once a pane is lost, the wind gets in and can blow more panes out.  If the glass is fixed in with spring clips (usually 4 per pane),  invest in some extra ones so you have 6 or more per pane.

Yellow Toms & purple carrots

Posted: 24/01/2017 at 00:22

You can now get 'sunlemon' which is a true yellow bred from sungold.  There are several more in the 'sun' series - try Mr Fothergills for those.

Should I prune this tree

Posted: 23/01/2017 at 00:55

I have to say it doesn't look to be in brilliant health, Yensid.  The gray coloured main stem has died back and needs to be pruned off, just above the point where the red side branch appears, or the die back may continue down and kill off that good (red coloured) branch.

The other problem is that the root stock (many acers are grafted) has sprouted from the base and those different coloured (green) stems are from the type of tree used as the rootstock and will take over completely if left.

The problem now is to decide whether to remove the growth from the rootstock so that all the energy goes into the main tree or not.  It's a tricky one as the main tree may be too far gone and die anyway, then you'll be left with nothing.  If you keep the basal growth, it will dominate and the remaining (red-coloured) branch will eventually die off but may last a few more years.

The good news is that japanese acers are usually grafted onto acer palmatum rootstock, so if you leave the green branches to grow, you will still have an acer!

Cherry Laurel Privacy Hedge - Thoughts

Posted: 22/01/2017 at 20:14

How far away are the trees from the fence?  If within 2m I would create a border all along that back fence and add some shrubs between the trees.  There are many which will grow large and give some sreening between the trees.  The trees will also grow better if in a border rather than with grass at their base.  Some flowering shubs to consider would be viburnum, photinia, philadelphus, pyracantha, mahonia and eleagnus.  Some of those are evergreen.

Seed Audit -open packets and out of date

Posted: 22/01/2017 at 15:32

And me.  I still have 2 trays of leeks that never made it into the ground.  I think I usually have to compost more than half of my seedlings and it's probably far more than that! 

Seed Audit -open packets and out of date

Posted: 22/01/2017 at 13:20
Singing Gardener says:

I think it depends a lot on what seeds they are. I have lots that I continue to use for years (lettuce, french beans, beetroot, in particular because there are loads in a packet). Others don't seem to last so well. I seem to remember that somebody posted a list of the expected lifetime of different seeds here but it was a long time ago.

See original post

 I think that was me:

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
Replies: 1    Views: 162
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 258
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1328
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 69    Views: 6594
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 916
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 436
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 503
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1434
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1066
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 17    Views: 2391
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 728
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 734
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1384
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1144
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