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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

hawthorne and honeysuckle

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 18:30

Hawthorn can be tricky to root from cuttings (it is usually propagated from seed) but it can be done - I had a success rate of about 15% or so when I tried many years ago.

Clematis

Posted: 01/02/2015 at 20:48

Just a tip, Victoria and everyone else:  You should not trust the colours you see on any website, ever.  From a technical viewpoint, I can assure you that there are simply too many variables and that you will NEVER see true colours on the web.  If you have more than one PC/laptop/i-thing, place them next to each other and you will also see that even those don't show the same colour on the same website!

no fruit on trees

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 12:22

As long asyou have at least two of each species (ie two varieties of apple, two pears etc) then they should pollinate each other if you have chosen compatible varieties (apples will only pollinate other apples etc.)  However, at 1000 feet above sea level, the problem is likely to be lack of pollinators at blossoming time.  Try hand-pollinating using a small, soft brush, like a make-up brush.  You will need to gently push it into as many flowers on one (say) apple tree before moving on to the other apple, then switch back to the first tree again and re-do it.  After that move on to the pears, then cherries etc.  It would be worth trying to encourage pollinating insects (especially native bees) to overwinter in your garden by creating 'bee hotels' (google that for ideas).  Having a pile or two made of short logs, branches and covered with leaves etc in sheltered corners of your garden is a natural way of creating such a habitat.  To get the pollinators to choose your garden to overwinter in, you will also need to grow as many species of 'pollinator friendly' flowers as you can throughout the year.  In general they don't like windy sites so surrounding your garden with hedges, shrubs etc will help create the right sort of micro-climate.

lawns

Posted: 29/01/2015 at 19:04

Worm casts are high in nutrients and very good for the grass, so it really should be growing rampantly.  Worms don't eat living plant tissue, so I suspect the real problem is that your lawn is being eaten from below by one of the common lawn pests, with leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) being the most likely.  Try treating it with nemasys leatherjacket killer if you prefer safe organic control, or a general lawn pest control product if you don't mind using pesticides.

Dreaded thrips

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 18:54

Jess, in response to your earlier query, yes, stop using SB before you introduce predators.  Hopefully the hard frosts we are having this winter will kill any overwintering thrips, eggs, larvae & pupae (did you know they have 6 different stages in their lifecycle?!)  If you had a bad infestation and are keeping any previously affected plants indoors now, I would seriously consider sacrificing them and starting afresh.  I was going to keep some chillies going this winter but decided the risk wasn't worth it.

 

Tree Lily Bulbs

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 18:42

I've had them from several of the well know suppliers (some were free) and all grew OK - about 4 foot the first year and 5-6' in subsequent years.  The only issue I've had is that there is more foliage to check for those bl**dy lily beetles!

Gooseberries and grapes

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 18:38

The grape won't show any signs of growth until quite late in the spring - even not until May in some cases, so be patient with it.

Dreaded thrips

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 18:47

Jess, Edd, I use SB invigorator on spider mite - it works by effectively glueing them in place and also acts a foliar feed.  It's recommended to use that first to help quell a heavy infestation before using predator mites.  The problem with SB is that it does wash off, so it's most effective under glass.

Golfinches have landed!

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 18:31

Excellent photo Oneofseven!

Tomatoes and cucumbers

Posted: 26/01/2015 at 18:57

Most folk don't have a greenhouse placed in perfect full-sun conditions so if yours has a more shaded side, best grow your cucumbers there and your tomatoes in the sunniest area.  As Edd says, they each like different conditions and are prone to different bugs/diseases.  If you are unlucky enough to get spider mite on the cucs, the standard method of control is spraying them with water.  Unfortunately that leads to high humidity and the tomatoes might then suffer from fungal problems.  So, it's really a case of crossing your fingers and hoping you don't get any of the common problems!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 143
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 798
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 594
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 533
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 475
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 336
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: 315
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 624
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 526
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: 985
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 601
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: 681
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 357
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 666
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 718
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31
1 to 15 of 27 threads