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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Time to plant out runner beans?

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 16:27

Mine are also going out this weekend (in fact in about 10 minutes!) and I'll be also planting some seeds in the gaps between plants as usual, just in case anything happens to them (eg slugs, pigeons, hail, frost, wind - just a few of the likely culprits!)

Bugs and markings on return from holiday

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 16:21

Looks like leafhopper damage to me.  You either get an infestation of these or none at all in my experience.  Had them a few years ago and all of my brassicas had that sort of damage to the leaves which looks like something has sucked the life out of a small spot (which is exactly what they do.)  See if you can find any of them under the plants - they jump like fleas:


Asparagus New Shoots

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 20:20

I agree.  Mulching with a weed-seed-free compost (such as a commercial bagged one) is the best way to suppress weeds in an asparagus bed, then no hoeing is required.

Hibiscus 'kopper king'

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 01:34

Hibiscus are one of the last shrubs to come into leaf in the UK.  I planted two in autumn 2013 and one showed signs of life in late May last year but the other waited until nearly July!  As Davids10 says, nothing to worry about just yet.

Weird one for me - help needed

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 22:49

Do you have many bluebells in your garden?  I ask because I have had them grow up through the bottom of pots and the stem swells and forms a bulb.  It seems like they can form bulbs at their own preferred depth if deeply buried or too near the surface.

Can I plant bulbs now?

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 22:39

Yes Bev, plant them now.  They will still grow leaves even if they don't flower this year and it is the leaves which feed the bulbs ready for next year's flowers.  Bulbs stored dry will just slowly shrivel and probably die.

Mixed up tomato seedings - cordon vs bush how to tell?

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 22:31

A growing point is the top of the plant or top of a side shoot.  What I really mean is to say is always leave at least one side shoot growing just in case the top of the plant stops growing and turns into a flowering truss instead.  Even cordons should have two growing points for the best crop.

Hopefully you will be able to tell before long once the first fruit ripens - easy if the varieties are very different in size or colour.

Don't start feeding them until the first flowers have set and tiny tomatoes appear.


Mixed up tomato seedings - cordon vs bush how to tell?

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 22:08

I've done the opposite before and grown bush types as cordons and got good crops.  The trick is to ensure that there are always two growing points as on bush types a growing point can end 'blind' or as a flowering truss, so don't be too quick to remove side shoots.  I think this is a better way as if you don't remove any side shoots on indeterminate (cordon) types, they can grow huge and flowering could be delayed so much that the fruit doesn't have time to ripen before the cold weather arrives.

Horse chestnut scale

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 20:47

Looked it up - acers (to my surprise) are almost all insect pollinated!

Horse chestnut scale

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 20:19

Didn't know that nut!

I only grow for the leaves so if mine have flowered, I've just never noticed.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 229
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 257
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 868
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 657
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 610
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 572
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 446
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: 384
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 692
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 613
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: 1073
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 693
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: 1055
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 420
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 751
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads