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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Rose hips- culinary varieties

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 20:01
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I've made rose hip wine. It tasted a bit too much like rose hip syrup for my taste. Maybe I put too much sugar in. A lot of home-made wine recipes are over sweet for my taste

Although I don't drink much these days, in my wine making era I always used high alcohol tolerant yeast which helped cut down the sweetness (but resulted in producing 'sleeping draught' wine at 14 degrees proof!)

Another 'trick' was to add a bit more water and re-ferment if the original wine was too sweet.  That also resulted in a rather high alcohol content though.

white fly in please!

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 20:52

Have alook here for ideas.  It's an American site but the advice and methods are equally valid here:

If the sweet williams are the only plants in there, personally I would sacrifice them to the compost heap and use a sulphur candle to sterilize the GH.  You really don't want this destructive pest around when you start raising plants in the spring.

Stabilising a clay bank

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 16:58

Another plant worth considering is Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle) which is an evergreen and will spread by rooting where it touches the ground.  Here is an article about using it on slopes:

I've seen this successfully used on 45 degree clay banks in shade where grass wouldn't grow.

Garden footwear

Posted: 06/01/2016 at 18:39

I use 'safety footwear', complete with steel toecaps and non-slip soles.  Huge range including wellies and 'ladies' versions. You can get them from the likes of screwfix, wickes etc.;  As they are considered 'workwear' there is no VAT to pay.

I've treated myself ...

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 17:33

You will find it very useful for sweet peppers and chillis, if you want to grow those.  An early start is essential for those to ripen in time in the UK.

Sow indoors IN HEAT ?

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 14:12
Dovefromabove wrote (see)
BobTheGardener wrote (see)

......  The heating of the seed tray compost by the sun .....

What is this strange 'sun' of which you speak? 


Indeed, Dove!

I have two main hobbies - gardening and astronomy so am completely frustrated at the moment!  Having said that, I have a pile of shiny new 2016 seed and plant catalogues to keep me busy.  

Plant porn!

Soft fruit suggestions please

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 12:39

I would go for a different variety to aid cross-pollination, Doug.  As you say, having two clones probably won't help in this respect.

Wooden greenhouse or glass

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 12:36

I agree with Dave.  Aesthetically, wooden greenhouses are probably easier on the eye but aluminium ones are virtually maintenance free.  Whichever you choose, make sure you have a level and solid foundation as any kind of movement of the base over time will cause serious problems for either type.

Sow indoors IN HEAT ?

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 12:31

Same here - frost free is good enough for onions.  The heating of the seed tray compost by the sun during the day is enough for germination.

Plant ID please

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 18:46

I think the main plant is probably a nandina and the one at the base is perhaps red valerian, which I would consider a weed as they get everywhere around here.  Dig down a bit - if the roots are fleshy and white, it's valerian.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 160
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 998
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 639
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1122
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 489
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 500
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1097
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 899
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 878
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 809
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 681
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: 588
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 961
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 853
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: 1350
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42
1 to 15 of 32 threads