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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:48

I agree with scroggin and will add that they are probably the hardest 'ordinary' veg to grow well for gardeners.  Planting them deep (right up to the lowest leaves) and firming the soil well around the roots when planting helps.  I think they prefer heavy soils, so clay would be best and light sandy soils are probably going to lead to disappointment.

Plant DNA

Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:26

Interestingly, research has now shown that genetic variation can occur within a single tree:

Just to throw a spanner in the works!  Fascinating stuff.

Tulips in a Mixed Border

Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:18

To give them the best chance of coming back, plant them deep (8" = 20cm) if you leave them in the ground.  


Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:12

Mine are all now in 50cm pots scroggin and they do well.  I re-pot in spring as that is when the roots start growing.  Over the years I have lost a couple when the roots rotted due to poor drainage and I think I may have potted those on in autumn so they could have been sitting in soggy compost over winter.

Plant ID

Posted: 10/07/2015 at 22:59


tiny black flying bugs

Posted: 10/07/2015 at 14:23

Probably two different insects.  The ones on your courgette flowers are almost certainly pollen beetles.  Those eat pollen but cause no real damage.  The ones making sitting outside unpleasant are probably thrips aka 'thunderbugs' or 'thunderflies'.

moving a maple

Posted: 10/07/2015 at 12:05

It's always very risky with such an established tree.  If you attempt it, you need to take as large a rootball as possible.  There's some good advice regarding that on this site:

If you do move it, avoid planting it anywhere where it will get early morning sun as that will damage fresh new growth in early spring, so an east-facing border is not recommended.  Also avoid anywhere open or windy - they need a sheltered site with some shade.

Insect Identification

Posted: 10/07/2015 at 11:53

It's the caterpillar of the Rusty Tussock Moth, sometime known as Vapourer (Origuia antiqua.)  Their food source is varied but mainly trees and shrubs, so your tomatoes should be safe!

It likely just chose your greenhouse to pupate as it is nice and sheltered.


Suddenly afflicted Kale - not sure what disease/pest

Posted: 10/07/2015 at 01:01

I think they are single eggs from the small cabbage white but it is difficult to tell from photo's.  If Sophie uses a hand lens to look at them closely all will be revealed!   if they look like this:

 then they are Pieris rapae eggs.


Suddenly afflicted Kale - not sure what disease/pest

Posted: 09/07/2015 at 22:23

Is there any chance of some type of chemical spray etc accidentally being blown onto them, such as a fence treatment or weedkiller being used nearby?

What I did notice on the underside of the Kale leaves are a few butterfly eggs, so they'll get caterpillar damage soon if you don't rub those off, even if they survive whatever has caused the white patches!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 496
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 923
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 491
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: 429
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 751
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1136
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads