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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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!

black fly

Posted: 09/07/2015 at 21:04

Spray the things you really need to (eg runner & french beans) with a few drops of washing-up liquid in a sprayer and try and ignore the rest.  Ladybirds and other predators will soon appear and rapidly multiply to clear them up. 

What's Killing my Hubbard Squash

Posted: 09/07/2015 at 20:59

I agree with Dove.

Tree Stump Removal

Posted: 09/07/2015 at 20:14

Basically 3 ways, voyager:

  • Dig it out and cut off roots as you go to make it easier.  Your friends here are a pick-axe, crowbar and a pruning saw.
  • Hire a stump grinder.  Not for the feint-hearted but as you can handle a chainsaw then you should be OK.  I reckon they are about twice as dangerous as chainsaws and not cheap to hire.
  • Get it professionally removed with a stump grinder.  More expensive than above but no danger to you.

Personally I would dig it out.  It's very hard work at the beginning but easier than you think once you get some movement of the stump.

Unusual Bug

Posted: 08/07/2015 at 22:16

Don't think I've seen/heard one in flight nut but I know they love nectar and have seen them on parsnips which I left in the ground to flower.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 529
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 659
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

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

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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: 434
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 757
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 668
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: 1143
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 776
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: 1221
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 470
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads