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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:56

PS, as to your earlier question regarding frost, it would be risky to put them in a greenhouse with missing panes at the moment.  Better would be in an unheated room of your house by a window.  If you don't have such a place, the greenhouse will have to do but cover them with some garden fleece which will keep the frost off of them.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:52

Yes, if you can actually see what you are buying then avoid any that already have shoots longer than 1/4" (5mm) as these have been kept in too warm a place.  Also avoid any that are soft or look shrunken or crinkly.  A good seed potato at this time of the year should be firm and have tiny buds in the eyes rather than developed shoots.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:09

Hi Rachael, you can get seed potatoes online or from garden centres and even places like Wilkinsons.  There is no real need to chit potatoes - trials have shown that while it can give a slightly earlier crop, unchitted potatoes grow perfectly well anyway.

Potatoes don't actually enrich the soil but are said to "help break it up", improving the soil structure.  My thinking on that one is that you dig the soil to plant them, then earth them up as they are growing and finally have another good dig to harvest your crop.  That's a lot of cultivation and probably explains why they "help to break-up the soil"!

 

Raspberries

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:00

They do prefer a slightly acid soil Cherry3, so you do need to get that test done.

Have you been feeding them with anything?  Raspberries are quite hungry plants and need something high in phosphates to fruit well.  I would recommend mulching them with 2-3 inches of well rotted farmyard manure in early spring but if that's not available, use fish, blood and bone and a layer of multi-purpose compost as a mulch.

If your soil turns out to be alkaline, you could also try feeding them with an ericaceous feed such as one meant for rhododendrons and azaleas which would also be a good feed for your blueberries.  You'll need to keep using this permanently though as chalky soils will always revert to becoming alkaline over time, even if you dig a big hole and fill it with ericaceous compost!

 

Will apple/fruit trees produce fruit this year if I hard prune this year?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 18:29

They will still produce fruit on any fruiting spurs or the tips of branches which you haven't pruned off.  The easiest way to tell is to look for buds.  Fat buds will become flowers and thin buds will become leaves.

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:17

Hi Alan, I have already bought the soil warming cable and thermostat but progress will have to wait until the weekend as it's dark when I get home from work.

Talkback: Valerian

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:14

Just be careful where you let it seed.  If you have any gravel and it gets in there (even if the gravel is on top of membrane) you will never be rid of it!  It also stinks when rotting at the end of the season so best not grown close to entrances.  It is quite nice for what is a rampant weed for me though .

Unproductive fruit trees ?

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 22:02

Try clearing the ground around the base of their trunks so there is open soil (no grass especially) within a metre all round and gently fork-in some well rotted manure or garden compost with added food (eg fish, blood and bone.)  I think they could be a bit starved of food which has been taken by other plants growing too close.  They might be being shaded out a bit by the taller trees surrounding them, too.

Shredder Bosch AXT2000HP

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 18:34

Berghill, are they plastic gears (might sound daft but hey often are these days)?  If so silicone grease will be OK.  Mineral oil based grease will damage them.

Edit: the reason I ask is that plastic-safe grease is often bright green.

anyone know of a good gardening quizz book to challenge myself

Posted: 27/01/2014 at 21:42

Hi Jenny, also try using google to search for "gardening club" and your town/city or county.  Pages and pages of them when I tried it.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Oops!

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How id your garden looking 
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DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
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Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
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Bilberry

Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 468
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20

Sparrows!

The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 569
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26

why-all-the-hyphens-in-post-titles

Replies: 4    Views: 326
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

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Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
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Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
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Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01
1 to 15 of 17 threads