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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tomatoes

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 16:54

I've been eating Sungold for weeks - they are always the first to ripen and last to finish cropping here, so have a permanent place in my planting plans.   Suncherry Premium, too (similar in all respects to Sungold but red.)  All of the others are behind this year despite starting earlier than usual - cold spells early in the growing season are to blame IMO.

Raising Cedar Crown - Advice Please!

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 16:39

Cedar isn't a native species (it's from Lebanon and surrounds) and isn't particularly valuable to wildlife.  As others have said, it's usually planted as a specimen on large country estates and does look out of place in a normal garden.  Personally, I would have it felled as you will then be able to grow a lot more plants and shrubs and increase the natural diversity which will help all manner of wildlife.

Magnolia

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 15:00

I wouldn't give any extra feed in the water Linda, just prepare the planting hole well by digging-in plenty of compost and a couple of handfuls of fish, blood and bone.  Modern thoughts are to dig a square rather than a round planting hole and about twice the width of the pot.  Mix compost with the dug-out soil and back-fill with the mixture keeping the base of the trunk at the same level in the soil as it was in the pot.

Magnolia

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 14:29

Hi Linda, as above, you can plant them now - just keep up the regular watering.

Ill Apple Tree

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 14:27

Hi Rebekah, from the Orange Pippin Trees website:

"The main horticultural problem is that the fruit size can be on the small side, so a good session thinning the fruitlets at the end of May is usually called for."

So I think that's the answer with respect to small apples.

As for the new growth being curled up on apple trees, that is usually a sign of aphids and the solution for next year is to place a grease band around the trunk which will prevent ants climbing the tree and carrying the aphids around to all the new leaves (ants 'farm' aphids in this way and feed off of the honeydew they produce as waste when sucking the sap from the leaves.)  I use a thick band of Vaseline and since doing this I have had no aphid damage on my apple trees.

BTW, the variety name will likely be "Crimson Topaz" - originally from Czech Republic - not sure where Joanna comes in (maybe from the apple festival at Joanna Furnace in the US?"

 

Misshapen tomatoes

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 19:02

Is the 2nd photo supposed to be a Marzano, Patricia?  It's actually a Costoluto - did you get the labels mixed up like I often do?

That isn't BER on the 2nd one - that's just how Costaluto sometimes grow and I just slice that highly compressed bit off before cooking.  Some of the flowers are naturally malformed on that variety and the toms which develop from those have more of the compressed 'pleats' at the bottom.

Misshapen tomatoes

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 18:24

Those shapes are completely normal for those varieties Patricia.  David's is a little unusual (as well as funny)!

Non flowering Clematis

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 18:19

Do you know which varieties they are Jakesey?  The reason I ask is that many of them are in 'Group 2' and those (usually) flower only on one year old wood.  If you cut those types back to the ground in the Winter (or they die off completely on their own accord for some reason) then they won't produce flowers.  The other thing is feeding - if they get too much nitrate and not enough phosphate they can produce lots of leaves and no flowers, but that is quite unusual.

brown patches on broad beans

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 23:35

You can't really prevent it, but can minimize the chances of getting the fungus next year by not composting the dead plant material and not saving seeds from affected plants.  Like most fungi, chocolate spot likes damp humid conditions so plant your beans a bit further apart so plenty of air can circulate between them.

Caterpillar war

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 18:42

For next year, try butterfly netting which has smaller holes (7mm max.) and make sure there are no gaps or holes as the butterflies will find them!  They spend hours flying around mine trying to find a way in. 

Also don't plant young brassicas too close to the edge so the leaves will eventually touch the netting when they grow otherwise the butterflies simply lay through a hole.  The net must be held high enough so it doesn't touch the top leaves for the same reason.  Butterfly netting does work - not one caterpillar on mine this year.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 280
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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
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Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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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: 403
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 195
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 493
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1461
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 460
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1635
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads