Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 13:14

Sorry to hear the prognosis Dove and hope you get mobile again as soon as possible.  My late father once gave me some 'great' advice:  "Don't get old, Robert" but I've had just a tiny wee little bit of difficulty following it!  I think the worst is when there is more than one problem as I find that while attempting to avoid pain to one area, it often aggravates the other!  Lifting while keeping the back straight isn't so straightforward when you also have a dodgy knee..

Dying Blueberry plant?

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 13:03

If they have not dried out, the other possibility is that the drainage in the pot has become blocked and they have been standing in water, causing the roots to rot.  This happened to one of mine a few years ago and it turned out that the soil-based ericaceous compost was simply too heavy and provided very poor drainage.  While they need lots of water, they also require good drainage especially over the winter in the UK due to the high rainfall.

Since then I have been using peat-based ericaceous and no more have succumbed to root rot (I have more than a dozen plants, all in large containers.)

One way of telling if the roots have rotted is to try and (gently) lift the pot by holding the blueberry stems.  If it comes out easily with hardly any roots then you know the cause.

Last edited: 30 May 2017 13:04:54

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 11:08

Woohoo, greenhouse lorry has arrived! 

Magnolia scale?

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 19:56

Yes it is.  They are sap-sucking insects and the white fluff shows they have eggs ready to hatch so you need to remove them asap.  Scrape them off using a plastic scraper of some kind or, perhaps easier, a really stiff scrubbing brush.  A bucket of soapy water might help too.  Spraying with insecticide is ineffective.

Last edited: 29 May 2017 19:56:55

Large weed rhizomes/roots

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 19:33

The 'Japanese blossom' tree you mention is almost certainly a cherry and those are well known for sending out shallow roots like this.

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 19:02

Squashed about a dozen yesterday and even caught 2 today in the rain. 

Seedling identities

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 18:52

Most poppies don't transplant well so sowing in a seed tray won't generally work very well as the seedlings die when pricked out.  The exception are oriental poppies which can be a bit reluctant from direct sowing.  I started mine off in pots, thinned the seedlings in the pot and then grew them on finally planting the whole pot out.  Once they get going in the soil they are pretty indestuctible though!

Last edited: 29 May 2017 18:52:36

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 15:06

I'll certainly do that, Dove.

Lichen Infested Trees

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 15:03

The lichen isn't a problem and won't affect the trees.  I suspect they may have canker though but it's difficult to see from the photos.

What is certainly a problem is that the grass has been allowed to grow right up to the trunk.  Grass is a very greedy plant and will be starving the trees for nutrients. It's also possible that feed & weed has been used on the lawn and could have affected the trees because of the closeness of the grass.

What I would do is remove the grass in a circle of at least a metre diameter around the trunks and then sprinkle blood, fish & bone onto the soil, gently working it in, before laying a mulch of well-rotted farmyard manure about 4 inches thick over the soil.  This will feed the trees and they should recover providing thay are not too far gone although I wouldn't expect to see much happen until next spring.

Edit: didn'tsee the posts from obelixx and Dove - tend to agree that it might be best to cut your losses and remove and replace them.

Last edited: 29 May 2017 15:08:46

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 14:51

Quite excited today as new greenhouse is being delivered tomorrow!  Went for a Rhino premium 8 x 12 after much deliberation.  It's replacing a 4m x 2m polytunnel which hasn't performed as well as I would have liked (the type with the green string woven into the cover.)  Need to erect it PDQ as my other greenhouse is completely packed & overflowing with tender plants.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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Increase in noise! 
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I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


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..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Don't think netting will work 
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Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
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Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33
1 to 15 of 43 threads