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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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.

turning air into soluble nitrate to feed garden??

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 23:02

The high temperature in lightning is necessary to form the Nitrogen ions - have a look here:

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/onlcourse/chm110/outlines/nitrogencycle.html

 

 

turning air into soluble nitrate to feed garden??

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 22:17

You need actual lightning (ie a large spark) to split Nitrogen molecules (N2) into two separate atoms (N) as a lot of energy is required: N2 is very stable and unreactive until you split it by heating to several thousand degrees.  The single atoms of Nitrogen will then combine with nearby Oxygen molecules to form Nitrate (N03) and Nitrite (NO2) which dissolve in the rain to form weak Nitric acid.

A far more efficient method is used by plants which can fix Nitrogen directly from the air by using enzymes which are almost magical in their ability to do this using far, far, lower levels of energy.  We are talking thousands if not millions of times more efficient.

If you want to make your own Nitrates in the most efficient and ecologically friendly way possible, simply grow plants and stew them in cold water until they are broken down (again using enzymes) by naturally occurring bacteria.  Life has been perfecting these processes for billions of years and has become extremely efficient at it!

Red Hot Pokers

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 19:12

It has been an odd year for many things due to unusual temperature and rainfall patterns.  If we have a late warm spell you may still find they throw up flowers.  If not, a feed with fish, blood and bone next spring should see them right.

Talkback: A good year for tomato crops

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 19:06

Those are the caterpillars of the Tomato moth.  The full name is Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea.)  Both the moth and the caterpillars are most active at night.  The caterpillars are very good at hiding - check along the stems and any supports, twine etc, especially where any vertical sections are covered by a leaf.  If you go out during the night and have good hearing, you can actually track them down by following the munching sounds!

Slugs

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 18:54

From experience and owning a keeled slug infested garden (they are likely what you have), the most resistant varieties I've tried are Kestrel, Blue Kestrel, Romano, Sarpo Mira and Sarpo Axona none of which get any significant damage.  The latter two are also blight resistant, a nice bonus.  Other less resistant varieties which do well for me are King Edward, Golden Wonder, Desiree.  Any other varieties (and I've tried many!) come out 'holier than the Pope'!

Sweet Peppers

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:21

There are some bell peppers which stay green when ripe, too..

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 
Replies: 2    Views: 143
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: 131
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 443
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 253
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: 491
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 332
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: 404
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 
Replies: 13    Views: 504
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3570
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1467
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: 1637
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads