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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 16:44

Sarah, ordinary multi-purpose compost will be fine.  Yes, they are perennial, but like all dahlias they are tender perennials, so you should move the pots inside to somewhere frost-free over winter, or lift the tubers (if planted in the ground) and store them in dry compost or wrapped in newspaper etc over the winter.  Sometimes dahlias will survive in the ground over winter.  All of the ones I've ever grown from seed have developed a sizeable tuber by the time the first frost comes.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 15:14

Nice spot for something needing a bit of protection.  The roots of a fig would also be nicely 'hemmed in' there.  Fan-trained or espalier fruit tree, like a pear, peach apricot or nectarine?   Orange Pippin site has some good advice on those:


Chili Leaf Problem

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 15:04

As far as I can recall, they just "grew out of it" and later, larger leaves higher up the plants weren't affected.

christmas tree growing

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 14:04

I do it like nut.  Some tree seeds can take several years to germinate.  Sometimes they need 2 or more warm/cold cycles of several months each and there may be growth inhibitor in the seed casing which the rain will eventually wash out if the pots are left outside.  Basically, patience is the key (like lots of other things when it comes to gardening!)

Hello from a newbie

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 13:55

Hi Jennie and welcome.  As SGL said, those raised beds look fab!

Chili Leaf Problem

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 12:38

Ommthree, I had that on a few of my peppers and chilis last year but it didn't seem to harm them or affect cropping.  Closer inspection with a magnifying glass showed that whatever it was was part of the plant and not a pest or fungus, so I suspect it may be a genetic aberration, or a reaction from the plant against something (ie the plant's immune system.)  Sorry I can't be of more help but if I see it again this year I'm not going to worry about it but will still look very closely as anything grown under glass can be affected by spider mite which are too small to see by eye.

planting out delphs and foxgloves

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 10:55

I agree with Hostafan1, but do watch out for slugs which just love them (delphiniums that is)!

Tree Saws

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 10:47

Depends on how big but I use a bow saw for anything over 2" diameter:

and a pruning saw for smaller stuff:

 (random web images)

The pruning saw can get into shrubs when you just want to remove (say) a few older stems.

Help to ID plant or weed

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 10:39

The first one is Herb Robert, quite a pretty weed but does seed everywhere and the second is creeping buttercup which is a thug, so you did the right thing and I would get the buttercup out asap!

starting a cottage garden

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 10:33

The Geoff Hamilton BBC Collection (which includes his take on cottage gardens) is still available on DVD from Amazon for just £8 and comes highly recommended by many folk on the forum:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 780
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! 
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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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 609
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 511
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: 955
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 583
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: 629
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 347
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 650
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 700
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7573
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads