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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:07

Too right, Steve!  I used the last one (stored from last year) in May and had to start the (very sharp!) kitchen knife off with a rubber mallet in order to make the first cut!  I slice the skin off each section completely before roasting as the skin on Crown Prince does not go soft during roasting like it does on some other varieties - rather the opposite in fact and the reason I started doing that was because I cut my gum on a sharp piece of roasted skin!

apricot Tree

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 12:51

Did you get plenty of blossom in the Spring, Brian?  If so the problem may be lack of pollination.  Apricots are early bloomers and the blossom often appears before there are any pollinating insects about.  You can help by using a small, soft, paintbrush or similar to hand-pollinate the blossom, going over the whole tree just like a bee would.  Hopefully you are talking about a relatively small tree or that will obviously be rather difficult!

Making a potting bench

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 11:10

Hi artjak, that looks wonderful - the curvy back sections really set it off.

The only thing I'd suggest is a solid area on the top bench near the bucket, rather than it all being slatted.  That way the inevitable spilt compost won't fall through and if you can make the top of the bucket flush with the surface (perhaps by supporting it from underneath) you can simply sweep the spillages back into the bucket.

squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 10:45

I grew 3 crown prince last year fidget and they were indeed rampant - they grew to well over 6m!  I left them to their own devices but only had one or 2 fruit set per plant despite hand-pollinating - each was about 4kg,  so I suggest some control may be better and might produce a greater number of more manageable sized fruit.  Perhaps try that with one or two of them?  This year I also have a couple of them and am going to pinch out the main growing tip at 3m as an experiment and when side shoots develop, pinch those out after the first fruit set on each (if they do..)  In addition I have several other varieties and harrier are my best hope for the future - they are producing female flowers much closer to the centre and are supposed to be bushy and less spreading.  We shall see!  Also growing barbara butternut, autumn crown (blurb says average 5 fruit per plant and a bit smaller than c.prince) and pumpkin summer ball which I can't praise highly enough - extremely compact, incredibly productive (think courgettes!) and also store much better than I thought they would.  They are a regular here.  If no-one else with more experience chips-in, perhaps we can report back on this thread about developments/results?

edit: Edd replied while[ I was typing, so looks like pinching out is the thing to do.

Olive tree

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 21:14

Mine grows happily in John Innes no.3 with a fair bit of gritty sharp sand mixed in.  Pot-grown things can be re-potted at almost any time of the year - if you do it now, give it a good watering before and after then leave it until the top inch of soil is dry - one thing they really don't like is wet feet and must have very free-draining soil.

Don't be tempted to try and remove a lot of the old compost from the root-ball when you re-pot it - that won't do it any good at all.  Just put it in a new pot which is about 20% bigger then the one it is now in and pack the new compost down the gap between root-ball and sides of the new container to ensure no air gaps. You could mix a bit of slow-release fertiliser in with the new soil though.

peach tree

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 20:48

I'd leave them be at the moment and do the pruning in spring, just as the flower buds are starting to show colour.  That way you can see which branches are going to bear fruit and can avoid losing too many of those.

peach tree

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 18:50

Avalon Pride is the resistant variety I grow.  It's a 'good doer'!

not enough bees

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 18:46
Winniecat wrote (see)
Good news - this morning I spotted my first teeny weeny pod! Thank you all for your advice

Great news - that'll be the start of the bean avalanche - you soon won't know what to do with them all!

Cercis Forest Pansy

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 23:05

Most fungi will only affect one species of plant so it's unlikely to affect anything else.  On one of the affected branches, is there any black or brown staining of the wood when it is cut through, or beneath the bark if you peel it back?  If so, that is indicative of a fungal infection.  I think it's a good idea to feed it to help it fight whatever the disease is.  The only other thing I can think of is that it's roots are in soil which is (or has been) too wet - any possibility of that?  All of the rain we had over the winter has badly affected a lot of things which prefer free-draining soil like Cercis.

Blueberry bush

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 22:54

It very likely needs to be cross-pollinated deborah, so the answer is to get another variety which flowers at the same time.  Do you know which variety you have?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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.. 
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Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

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 
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Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
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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 
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Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads