London (change)
Today 10°C / 7°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tomato Blight

Posted: 29/08/2014 at 18:31

Hi Rosemary, no and no.

Don't compost the blighted tomato plants though, either burn them or dispose with the household waste.  It might be wise to grow your tomatoes in another area next year but that is normal crop rotation which helps prevent all sorts of diseases building up.  Blight is caused by airborne fungal spores which are everywhere.  To reduce the chances of infection, only water at the roots as it is when spores settle on wet leaves that the infection takes hold.  That is why plants grown under cover (eg a greenhouse) are less likely to get blight as there's no rain to fall on the leaves.

Apple Trees - Hopeless Cases?

Posted: 28/08/2014 at 18:53

Hi sjb, just to correct a mistake in my post above - I meant to say a high potash feed rather than phosphate.  Potash encourages flower and fruit formation while phosphate encourages root growth.  Both are essential (together with nitrate) but lack of potash (the K in NPK ratios shown on plant food) can hinder the formation of blossom.  Sulphate of potash together with FBB (an excellent balanced food) would be ideal.

Apple Trees - Hopeless Cases?

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 18:54

If there's not even any blossom, try a feed of super phosphate in early Spring.  If that doesn't spur them into flowering (pun intended!) then not much will!

what is this?

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 18:48

Forget-me-nots.  You could call them a weed but they are easy to pull-up.  I leave mine until the summer then yank them out.


Posted: 26/08/2014 at 00:17

Many of them aren't as reliable as one would wish.


Posted: 25/08/2014 at 22:58

They do well in planters.  This taken in early March this year:

How many will come up again next year is a good question though!

I think I'll order another mixture and plant them anyway - can't have too many but if only a few of the ones I planted last autumn reappear it'll be a disappointment and also be too late to do anything about it.

Black Spot

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 19:32

I'm grafting onto the existing roses (the ones which always get blackspot) near the base, so will cut off the existing rose after the grafts (hopefully!) get going.  A wild rose rootstock might also be a good choice - I have to dig loads of those up all the time as they grow in the hedge and seed into the borders!  Been chucking it down since midday here mate and doesn't look like it's going to stop until the same time tomorrow!

Black Spot

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 16:35

Hi Alan, I'm going to try T-bud grafting, as you get more material from the donor plant.  Here are some links with drawings which show it better than photos tend to do:



Black Spot

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 15:29

I've been very lucky this year as I bought 4 red roses of various types from Wilko for next to nothing and one has turned out to be completely resistant to black spot - it's the only rose in my garden that isn't an absolute mess.  I'm going to try grafting it onto ALL of the other rose bushes and any bushes that fail to take the graft are coming out - it's far too much hassle to keep spraying them which only seems to keep it at bay slightly here.  I no longer see the flowers when I look at them, just the ghastly foliage, so it's "shape up or ship out" I'm afraid!

Feeding a cherry tree

Posted: 25/08/2014 at 15:20

If they fall while still tiny, that's almost certainly lack[ of pollination.  I have the same problems with fruit and wildlife.  Woodpigeons eat the cherries while they are still green and the only defence is to net the trees but that doesn't generally work against squirrels, unfortunately.   Some report a pet cat or jack terrier is a good squirrel deterrent but SWMBO says "no more pets!" so that's no option here! 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 777
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 575
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 513
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 451
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 315
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: 304
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 608
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 509
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: 950
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 581
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: 624
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 346
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 648
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 698
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7462
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads