London (change)
Today 18°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 16°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 19/05/2015 at 19:37

I grow a fair few including worcesterberry which are just like sweet red gooseberries but on a thornless bush - a massive bonus come picking time!  Cuttings also root incredibly easy - just shove them in the ground.

Have a look at the selection at Chris Bowers where many of mine came from:

I got the 'connoisseur' collection:



Plant identification?

Posted: 18/05/2015 at 20:34

Possibly a chokeberry (Aronia.)   If so, the leaves turn to fantastic shades of red in the autumn.

Broccoli eaten by pest

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 21:11

I get my butterfly netting from here:

They also do cloche hoops etc at reasonable prices although you can make your own using blue flexible MDPE water pipe which is about 20 quid for 25 metres.  Google 'blue water pipe allotment' for lots of info on that.

Broccoli eaten by pest

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 19:52

If the whole plant and stem is gone, then rabbits are favourite.  If just the leaves have gone, likely woodpigeons.  Butterfly netting will protect against pigeons and the dreaded cabbage white butterfly caterpillars as long as you keep the netting a few inches away from the plants.  Rabbits will probably chew through plastic netting though.  For courgettes, molluscs are the main enemy.

Sparrows Stripping Chard

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 16:48

Are you sure it's the sparrows?  They might be after aphids with the real damage actually being done by pigeons which do eat lefy greens.  Woodpigeons in particular can strip a whole row of young veg plants in just minutes, the rotters!

Help! My lovely Apple tree has got a rust looking patch on the bark

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:40

Not a lot but it might still recover - tree have immune systems just like us.  I would trim the snag back and keep my fingers crossed.

Beetroot Leaves Brown

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:37

Odd, none of my installed anti-virus and anti-malware reports any issue. 

The check by the best online checking system, Virus Total:

checks it out as OK.  It's possible an advert on the site is a problem, but I don't see any of those as I use an adblocker.

BTW, I'm an IT professional in my day job so I do check these things out.

On-line purchases

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:30

Me too - I have no transport and no plant nursery within walking distance so everything including compost and other heavy stuff has to be delivered.

Beetroot Leaves Brown

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:25

The black gunk is probably snail poo - I can see you have trouble with molluscs from the dead one and pellets!  Best thing to do about the beet miners is examine each leaf and you should see the miner at the edge of an eaten area, then crush it within the leaf with finger and thumb.  It's not terminal unless they reduce the green leaf area too much.

Help! My lovely Apple tree has got a rust looking patch on the bark

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 14:20

I suspect it might be a fungal infection, let in because too long a stub (aka 'snag') was left when the diseased branch was removed.  Branches should be cut flush with the collar, so usually only an inch or so of stub is left. If the stub is too long, the bark can't grow over it to heal the wound.  See the RHS advice on this:

and more detailed advice with images here:

I hope I'm wrong.



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 477
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 921
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 650
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 623
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 490
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: 428
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 750
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 661
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: 1130
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1211
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads