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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Weed Control and Ground Covering

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 14:09

It's not very good for soil health though, particularly worms, who's numbers will plummet.  A better method is to mulch with compost (not one which contains weed seeds though, so commercial stuff is best to keep weed-free) or chipped bark.

If you do go for the fabric, lay a good 4 inches of compost down first to help keep the worms happy (IMO they are vital if you have heavy soil.)

leeks

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 14:02

It's a too late to sow them now, but it's the normal time for planting out young plants started in feb/march (they are often used to follow 1st early potatoes.)  Doesn't really help for this year unless you can get hold of some young plants, but might help in planning for next year?

Help critique front driveway plans

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 13:56

Hi Kate, You could consider replacing the gravel with slate chippings - available in grey, blue, green and plum shades if you like any of those.  It's a bit more human-friendly for walking on than gravel or pebbles and doesn't get kicked around by cars driving/parking on it as much. 

Kale & Beans

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 13:32

Hi Dove, not this year as I had limited space due to the new polytunnel so skipped any crops which can be unreliable and need good weather, just in case - sweetcorn is a bit dodgy in this respect for.  I'll have a look through my photo archives though - there may be a shot in there somewhere.

Kale & Beans

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 12:40

Sounds odd to me too.  Beans fix Nitrogen and Kale needs that.  Companion planting (there are two definitions of that - one is for pest control and the other is entirely different and is for nutrient sharing) is often used with the oldest known one being "3 sisters" where you plant sweetcorn (need N and provides natural 'poles' for the beans), climbing beans (fix N) and squash (living mulch to reduce weeds and shade roots) all together in the same place, usually a mound.

I've done it many times and it does work.

The only negative concerns crop rotation.  This is important to prevent pest and disease build-up in the soil.  I found this to be more important in the long run so no longer use the nutrient-sharing type of companion planting except with sweetcorn when I always plant beans with them as they can be trained to support the corn by intertwining between stems, completely eliminating the need for poles and string.

Lots of experimenting has been done in my garden over many years - can you tell?

Bubbles in canal

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 21:45
pansyface wrote (see)
Maybe the barge stirred up some rotting organic matter on the bed of the canal.

Definitely this.

Which netting /mesh for growing brassicas?

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 19:19

Holes no larger than 7mm is standard protection against cabbage white butterflies.  I use this stuff - now 4 years old and still strong with no rips (a problem with cheaper stuff is that it gets affected by sunlight and falls apart after a year or two):

http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/heavy-duty-butterfly-netting-pid7526.html

No connection - just a satisfied customer.

Don't plant your brassicas too close to the sides though, whichever netting you use as they just lay eggs on those leaves which are touching the net!

crab apple trees

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 19:08

One of the best is John Downie - pink buds, white flowers and lots of red fruit.  I'm sure other forum members can also recommend varieties.

not enough bees

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 21:23

You could try spraying them with water as this is an age-old tip which is supposed to help setting.  Don't blast the flowers off though - some hose attachments can be a bit too strong!

please identify

Posted: 03/07/2014 at 20:56

If my ID is correct, it's a goodie and eats mealybugs.  If Fidget is right, it's a baddie.

We need another opinion methinks. 

The mealybug ladybird is being used for biological control, so it's a possible escapee from a nursery etc.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 372
Last Post: Yesterday at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 409
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 362
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 231
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: 209
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 530
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 361
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: 834
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 460
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: 515
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 267
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 570
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 593
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4669
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1848
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads