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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What are these?

Posted: 22/10/2014 at 18:50

On the 2nd photo, the two brown things on the top flower are simply the pollen-bearing parts (anthers) which have shrivelled and fallen off of the stamens.

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 00:47

Cut the vines off leaving about 3-4 inches of stem above the soil (ie enough to grasp) and after a few weeks you'll be able to easily pull most of the root-ball out.  The smaller roots in the soil will soon rot away completely.  I have soil borders in my greenhouse and do this every year.  I also replace the top few inches with multi-purpose compost annually as the tomatoes will have used up most of the nutrients in it.

Potatoes - diff varieties problems

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 18:40

Google "slug resistant potatoes uk" then see which ones are available locally.  For me (heavy clay infested with keel slugs), Kestrel are hardly touched.  Some advice from the RHS including both susceptible and resistant varieties (scroll down to 'potatoes and slugs'):


Growing lettuce in winter

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 18:23

Perhaps surprisingly some lettuce are quite hardy.  They do grow much more slowly as it gets colder and you usually grow 'cut and come again' types over the winter.  I'd leave them in the greenhouse.  With a bit of luck you'll get useable amounts of leaves from them if you just remove the leaves as you need them and treat them like the aforementioned types.  I've grown cos types which have actually frozen in the GH but amazingly thawed and didn't die!

When spring comes (if they are still alive), they will just go to seed so you can't keep them for next year per se.

Grease bands for new cherry trees?

Posted: 19/10/2014 at 14:47

As you will be fan training them, ants will have many more ways to get onto the trees to do their 'aphid farming' than just by climbing up the trunks, so it's probably not worth using grease bands.  I would just keep an eye on them (particularly the growing tips) and treat any aphid attacks on the young leaves as and when you find them.

If you are fan training using free-standing posts and wire rather than against a fence or wall then a grease band on both the trunks and each post might be worth considering.

Tomatoes Indoors for next year

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 13:57

No for the tomatoes and maybe for the chillies.  Chillies are perennial but don't always survive over the winter indoors; it depends on exactly what the indoor conditions they experience are.

New small pond for frogs/toads

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 10:11

With a slug population that large I think your idea of using nematodes is a good one.  Those are completely natural and exist in small numbers in the soil anyway.  Perhaps your garden has low numbers of natural slug predators in general, so it's worth trying all of the suggestions here.  Frogs and toads are not a panacea against slugs but they will eat a few of the smaller ones each night so a pond can only help.  For snails you do need to try and attract thrushes and hedgehogs.

over wintering fuschias

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 20:08

The answer to that is "hardly at all".  Dormant plants are easily killed by a combination of overwatering and cold when they may survive the cold alone.  Once the leaves have fallen and the plant is dormant, the compost only needs to be barely moist.  I'm a great believer in the 'finger test':  Poke a finger into the compost and as long as it feels slightly damp about an inch down then no water is necessary.  The top inch can be completely dry with no ill effects.

Garden Fencing

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 19:36

Triangular section arris rails are used as there's no chance of detritus building up on top of them thus giving rot a place to get started like it would on a rectangular section horizontal batten.  Probably less wood needed too, which will be the real reason of course!

Any suggestions

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 19:12

Trained fruit trees for me!  Peach, nectarine, fig and pear far a start - in fact most fruit trees would love to be trained against a lovely heat-retaining wall like that.

Edit: just read your other message regarding altitude and being a frost pocket so maybe not!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 150
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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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! 
Replies: 3    Views: 321
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 630
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 535
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: 993
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 608
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: 703
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 361
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 680
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 727
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31
1 to 15 of 27 threads