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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Cercis Forest Pansy

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 22:24

Cercis Canadensis can be cut hard, right back to close to the ground (aka coppicing or stooling) and that may be the best thing to do in this case as it sounds like you will have lost the natural shape because of needing to prune out the dead branches.  Doing this will (hopefully) remove all diseased wood (eg if it is a fungal infection) and being 3 years old it should have a well established root system so should recover well.  The time to do it is in February or early March before any leaves are showing.

peach tree

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:55

They are worth the hassle though bekkie!

Couldn't resist nipping out and taking a photo:

Nearly ready (slurp!)

peach tree

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:40

That's right bekkie - or grow a resistant variety like me (obviously not an option for Betty though!)

Can anyone identify these roots / bulbs?

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:38


peach tree

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:36

Hi Betty, I was going to write a long reply to try and cover everything but while I was looking at websites for images to help illustrate, I came across this one which explains it so well that I don't think I can add much!

The essence is to remove all dead/damaged/diseased wood and prune the rest to open up the tree to light and air.  Peaches grow on one year old wood, so the aim is to prune very spring to encourage new growth without removing too much of last year's growth (which will bear this year's crop.)

Dream of your wish list

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:18

An eremurus which actually flowers.. but delivered with an acre plot in Cornwall or the Channel Islands please.

bugs on hydrangea

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 00:27

Hi Sandra, from your description this is certainly hydrangea scale insect.  Have a look at the RHS information on it:


Sweet potato

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 19:03

Here's a pic of mine at the moment:

I'm trying to train them up string (they're about 2 foot tall now) but they don't do this naturally and prefer to sprawl along the ground, like the horizontal shoot you can see at the bottom.  Apparently everything ends up as one huge tangle so will fit in well with the rest of my plants!  

I think we'd need a good summer for them to grow well outside, even though these varieties, Beauregard Improved and especially Carolina Ruby are recommended for growing in "milder areas".  It gets a bit cold here in the East midlands (I'm blummin freezing at the mo!) but I think they'd do well south of the Watford gap.

Sweet potato

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 23:14

Philippa, I'm currently growing the 'duo' T&M ones in my polytunnel so will keep you informed of progress via this thread and will post some photos tomorrow after work.  They were very large well developed 'plugs' (15cm x 5cm 'root trainered' rootballs with 10cm of top growth) and looked extremely healthy.  They were planted in much improved clay-based soil (lots of added MPC and sharp sand, with a sprinkling of blood, fish and bone) in the polytunnel border after acclimatizing them strictly to supplied instructions.

If they don't do well after all the care I've lavished on them (including pre-treating the polytunnel soil with slug nematodes), I'll be very disappointed!

Weed or Veg IDs from my allotment!

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 21:08

If they are bindweed seedlings (rather than springing up from bits of a broken mature root) they should be easy to get rid of.  Fingers crossed that they are beans though - still a possibility!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 503
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 523
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 465
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 401
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 278
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: 259
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 570
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 438
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: 908
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 527
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: 568
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 304
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 607
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 644
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 5932
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads