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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

When to plant 'roots' ?

Posted: 30/01/2016 at 01:09

Lyn, best to plant them into pots for now.  They are completely hardy so the pots could go somewhere sheltered outside for now, for example by the side of a wall where they won't get soaking wet - too much water is bad for bare root plants when first planted.  You can then transfer them from the pots into the ground in spring by which time the first leaves should be showing.

However, if your soil is free-draining and isn't waterlogged (like it is for many of the rest of us at the moment!) you can plant them straight out into your borders as long as the ground isn't frozen.

Whatever you decide, get them into soil/compost immediately as they will quickly shrivel and die or rot if left in the packets.

calcified seaweed

Posted: 29/01/2016 at 20:56
punkdoc wrote (see)

What is potato fertiliser, is it any different to a general multi purpose fertiliser?

Just a different NPK ratio pdoc.  Farmers use roughly 1:1:1.5.  You won't find that though, it will be something like 6-3-8, 15-13-19 or 14:14:21 just to confuse us!

Too much nitrate (N) will lead to overgrown greenery on top at the expense of fewer/smaller potatoes.

I didn't fertilize mine at all one year and didn't notice any reduction in cropping, but I'm on clay soil.  Sandy soils probably do need it to get a good crop.

To answer James' question, I would never mix two different things like that, always apply separately and with a gap of a few weeks.  Mixing lime and fertilizer, for example, will result in all of the nitrogen being released extremely rapidly (sometimes dangerously so) leaving little for later use by the plants when they need it.

Replacing Fence Panels

Posted: 28/01/2016 at 21:01

One solution for this particular problem is to mount wooden fence posts on the sides (ie front or back as you face the fence) of the concrete ones, using a masonary bit, long screws and rawlplugs.  You will then be able to use 'U' clips on one side of each new wooden post and 'L' clips on the other which will enable you to fit new fence panels in sideways.

Alternatively, fit arris rails between the concrete posts and build a new fence using vertical feather-edge boards.

Shallot seeds

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 18:49

Yes, I think that's what will happen.  If you grow plenty so you eat the majority of single bulbs but keep a few for next year, you'll effectively have your own sets which will split and produce the usual 6-10 bulbs per plant, next year.

Greehouse Questions

Posted: 25/01/2016 at 20:46

You could be right Zoomer.  The guttering on mine is built-in to the sections which run the length of each side at the point the roof meets the sides.  It has plastic end-stops which have a connection for a bit of hosepipe to take the rain into a butt.

As for leaks etc, clear silicone sealant cures all manner of leaks and ill-fitting parts on aluminium greenhouses. 

Without dismantling the GH, one solution would be to fit U-shaped guttering as close to and slightly below the sections mentioned previously and then run a length of aluminium tape to make sure the water flows down the roof and into the guttering.  You'd need to stick the aluminium tape on during a dry period or it will fail to stick properly though.


Potatoes - Earlies and Main Crop

Posted: 25/01/2016 at 18:39

Leeks are great for following earlies but you need to start them off in modules or a nursery bed and transplant once you've lifted the spuds and added some fertilizer.


Posted: 24/01/2016 at 18:23

Yep, failed to grasp the nettle yet again, Verdun! 

Lizyann, as a Foxes fan I spent half a season at the bottom of the Premiere League and look what's happened since!  Don't give up - even if you go down, it will be a chance to rebuild and get rid of some over-paid under-performers.

Dwarf fruit trees

Posted: 24/01/2016 at 18:18

Hi Susan,  A John Innes #3 formula is best.  Perhaps mix-in about 20% by volume of well-rotted farm yard manure (bagged stuff from a gerden centre is ideal for this) but don't add fresh manure.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 24/01/2016 at 17:58

Well done folks!  Dug up a few spuds I'd forgotten about and was suprprised to find they were perfect with little slug damage and hardly any sprouting.  Baked spuds coming up for tea.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 18:23

Also had to deal with vine weevils in heuchera pots today.

3 of the 8 in the coldframe had tops which came off when I lifted so those divided and repotted and the rest treated with vine weevil killer which is just about the only chemical I still use these days.  Will be investing in a large quantity of nematodes when it is warm enough.  After losing my remaining winter carrots a few weeks ago and recently finding one inside a parsnip, I will be overrun with the bu&&ers if I don't take serious action!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 740
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 544
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 841
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 404
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 432
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1016
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 813
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 785
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 729
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 601
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: 512
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 861
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 767
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: 1251
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 925
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30
1 to 15 of 31 threads