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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Fruit trees

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 16:46

I use a 4" high thick coating of Vaseline John, around the trunk just below where the first branch comes out of the trunk.  You can also buy grease bands from garden centres.  I renew it yearly or if I accidentally rub any off in the normal course of gardening.  One thing to realise is that ants will climb other nearby plants to get to the tree, so leave plenty of space around your fruit trees or cut-down the parts of any other plants which touch the tree above where you placed the grease band.

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:44

There's actually some controversy regarding the efficacy of adding gypsum and I think that's because there are so many types of 'clay soil'.  What I did and recommend is to do some testing on small areas of your own soil, using various amounts and started with one good handful per square yard.  There are no typical dosage figures as it depends completely on the chemistry of your particular soil.  Gypsum is Calcium Sulphate and if your clay is in a limestone area, it probably won't help.  It can take 2-3 years to show any effect.

Adding lots of organic matter, however, is always going to help improve clay soils and will have an immediate effect but gypsum is certainly worth trying as it can really help some types of clay soils.

Pruning roses

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:27

SJ, that variety is one of the 'Portland' types, so you know which pruning method is needed if you look this up on google or in books.

Portland types are repeat flowerers and are normally pruned in late winter.  Have a look at the RHS guide (scroll down the page to 'Repeat flowering shrub roses':

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=178

 

 

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:09

The 'clay breaker' Bamboogie mentions is actually gypsum.  The cheapest way of obtaining gypsum is as 25kg bags of plaster (yes, the stuff for going on walls) from a builder's merchant - the cheapest stuff is actually the best for this as it will contain no additives.

Talkback: How to apply mulch

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 14:59

"Mulching" is simply placing a layer of matter on top of the soil and is done for two reasons, firstly to reduce water loss by evaporation and secondly to reduce weed seed germination.

However, if the mulch is organic matter, a third benefit comes into play in that worms will pull the mulch down into the soil and improve its structure and fertility.  Multi-purpose compost is as good as anything else in this respect.

You can mulch at any time you like, but if you have clay soil which you have dug over to allow the Winter frosts to help break up the clods, you would not lay a mulch over it as that would prevent the frost from doing the job.  You should also avoid mulching dry soil as it will make it harder for the rain the penetrate, so only mulch soil which is already in a normally moist condition.

Until digested and excreted by worms, mulches add little in terms of nutrients so add fertilizers as a separate task, as and when needed.

Hope that makes thing clearer for you, Marigold.

Mould

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 14:48

I agree, remove the lid.  Cuttings take well with bottom heat (ie warm soil in the pot) but the humid, warm and still air inside a closed propagator lid will only encourage moulds and other diseases.

Fungus in the grass

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 21:08

I forgot to mention, slime moulds are completely harmless to your lawn and it will disappear as rapidly as it came.  It is NOT a disease of any kind and may even be beneficial as they consume bacteria and fungal spores.  

Fungus in the grass

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 20:53

It'll be a slime mould Mark:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=246

Fascinating things - lots of info. via google!

 

grafting

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 19:02

Hi Peter, yes you can and many if not most commercially grown grapevines are grafted.  Bud grafting is often used and there's some helpful photo's of that on this site:

http://www.gardenista.com/posts/diy-grafting-grapes

Google "how to graft grape vines" for a huge amount of information and some videos showing the process.  Late Summer would be the best time and, above all, avoid cutting into vines in early Spring before the leaves appear as they will bleed profusely which can lead to their death.

Shafted

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 18:46

Or make your own using hardwood dowels, a saw and a sharp chisel.   This place supplies them and a 2.4m long 1" diameter Ash (good for tool shafts) dowel would cost you 12.54 inc VAT (plus delivery.)  Just picked at random from a google search:

http://www.toolsandtimber.co.uk/timber/wooden-dowels/?gclid=COn_xNLQosECFSuWtAodGCQAWA

 

 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 111
Last Post: Yesterday at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 338
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 197
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: 184
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 502
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 312
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: 693
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 412
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: 485
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 246
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 543
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4247
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1716
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads