Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Is Buddleia Davidii Pink Invasive?

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 13:14

It's the seeds which are tiny and get blown a long way in the wind which make it invasive.  If you dead-head them as soon as the flowers fade you will prolong the flowering season and prevent the seeds from becoming a nuisance.  Keep it and enjoy it.

Can I move these plants now?

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 12:53

The pink one on the left looks like musk mallow and is a short-lived perennial but usually grows as an annual.  The purple one on the left is also a mallow, this time a pure annual so appears from self-sown seeds.  The purple one on the right is purple toadflax which is another short-lived perennial but, again, usually grows as an annual and self-seeds prolifically.  None of them will like being moved at this stage and will almost certainly die but may manage to form seeds before that happens.

Magnolia help

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 12:36

I grow several magnolia in containers and would not use pure ericaceous compost.  Add maybe 10 per cent ericaceous to a John Innes #3.  They prefer slightly acidic soil but can tolerate a wide range.  Pure ericaceous is just too acidic.

creepy crawly things - rose

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 12:27

There is a natural 'junction' on each rose stem which allows the dead flower to detach naturally.  However, a pigeon or other large bird flapping about can easily detach them at that point (the damn things are constantly chasing each other during mating rituals around my flower beds.)  A stressed rose will also drop buds and flowers which will detach at the same 'junction'.

Dwarf apple tree

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 12:18

Apple trees do sometimes have small amount of blossom again if they are stressed.  It's too late for fruit to form though.  Young trees shouldn't be allowed to fruit until about their 3rd year anyway as they need to concentrate on putting down a decent root system.  The weight of fruit can also bend or break the branches which are too young to support them.

Weed identification

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 11:24

It's certainly not Hawkweed.  As previously mentioned, that only grows to about a foot high.  Hawkweed also has hairy ovate leaves and orange flowers while your plant has smooth thistle-like leaves and yellow flowers.  It's one of the sow thistles, maybe this one:

or if it is prickly, this one:

Last edited: 23 July 2016 11:29:02

Plants identity

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 23:23

As it has two flowerings, it is more likely a group 2 so only light pruning is needed in early spring.  Follow the tips back to a pair of buds and cut just above them.  If you find the flowers are getting higher each year with bare stems below then treat it as a group 3 for one year then 2 more years as a group 2.  I find this is a good way to keep vigorous ones under control but still maximise flowering.  You're right, there are so many clematis varieties it is often difficult to pin down the exact variety.  On a rainy day, have a good browse through this site to see if you can find it:

What's going on with my broccoli?

Posted: 21/07/2016 at 19:07

Brassicas don't really like the loose soil in raised beds and do much better in the ground.  They need firming in when planted - I use the heel of my boot and that's on clay soil.  If you have no choice but to grow them in raised beds, plant them deeper (right up to the stalks of the bottom leaves) and really firm them in.  Never let them go short of water.


Posted: 20/07/2016 at 23:44

You have a very healthy looking specimen there Flyfifer!


Posted: 20/07/2016 at 23:36

I'd say that is "The President" and is an early large-flowered type.  Group 2 for pruning which means light pruning in late February.  Start right at the end tip of each stem and follow it down until you find a pair of healthy looking buds and snip the stem off just above them.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

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Gardener's World about to start now!

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Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Huge pest problem

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

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

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


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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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! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1186
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1190
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28
1 to 15 of 37 threads