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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Unlucky with Thyme

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 09:58

Drainage is the key with thyme (and most other herbs.)  They are mediterranean plants which naturally grow on steep slopes, cliffs etc and hate wet and cold.  Some of the thymes sold in supermarkets (particularly those with variageted leaves) often don't survive a normal british winter.  Plant in 50/50 mix of grit and soil/compost and avoid planting in dips or hollows in the ground.  They do better in pots and containers where you can ensure good drainage.  English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is more tolerant.

Help Id flowering tree.

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 09:47

If you have limited space in the new place, there's another Cercis which has similar flowers but purple leaves and doesn't grow as large, Cercis canadensis (aka Eastern redbud.)


Posted: 23/04/2015 at 21:34

Yep, just checked weather station - no significant rain in Leics since April 4th - have had the hose out several times.

No plum blossom

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 19:29

Pippa, a 2 year old plum tree is very young.  If you read the rest of this thread above you'll see that they can take 5 or more years before they start fruiting.  My experience is that they start after 3 years, so (like everything in gardening) patience is the key.

Raised beds

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 00:34

Gravel boards work well.  These days I use decking planks as they are a bit thicker and work out the best value for money (Wickes often have large discount offers on decking - worth waiting for.)  Both are pre-treated so will last longer than untreated wood, such as that used in pallets.

cucumber question

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 00:26

One good tip for growing cucumbers is to plant them on a slight mound as they are prone to stem-rot at the point the stem emerges from the soil.  Raising this area slightly ensures that any excess water runs away from vulnerable area of the stem.  The other thing to watch out for when growing under glass or plastic is spider mite.  If the leaves start to look a bit sickly with the 'greeness' fading, use a hand magnifying glass to look on the underside of the leaves for the mites which are too small to see by unaided eye.  Spraying every day with a fine mist of water will help to keep them at bay.  A sure sign is fine cobwebs appearing on the growing tips but by the time those appear you usually have a serious infestation.

Apricot stone germinated!!

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 23:00

I'd grow it in a pot to see how it goes.  That way you can move it to protect from the worst of the cold weather next winter and will get an idea about it's growth rate.  Blue Onion's idea of using it as a conservatory/house plant is a good one.

Raised beds

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 22:56

How thick is the timber Flower Girl?  Ideally, you want 25mm (an inch) or more for it to last a reasonable amount of time.  If it's thinner, you could always double-up the planks.

Melons and cucumbers

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 18:51

See the the 'How To' section on this very site Kay:


Are there any conifer experts who can help?

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 18:42

I'm not an expert but it does look like a bit like Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria.)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 503
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 923
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 492
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: 429
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 752
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1138
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 465
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads