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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

step over pear trees

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 14:20

Most of the suppliers sell very young ones which are effectively an espalier with just one layer and you will need to make a post and wire system to continue to tie them in and prune them properly.  I would estimate it would be 3 years before they would have grown enough to begin fruiting.  You can buy older ones which have been pre-trained and those are very expensive but should fruit within a couple of years (you would remove any fruits the first year after planting to allow them to establish their roots.)

What is this leafy plant?

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 13:55

The leaves look right for Honesty - maybe it's just not sent up the flowers yet?


Does anyone know what this is?

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 18:19

Looks like oxalis to me (Oxalis pes-caprae) variously known a Bermuda butter cup and dozens of other names.  A seed may have got in with the ones you bought or by other means - the pods 'fire' seeds quite some distance!

Blossom-end blues

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 17:41

One thing I do now is remove the flowers as soon as a baby tomato is forming - sometimes the dead flower hangs on to a small stalk (the stigma from the flower I presume) and I noticed that the fallen ones often quickly rot.  I somehow doubt this is the cause, but it takes just seconds and I don't seem to get BER much these days..

Worms in every plum

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 17:34

Hi Alan, after pasting a link, hit the Return/Enter key - this then activates it so it becomes clickable.  Not obvious but easy once you know.

Dying Fruit Trees

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 13:21

Several of us on here have honey fungus in our gardens, ERB, and have to live with it.

The RHS lists are very useful.  My advice is to dig out as much root as possible from those things which have been killed and certainly never leave stumps as these serve as a home-base for HF.  Regular cultivation of the soil in affected areas seems to help too as this breaks the rhizomes which is how HF spreads to other trees and shrubs.

You might find this factsheet useful:

Good luck and don't despair! 

Worms in every plum

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 13:10

It's almost certainly plum moth.  Although you can't save this year's crop, now you know the culprit you can take action early next year.  Put up some pheromone traps and as soon as you start to see the right number of male plum moths caught on the sticky paper inside (the traps come with instructions), you can spray against the caterpillars before they burrow into the fruit.  See the RHS advice on dealing with this:


Anyone addicted?

Posted: 24/07/2014 at 12:51

A little, yes!  I don't dip into the chat threads much otherwise I might not get anything else done!  I'm on hols for a fortnight and keep dipping-in several times a day instead of hiring that skip or ripping out that old fireplace etc.

Dying Fruit Trees

Posted: 23/07/2014 at 20:18

If there's no sign of Honey fungus, did you have any issues with flooding over the Winter?  If the ground is waterlogged for a long time, tree roots can actually drown and will then rot off.


Posted: 22/07/2014 at 22:36

The free version of MBAM is completely free forever.  However, you have to make sure that during the installation you uncheck the trial option.  These days even Adobe try and install unwanted stuff (like browser toolbars and Chrome) unless you untick boxes during the installation.  It's a bit sneaky but is now standard behaviour it seems.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 780
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 577
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 514
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 453
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 317
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: 306
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 609
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 510
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: 954
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 583
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: 629
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 347
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 649
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 700
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7549
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads