Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Apple tree problems

Posted: 01/07/2016 at 22:28



Posted: 01/07/2016 at 22:26

It's a prairie plant so loves lots of sun.  In the uk, unless you have well drained soil and a decent summer (whatever one of  those looks like), it can be hard to grow as a perennial.  The only success I've had is to grow it into large plants in pots before planting out.  Even then they gave a poor show in the second year then snuffed it over the next winter.  Not my definition of invasive! 

Bulbs and seeds

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 19:10

As general advice, I would make the border deeper (as in remove a bit more lawn) Dew_drops.  Once the plants grow they will soon run out of room and overhang the lawn anyway so the grass will suffer where that happens.  The usual advice is to have a minimum border depth of 1 metre.  Making it curvy also always looks better too.  Love the fence colour!

Bad batch of runner bean seeds?

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 18:48

I think it's something to do with the weather conditions.  I had seed left from last year and sowed two lots in pots about 3 weeks apart.  The first lot have distorted leaves etc much as pansyface describes but the 2nd lot look fine.  Even the leaves are greener.  Same compost used in the pots and they were planted out into similar soil with a similar aspect, so only the timing varied.

Blueberry Bush

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 18:39

Difficult to recommend pruning without a photo but certainly remove any weak spindly growth near the base.  Once they are a few years old they benefit from removing (one or two only, early in the year) of the oldest branches, right back to the base.  This will promote vigorous new shoots from the base which will bear the crops in subsequent years.  Feeding with something high in nitrates early in the season will help these strong new shoots to grow and then switch to high potash feeds later to help promote flowers and fruit.  Use feed for ericaceous plants as these contain iron in a form which can be taken up in the acid conditions that is needed to grow blueberries.

Last edited: 29 June 2016 18:40:36

Ideas for a small shady corner

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 23:46

if going for autumn fruiting raspberries, I would highly recommend Polka (I've replaced all my autumn bliss with them now.)  As you have plenty of room a Jostaberry (cross between blackcurrant and gooseberry but a stronger grower than either) would love it there - and no spines!

Peppers and Chillies - how to get the best crop?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 22:30

I just put my hand over the soil with the stem between my fingers, turn the pot upside down and gently slip the pot off from the roots to see if they're ready to re-pot.  Usually you can see roots appearing in the holes at the bottom of the pot too when they are ready.  To overwinter, I only water them when the top inch of compost is completely dry (stick a finger in to tell) and then only enough to dampen the soil.  In the spring there will just be a (hopefully) green stem left with some dead bits.  Cut the brown bits off and water them.  Don't water again until you see signs of growth.  At that point I take them out of the pots and shake off most of the old compost and repot them into damp fresh compost.  It doesn't always work but after a mild winter like the last one you can get an amazing head start.

They do well in smaller pots, much better than tomatoes would.  You'll get less fruit per plant of course but in the case of chillies in particular that isn't a big deal as a little can go a long way!

Trailing evergreen for container?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 21:50

Lingonberry will thrive in the acid soil you are using for your rhodo etc.  It will trail down the sides of the pot (in fact, you'll need to trim it after a couple of years) and can easily be propagated by layering.  Completely hardy,  evergreen and won't grow upwards.  I use it to cover the soil in my large blueberry pots.  Bonus: it flowers and produces berries which are similar to cranberries.

Peppers and Chillies - how to get the best crop?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 18:50

Regular potting on to slightly larger pots is the key to growing both peppers and chillies.  Mine go from modules to 7cm then 9cm then 15cm and finally into 6.5l square pots.  This is done when the roots reach the side of the pot they are currently in.  If you put them straight into a large pot while small I guarantee they won't do well.  Don't keep the soil damp in the pots, wait until it is drying out before watering.  Here are some of mine started from seed (about 6 or 7 varieties):

If you reduce watering at the end of the season you can often overwinter them successfully.  These are my overwintered ones which I'll soon be eating:

Last edited: 28 June 2016 18:51:21

Patinova Squash?

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 23:17

It's a czechoslovakian variety of Patty pan (aka pattison) squash.

Last edited: 27 June 2016 23:19:16

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 199
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

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Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 392
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

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

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1004
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 2182
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 690
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 711
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1333
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1117
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1166
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1160
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28
1 to 15 of 37 threads