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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 20:05

Potted-on 96 tomato plants today - 17 of the 20 varieties (old seeds from up to 10 years ago I found during a clearout) had germinated on the heated bench and were shooting up - methinks I've overdone it yet again!   Then guess what arrived?  Yep, 10 tomato plants I'd ordered as a backup, just in case.. 


Tulips or Crocus

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 19:34

I bought some mixed crocus baza and just chucked 'em in without really looking.  Iris reticulata is what came up this spring!  Suppliers do make mistakes.

Storing tulip bulbs

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 14:00

Fantastic - the Dutch certainly know how to grow tulips!

Talkback: How to grow aubergines

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 13:59

Try hand-pollinating them Catherine.  The problem with growing them under cover is that the insects can't easily get to them.  Take a small very soft brush (like an artists paintbrush or make-up brush) and gently push it into the centre of every open flower.  If you do that every day, most of the fruit should set providing other conditions are right.

Storing tulip bulbs

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 12:45

James, No - plant them now and let them grow.  They may still flower but if they only grow leaves, just feed them and let the leaves die back naturally and the energy the leaves produce will build-up the bulb for next year.  As it is so late, I would plant them in good compost in pots and add some slow release fertiliser.  They will simply wither away and die if stored.

Rat free bird feeding

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 11:58

Hang the feeders from a horizontal wire stretched between two stout uprights, or trees.  If you have the feeders at least 1 metre from each end, even squirrels have trouble let alone rats.

Contrast or clash; complement and safe

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 10:31

Mine is 'cottagey', so anything goes colour-wise, but the main long borders are east-facing against tall fences or tall hedges, so more thought goes into giving each plant/shrub suitable growing conditions than the colour scheme;  If the plant is happy, so am I and I think there is nothing which catches the eye more than a struggling, sick or generally unhappy plant and that detracts from everything else in the area.  I do group plants though and try to put tall stuff at the back and short at the front, which is usually as far as I go with respect to design.  

Leaf curl

Posted: 01/04/2015 at 18:59

Just in case anyone is thinking of getting a Peach tree, Avalon Pride show excellent resistance to peach leaf curl.  I only have to remove a dozen or so leaves each year and it produces excellently flavoured, very juicy, 'shop-size' peaches.

cottage garden

Posted: 01/04/2015 at 18:49

I have always struggled with rudbeckia, echinaceas, galliardia and the like on my much-improved clay soil.  Those are all finicky plants and simply don't like growing in some areas, especially if it's somewhere with a lot of winter wet and/or a frost-hollow.  However, there are plants which will give you equally gorgeous blooms such as dahlias (as long as you lift them in winter),  delphiniums (both perennial and annual types), foxgloves etc.  Another 'trick' is to grow young plants on in large 2-3 litre pots for a year or two before planting them out.  Large mature plants fare much better in less-than-ideal conditions than small ones.

Identify Plants

Posted: 01/04/2015 at 18:29
Voyagerxp wrote (see)

I've been having problems with my pics not zooming, don't know why.


Keep them under 1MB in size and they should zoom OK.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 256
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 285
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 891
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 678
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 630
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 595
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 465
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: 399
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 714
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 636
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: 1107
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 728
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: 1141
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 437
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 769
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads