Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Weights measures and terminology

Posted: 15/02/2016 at 23:32

Children around here all know the answer to the beans one:

One bean, two beans, a bean and a half and half a bean!


Posted: 14/02/2016 at 15:37

Slugs have been prevalent all winter here and definitely eat snowdrop petals.

Greenhouse on Decking?

Posted: 14/02/2016 at 14:30

You could but will have to dismantle it a few years down the line when the decking rots.   The humid conditions and condensation running down the glass inside a greenhouse will probably accelerate that happening too.  Wood preservative is toxic and something you definitely want to avoid using anywhere near a greenhouse, so that's not really an option to prolong the life of the decking.

I would put the effort in now to either remove the decking and build a proper base or put the greenhouse somewhere else.

New greenhouse tips please

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 14:14

Polycarbonate glazing panels often get blown out by strong winds so if you are in a particularly windy spot then maybe not ideal.  Safety glass would be my recommendation, especially if there are likely to be young children (or wobbly older persons) in the vicinity.  Expensive but worth it.  Glass is also heavier and helps hold a greenhouse in place if it hasn't been attached to the ground properly.  If you have a wall to attach a lean-to type to then you will benefit from the heat-retaining properties of the wall which will keep the greenhouse warmer at night.

If you go for polycarbonate due to budget constraints (they are a lot cheaper) make sure the frame is attached firmly to the ground using ground anchors or screwed down to concrete or slabs by drilling into it using masonry bit and using rawlplugs and 50mm long screws.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 13:11

Just replaced the broken pane of glass on one of my two greenhouse roof vents with polycarb and fitted a new automatic opener.  The old one died over the winter and allowed the vent to flap in strong winds, hence the glass breaking.  Noticed the blummin' squirrels have destroyed 3/4s of my new strawberry plants which went in last October.  Sorry my furry friends but that's the last straw.  First you discover how to get into my roof space via next doors unmanaged ivy, have eaten all of the apple tree fruit buds, keep emptying and slobbering all over the bird feeders (even though they are suspended from long wires), let's see how you fare with a kania 2000.

Sterilising compost.

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 11:50

and the OH doesn't catch you doing it..

Sterilising compost.

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 11:40

You can sterilize small quantities of compost by heating it in a microwave.


Posted: 12/02/2016 at 19:07

That's fine general advice Richard but these are less than a year old plants and I disagree with you in this instance and follow the RHS advice which says that all year old clematis, regardless of type, should be cut back to encourage more stems to shoot from the root crown.  The following is quoted from their 'Group 2' advice page:

"Unless the plant already has three or four healthy stems growing from the base, all newly planted clematis should be pruned back hard the first spring after planting. Cut back to just above a strong pair of leaf buds about 30cm (1ft) above soil level. This will encourage multiple stems which can be trained in to supports to give a good coverage."

I've been following that advice for years with excellent results.

Grease bands

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 18:57

Grease bands won't help against maggots but some years are much worse than others for the flying pests which cause maggots and that is probably what you experienced.  No harm in using them though - ants farming aphids can damage all of the young leaves and seriously weaken a tree, resulting in poor crops the following season.  I use grease bands on all of my fruit trees.

What's the difference?

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 22:18

Primrose and Polyanthus are both primulas which is the plant 'family' they are both in.  The main difference between them is that primroses have the flowers close to the leaves whereas polyanthus flowers are on longer stems.  They have been bred from the wild forms, the cowslip (Primula veris) and the common primrose (Primula vulgaris.)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 558
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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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 
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Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1483
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! 
Replies: 1    Views: 592
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1200
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 993
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 983
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 944
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 816
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: 676
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1098
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads