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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

A week of rain = jungle garden!

Posted: 31/05/2014 at 14:18

Hi all,  Just wondering who else has ventured outside this morning to discover a veritable jungle has developed in their garden over the last week?  It has rained more or less constantly here for the last week and was just too sodden to attempt any serious planting when I got home from work each day so, apart from a bit of weeding (as those were easy to pull from the wet soil) I it has been left to it's own devices..  I have a GH full of plants which are now screaming to be put into the borders etc but due to the rapid growth in the last week, you've guessed it,  there isn't any room!  Looks like a fair few sacrifices will have to be made.

I've decided to dig up and replace every bluebell (all now crosses anyway) and Welsh poppy I see to make a start.

At least at the end of the day I'll be able to re-fill the compost heaps make a few gallons of Comfrey liquid feed (that has grown from 1ft to 4ft!)

To be honest, this happens every year so I don't really know why I'm still surprised when it happens!

Plum leaf full of holes

Posted: 31/05/2014 at 13:07

Have a look at the RHS advice for Laurel leaf problems, Glenda:

http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=568

It sounds like one of the bacterial shot hole diseases.  Lots of wet weather is the primary cause allowing these diseases to take hold.

As for your fruit trees, most pests and diseases are specific to each type of fruit and don't normally affect other types of tree.  The cold weather in Winter usually kills many overwintering pests but we didn't really have any significant periods of sub-zero temperatures this year so there is more damage evident than usual.  Feeding your trees is one of the best things you can do to help them cope and hope for a good freeze next Winter.

hibiscus or rose of sharon

Posted: 31/05/2014 at 12:57

I'd give it a bit longer as Hibiscus can be one of the slowest plants to leaf-up.  I had two identical ones delivered early this year which went into the cold GH.  One began sprouting leaves in March, but the other remained dormant until mid-May.  It is getting a bit late though.

Brown spots on tomato leaves

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 23:01

Regardless of which disease is present, I have found the best way to deal with tomato leaf problems is to remove any affected leaves and burn them or throw them in the household rubbish bin - never put them in a compost bin.  I've even managed to keep plants affected with late blight going this way, although they did look very, very sorry for themselves!

Nightshade

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 22:44

Black Bryony would be my guess too.  They can put on an amazing show with the berries later in the year.

IDPLEASE

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 22:31

Must be quite exciting having all of these mystery plants springing up, Alan!

BTW, nice looking Ceanothus in the background - love those.

Brown spots on tomato leaves

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 19:40

Hi Lauren - I've downloaded your pic and included it below so it can be seen more easily - hope that's OK.

It might be a bacterial leaf spot.  This page is pretty good for ID etc:

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/diseases/tomato-problems.htm

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47515.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

Any apples yet?

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 19:20

Variable setting of apples here.  Cox's Orange Pippin: good set, Red Falstaff: good set.  The next 3 are grafted onto the same rootstock (ie a family tree) and all blossomed well and at the same time, but Worcester Pearmain: no set, Egremont Russet: no set, Golden Delicious: excellent set.  Make of that what you will but I'm afraid nature plays a mysterious game when it comes to the setting of fruit crops!

On other fruit:  Pears (family tree - can't recall types): poor set, Peach (Avalon Pride):Excellent set, Japanese plum (Lizzie) fantastic set - those will soon be ready , Gooseberry & Worcesterberry - excellent set, Blackberry (2 giant fruiting types - names escape me at the moment): excellent set, Blueberries (5 or 6 types): best ever set.  Strawberries (5 or 6 types): Excellent set and there looks to be enough raspberries to blow one at half the population plus enough left to make a few gallons of wine!

Few problems, help?

Posted: 29/05/2014 at 19:17

Hi Dabble and welcome!

The only sure cure for spider mite is to use another mite which is a predator and called Phytoseilus.  Assuming your plants are on the balconies you mention in your profile, the problem is you need to wait until it's about 20C or the Phytoseilus will die.  You can get a small measure of control first by regularly spraying the plants with a fine spray of water and I've found a more effective control is to spray with water mixed with 'SB plant invigorator' which you use every few days until the temperature rises enough for the predators mites to be used.  SB sort of glues them in place and isn't a chemical pesticide, most of which are pretty useless because spider mites have become immune to them.

Cross pollination

Posted: 27/05/2014 at 22:55

They may well cross-pollinate Mary, but that won't affect the fruit grown from the plants this year, only plants grown from any seeds you save from this year's fruit.  The same thing happens with other members of this family such as squashes - if several varieties are grown together it's probably not worth saving the seed other than for the fun of growing something which may be unusual but might not taste nice or may have tough flesh etc.

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