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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Weirdo snapdragon

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 15:39

I wonder if they are the result of cross-pollination between normal ones and one of those fancy 'designer' antirrhinums that are about these days?  I must say I much prefer 'proper' snapdragons!  

Bilberry plants or berries

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 15:36

Here we go - a 2 year old bilberry planted in 50/50 JI no3 & ericaceous compost in a 50cm pot.  Not much fruit, but fruit nonetheless!   

Good job you mentioned bilberries Bunty otherwise I'm sure the birds would have had these!  They're now in my pudding for later - Yum! 

Photo won't upload - will try again..


Bilberry plants or berries

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 13:31

I got some a couple of years ago from Mr Fothergills - also small but cheap.   I'll check on them now it's stopped raining and report back.

name and can I please

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 16:54

Pretty sure that's Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge' Alan, although it doesn't usually get to tree size, so may not be that cultivar.

With yuccas, you normally remove the lower leaves when they start dying or look a bit ratty.  It must have been a giant with a thick trunk like that!  It may have been killed by a hard frost and so cut down - they then sucker or sprout side shoots like that.  

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 14:54

The type of fungi which grow in soil are very different to those which infect plant tissue and are generally nothing to worry about.  You would cause far more harm trying to transplant them than anything the fungus in the growbag will do.  It may even be beneficial as fungi break-down organic matter into nutrients which plants can take up via their roots.  In my opinion, if the plants are looking healthy, ignore it.

apricot Tree

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:17

Try giving it a feed of sulphate of potash (or other fertilizer very high in Potassium) in late Winter which will encourage blossom and fruit;  It might be getting too much nitrate as it is producing lots of vegetative growth.  The RHS have some advice on feeding fruit trees here:


squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:07

Too right, Steve!  I used the last one (stored from last year) in May and had to start the (very sharp!) kitchen knife off with a rubber mallet in order to make the first cut!  I slice the skin off each section completely before roasting as the skin on Crown Prince does not go soft during roasting like it does on some other varieties - rather the opposite in fact and the reason I started doing that was because I cut my gum on a sharp piece of roasted skin!

apricot Tree

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 12:51

Did you get plenty of blossom in the Spring, Brian?  If so the problem may be lack of pollination.  Apricots are early bloomers and the blossom often appears before there are any pollinating insects about.  You can help by using a small, soft, paintbrush or similar to hand-pollinate the blossom, going over the whole tree just like a bee would.  Hopefully you are talking about a relatively small tree or that will obviously be rather difficult!

Making a potting bench

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 11:10

Hi artjak, that looks wonderful - the curvy back sections really set it off.

The only thing I'd suggest is a solid area on the top bench near the bucket, rather than it all being slatted.  That way the inevitable spilt compost won't fall through and if you can make the top of the bucket flush with the surface (perhaps by supporting it from underneath) you can simply sweep the spillages back into the bucket.

squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 10:45

I grew 3 crown prince last year fidget and they were indeed rampant - they grew to well over 6m!  I left them to their own devices but only had one or 2 fruit set per plant despite hand-pollinating - each was about 4kg,  so I suggest some control may be better and might produce a greater number of more manageable sized fruit.  Perhaps try that with one or two of them?  This year I also have a couple of them and am going to pinch out the main growing tip at 3m as an experiment and when side shoots develop, pinch those out after the first fruit set on each (if they do..)  In addition I have several other varieties and harrier are my best hope for the future - they are producing female flowers much closer to the centre and are supposed to be bushy and less spreading.  We shall see!  Also growing barbara butternut, autumn crown (blurb says average 5 fruit per plant and a bit smaller than c.prince) and pumpkin summer ball which I can't praise highly enough - extremely compact, incredibly productive (think courgettes!) and also store much better than I thought they would.  They are a regular here.  If no-one else with more experience chips-in, perhaps we can report back on this thread about developments/results?

edit: Edd replied while[ I was typing, so looks like pinching out is the thing to do.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 777
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 575
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 513
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 451
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 315
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: 304
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 608
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 509
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: 950
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 581
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: 624
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 346
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: 698
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7466
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads