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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Agapathus

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 19:29

Keeping young agapanthus plants in pots for at least the first few years will get them flowering quicker.  I grow Headbourne Hybrids (from seed and then from self-produced seed) and they are as tough as old boots, but they do usually lose all top growth in the Winter.  One of them doesn't though - natural variation (they are hybrids after all.)  Whether they are evergreen or not depends on where you are.  Once they become large plants and are planted into borders, do be aware that they can be quite thuggish with thick fleshy roots which reach far beyond the top growth and can 'mug' nearby plants.  I have removed some of my larger ones because of this and now recommend they are grown in pots unless you have a large garden and can let them do their thing.

Having said that, there are a lot of other cultivars - take a look at Woottens who carry a large range and have good descriptions.

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 17/03/2014 at 21:31

Hi connie, Yes, it'll be fine.  FB&B is a gentle slow-release fertiliser and won't react badly with the lime, which lowers acidity (this helps to release nutrients in acid soil) and helps prevent club-root disease.  Hopefully you put the lime down in the winter?

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:30

Cauliflowers are one of the hardest veg to grow well, so don't be too downhearted if some of them don't produce good heads.  Transplant the young plants to their final positions when they have 5 true leaves, give them plenty of space  and bury them up to the lowest leaf, firming the ground well around the roots and stem.  Adding fish, blood and bone to the soil at planting time will help, after which they need plenty of nitrogen, so regular feeding with home made nettle tea will really help, too.  Don't forget to fleece or net them to prevent the cabbage white butterfly.  Good luck!

LILY BEETLES

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:19

Despatched one today.  Found it in the veg plot, while I was harvesting the last row of leeks and some celeriac.  No sign of any of my lilies yet though.

Can someone tell me what this is...

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 13:36

You are welcome, Vonni.  Solitary bees just use a nice-looking ready made hole - they are 'garden goodies' and won't have been responsible for the demise of the tree.

Container grown Acer

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 12:12

That's right Lancashire Lass, all acers will grow in acid soil, but many won't tolerate alkaline (limey/chalky) soil.  If anyone wants to grow them in a pot, add say 25% ericaceous compost to a loam-based compost like John Innes No.3 and you can't really go wrong.  Good advice from Fairygirl about siting - keeping them out of the wind and away from early morning sun is best, so avoid East-facing exposed sites if possible.  

Can someone tell me what this is...

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 12:04

Look like they are made of leaves so would suspect some kind of solitary bee.

Edit: Leaf cutter bee larvae, probably:

http://www.moraybeedinosaurs.co.uk/solitary.html

 

The best multi purpose compost this year

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 11:05

You are right Fairygirl, it seems compost formulae for many branded makes is changing every year at the moment, so I would only take recommendations for makes when they have been bought this year.  Own-branded compost from the large well-known GC/DIY stores tends to vary between areas of the country, too, so recommendations for those should also be taken with a pinch of salt!  I use a lot of the stuff (60-90 bags a year) and I buy one bag of each of several brands at this time of the year to see which I like before ordering in bulk.

Favourite vegetable to grow?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 09:57

Tomatoes, potatoes and carrots.  None of the varieties I grow are available in the shops, and as for taste, the shop bought ones may as well be made from cardboard!

Packet seeds

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 09:51

It depends on the seeds, NellyG.  The date on the packet is if you leave them unopened but they begin to age once you have opened them.  Some seeds like tomatoes are generally good for a couple of years after opening but opened parsnip seeds won't keep 'til next year.  What seeds do you have?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 280
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 141
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: 130
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 442
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 252
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: 490
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 332
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: 404
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 195
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 493
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 504
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3568
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1465
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 460
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1637
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads