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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 17/03/2015 at 18:55

Yes Linda, but it will take a few years before they grow to flowering size.  You can also grow them from any scales which fall off larger bulbs - just put the scales in a small plastic bag of damp compost and leave somewhere warm and dark for a few weeks.  The scales will then form little bulbs which can be potted on.  Again, probably at least 3 years before they will flower though.

lean-to greenhouse

Posted: 17/03/2015 at 18:44

With some basic DIY skills, you can build one using 10mm twinwall polycarbonate sheet and timber.  The 10mm sheet is very strong and actually becomes part of the construction rather than just being the glazing.  Have a look at this blog post - all you need to do is scale things down:


Plant Identification please

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 21:28

The Purple Toadflax (Linaria) can get a bit thuggish if it seeds into permanent planters, mainly as it continues growing over the winter, pretty much unseen.  Once you let it seed, you will have it forever (like most of the willowherbs!)  It is quite pretty though.

As for the bluebells, you can tell as the bulbs are white and are quite deep.  I'm also plagued by the spanish variety and forever digging them up but just can't seem to get rid of them..

1st greenhouse coming

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 21:06

My louvre is at the opposite end to the door.  If you have only one roof vent, you want that in the middle.  The idea is to create a flow of air from the louvre (and door, when opened in warm weather), through the greenhouse and out of the roof vent.  The better the air flow, the less trouble you will have with diseases, especially fungal problems which are exasperated by poor air flow.

Laurel Hedging

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 21:00

The only way I know of is to cut it back quite hard.  You will temporarily lose the height of course, but hard pruning is always followed by much stronger growth and you'll end up with a much better balanced hedge.

Clay Soil

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:43

Lilyrosemary, I would use muck where you are planting spuds and mushroom compost (which contains lime) where you are planting brassicas or root crops like carrots and everything else.  Spuds get scab if lime is added but it helps protect brassicas from diseases like club root.  Carrots and parsnips will fork if grown in freshly manured ground.  Next year, change which area you grow these three rough groups of veg in (called crop rotation) and you'll keep the soil (and everything else) nicely balanced.

friend or foe?

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:33

Vine weevils are incredibly good climbers (unfortunately!) Lyn.

Britain's National Bird

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:22

Wren for me.  Plenty of them about but you hardly ever notice them (just like ordinary, good-hearted British people!)

Dahlia tubers

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 22:00

To minimise space taken, you could perhaps take cuttings from some of the larger tubers when they start sprouting and grow those on in pots to take with you.  Some of my tubers (from 'giant hybrids') would need 10 inch or larger pots and would be a nightmare to move when growing - those plants get to 6 feet tall and are very brittle.

nesting Robins

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 21:38

I think in the case of Robins who were themselves born in a domestic garden, they will quite happily nest in close proximity to humans and be unlikely to abandon the nest as long as disturbance is kept to a similar level to how is is currently.  I have been at my present location for about 30 years and the Robins here now come within inches when I'm working in the garden.  If I were in a similar situation to lostinglass, I would probably put up a Robin-type nesting box just outside the window they are using, but if they decided to continue with the nest inside, would just let them get on with it.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 257
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 286
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 893
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 679
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 634
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 598
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 469
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: 402
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 721
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 638
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: 1109
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 734
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: 1157
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 439
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 772
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads