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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Kiwi plants

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:37

Pruning also helps apparently, as was mentioned in a similar thread a few days ago (although I've never tried so all I get are leaves and red shoots, but I find those attractive anyway!):



Qqqqqqqquite exciting........

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:29

I know they're not your favourites, Verdun, but I got a message that 660 tulip bulbs had been despatched on Monday and I'm like you with the anticipation!  They are mixed, so the first thing I'll be doing is commandeering the dining table to sort them out as well as I can.  I've done this pretty successfully before as each type tends to have a slightly different colour or shaped bulb.  I even do this with mixed seeds with the help of a magnifying glass and a toothpick!   While my garden is very 'cottagey', I do think some grouping of plants improves the effect quite dramatically.

Talkback: How to plant bulbs

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:20

You want twice the depth of soil above the bub as the bulb is tall.  That is, if a daff bulb is 5cm tall, dig a hole 15cm deep and place the bulb at the bottom which will then have 10cm of soil above it when you fill the hole in.

storage during winter veg and fruits

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:16

Potatoes and onions can be kept in hessian or paper sacks and stored in a dark, cool but frost-free place for several months. Carrots and parsnips can be stored in a bucket of damp (but not wet) sand, but are perhaps best left in the ground until needed.  Other things like calabrese, peas, beans etc should be picked at their best, blanched (see below) and frozen.  I usually 'open freeze' them and then place in plastic bags once they are hard which prevents them all sticking together in one lump.

Blanching means to drop into a large pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes and then taken out and immediately plunged into a large bowl/pan of iced water.

Plant id please

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:04

Yes, you should be able to.  It will (hopefully) form long seed pods if the flowers have been pollinated.  When the lowest pods turn brownish and start opening by themselves you can snip them off and keep them in a paper bag or envelope etc.  The seeds are very, very small and I find it difficult to sow them evenly.  Best sown in-situ as they don't transplant well in my experience, but if you want to try sow in small pots or modules and plant-out the whole thing rather than trying to separate seedlings.

Plant id please

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 18:55

Hi 4thPanda, it's night scented stock, Matthiola longipetala.  Easily confirm by the strong evening fragrance.  Not all that much to look at, but one of the most powerful scents there is.   I love it!

Alternative lawns

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 21:59

Depends on device & browser, nut.  Pressing enter makes them active in anything.

Alternative lawns

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 21:49

You just need to remember that you must press Enter when pasting links, Sara

fruit border help/advice needed

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 23:50

I would agree that going for early cropping varieties of whichever fruit trees you decide on is a good idea as it will give them more time to ripen in the shady conditions.  Most fruit trees can be trained to have a long trunk with a 'lollipop' or larger head simply by progressively pruning the lower branches off almost flush with the trunk while it is young.  Remove a third of the leader each Winter just above a strong shoot which will turn into a new leader.  Winter pruning will make pruned branches grow more strongly in the Spring.  Once the tree has reached the maximum height you want, you can Summer prune the leader each year which will restrict its growth.  Trees trained this way are sometimes called 'minarette' or 'columnar' fruit trees.

As it happens I have bought a few (normal type) trees from the company waterbutts mentioned and have been pleased - large, well-grown young trees which were very well packed for delivery.  Whoever you decide to buy from, give them a ring, explain what you are trying to achieve and ask them which rootstock they would recommend for the variety you are after to achieve the height you want - any good supplier will be happy to help.


honey fungus

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 23:17

Sorry, I mis-read and missed the bit about it not being in your garden.  Annoying as there's a lot less you can do about it if your neighbour is just going to let things (literally) rot!  One thing which might help is to keep the soil cultivated next to the hedge, effectively creating a barrier between the tree and your garden.  Digging will break any rhizomorphs which radiate out from the tree and try to cross the strip.  The rhizomorphs can't live when disconnected from the main fungal body.  From the pdf you can see that sandy soil inhibits rhizomorph growth whereas peaty soil promotes it so if you dig plenty of sharp sand into the strip it will do two things: keep it easy to regularly dig-over and also help to restrict the spread of the tendrils.  You can probably find annuals which can thrive in the sandy soil of such a protective strip.  Good luck and I hope you don't lose your fruit trees and bushes.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

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Cost of bird food

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On Freeview/Sky 
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The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
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ID trumpet flower

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Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
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New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
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1 to 15 of 17 threads