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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

best-potato-to-grow

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 12:05

I have heavy clay and keeled slugs but Kestrel were untouched last year and also the best tasting so those together with Sante (also slug resistant) and Pink Fir Apple are my selections for this year.  The last one will get attacked but I just can't resist the taste so some damage is acceptable (and being knobbly means cutting out the damaged bits doesn't add much longer to the preparation time than the rather tedious peeling!) 

For anyone just starting out I recommend you get a pack with several different varieties (eg 6 x 10 tubers) if you have the room.  Potatoes grown on different types of soil DO taste different, so you really need to find out which grow and taste best on your particular plot.  I grew over 50 varieties before finding 8 or so that I really like and do well.  I still try a row of a new variety every year, too (Mayan Gold this year.)

Happy spudding, spudders! 

Two things that I have no idea about!

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 21:38

I would mix them together, cover to stop the rain getting in, and let them compost until spring.  I think you'll have some lovely stuff by then.

Talkback: How to plant a grapevine

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 21:32

The video is there reverett, I just played it to check.  It needs your computer to have Adobe Flash Player installed so you could try installing or updating that.  This link is for Windows computers:

http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Apple iPads don't support Flash videos without installing a different web browser:

http://ipad.about.com/od/Productivity-Apps/tp/How-To-Play-Flash-On-The-iPad.htm

 

 

raised bed building

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 18:43

How long will you make them dj?  Soil is very heavy when wet so you ideally want to drive some 50x50mm (2" x 2") stakes into the ground about every metre along the length and screw the boards to the stakes to prevent them bowing outwards under the weight.

Sue, it's because millimetres are often the standard unit quoted the UK building industry now - whereas we used to buy (say plywood sheets) in standard sizes of 8ft x 4ft, suppliers now size them as 2400x1200mm.  I say we should go back to cubits myself - the majority of us permanently carry two cubit measures around with us - they are very 'handy'!

best-potato-to-grow

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 23:00

Bumped for those talking about potatoes today.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:56

PS, as to your earlier question regarding frost, it would be risky to put them in a greenhouse with missing panes at the moment.  Better would be in an unheated room of your house by a window.  If you don't have such a place, the greenhouse will have to do but cover them with some garden fleece which will keep the frost off of them.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:52

Yes, if you can actually see what you are buying then avoid any that already have shoots longer than 1/4" (5mm) as these have been kept in too warm a place.  Also avoid any that are soft or look shrunken or crinkly.  A good seed potato at this time of the year should be firm and have tiny buds in the eyes rather than developed shoots.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:09

Hi Rachael, you can get seed potatoes online or from garden centres and even places like Wilkinsons.  There is no real need to chit potatoes - trials have shown that while it can give a slightly earlier crop, unchitted potatoes grow perfectly well anyway.

Potatoes don't actually enrich the soil but are said to "help break it up", improving the soil structure.  My thinking on that one is that you dig the soil to plant them, then earth them up as they are growing and finally have another good dig to harvest your crop.  That's a lot of cultivation and probably explains why they "help to break-up the soil"!

 

Raspberries

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:00

They do prefer a slightly acid soil Cherry3, so you do need to get that test done.

Have you been feeding them with anything?  Raspberries are quite hungry plants and need something high in phosphates to fruit well.  I would recommend mulching them with 2-3 inches of well rotted farmyard manure in early spring but if that's not available, use fish, blood and bone and a layer of multi-purpose compost as a mulch.

If your soil turns out to be alkaline, you could also try feeding them with an ericaceous feed such as one meant for rhododendrons and azaleas which would also be a good feed for your blueberries.  You'll need to keep using this permanently though as chalky soils will always revert to becoming alkaline over time, even if you dig a big hole and fill it with ericaceous compost!

 

Will apple/fruit trees produce fruit this year if I hard prune this year?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 18:29

They will still produce fruit on any fruiting spurs or the tips of branches which you haven't pruned off.  The easiest way to tell is to look for buds.  Fat buds will become flowers and thin buds will become leaves.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
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Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Oops!

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How id your garden looking 
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DIY heated propagator

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Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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On Freeview/Sky 
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Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
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Bilberry

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Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20
1 to 15 of 22 threads