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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 19:13

Cheers bigolob.  I think I'll try a few extra varieties of mid-size ones that I haven't tried before next year as an experiment too.  I expect going for heirloom varieties would likely be the best bet for good flavour.  Italiophile - do you have any recommendations?

Clematis "Dr. Ruppel"

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 19:10

Hi Jan, you're doing everything right but they do take a couple of years to get going.  Prune it in late February to early March:  Starting at each growth tip, follow it back until you find a pair of strong buds and prune it just above them.  If any of the stems have outgrown their alloted space, prune back to a lower pair of buds, but bear in mind that the flowers will come from those buds.  Also remove any weak or obviously dead growth at this time.  I give them a handful of bonemeal immediately after pruning mixed into in a mulch of compost.  Start feeding with clematis feed (or tomato feed) in late Spring.  Your soil pH is perfect.

Starting from Scratch - Shrubs Recommendations

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:49

Japanese acers like Bloodgood will give a nice bit of red colour, are slow growing and pretty much maintenance-free.  They like a bit of shade as long as they don't get early morning sun (so avoid an east-facing aspect.)

decorative peppers

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:42

Hi shellly, those type are meant to be grown as houseplants, so any windowsill where it will get plenty of light and not too cold (above 10C) will be fine.  Cut down on watering over the Winter and only water it if the compost is very dry (stick a finger about an inch down in the compost and if it feels at all damp it doesn't need any water.)   All peppers are perennial if they get the right conditions.

climber

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 22:33

I have a Jasmine Stephanese - the buds are quite red until they open to pink - does it look like this video of one?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDLoB6XkRi8

If so, they can take as hard a pruning as is necessary but it will take 2-3 years before it starts flowering again, unless you can manage to keep some of the old wood.

Blue Berries

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 19:03

Hi Barney, are you trying them in the ground, or pots?  They need acid conditions and if your soil isn't acidic by nature, it is often a waste of time to try changing it.  If in pots, you need to use ericaceous compost and must never let them go dry (so use large pots, at least 50cm diameter) as well as feeding them regularly with an ericaceous liquid feed.  Fussy things.

What's been eating my shrubs?

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 23:12

It is a liquid which you dilute.  There is information about neonicotinoids like these at the Soil Association site:

http://www.soilassociation.org/wildlife/bees/householdpesticides

These chemicals are taken up by the plants and can end up in the nectar and pollen.  While I'm yet to be convinced about the effects on bees (and us of course, if we use these chemicals on fruit & veg which the instructions say not to do), I would sooner play safe than sorry.  The nematodes are safe for use on food crops and cost only a tiny bit more than the Provado.

Tomatoes

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 19:15

Bigolob,  my favourite large types are super marmande, legend, brandywine and cuore di bue.  The rest are mainly cherry types as I've never been that impressed with the taste of 'normal sized' tomatoes despite growing dozens of varieties over the years but am growing tamina for the first time this year and it's pretty good.

Sloping Rockery

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 19:00

Welcome,Helly!  Plants which like to grow in 'rockery' conditions generally don't need extra fertilizer so I wouldn't bother if the soil looks good.

Tomatoes

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 18:46

I always grow about 6-10 varieties and Cristal is always one of them as it is very reliable no matter what the conditions.  I wouldn't say it particularly outstanding regards taste (but still a million times better than anything in the shops!)  It is a very attractive fruit though and the flesh is deep red all the way though so looks particularly attractive in salads.

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