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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Flowers to Grow in Allotment

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 20:20

How about Helichrysum (aka strawflowers, paper daisies and everlasting flowers) which you can also use as dried flowers by cutting and hanging upside down just before they are fully open?  I grew some this year which were very easy and seemed resistant to slugs and other pests):

Container grown Acer

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 16:43

PJ4, if planting in the garden make sure you don't have alkaline soil as even if you mix ericaceous compost into soil, it won't last long.  If your soil is alkaline (eg chalky or if you live in a limestone area), grow them in large pots instead.

Otherwise, prepare the planting hole well - time and effort spent on that will repay itself manifold in the future.  Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the pots they came in, mix some well-rotted farmyard manure or homemade compost with the soil from the hole, add some ericaceous compost, grit and some blood, fish and bone fertiliser following the instructions on the pack.  Plant them so the base of the trunk sits at precisely the same level in the ground as it did in the pot and in a position where they will not get a lot of wind or any early morning sun.  Water them in well and once a week until the leaves fall in Autumn.  They should then thrive without any further attention needed for many years.

What am I?

Posted: 09/09/2014 at 20:12
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I fear that's HF. But any fungus growing out of a live tree is not good news in the long term

 My thoughts exactly, nut.  Sorry it's such bad news Heather.

Oak tree problems

Posted: 09/09/2014 at 15:59

The issue with chestnut trees is another invader, this time a leaf miner:

Fortunately, it only causes leaf disfigurement and early leaf fall.  At this point in time it is thought not to affect the long term health of the trees.


Sieving soil - compaction?

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 22:03

As long as you are adding organic matter, worms will thrive keeping the soil aerated (plant roots need air as well as water and nutrients) and the soil will look after itself.  Mulching the surface with composted manure will allow as natural a cycle as is possible with cultivated soil.  Nature does perfectly well without our help but when we cultivate crops, we must add back the nutrients which we remove in the form of crops and the best known way of doing that is by mulching with compost and manure.  Worms pull the organic matter back down into the soil and digest it.  The worm casts they produce are considered the perfect plant food.

Sub-soil nasties?

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 19:26

Fungi are one of the few living things which can break down woody matter (mainly cellulose) into a form which plants can re-use.  They are an essential part of the cycle of life.  If all fungi died-off right now, life would quite soon come to an end on the land (it would probably continue in the sea though.)

The parts we usually see (mushrooms or toadstools) are just the fruiting body and only a tiny part of the main fungus, which is known as mycelium and lives in the soil or inside other living things (for those species which are parasitic.)

If toadstools are a nuisance on a lawn you can just sweep them off with a stiff brush - the main body of the fungus won't be killed by doing that.

A tiny plant ID, and a quick question about roses.

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 19:12

Some of the miniature roses sold have more than one plant per pot - my OH was gifted an 'indoor' rose which had 3 separate bushes in the pot.

Fungi - but what kind

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 16:03

What a wonderful and enchanting scene!

Fungi are our friends and essential to life on this planet.  Inkcap, as Edd says, which are common on ground covered with bark chippings.  Enjoy the view as they will be gone almost as quickly as they came - like the name suggests, they 'melt' into a dark liquid resembling ink.

Chillis on Thai basil

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 14:47

Thai basil is very pungent and has a noticeable scent of liquorice when a leaf is very gently rubbed between fingers.  Lovely stuff - here's a pic of one of mine (the one in the centre):

I think Dove has ID'd your chilli.

Sub-soil nasties?

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 14:33

The vast, vast majority of fungi are entirely beneficial and many are in fact essential, so nothing to worry about.

Wisteria are hungry and thirsty plants so you will need to prepare quite a large and deep hole then mix lots of well-rotted farmyard manure (which you can buy in bags from garden centres these days) and compost with the soil before planting, as the soil under the slabs will very likely be in poor condition.  This will give your wisteria a flying start and feed it for several years before you need to start additional feeding.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

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

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 645
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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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: 1014
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 630
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: 794
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 376
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 699
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 745
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31
1 to 15 of 27 threads