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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Cherry Tree

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 11:46

Do they have blackfly on at the moment Chris?  Seems a bit early for them.  If so try spraying with soapy water - a few drops of an 'eco' type washing-up liquid in a sprayer will do.  If that doesn't shift them, see the RHS advice on which organic insecticides is safe for use on edible fruit trees:

"Pesticides based on natural compounds and/or with a physical mode of action:

These pesticides are contact in action and have short persistence, so thorough spray coverage, especially to the underside of leaves, is necessary. They can be used on ornamentals and edibles up to one day before harvest. Whilst good control can usually be gained of aphids feeding exposed on stems and leaves those protected by curled leaves are unlikely to be controlled. Products include: Pyrethrum (e.g. Py Garden Insect Killer, Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, Py Bug Killer Spray, Growing success Frit & veg Bug Killer, Growing Success Shrub & Flower Bug Killer and Pyrol Bug & Larvae Killer); Fatty acids (e.g. Bayer Organic Bug Free, Bayer Natria Bug Control, Doff Greenfly and Blackfly Killer, Doff Universal Bug Killer); Plant/fish oils (e.g. Vitax Organic Pest and Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit & Veg), Plant oil winter wash can be used to treat overwintering eggs on dormant deciduous fruit trees and bushes (e.g. Growing Success Winter Tree Wash or Vitax Winter Tree Wash); blend of surfactants and nutrients (e.g. SB Plant Invigorator)."


Unlucky with Thyme

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 10:18

Hi SimplyKj, you'll need to make up your own.  Have a look for 'horticultural grit' in a garden centre - that's the ideal stuff.  If you can't find any, you should be able to find Perlite which can be used instead, although that's usually only used in pots and containers.

Unlucky with Thyme

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 09:58

Drainage is the key with thyme (and most other herbs.)  They are mediterranean plants which naturally grow on steep slopes, cliffs etc and hate wet and cold.  Some of the thymes sold in supermarkets (particularly those with variageted leaves) often don't survive a normal british winter.  Plant in 50/50 mix of grit and soil/compost and avoid planting in dips or hollows in the ground.  They do better in pots and containers where you can ensure good drainage.  English thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is more tolerant.

Help Id flowering tree.

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 09:47

If you have limited space in the new place, there's another Cercis which has similar flowers but purple leaves and doesn't grow as large, Cercis canadensis (aka Eastern redbud.)


Posted: 23/04/2015 at 21:34

Yep, just checked weather station - no significant rain in Leics since April 4th - have had the hose out several times.

No plum blossom

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 19:29

Pippa, a 2 year old plum tree is very young.  If you read the rest of this thread above you'll see that they can take 5 or more years before they start fruiting.  My experience is that they start after 3 years, so (like everything in gardening) patience is the key.

Raised beds

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 00:34

Gravel boards work well.  These days I use decking planks as they are a bit thicker and work out the best value for money (Wickes often have large discount offers on decking - worth waiting for.)  Both are pre-treated so will last longer than untreated wood, such as that used in pallets.

cucumber question

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 00:26

One good tip for growing cucumbers is to plant them on a slight mound as they are prone to stem-rot at the point the stem emerges from the soil.  Raising this area slightly ensures that any excess water runs away from vulnerable area of the stem.  The other thing to watch out for when growing under glass or plastic is spider mite.  If the leaves start to look a bit sickly with the 'greeness' fading, use a hand magnifying glass to look on the underside of the leaves for the mites which are too small to see by unaided eye.  Spraying every day with a fine mist of water will help to keep them at bay.  A sure sign is fine cobwebs appearing on the growing tips but by the time those appear you usually have a serious infestation.

Apricot stone germinated!!

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 23:00

I'd grow it in a pot to see how it goes.  That way you can move it to protect from the worst of the cold weather next winter and will get an idea about it's growth rate.  Blue Onion's idea of using it as a conservatory/house plant is a good one.

Raised beds

Posted: 22/04/2015 at 22:56

How thick is the timber Flower Girl?  Ideally, you want 25mm (an inch) or more for it to last a reasonable amount of time.  If it's thinner, you could always double-up the planks.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 644
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 326
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 961
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 746
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 703
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 663
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
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: 455
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 786
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 695
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: 1176
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 833
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: 1294
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 507
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads