London (change)
Today 13°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 14°C

BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

potatoes ...

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 16:33

Hi dj, do it now.  There's a frost due tonight and if it gets to the young leaves, they will likely turn black and die.  Earthing-up by covering all of the leaves you can see with more soil/compost will protect them from the frost and in a few days they will grow through the new earth.  If frost is forecast again after that, earth them up again.  Doing this will also increase your crop as the plants will send out new tuber-forming roots from the buried part of the main stems every time you earth-up.

Identify weeds

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 12:24

It's a Geum, Passionate.   There is a Geum which is classified as a weed - Wood Avens (Geum urbanum), but yours looks far more refined.  

This is the weedy one:

http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/A/Avens(Wood)/Avens(Wood).htm

 

Talkback: How to build a raised vegetable bed

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 12:15

Hi daisymay, as you are building it on paving, you need to ensure some drainage and also ensure that the water draining out doesn't take soil with it, which would otherwise make a mess of the surrounding paving.

One way to do that is to build it in such a way that the vertical support posts project about 1cm from the bottom of the lowest board, so there is a slight gap between the bottom boards and the paving.  Fix a layer of weed control membrane across the bottom and attach it all the way around each side (using short galvanised nails works well.) Then place a 3-4cm layer of gravel at the bottom and cover that with a layer or two of weed control membrane.  The membrane will stop the soil mixing with the gravel and will also prevent muddy water running out of the bottom of the bed.  Next, fill it with a mix of about 40% topsoil, 40% compost (any) and 20% well rotted farmyard manure.

In total, you'll need just over 400 litres of the mix to fill a bed of that size.

help needed identifying weed

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 11:23

By the way everybody, this is not me.

Pruning mature flowering cherry tree

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 15:08

I fully agree with Dove's advice.  It's tricky to be specific as the photo isn't very good, but if that were my tree I'd prune it something like in the picture below, in July.  You already have a couple of damaged branches and I'd remove those, the long one going over the fence and the low one over the wall.  Blue marks are the cuts.  When removing a branch, cut partially below first so that when you make the final cut the branch doesn't tear off a strip of bark from where it is attached to the trunk or other branch.  If you do need to shorten a branch rather then removing it, always cut just above another side branch.

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/42607.jpg?width=350

 

New pear trees?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 14:44

You can control that by pruning, Steve.  Prune the weaker grafted sections harder in Winter which will lead to stronger growth on them in Spring and prune any strongly growing grafted branches only in the Summer, which will lead to weaker growth on those branches the next season.  In my case it has very balanced growth so I prune all three sections identically.   In an orchard, one probably wouldn't want (or be able) to give that amount of attention to detail, and this type of tree wouldn't be grown commercially for that reason.  When it's your only pear tree, you can give it all the tlc it needs!

New pear trees?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 13:00

How about a 'family' tree with two or three compatible varieties grafted onto one rootstock?   This is a young one I have with 'Conference', 'Williams Bon Chretien' & 'Doyenne du Comice'.  All three are currently in bloom as you can see:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/42570.jpg?width=243&height=350&mode=max

It would be easy to train against a wall.

 

How do you all know so much

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 12:20

Like many others here, purely amateur despite my 'handle' BtG.  I've always been interested in gardening from being a very young boy, and "helping" my dad in the garden (who was a passionate runner bean grower.)  I have always researched deeply into anything which interests me and find the internet is a fantastic resource although I probably learnt most things from books which were often given to me as gifts (eg the RHS Encyclopaedia of gardening.)  Geoff Hamilton I found absolutely inspirational and he is very much responsible for my gardening 'style';  Every discarded item I see brings the thought "how can I re-use that in the garden?"

Pest/disease on pear trees

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 12:04

Good luck with it Peter and let's hope that clears it up.  Pears are definitely prone to more problems than apples in my experience.  All we can really do is keep them well fed, provide a fairly sheltered site and the rest is up to them!  I have a grafted 'family' tree, have some rust on the leaves of all three varieties it has grafted onto it but no sign of blister mite, fortunately.

Camera Corner

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 00:01
Orchid Lady wrote (see)
http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/42561.jpg?width=350

 This was the same butterfly at the bottom of the root as I was trying to move it...honestly it's real 

It's a female Peacock butterfly.  The male has a body which extends all the way to the rear of the wings.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 366
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 330
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 188
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: 178
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 497
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 307
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: 672
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 399
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: 479
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 234
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 540
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 553
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4159
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1702
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 508
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads