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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 15/05/2015 at 23:01

Yep, after the first frost the leaves will turn mushy and can be easily cleared away, then mulch over the whole bed with a good 4 inches or so of something like bark chippings or home-made compost.  The mulch is just to stop the crowns of the plants from freezing.  Once they are a few years old they become a bit tougher and don't need so much attention.


Posted: 15/05/2015 at 21:53

Dan, I grew all of mine from seed and the trick is to pot them on gradually into slightly larger sized pots when the roots fill the one they are in.  Keep them in pots until they produce their first flower (which will take 3 years or so) before planting them close together in the garden.  If the seed head was from a wild one in Portugal, protect them from frost as those are tender plants.  Once mature and planted in the garden they will die back completely in winter here but if you cover them with a mulch they should come back each spring.  They need good drainage so don't plant them in areas which are wet and boggy in winter.

blossom tree leaves

Posted: 15/05/2015 at 21:42

Yes pansyface, I would say that is a very, very severe case of peach leaf curl.  Jim, there's not much can be done now other than removing the leaves and hoping that new ones grow but if the tree is in a pot, next spring you need to move it to somewhere under cover (ie where it will not get rained on) when the leaves start appearing and water it by hand.  Once the leaves are fully grown it is safe to move it back into the open.  If you want to grow peaches rather than just enjoy the blossom I can recommend a variety called Avalon Pride which is highly resistant to this disease.


The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 15/05/2015 at 19:10

Bob would make a great judge at Chelsea:

"It's wonderful but not for me, thanks. I can't see the point. I can't smell it, I can't eat it.”

90% of Chelsea gardens would get a nice round score..
























- zero! 

Repotting an acer

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 22:59

You can plant pot-grown trees and shrubs into the ground at any time the ground isn't frozen or soaking wet.  Acers don't like early morning sun, strong sun or windy spots, so put it somewhere sheltered with a bit of shade, preferably in a west-facing border.  They also don't like limey soil so best keep it in a pot if you have chalky soil.

Lupins laid low with infestions

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 07:50

I believe they are insecticides based on Pyrethrum which is extracted from Chrysanthemums and considered organic.  The RHS have a list of products based on this in their 'pesticides for home use' pdf, here, for anyone looking (see page 3):

Vitax PY and Scott's Bug Clear are commonly available brands in the UK.



help identify plant

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 19:55

Possibly Mahonia which have dark blue berries but could look black.

Toms flowering

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 19:46

I had a Wisteria that I grew from seed Blue Onion.  Those can take decades to flower so I was delighted when it flowered after only about 7 or 8 years.  However, it was dead a few weeks later with Honey fungus!

Garlic oddity?

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 19:41

It might have not been cold enough during last winter in the spot you planted them.  As far as I'm aware they need a good cold spell to trigger the formation of cloves.  It's a fairly common problem if you do a web search.

Toms flowering

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 18:24

Welsh Onion is right Roger - many plants will unexpectedly flower when they are highly stressed and close to death.  It really is a last-gasp attempt to reproduce themselves.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 740
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 544
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 841
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 404
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 432
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1016
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 813
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 785
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 729
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 601
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: 511
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 861
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 767
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: 1251
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 924
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30
1 to 15 of 31 threads