Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Sow indoors IN HEAT ?

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 12:31

Same here - frost free is good enough for onions.  The heating of the seed tray compost by the sun during the day is enough for germination.

Plant ID please

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 18:46

I think the main plant is probably a nandina and the one at the base is perhaps red valerian, which I would consider a weed as they get everywhere around here.  Dig down a bit - if the roots are fleshy and white, it's valerian.

On a positive note

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 21:33

Seeing new shoots appear from the ground where you thought a clematis had died over a year ago!

attracting wildlife

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 20:21

Frogs can climb quite well, so maybe hang something like black plastic mesh or galvanised chicken mesh over the side?  If you made a sort of sandwich of spagnum moss (the sort you line hanging baskets with) between two layers of chicken wire, it could look quite attractive and also act as a home for some of the pond fauna.

Morning has broken

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 14:50

That's why 'red sky in the morning' is a 'shepard's warning' Tootles!  I always try and get outside pretty quick as I know rain is coming whenever I see one.

Lovely photo's - you have to be quick with the camera to catch red skies, whether in the morning or evening.

Cold and wet here for the last few days, managed to feed the birds but that's it for anything outside.  Back at w&%k tomorrow.

Greenfly - In January!!!

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 18:09

I'd cut them back to the ground - any top growth visible now is unlikely to survive the winter anyway and may well be harbouring other pests/diseases.   I also have had to give up growing lupins due to American lupin aphid.

Pear Tree problem

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 18:04

The second trunk could be a sucker from the rootstock.  Quince is often used and I know some of those are thorny.  If it is a sucker, you need to remove it (try digging down and physically pulling it off, or cut if unable to do that.)  Rootstocks are much more vigorous then the grafted tree and suckers will quickly take over, drawing all the goodness from the rootstock resulting in the grafted tree being starved and eventually dieing.  I would remove it sooner rather than later.

How to fertilize container grown apple trees?

Posted: 01/01/2016 at 02:33

Hi Craigh, I have (presumably) one of the very same 'family' apple trees from T&M and grew it in a large (50cm) container for several years before it went into the ground.  I used a John Innes #3 compost and it did very well without needing any extra fertiliser for the first year or two.  After that I scraped-off the top inch and a half or so of compost in the container and replaced it with more JI #3, mixed with a small handful of fish, blood and bone.  If keeping it in a pot for the foreseeable future, this would be the way to go I would say.

However, the best advice I can give you is to let it blossom next year and enjoy that but remove any and all developing fruit which may set in that first year after planting.  This will allow the tree to establish a good root system and will pay future dividends.  It is hard to resist the temptation to let it fruit while so young but it really is worth the wait!  The other thing you should do is prune it properly while young.  The 'essence' is that the weakest of the three grafted varieties needs pruning the hardest.  This seems to go against common sense but the old adage 'growth follows the knife' is never more true than when pruning fruit trees.  There is a lot of advice available if you google 'prune young apple tree' but if you are unsure about anything, post back here and someone will be more than happy to advise.

Happy New Year to you too!

Happy New Year Everyone

Posted: 01/01/2016 at 00:01

Happy New Year everyone!

Carrots - what's the secret?!

Posted: 31/12/2015 at 22:17

Main benefits of F1 seeds are uniformity of root size (eg consistently larger), disease resistance, pest resistance and vigour.  I mainly grow maincrop carrots and have tried a lot of varieties, Kingston F1 being the best I've found. 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 665
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 235
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

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

Huge pest problem

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

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1629
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 593
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 613
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1233
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1017
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1012
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 990
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 856
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: 705
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1131
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads