BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

fly

Posted: 27/03/2014 at 22:47

Whitefly in particular can be very difficult to control, especially if you have them at this time of the year.  As you clearly want to be as organic as possible, I think the answer for you is biological control using a parasitic wasp called encarsia formosa.  It's a bit too cold to use them right now, but it should be ok in a few weeks.  Not cheap but google should find you the best price.

Stratification of Seeds

Posted: 27/03/2014 at 22:38

I've also got some nematodes in there but I bit my tongue when she asked what they were and said "specials" as I don't think "microscopic worms" would have gone down too well!   It's probably a lot cheaper to run a fridge in an unheated shed, nut.

Clematis

Posted: 27/03/2014 at 22:24

lills, have you tried growing your clematis in deep pots for a year before planting?  I always do this when buying young clematis and have excellent success rates when I plant them into their final positions.  I always prepare a very deep hole and fill with home made compost, before planting the year-old clematis about 4-6 inches deeper than when they were in the pots.  Before I started doing this (many years ago) I lost a lot of plants in the first year, mainly because many of the well-known suppliers do send plants which are too small to successfully plant out.  This is the sort of thing I use:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/301131705445?lpid=83&clk_rvr_id=610171905104&item=301131705445&lgeo=1&vectorid=229508

 Edit: note that the better suppliers tend to send you plants in this size pot.  More expensive but far more likely to thrive, so well worth the extra.

Stratification of Seeds

Posted: 27/03/2014 at 22:12

Like nut, I use this method for certain seeds, particularly trees and shrubs.  I'm also having to resort to the fridge this year due to lack of long enough cold spells.  Acers in there at the moment.

Hoe

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 21:49

Basically, a hoe cuts through weeds just below the surface of the soil.  Doing this will kill many weeds but others will grow back but weaker.  It also brings buried weed seeds closer to the surface so that they will now germinate, unfortunately.  However, keep doing it regularly and you will drastically reduce the number of weeds in your soil.  Sometimes, the old traditional methods are the best! 

starting a cottage garden

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 21:11

One definition of a cottage garden is that they contain a fairly random mix of things so in one sense you can't go far wrong!

What would be ideal is a mix of plants which flower at different times, preferably all the year round, so attracting bees and other insects to help pollination of your veg and fruit.  Some random suggestions, all of which are considered 'cottage garden' plants:

Foxglove, snowdrops, campanula, lavender, hardy geranium, sweet rocket, sweet william, dianthus, delphinium, aquilegia, allium, buddleia, euphorbia, achillea, aster, wallflower, phlox, hollyhock.  I could go on..

Cauliflower Shoots - When to Plant Out

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 18:26

The standard recommendation is to plant out when they have 5 true leaves and firm them in well to the point the lowest leaf emerges from the stem.  Works for me.

pot sizes

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 18:23

I find 25cm diameter is fine.  I do work up to that size though by re-potting peppers/chilies a couple of times as the roots begin to fill the smaller pots.  Potting directly from seedling into final size pot seems to give them a bit of a check in growth.

Uploading pictures

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 18:17

Hi Michael, yes pc or laptop - the site doesn't support uploads from mobile phones - maybe one day?

Rhododendron in pot

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 19:43

Hi LottieGY, Rhodo's need acid soil so I'd leave it in the pot as it's likely growing in ericaceous (acid) compost.  You can get ericaceous liquid feeds which would be perfect - even places like Wilkos have it. 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 330
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 309
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 170
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: 158
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 477
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 285
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: 549
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 367
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: 449
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 214
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 522
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 529
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3879
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1628
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 487
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads