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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 10:00

Hi Red Dahlia, I think seeds from any type of dahlia are potentially fertile but as they cross-pollinate like crazy there is no guarantee that the offspring will be like the parent, although they are often similar in form if not colour.  As for collecting seed, the thicker ones are more likely to be viable - to select those, I put the dried collected seeds into the palm of my hand and gently blow - the papery bits and non-viable seeds are blown away.  I leave the seed heads on the plants I want to collect seeds from.  Although this means fewer flowers from the selected plant, there will be far more viable seeds per head. 


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 09:32

Excellent advice from waterbutts.  Additionally, you should be meticulous about clearing the fallen leaves from beneath the bushes and always burn or bin them - don't put them on the compost heap.  Each Spring, put down a fresh layer of compost or manure under the bushes which will both feed them and cover any fungal spores which will be on the surface of the soil.

If you plant any more roses in the future, it would be wise to look for blackspot resistant varieties now that you know your area is susceptible to the disease.

whats eating my beetroot

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 23:16

Yes, sounds like slugs to me.  A night visit with a torch should catch them red-handed.

Best Tomatoes to grow

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 23:08

If you like them sweet with a very high and complex flavour the orange coloured cherriy Sungold is hard to beat.  Suncherry Premium are an excellent red cherry, similarly well flavoured.  For large, well flavoured tomatoes, Super Marmande are worth a try.  All of these are relatively easy to grow.


Talkback: Gooseberry bushes

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:58

Hi Ken, a couple of years ago I pruned off some low-hanging branches which were too close to the ground and planted 9 inch long sections 6 inches deep in the ground.  About half of them rooted and I now have 3 extra young bushes.

Tomato pests

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 19:10

The tomato moth caterpillar is seriously good at hiding.  This is the first year for many that I've been free of it - hooray!  They like hiding in a vertical position against stems, canes etc. during the day.  If you go in with a torch in the night, you have a better chance of catching them and if it's really quiet may even be able to track them down by listening for them munching away.

Get it off your chest

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 19:04

I can't even get my OH out in the garden which, according to her, is simply a jungle of injurous throny stinging plants populated entirely by spiders and wasps.  Because of that I constantly have to tell her what NOT to buy at the supermarket as she has no idea what I grow until it arrives in the kitchen.

We really couldn't be more different - she loves soaps and films while I generally only watch documentaries and science programs.  Oh, and I'm white and she's black just to complete the set!

problem parsnips

Posted: 29/08/2013 at 21:42

Hi Terry, yes carrot fly does indeed affect parsnips in exactly the same way - these two veg are closely related.  The most effective protection is to grow them under fleece.  Other possibilities are to surround them by a barrier at least 18 inches tall (carrot fly are believed to not fly above this height) or to grow a row of 'sacrificial' carrots and hope the fly prefers them to the parsnips.


Posted: 29/08/2013 at 20:03

Courgette plants aren't male or female - they normally produce both male and female flowers but some individual plants can be 'shy' to fruit (from female flowers) for a multitude of reasons from genetics through food available at the roots, competition with other plants, amount of light and temperature.  In other words it's a bit of a lottery really!

Lots of folk have poor runner bean crops this year - some covered in flowers but not being pollinated as bees were sucking the nectar by piercing the base of the flowers instead of climbing inside - cheating!


Posted: 29/08/2013 at 19:40

All you can do now is keep it watered and hope.  Or nip round the local garden centre and surreptitously replace it with one looking as similar as possible and talk about the "miracle cure" you managed to find online..   Ten year olds aren't easily fooled though!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 81
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 325
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 372
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 57    Views: 2166
Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 897
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 322
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1291
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 462
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 567
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 322
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 414
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2010
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 375
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01

Flower ID

Pink flowered perennial 
Replies: 4    Views: 692
Last Post: 10/07/2012 at 16:52

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

More of warning than a plea for help.. 
Replies: 28    Views: 6879
Last Post: Yesterday at 14:28
15 threads returned