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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 18/12/2014 at 11:30

I think squirrels are like their ground-based rat cousins - if they can get their head through a hole then they can get their whole body through it!

dwarf raspberries

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 11:25

Yes, cut them back as Dove said.  If you don't cut autumn fruiting varieties they will sprout side-shoots from the old canes and you will get a very early crop (earlier than summer-fruiting varieties) BUT the normal autumn crop will be severely reduced.  If you have more autumn-fruiting canes than you can handle you can leave a section of them to get this early crop but otherwise chop 'em down! 

Small Research TU Delft

Posted: 17/12/2014 at 19:54


Plant ID's please

Posted: 17/12/2014 at 18:15

1) looks like a Daphne, possibly Daphne odora Rebecca.

2) I would guess at a perennial oriental poppy of some kind.

3) might be Madonna lily - looks like the old flowering stems were recently cut.

4) possibly Shasta daisy?

5) is Musk Mallow I think (short lived perennial and they sprout from the base like that after cutting down.)

6), 7) & 8) a bit too blurred.


Exotic plant or weed or triffid?

Posted: 17/12/2014 at 18:01

Possibly one of the weedy toadflaxes - I have a form of purple toadflax around here that gets everywhere (especially neglected pots), and look just like that at this time of year (it is evergreen.)  It's quite nice apart from the fact that it seeds everywhere.

Growing True Potato Seed

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 23:19

If grown from seed, it's unlikely a potato plant will be able to grow tubers large enough to harvest for use in just one growing season, but you could save those small tubers and use them as 'seed potatoes' for the following year.  As you say, not all varieties will set fruit though so you would be limited to using those that do.  It is indeed possible and I've had small potato plants appear which clearly came from self-sown seeds rather than 'volunteer' potatoes left in the ground as they were rooted very close to the surface and there was no sign of any tubers.  New varieties come into existence this way of course but it takes years before enough tubers can be produced to make it commercially viable.  That doesn't stop us trying it ourselves and having fun though!


Posted: 15/12/2014 at 18:47

I took a chainsaw to my pampas grass a good few years ago Gardengirl but the stump is still there and refuses to rot away.  Nasty stuff in the wrong place!

Indoor Cyclamen

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 18:44

The thread is titled 'indoor cyclamen' but is it an outdoor type you are trying to grow indoors?  If that's the case the outdoor types like Hederifolium and Coum don't like indoor conditions much at all.  Persicum types (aka florists cyclamen) are what to grow indoors and Dove and Steve are spot-on about the growing conditions for those - only water when the compost is dry on the top and only water from below.  Keep them on cool windowsills etc - they really hate centrally heated rooms.  Persicum types are easy to grow from seed and make beautiful, highly scented and long lived houseplants.

netting crops

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 13:52

The maximum hole size in mesh for protection against small cabbage white butterflies is 7mm.  Google 'butterfly netting' and check that it states the holes are 7mm or smaller.  I have some heavy duty stuff from HH which is a few years old now and still in good condition - some of the cheaper types tear or fall apart after a year or two.  It is also strong enough to protect against woodpigeon assault - they are an absolute menace when growing any kind of brassica and can scoff all of your crops in just a few hours!

Is it too late to cut hedges?

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 11:35

The racecourse with which I have an adjoining native (mainly hawthorn) hedge cut it yesterday as they always do at this time of the year, so I expect it's fine to do it now.  They use a rather impressive tractor attachment, which they need having several miles of hedges to cut.  Think of a 5 foot wide cylindrical lawnmover on the end of a hydraulic arm like this:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 232
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 611
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 574
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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: 386
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 693
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 617
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: 1081
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 695
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: 1059
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 420
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 752
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads