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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

whats eating my beetroot

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 18:00

Yep - forgot to add the smiley!

help identifying plant

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 10:41

I have Cyclamen hederifolium (aka C. neapolitanum) coming up now that look very similar.

Any ideas

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 10:30

Geranium wallichianum "Buxton's blue" aka "Buxton's variety" is an excellent low-growing hardy perennial which can be used as ground cover and has beautiful blue flowers.  I have this everywhere there is any soil showing!  Seeds come true too.

Essential reading/subscriptions for a new Gardener

Posted: 31/08/2013 at 10:23

For books, two of my 'bibles' are the RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening and Reader Digest "The Gardening Year" - both available from Amazon etc for very little money.  Older copies won't have up-to-date plants in them of course although the general advice is still as relevant as it ever was. 

For good general gardening reading, anything by Christopher Lloyd.  Lots of others folk here have recommended books in the past - try using the Site Seach option at the top and enter "good books".


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.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
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Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
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Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 468
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 569
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 326
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 416
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2018
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 378
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01
1 to 15 of 17 threads