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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Laurel Hedging

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 21:00

The only way I know of is to cut it back quite hard.  You will temporarily lose the height of course, but hard pruning is always followed by much stronger growth and you'll end up with a much better balanced hedge.

Clay Soil

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:43

Lilyrosemary, I would use muck where you are planting spuds and mushroom compost (which contains lime) where you are planting brassicas or root crops like carrots and everything else.  Spuds get scab if lime is added but it helps protect brassicas from diseases like club root.  Carrots and parsnips will fork if grown in freshly manured ground.  Next year, change which area you grow these three rough groups of veg in (called crop rotation) and you'll keep the soil (and everything else) nicely balanced.

friend or foe?

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:33

Vine weevils are incredibly good climbers (unfortunately!) Lyn.

Britain's National Bird

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:22

Wren for me.  Plenty of them about but you hardly ever notice them (just like ordinary, good-hearted British people!)

Dahlia tubers

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 22:00

To minimise space taken, you could perhaps take cuttings from some of the larger tubers when they start sprouting and grow those on in pots to take with you.  Some of my tubers (from 'giant hybrids') would need 10 inch or larger pots and would be a nightmare to move when growing - those plants get to 6 feet tall and are very brittle.

nesting Robins

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 21:38

I think in the case of Robins who were themselves born in a domestic garden, they will quite happily nest in close proximity to humans and be unlikely to abandon the nest as long as disturbance is kept to a similar level to how is is currently.  I have been at my present location for about 30 years and the Robins here now come within inches when I'm working in the garden.  If I were in a similar situation to lostinglass, I would probably put up a Robin-type nesting box just outside the window they are using, but if they decided to continue with the nest inside, would just let them get on with it.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 19:36

Coppiced a hazel today so have plenty of bean poles for later in the year.  Sowed more seeds in the GH and did a bit more tidying up of last year's perennials.  Spring is definitely here judging by all the new growth I spotted but that wind is still on the chilly side!

indoor cyclamen

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 19:31

They go semi-dormant in the summer, so I would carry on letting it do it's thing (the leaves are feeding the corm at the moment) and reduce watering in late spring/early summer.  Many or most of the leaves will die back and you can remove those as they die.  In about September, give it a good watering (stand it in a bowl of water for 30 minutes) and then don't water it again until new growth starts.  Once it is growing well, you should water and feed it (eg with baby bio) normally, then you should get flowers for about 3 months over the winter.  I always aim to have mine in full bloom at Christmas.

They are easy to grow from seed, but it does take a couple of years before they are big enough to flower.

Holes/burrows in new allotment?

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 11:39

Is that area raised, as in a mound or a bank?  If so, it could well be voles (Gemma's typo made me read 'wolves' - then you would be in trouble!)

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 14/03/2015 at 21:03

Cleared a large raised planter of strawberry plants which have had their day, replaced the top 1/4 (about 200l) of soil in there with home made compost and used it as a new home for 5 honeyberries ((Lonicera caerulea) which have been growing in 10" pots for a couple of years.  Sowed leek seeds and planted onion sets which arrived this morning into modules in the GH, did some weeding and a bit of pottering but wind was a bit too cold for being outside without doing something active!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 493
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 921
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 491
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: 428
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 751
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1135
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads