Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Seed potatoes

Posted: 25/03/2017 at 09:22

Mine are all still chitting by a window in an unheated room and will go in at Easter.  I'll leave them where they are until then.  If you plant them now, just keep an eye on any leaves appearing above the soil.  If they do and there is a frost forecast you can either earth them up ensuring the leaves are buried beneath soil or protect them with newspaper/fleece etc.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 25/03/2017 at 09:14

Mornin' all.  Just had 72 bags of manure & compost delivered on the front drive so I think that's my work for today sorted!   At least I'll fall asleep early tonight so shouldn't miss the hour when the clocks go forward but it will be great to have an hour in the garden every evening when I get home from work.

Last edited: 25 March 2017 09:15:12

Seed potatoes

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 18:47

Same as Hosta.  I chit all my potatoes regardless of whether they are earlies, 2nd or maincrop.  Always have a good crop so no reason to change.

Have I killed my leaf-curl infected nectarine trees?

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 08:51

I agree with H-C.  Peaches & nectarines should be flowering anytime now (my peach is), the leaves come a bit later.  The bark test is definitive to check whether they are still alive or not.

Last edited: 24 March 2017 08:51:30

Pampas grass

Posted: 22/03/2017 at 21:41

It will be very difficult to move a mature pampas grass, Rosemary.  As well as the razor sharp leaves to contend with, they have very tough roots which will be difficult to dig out.  If you want to keep it, I would suggest taking some rooted divisions from the edge and planting those in the new spot instead of trying to move the beast wholesale.  They do need a fair bit of sun to produce the flower spikes.

Composted bark?

Posted: 22/03/2017 at 20:10

Composted bark contains very little in the way of nutrients but is a good long lasting mulch which will help to retain moisture and keep weeds down.  MPC will feed the soil but will disappear quickly, so not as good for mulching purposes.  If you want to feed the soil, I'd sprinkle on fish, blood and bone before putting down the composted bark.

Fertilising potted plum tree

Posted: 20/03/2017 at 21:06

Fertilisers come in all different strengths so it's impossible to give you an accurate answer without knowing exactly what you have bought.  There should be instructions on the pack though - don't be tempted to exceed the stated dose as you can easily do more harm than good. 

If it is fish, blood and bone, that is quite forgiving and I would sprinkle about an ounce (25g) onto a large pot of the type typically used for trees and gently work it into the surface.  Adding 2-3 cm of compost on top would do no harm, either.

If the dosage instructions are for an amount per square metre, dividing that by 3 or 4 would likely be about right.


Preparation and planting for Japanese Pine Seeds

Posted: 20/03/2017 at 18:46

I've grown Scots pine from seed and it was pretty easy, so might work for you.  I simply filled a pot with seed compost, watered it, sowed the seeds on the surface and covered with about a quarter of an inch of grit.  They were then left outside and randomly germinated over a few months.  Somewhere around 20% of the seeds germinated if I recall.

Wheelbarrow Tyre

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 19:01

I used something called 'slime' which is a bike tyre sealant.  It is supposed to be able to repair holes of up to 3mm.  However, if I don't use the barrow for a few weeks the tyre does go soft so it's not perfect.

Last edited: 19 March 2017 19:01:45

Bee-kind test

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 18:56

You're right Watery, the main thing is to have a succession of bee-friendly flowers so that there is always something in bloom throughout the year.  That might be possible with just a dozen or so different species if you choose them carefully. 

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