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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Mulching a concrete apple tree!

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 20:22

Couldn't agree more - break up the concrete near the trunk so there's a few inches gap or the tree will strangle itself as the trunk continues to grow in diameter.  The only part of a tree that is truly alive (apart from the leaves, flowers and fruit) is a thin layer just beneath the bark known at the cambium.  The stuff we call wood in the centre of the trunk and branches is actually dead.  If the cambium get strangled all the way around the trunk , the whole tree will die.  This link explains it better than I can:

http://www.appleman.ca/korchard/grfting3.htm

 

Soil warming cables

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 19:22

Hi David, they are rated in Watts so you can compare to light bulbs.  The most common cable is rated at 12.5W per metre so, for example, a 6m length would use 75W.

If your electricity costs (say) 10p per kWh, a 6m cable would cost 0.75p per hour, so 18p per day.

  

Blueberries

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 18:58

Hi Cherry, blueberries must have acid soil with a pH between 4 and 5.5 which is too acidic for raspberries so the chances are your soil isn't acid enough if the raspberries are growing well.  I would check the soil pH with a cheap test kit (only a few pounds) and if it is not within range consider growing the blueberries in large pots of ericaceous compost.  They grow very well like that.

Grape Vine root space

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 18:53

Hi Jerry, as it's a mature vine the roots will be spread over quite a distance (many metres) and happily growing under paths, patios etc. so I don't think you need to worry about the blackberry affecting it.  If it was relatively young then it might be a concern but I'm sure you'll be fine in this case.  Just take care not to cut through any thick vine roots (easily identifiable as they look just like the vine stem itself) when preparing the planting hole for the blackberry.

 

blueberry and raspberry plant spacing

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:58

Mine are in 50cm ones, dj.

Newbie with lots of questions

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:55

I have a hardy Chilean potato vine growing in a pot and it hasn't lost any leaves so far this winter.  It's a pretty rapid grower and unfussy.  I think it's Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin'.

Cost of bird food

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:45

Woo, the birdies are back!

It's been -2C for the last couple of nights and when I looked out for just 2 minutes this morning I saw greenfinches, sparrows, coal tits and a robin, so they do remember where the easy pickings are when it gets a bit nippy!

blueberry and raspberry plant spacing

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:36

I've never grown raspberries in pots but others here have and may be able to give better advice.  Personally, I'd think they would need pretty large ones - say 30cm dia.

As for Verdun plunging the pots into the ground, that's probably to help with watering (less required) and to keep frost from getting at the roots I would think.

I need to prune mature apple and pear trees that have not ever been pruned

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:17

Yep, sound advice from Dove - do a 1/3rd this year and same for the next 2 winters.  Some watershoots are bound to appear so remove those growing where you don't want them and cut the ones back you do want to keep to about 4 inches (those will turn into fruiting spurs.)  The RHS advice for renovative pruning is very good:

https://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=279

 

 

blueberry and raspberry plant spacing

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 23:16

Hi djjjuk, blueberries must have acid soil, so if you aren't sure what you have, get a soil testing kit (which aren't expensive.)  They a need a pH value between 4 and 5.5.

If your soil pH is higher than 5.5, they won't grow well and will probably die if it is alkali (ie the pH higher than 7.)

Raspberries do like a slightly acid soil but won't grow well at the low pH levels blueberries need so you can't really grow them together.

The alternative is to grow your blueberries in large containers using special ericaceous (acid) compost and they do well when grown like that.  You could probably grow at least 6 large pots of blueberries in that space and plant raspberries in the ground behind the pots so you would get the best of both worlds.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 229
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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

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

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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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: 438
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 285
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: 341
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 174
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 468
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 482
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3201
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1297
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 430
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1567
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads