Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Strawberry Runners

Posted: 24/09/2016 at 10:20

Roy, As Fairygirl mentions, if your patch is getting crowded you can identify the oldest plants as those will have developed woody stems about as thick as a finger and a few inches long.  Once they reach that size they are past their best and you should dig that whole plant out and could replace it with one grown from a runner.

When grown in a patch like this, strawberries will naturally colonise the area by sending out runners which will root where they touch the ground.  Because of this, the patch can get a bit overcrowded so if that has happened to yours just remove some of the oldest plants and dig a bit of well rotted manure into the spot where it was and  this will feed the surrounding plants and give them a bit of room to grow.

It's also best to move the whole patch every few years as the plants will exhaust the soil and pests and diseases will build up, making it less and less productive each year.

Last edited: 24 September 2016 10:20:29

Solar Lights

Posted: 22/09/2016 at 22:38

NiMh and NiCd are both OK and good for about 500 charge/discharge cycles (so there's your 18 months!)  NiCd are more tolerant of very low temperatures but neither type really like it, so best remove batteries in the coldest part of the year.  NiMh should, in theory, last longer (up to 1000 cycles.)  They also contain slightly less noxious chemicals (Cadmium is particularly nasty stuff if released into the environment) so always take dead batteries to a proper battery recycling point and never put them in your household waste.

Weed Identification Help

Posted: 22/09/2016 at 21:24

Look up Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) to see if it looks similar.

What's this colourful leaf plant?

Posted: 21/09/2016 at 19:05

Yes, taking cuttings is the same way as you do with pelargoniums (which used to be called tender geraniums.)

Last edited: 21 September 2016 19:06:18

Planting out

Posted: 21/09/2016 at 19:00

Agree with nut;  Almost anything which comes in a pot should be planted at the same level.  One of the few exceptions are clematis which are better planted a few inches deeper.


Posted: 20/09/2016 at 22:12

Superb, the adult moths are amazing too![gallery]/0/


Posted: 20/09/2016 at 22:03

Pale tussock, I think Kathryn.

When to prune a Magnolia Grandiflora

Posted: 19/09/2016 at 23:28

Yes, prune it when you see new growth start in spring.  If 8 feet tall is a problem, you probably have the wrong tree for the space, as that is really just a tiddler.  M. Grandilfora will grow to well over 30ft tall and 20+ feet wide so you'll have a job to keep it small but still looking attractive.  Pruned that way it will always be a bit sparse as far as the number of flowers goes because annual pruning will always remove a large proportion of flower-bearing wood.  They can be wall-trained however and then the pruning is done in summer.  Do not prune it between late summer and spring. 

Alicante toms

Posted: 19/09/2016 at 19:07

That's a LOT of fruit for a tomato plant being grown outside!  I think there are too many for them to be able to ripen properly which is likely the problem, now we have seen it.  I can't tell from the photo how many trusses there are but you would normally limit them to 4 or 5 at most when grown outside.  If you have more than that I would remove the extra trusses starting at the top of the plant (you could make green chutney with them) which may give the fruit on the lower trusses a chance to ripen (if we get a bit more nice weather that is.)

pear tree leaf fungus

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 21:51

It's called Pear rust:

Bad year for it.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Border design by Spanish bluebells

Random plantings 
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Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
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Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
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Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

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Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1129
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 17    Views: 2619
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
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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
1 to 15 of 40 threads