Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Please help me know what I've planted!?

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:44

The first one could be a primula of some kind.

Little fly-type critters

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:40

I'm pretty sure those are fungus gnats (sciarid flies) and you generally only see them in pots indoors.

Have a look at this site for some ideas on control but they don't cause much damage other than to very small seedlings.

Last edited: 08 June 2016 21:40:50

Lawn weed

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 20:00

Yep, commonly known a "Fox and cubs" and "Orange hawkweed".  Spreads by runners just under the surface and by seed.  Quite pretty but difficult to get rid once you have it.  It's one of the few native flowers which are orange.

Last edited: 08 June 2016 20:01:25

Lupins and woolly aphids

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 22:04

Like lily beetles, the problem with (american) lupin aphid is that it's an introduced species so there are few if any natural predators.  The ladybirds and blue tits around here gobble-up greenfly and other native aphids but they completely shun lupin aphid.  I've even transferred ladybird lavae onto infected plants but they crawled off of the plants within minutes.

What plant is this

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 21:01

The star-shaped growth on the soil surface is liverwort which indicates poor drainage and is probably essential for your orchids to thrive.  The lilies will probably die in those conditions but I'd sooner keep the orchids!

The poor drainage would also make the Marsh orchid the most likely suspect as has already been suggested.

Last edited: 07 June 2016 21:03:49

Earth / Soil Advice

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:39

Hamish, the best way to improve the soil is to put down 2-3 inches of well-rotted farmyard manure.  The bagged stuff (eg Grosure) available from garden centres is very good stuff.  You can dig it in or just lay it on the soil and let the worms do the work but that obviously takes longer.  One thing to be wary of when raising the soil level near a fence is that the bottom of the fence will rot so you need to put something there to retain the soil such as decking boards laid on edge and screwed to 2x2" wooden stakes hammered into the ground.  A wooden retaining edge like that would last for maybe 10 years.

Help with something eating my Limelight Hedges!

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:30

Agreed, the ladybird larva will devour hundreds of aphids so is a real goody!  I suspect the damage seen is caused by slugs and/or snails.

Unidentified cucumber plant - what to do

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:21

It's difficult to tell with cucumbers but I'd put my money on it being a greenhouse type.  As long as we don't get another cold and wet spell it may well be ok in the sheltered situation you describe.  One tip is to make a slight mound and plant on top which will prevent the stem rotting at ground level which is often a problem with 'cumbers.

Last edited: 06 June 2016 21:22:26

What is this?

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:15

It's bindweed Richard.  If you try and dig it out, even tiny bits of root will grow into new plants so it's difficult to eradicate when growing in a border.  One effective way is to unwind it as much as you can, stuff it into a plastic bag and then spray inside the bag with a glyphosate-based weedkiller such as Roundup.  Using the bag will prevent spray getting onto your shrubs.  Wait until it dies back completely before removing it so the glyphosate is absorbed down into the roots.  There will be some regrowth but train that up canes then slide the cane out and treat as before.  Eventually you will be rid of it. 


Posted: 06/06/2016 at 19:18

But take cuttings anyway as they root fairly easily.  Choose non-flowering stems, cut into about 12-15cm lengths and place several around the edge of a pot of gritty compost.  Put them somewhere out of direct sunlight, water once and wait.  If you can't find any stems without flowers, nip the flowers off the end of the cutting and they may still work.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28
1 to 15 of 37 threads