Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 15/03/2016 at 21:36

Very true Vegemight but if you want unusual varietes such as heirloom tomatoes or particular varieties of chillies or peppers then there really is no choice but to grow from seed.  The good thing is that you usually get far more seeds than you need so I don't sow them all at once and can have another go if one lot fails (or are eaten by pests, dropped upside down on the floor, etc. etc.)


Posted: 14/03/2016 at 22:11

If in pots, I'd use 60% John Innes #3, 20% garden compost, 10% well rotted manure and 10% ericaceous.  The JI #3 is a superb base for permanent container plantings.

Trellis - neighbour says no!

Posted: 13/03/2016 at 19:06

Those borders look a bit narrow to me and the plants will always be a bit on the dry side because of the rain shadow and wick effect of a wall.  Can you make them wider (1m is usually considered a minimum)?  That would give you room to put in supports, too, avoiding the foundations.

Chimney soot to protect roses from diseases.

Posted: 13/03/2016 at 19:01

Yep, 'twas the Sulphur from burning coal which helped.  Didn't help our lungs though, or forests because of the acid rain it caused.

Garden poetry

Posted: 13/03/2016 at 12:11

Roses aren't red, violets aren't blue

The plants that you want

Won't grow for you!

Hydrangea Soil PH?

Posted: 13/03/2016 at 12:08

White ones will stay essentially white but the blooms can become tinged with pink or blue as they age.  Which colour they turn is probably more down to genetics than anything else.

raise my lawn

Posted: 12/03/2016 at 21:03

Jack, moss is usually a sign of poor drainage so I would rotovate it, adding enough sharp sand and well-rotted farmyard manure to improve drainage and add nutrients respectively.  This will also raise the level.  Add as much as you need to get the level you require.  Personally, I wouldn't even bother to remove the moss before doing the above but you could scrape the surface off and dispose if really bad.

Blackberry Fence

Posted: 12/03/2016 at 13:18

With blackberries, the stems which have fruited in the current year need cutting right back to the ground in early winter and you tie the new unfruited stems which grew to the framework and those will provide next year's fruit.  Given that, it's probably not suited to what you want as there is no permanent part of a blackberry bush which would become a hedge as such.

Soil heating cable

Posted: 12/03/2016 at 11:43

aym, Just google 'parasene soil warming cable'.  I think I got mine from Amazon.  The same suppliers will usually have thermostats too, which you'll need to keep things at a constant temperature.  The ones with a temperature probe on a cable are best as you just push this into the soil in a tray, or into the sand bed, and set the temperature you want.


Posted: 12/03/2016 at 11:39

Hammerite is expensive but good stuff.  It's one of the few paints you can use on metal without having to remove every trace of rust which is difficult or impossible in some cases.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 18    Views: 286
Last Post: Today at 16:06

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 755
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 292
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 408
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1257
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 902
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1859
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 628
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 654
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1264
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1053
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1068
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1052
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 921
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: 745
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52
1 to 15 of 35 threads