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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

fungus gnats on houseplants!

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 12:45

Yes, cover the soil in all of your pots with about an inch of horicultural grit and only water from the bottom.  The adults will have nowhere to lay their eggs but it will take a few weeks for the cycle to be broken.


Posted: 03/04/2015 at 11:13

Looking at it as a opportunity to plant something new helps a bit when I lose something like that.

cast iron

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 11:11

If it's painted, then you need to remove that, assuming you want to make it look totally rusted.  Nitromors will do that with a large dose of elbow grease, but it will take a while afterwards for rust to take hold.  You can speed up the rusting process by painting it with s salt solution.  Less hard work would be to have it sand or bead blasted (contact a few automotive restorers for that type work) but it will cost a bit.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 20:05

Potted-on 96 tomato plants today - 17 of the 20 varieties (old seeds from up to 10 years ago I found during a clearout) had germinated on the heated bench and were shooting up - methinks I've overdone it yet again!   Then guess what arrived?  Yep, 10 tomato plants I'd ordered as a backup, just in case.. 


Tulips or Crocus

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 19:34

I bought some mixed crocus baza and just chucked 'em in without really looking.  Iris reticulata is what came up this spring!  Suppliers do make mistakes.

Storing tulip bulbs

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 14:00

Fantastic - the Dutch certainly know how to grow tulips!

Talkback: How to grow aubergines

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 13:59

Try hand-pollinating them Catherine.  The problem with growing them under cover is that the insects can't easily get to them.  Take a small very soft brush (like an artists paintbrush or make-up brush) and gently push it into the centre of every open flower.  If you do that every day, most of the fruit should set providing other conditions are right.

Storing tulip bulbs

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 12:45

James, No - plant them now and let them grow.  They may still flower but if they only grow leaves, just feed them and let the leaves die back naturally and the energy the leaves produce will build-up the bulb for next year.  As it is so late, I would plant them in good compost in pots and add some slow release fertiliser.  They will simply wither away and die if stored.

Rat free bird feeding

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 11:58

Hang the feeders from a horizontal wire stretched between two stout uprights, or trees.  If you have the feeders at least 1 metre from each end, even squirrels have trouble let alone rats.

Contrast or clash; complement and safe

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 10:31

Mine is 'cottagey', so anything goes colour-wise, but the main long borders are east-facing against tall fences or tall hedges, so more thought goes into giving each plant/shrub suitable growing conditions than the colour scheme;  If the plant is happy, so am I and I think there is nothing which catches the eye more than a struggling, sick or generally unhappy plant and that detracts from everything else in the area.  I do group plants though and try to put tall stuff at the back and short at the front, which is usually as far as I go with respect to design.  

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 650
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 328
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 963
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 747
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 706
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 665
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 533
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: 456
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 789
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 698
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: 1179
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 837
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: 1301
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 511
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads