BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 22:47

Yes, C J W P, but dahlias cross-pollinate readily and there is no guarantee that plants grown from the collected seeds will be like the parent plant although there will probably be a resemblance.  This is how new cultivars are created and it is fun seeing what you get.  Any really nice ones can be propagated by taking cuttings which will produce more plants but this time identical.

Lemon Tree Leaves

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 20:46

I think you are overfeeding it Redwing.  While lemon trees are heavy feeders, they need most of it in spring.  I would feed no more than once every couple of months on average and once a month in spring when it is growing strongly.  Water it with rainwater regularly (and never tap water which can be alkaline) but don't add feed to every watering.  During winter you are probably best to only feed it using a citrus winter food in a foliar spray.

Soil

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 20:24

The easiest would be to use an organic fertiliser like fish, blood and bone.  Apply at the rate specified on the packet and mix it in to the surface using a hand fork.  This will work fine if the planters contain soil, or a soil-based compost, such as a John Innes number 3.  However, if the planters contain only multi-purpose compost, you would be better advised to consider replacing it with a soil-based compost which would last for many years if treated as above.

Growing from seed for beginners...

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 18:09

One big advantage of growing (especially hardy perennials) from seed is that you can find out what will flourish in the conditions of you own particular garden.  It can be expensive to buy nursery-grown plants and shrubs only to find they struggle or die on you.  At least two thirds of all the perennials in my garden were grown from seed.  I had a lot of failures along the way but those which survive are healthy and perfectly established.

As others mention, growing from seed is exciting and the sense of achievement of watching tiny things you can hardly see turn into beautiful (and sometimes huge) plants, shrubs and trees is very rewarding.  

Squirrel Sabotage of my Wildflower meadow

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 15:47

Hostafan, strictly speaking it is illegal to release vermin (assuming grey squirrels) back into the wild after they have been trapped.  Kind of limits the choice of what to do with them! 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 14:32

After raining ALL day yesterday, it was nice and sunny this morning so potted-up a dozen new bare-root shrubs which arrived in the week - square pots in pic below:


Also cut the autumn raspberries (Polka) back to thr ground and did a bit more weeding.  Going out again after a cuppa to do more weeding - the ivy-leaved speedwell seedlings are popping-up everywhere as usual and are growing fast!

Lily Beetle !!!

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 13:27

Not spotted one yet Dove but noticed my madonna lilies (which grow leaves throughout winter) have some suspiciously lily-beetle shaped holes in the leaves.  The year before last I found them overwintering within the leaves of my celeriac! 

Time for an inspection methinks..

Greenhouse Tomatoes in pots

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 11:48

As big as possible really, to reduce the amount of watering needed.  25cm diameter, 30cm tall pots are about the smallest I use.  For the last 10 years all I have been using is comfrey 'tea' to feed them with excellent results.  Feeding should only start once there are flowers on the first truss as feeding before then will result in too much leafy growth.  For that reason, it is a mistake to mix fertiliser in with the potting medium before planting, so just use a good quality multi-purpose compost in the pots and commence feeding once they start flowering.  A good tip is also to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering or feeding as doing this will reduce the chances of fungal leaf diseases taking hold, such as blight or the many types of leaf spot.

what are these ?

Posted: 06/02/2016 at 20:52

I agree Dave, especially as there are now cultivated varieties - over 50 I believe.  I have a small patch of the wild form and because I remember where it is and don't dig close to the the area, it hasn't spread and become a nuisance.

what is this vegetable? ID please

Posted: 06/02/2016 at 20:43

Cut off and eat those delicious shoots before they go to flower.  It will keep producing new shoots further down for quite some time.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 718
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 266
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34

Canary

Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 394
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1221
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 867
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1779
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33

Drought

No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 614
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 638
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1252
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1042
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1041
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1027
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 888
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: 726
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1163
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads