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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

To Fleece or Not To Fleece

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 13:45

I've divided your list into groups which may help. 

These are generally problem/pest free so don't need protection when young: sweetcorn, celery, leeks, asparagus, runner beans, broad beans, peas, spring onions, potatoes.

These need protection from pests (main ones in brackets) and are best protected: parsnips, carrots (carrot fly), caulis, broccoli (caterpillars, woodpigeons.)

Of course, there are exceptions - leeks may be prone to leek moth for example but that's comparatively rare.  Some things don't transplant well, so always sow direct (carrots, parsnips.)

Other advice I can give is to not start some things off too early, such as runner beans and peas;  If there are late frosts like last year you will be unable to plant them out and will be left with leggy plants which will never crop well - later sowings always quickly catch-up anyway.  If you grow Aquadulce Claudia broad beans you can sow them now and plant out on a mild day - they will survive frosts and snow to give you an early crop and can be replaced with your brassicas when they are ready for planting out.  Plan the asparagus bed to be there for at least 10 years so prepare the soil really well and don't cut any spears in the first year and just a few in year 2.


Spots on herbs

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 16:31

Could well be.  You could try bringing one indoors, putting it on a large piece of white paper and brushing over the foliage a few times with your hand.  Any thrips should fall onto the paper.  Whatever the pest is, I'm not sure what you can do unless these are plants kept only for decoration as you wouldn't want to spray chemical controls onto anything you will use in cooking.

How to tackle completely overgrown garden?

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 16:00

As Dove says, if you want to get started asap, I'd choose the bramble infested area and dig as many bramble roots out as you can.  Doing that will also help drainage for the lawn which is important if you want a healthy lawn.  If you then level and lay the lawn on this area, the regular mowing of the grass will weaken and eventually kill and remaining brambles which will appear from the roots you missed (and there will be some!)  Spot-treat any particularly vigorous remnants by painting on a glyphosate-based weedkiller as Hostafan said.

Palm tree? Trunk broken - what to do?

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 15:49

I think it is out in the garden, Verdun.  It looks like Marodj has put the broken flower into a pot which is the picture on the left.  The flower won't root and will die of course but it does look quite attractive and it would be a shame to waste it until it does go brown.

new border for boring garden

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 15:43

Hi Sue, I would suggest laying another path on top of the concrete one so that the new surface is level with the grass (ie use the old path as a base.)  That way it will be easy to mow as you can run the mower right over the path without having to worry about any raised path edging damaging the blades.  As the old concrete path base will be solid, you can use thin slabs or even terracotta tiles on top of a thin layer of mortar without worrying about them cracking when you walk on them.

Spots on herbs

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 15:26

Some info on miners affecting thyme here, Edd, although it probably won't help much in this format:


Spots on herbs

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 15:21

That's what I'm thinking too - some kind of leaf miner? There are a couple of UK species which can affect thyme and there is rosemary leaf miner.

Spots on herbs

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 14:02

Hi Edd, are these indoors or outdoors?

Palm tree? Trunk broken - what to do?

Posted: 27/12/2013 at 23:40

Hi marodj, I think t is probably a cordyline australis which isn't a true palm but most folk call them palms in the UK.  If it is, the good news is that it will almost certainly sprout new growth from the base now that the trunk has been severed.  To help stop disease entering the damaged trunk, I would cut it cleanly a few inches below where the top broke off.  Once the new shoots have grown a couple of feet high I think you would be safe to cut the old trunk off at ground level and if you want just one new trunk, select the strongest new one and remove the rest.  You could also let all of the new shoots grow and have a multi-stemmed one.

Talkback: How to winter-prune trees and shrubs

Posted: 27/12/2013 at 15:58

Also the only way to prune leylandii is to the ground, with a chainsaw.   I recommend "encouraging" them with a stump grinder afterwards.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
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Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

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bulk vs supermarket 
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Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20
1 to 15 of 22 threads