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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Composted bark

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 18:49

I think it would be fine to use around your fruit bushes but I would hesitate to use it around brassicas because of the pH issue.  They would still grow but it might encourage any clubroot spores in your soil.  In the Autumn I would dig some into your soil and test the pH in Spring - if it is below about 6 you can always add some garden lime to sweeten the soil and bring it back to neutral (7) or even slightly alkaline if growing brassicas.  I would also mix some in with your compost heap - added sparingly it won't hurt.  The other thing you could use it for is growing blueberries - mixed with 1/3rd of your own compost and about 1/3rd John Innes #3 it would make a great growing medium for use in containers.

compost heap advice please.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 20:14

Keep it secret B3!    I don't think I'd lend any of my gardening tools to anyone these days - I'd miss them too much if they were damaged or not returned. 

'Recycled beer' is an excellent compost accelerator by the way, so hubby can save himself a trip to the loo if no-one is looking and it will really help things along!

compost heap advice please.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:37

Bit hard to recommend one but mine is an Alko and still going after about 15 years (on the 3rd set of new blades though.)  Look at the path the material goes through is my best advice - those where it goes straight through tend to clog less and feeding plenty of dry or woody stuff when also shredding soft green stuff helps.  I try to feed 80 per cent dry to 20 percent green.

Thornless Fruit Bushes

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:30

Probably better to have a mix rather than several bushes of a single cultivar as far as pollination goes.  I have about 6 or 7 varieties and they crop well.

Plum tree problem

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:19

Jo, it shouldn't, but as a general rule I would never grow the same species of plant/tree in exactly the same spot as one which was diseased.  If I had to, I'd dig out a large hole and swap the soil with that from another part of the garden.  Just general garden hygiene and a case of 'better safe than sorry' really. 

Bluebell preservation

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:13

Bluebells are also able to adjust the depth of their bulb.  I know that sounds crazy but if they are planted (or buried) too deep, they will still surface but the stem below ground will swell and another bulb will form at what the plant 'thinks' is the ideal depth.  They might not flower the first year after being more deeply buried but will be fine in subsequent years.

Plum tree problem

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 22:34

Yes, I' agree with that Pansyface - looks like a bacterial canker to me.  The tree's a gonna when it gets as bad as that Geoff, so look at it as an opportunity for planting something new.


compost heap advice please.

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 22:26

Get yourself a shredder B3.  Once shredded, prunings etc take up a fraction of the space and the composting process is hugely accelerated.  I shredded a pile of about 3 cubic metres of stuff last weekend and it now only half fills a 1 cubic metre compost bin.  I know from experience that it will be ready for use before the end of the year.

summer fruiting raspberries

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 19:10
Katherine W wrote (see)

They fruit in summer on the growth they made the same year, so you cut them down in spring. Let them do their thing now.

Nope, that's Autumn fruiting types.  Summer fruiting ones bear fruit on the canes which grew the previous year, so as soon as a cane has fruited, cut it down the the ground but leave the unfuited canes as those will bear next year's crop.

Damson or plum........

Posted: 20/07/2015 at 19:57

Fritillary, you should remove most of them but leave a few if you want a few new branches, in which case prune them back by about a 1/3rd which will encourage them to produce fruiting spurs.  You can try pulling the unwanted water shoots off with a sharp tug - if you are lucky they will come away and there is less chance of them growing back when you do that, otherwise cut them off almost flush with the branch they are growing from. Yes, apples (and pears) also produce this type of growth when pruned heavily.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

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

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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Renovate or remove privet hedge?

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


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 942
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 935
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 856
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 738
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: 625
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1008
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 906
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: 1391
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42
1 to 15 of 32 threads