Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Apple tree, advice please.

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 10:19

Tootles, I agree with Buttercupdays - ideally remove the grass from a circle about 1m diameter around the trunk.  The tree's feeding roots are near the surface and grass is a hungry plant and is competeing with the tree.  Cox's is a bit harder to grow then the average fruit tree and really benefits from another apple tree nearby to act as a pollinator.  I also hand-pollinate mine, taking a small soft brush from the flowers on one tree to another.

Apple tree, advice please.

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 22:46

Hi Mountainranger, what you have there is known as a year old 'maiden' tree.  Pruning is simple - basically choose a good looking bud about 75cm from the base and prune the top off just above this bud.  This will promote branches to develop.  See this video:


When to replant after tree felling

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 22:35

Hi Julie, the ground in that area will be quite depleted of nutrients so I would recommend digging in some well rotted manure and giving it a bit of a rest for most of the rest of this year - perhaps just plant some annuals.  The best time to plant new trees is November onwards which is the time you will also find the best range available in the nurseries.  It will also give you plenty of time to think about what you want.

Daffodils Disappeared

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 19:06

Have a dig and see what you find Tomsk.  It could be a bad attack of Narcissus bulb fly:


Disease/disorder on Japanese Acer

Posted: 02/03/2016 at 19:12

Pseudomonas syringae is a strong possibility.  A bacterial infection not at all helped by cold and wet (a slight tiny wee small problem for those of us in the UK then!)  I have had several Japanese acers affected but pruning well below the damaged area seems to help.  Unfortunately acers don't really like being pruned either..

There aren't really any chemical treatments left that we're allowed to use, but copper sulphate can still probably be found, although you wouldn't dream of using it as a fungicide/bactericide of course..

Bare root has already started sprouting in packet?

Posted: 01/03/2016 at 22:30

Plant it and pile up a bit of soil over most of the new shoot to protect it.

Coprosma Pacific Night

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 22:30

It would be better in a large pot really, then you could bring it into a porch or cold greenhouse etc over winter to give it some protection.  If you can't do that, perhaps move it to somewhere still sunny but sheltered from the wind if you can.  However, I wouldn't risk moving it until spring and would just wrap it in horticultural fleece for now.  Once it starts to grow new foliage in spring, prune off any damaged leaves and tips and incorporate a handful of fish, blood and bone fertiliser into the surface of the soil using a small hand fork.

Coprosma Pacific Night

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 22:14

Steven, they can't take frost or cold winds so unless you have wrapped it in fleece it will suffer at this time of the year.  Leaves going white are a sure sign of cold damage so best to wrap it asap until the weather warms up in spring.


Posted: 29/02/2016 at 20:49

Yes, but put down two layers of membrane, first a weed control fabric then a stronger woven landscape membrane.  The reason is that the sharp edges of slate will cut a weed membrane and you will soon get the grass or weeds growing through.  The second layer of landscape membrane protects the weed fabric.  It's a bit more expensive to do this but it will last many more years.  When I did this I also overlapped by a good 6 inches and laid the two membranes at 90 degrees to each other.

garden containers

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 19:20

I agree with Verdun - they will give you crops for many years so give them the best, and splash out on a JI no.3

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

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Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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Have fun identifying plants! 
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Watering dried-out pots

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Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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1 to 15 of 35 threads