Latest posts by BobTheGardener

bare root shrubs

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 16:22

If you left the roots wrapped there is a good chance they will survive.  Fingers crossed time now!  If any of them haven't shown signs of growth by about mid-April, scrape the bark off near the top with your thumbnail - if green then they are still alive.  If brown then try lower down but if brown all the way back to the base then they have snuffed it.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 14:15

Hi Emma, those recommendations on the packet assume ideal conditions.  In the case of tomatoes that means a heated greenhouse or equivalent, with lots of natural light from all angles and a constant temperature of about 15-20C.

They don't tell you that on the packet though!

Maggots in my strawberry plants.

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 14:11

Vine weevil grubs, Clarington.  They are definitely the reason your strawberry plants died.

The best thing to do is wash all soil from the roots of any remaining plants and plant them into fresh compost.

Put a sheet of weed fabric or something similar down in your garden and tip the compost with the grubs in on to it then spread it thinly.  The birds will then have a feast and eat those grubs.  Don't re-use that compost for potting even after the birds have done their job but it will be fine spread on your borders as vine weevil have many enemies in garden soil.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 13:11

Around 'ere Fairy, I also have to put up with everybody using 'of' instead of 'have', as in "He should of scored that one".  I have a strong local accent but that doesn't mean I have to write things down in the same way that I say them!

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 12:54

It doesn't matter much to me as long as I understand what people mean.  However, I do wish folk would stop using the word 'loose' when they mean 'lose'.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 12:29

Too early unless you have a heated greenhouse.  My tomatoes won't be sown for at least a couple of weeks yet.  To attempt to rescue them you need more light and one way of getting that is to cut a long side from a cardboard box and line the remaining 3 sides with aluminium foil.  Place the seed tray in the bottom and put the box on a windowsill with the open side facing the window.

Cosmos seedling have been devoured

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 12:14

Mice, without a shadow of doubt.  They did the same thing to my tomato seedlings a couple of years ago.

Homebase seeding compost

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 20:12

John Innes is just a mixing formula developed by the institute.  Each supplier can interpret it differently so no two JI composts are the same.  I do exactly what nut does and mix my own seed compost using a commercial one as a base.  I happen to have a very large bag of vermiculite so add that as well as a bit of MP and a bit of sharp sand.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 19:34

Chopped down a lot of 'seedy stuff' I left for the birds over winter - verbena boniarensis, buddleja etc and did some general tidying-up of other dead stems etc.  That lot topped-up a huge pile I have ready for the shredder which is tomorrow's job!


Posted: 27/02/2016 at 19:15

Feed it occasionally with a liquid feed until the leaves start to die down naturally (the leaves are now building up the bulb) although they don't always go dormant.  If it does go dormant, simply stop watering it until you see it start to grow again, at which point start watering again.


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 755
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 291
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 407
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1254
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

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

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1855
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 628
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 653
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1263
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1053
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1068
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1051
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 920
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: 745
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1184
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads