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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Convert grass to gravel/chippings

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 10:40

I recommend using a layer of landscape fabric on top of the weed control fabric as the latter can be fairly easily pierced by sharp gravel etc and the woven landscape stuff will protect it from that.  It won't cost a lot more but will ensure the areas stay weed-free for many more years than weed fabric alone.

Where have the birds gone!!!

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 10:32

Getting through about 1.5 litres of bird seed a day now - the two 25kg sacks (mixed &  sunflower hearts) I bought a few weeks ago are now half empty!   Making new baby birdies is obviously using a lot of energy!  

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 10:26

Morning all.  Lots of seedlings to pot up and transfer to the conservatory today (toms, peppers, chillies and dahlias.)  Really need to start preparing the spud plot too which still has nets from last year's brassicas covering it but that requires extra clothing as I'm a bit nesh myself today!  

Garden lighting.

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 18:54

Just a reminder that artificial light of any kind at night is a form of pollution and is bad for wildlife.  Sorry if I sound like a damp squib but this is something I feel strongly about and the facts are not as well known as they should be:

http://www.darksky.org/assets/documents/PG2-wildlife-bw.pdf

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=artificial+light+at+night+bad+for+wildlife

 

 

Newbie raised bed!

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 00:23

I wouldn't bother with the vermiculite in the raised bed.  Together with all of the other ingredients you mention it would make for a very light weight growing medium making it difficult to grow many vegetables, especially brassicas.  I would suggest that 800l of good quality topsoil (or the pre-mixed topsoil/mushroom compost you mention) and 100l of composted farm yard manure (as supplied in bags by garden centres etc) would make a good basic soil suitable for the majority of vegetables.

Agapathus

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 19:29

Keeping young agapanthus plants in pots for at least the first few years will get them flowering quicker.  I grow Headbourne Hybrids (from seed and then from self-produced seed) and they are as tough as old boots, but they do usually lose all top growth in the Winter.  One of them doesn't though - natural variation (they are hybrids after all.)  Whether they are evergreen or not depends on where you are.  Once they become large plants and are planted into borders, do be aware that they can be quite thuggish with thick fleshy roots which reach far beyond the top growth and can 'mug' nearby plants.  I have removed some of my larger ones because of this and now recommend they are grown in pots unless you have a large garden and can let them do their thing.

Having said that, there are a lot of other cultivars - take a look at Woottens who carry a large range and have good descriptions.

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 17/03/2014 at 21:31

Hi connie, Yes, it'll be fine.  FB&B is a gentle slow-release fertiliser and won't react badly with the lime, which lowers acidity (this helps to release nutrients in acid soil) and helps prevent club-root disease.  Hopefully you put the lime down in the winter?

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:30

Cauliflowers are one of the hardest veg to grow well, so don't be too downhearted if some of them don't produce good heads.  Transplant the young plants to their final positions when they have 5 true leaves, give them plenty of space  and bury them up to the lowest leaf, firming the ground well around the roots and stem.  Adding fish, blood and bone to the soil at planting time will help, after which they need plenty of nitrogen, so regular feeding with home made nettle tea will really help, too.  Don't forget to fleece or net them to prevent the cabbage white butterfly.  Good luck!

LILY BEETLES

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:19

Despatched one today.  Found it in the veg plot, while I was harvesting the last row of leeks and some celeriac.  No sign of any of my lilies yet though.

Can someone tell me what this is...

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 13:36

You are welcome, Vonni.  Solitary bees just use a nice-looking ready made hole - they are 'garden goodies' and won't have been responsible for the demise of the tree.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 196
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 379
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 342
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 203
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: 188
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 507
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 321
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: 713
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 416
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 487
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 249
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 545
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 562
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4312
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1736
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads