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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Gravel/Water Trays

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 18:48

Like nut, I stand them in water until the compost on the top changes colour (darkens) and then lift them out (it usually only takes a few of minutes.)   I then don't water again until the top surface is dry all over (which can be anything from a couple of days to a week or so later, depending on how warm the greenhouse gets.)  If the compost is kept too wet, the seeds won't germinate or can die if they do.

Favourite biscuit?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 18:43

I've changed my mind - my favourite biscuits are any type, as long as Verdun can't find them!

Why is my parffin heater making my greenhouse full of soot?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 18:40

To tell you have it burning right, the flame should be blue.  If it is yellow, then that colour indicates Carbon (soot) is being released and you need to trim the wick and/or turn the wick down a bit.

Forsythia suspensa

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 23:53

I much prefer them growing like that.  Not a shrub for growing into neat shapes in my book.  One of my neighbours neatly trims theirs just before it flowers every year, leaving an ugly twiggy mess which eventually leafs-up at which point the hedge-trimmer comes out again.  They probably don't even know that it flowers!   They might as well grow privet - at least it would be green for the full 12 months!

Favourite biscuit?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 18:41

Plain digestives dunked in tea and removed just before they go too soft and fall in!

Few newbie questios (mainly tomatoes)

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 18:33

Yes Joe - if you start feeding too early you'll get lots of leafy growth instead of them producing flowering trusses.  There's a school of thought that when a plant senses diminishing nutrients being taken in that this triggers it to reproduce (ie a survival tactic) hence the earlier production of flowers to make seed.

Few newbie questios (mainly tomatoes)

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 00:32

Also peppers don't require the same strength feed as toms - use it at half strength.  The better liquid tomato feeds also contain trace elements - look for that on the label.  Having trace nutrients can help if the compost is lacking anything vital to healthy growth.  Under-watering is also better than over-watering and always water the compost directly to avoid wetting the leaves as this encourages fungal infections.

Dicentra spectabilis - is yours up yet?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 00:18

Hi Gillian, yes the shoots are around 3-4 inches high on mine, but it is in a sheltered spot.

Plant Identification please

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 23:03
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I thought monbretia had flattened round corms

I agree - whatever those roots are, they aren't montbretia.

SALIX 'Flamingo'

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 22:32

Claire, just about all you can do is keep your fingers crossed.  The tree may have been 'sulking' after the shock of being planted and will hopefully soon start growing again.  To check it hasn't died, scrape a bit of the bark off near the end of a branch with your thumbnail - it should be green underneath.  If it is brown, move down the branch nearer the ground and try again.  If you don't find any green underneath the bark anywhere on the tree then I'm afraid it will have gone to the great garden in the sky.  If that's the case contact the supplier and you may get a replacement.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 644
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 326
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 961
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 746
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 703
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 663
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
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: 455
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 786
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 695
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: 1176
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 833
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: 1295
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 507
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads