Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Chilli plants - white specks

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 19:09

Try this, which is often the only way to get rid of a bad pest problem on indoor plants and avoids using potentially harmful pesticides:

  • Pop the pot in a plastic bag and tie the top around the stem.  The idea is to stop any grit and soil from falling out into the water.
  • Fill a bucket with cold water and add a squirt of washing-up liquid.
  • Invert the plant and plunge it into the water, giving it a swish about for a few minutes.

The detergent will break the surface tension of the water and the aphids/thrips etc will drown.  You may have to repeat the process in a week or two if any eggs remained stuck to the leaves and have since hatched.


Advice on a nut tree

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 16:26

Yes but the squirrels get most of them from my tree!  I think I'll plant a purple leaved filbert next time, so I'll at least have the leaves left to admire! 

Advice on a nut tree

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 16:12

I think they are quite fussy primrosecottage and need a sheltered south-facing spot to do well in the UK.  Even then I doubt they would produce much.  Normally grown just for their very pretty blossom in our climate.


Posted: 08/11/2015 at 16:07

Same here Verdun, I declared war on bluebells, muscari and montbretia a few year ago and the garden looks much better for it.  Montbretia in partcicular seems to suck all life out of the soil and nothing else will grow near it.  Bluebell leaves seem to last forever and are just so messy after flowering, especially the large Spanish ones.

What is safe to plant over a ground source heat loop?

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 15:52

As a technical person, I think that makes a lot of sense pansyface.

I did a bit of googling and came up with this though (from a supplier of such systems) which indicates anything can be planted:

So read the small print;  If the guarantee mentions no planting above the loop then stick to lawn, otherwise I wouldn't worry too much.

Is this fungus

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 15:39

It does look like sap, Ceres.  As the bark looks sunken around the area the sap is oozing from, it could be bacterial canker which is very bad news if the trunk is affected:

There is no treatment available these days but you may find the tree goes on fruiting for many years before the inevitable happens.


Posted: 08/11/2015 at 15:27

I agree with happymarion, they have a kind of taproot as well as bulbils attached to those and any root left in the ground will regrow.  Carefully digging up each root is the only way you will control it and even then never completely.  The seed pods are of the 'explosive' variety and will shoot seeds many feet away so don't let it flower.  It loves cracks between paving etc so you can't get at the roots - in those cases weedkiller is your only hope.  Or learn to like it and realise that it will slowly take over your gardening world, pots, hanging baskets and all.

Impact of solar lights on wildlife ?

Posted: 07/11/2015 at 14:53

Sounds like your detector is a bit over-sensitive pansyface.  Have a look to see if there is an adjustment - often a small hole through which you can insert a flat-bladed screwdriver.  There's a 500W monstrosity across the road from me which is on and off all night - even the wind blowing branches seems to set it off.  The owner is 'not communicative' so I've had to buy thick dark bedroom curtains to stop being woken up at night.  I was considering an air rifle before I came to my senses though..

Bananas baby bananas

Posted: 07/11/2015 at 14:41

Wow, impressive bananas Majorhound!  Do you know which variety they are?

Clematis dried leaves

Posted: 07/11/2015 at 13:31

Sounds like a Group 2.  Cut off any old flowers now then leave it until spring.  In late Feb to mid March, follow each shoot back from the tip and cut to just above a pair of strong healthy-looking buds.  If it is outgrowing it's space you can cut further back but always to a pair of buds.  The further you cut back the fewer flowers you'll get in spring but will probably get more during the later flowering.

If it's a one or two year old clematis then the best thing to do is cut it right back hard to about a foot tall in spring, again to just above a pair of healthy buds.  This will produce a much, much better and stronger plant in the future.  You will get few flowers the first year after doing this but it is totally worth it.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 673
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 237
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 366
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1192
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 830
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1647
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 596
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 614
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1237
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1020
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1015
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 995
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 862
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: 706
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1134
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads