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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 21:14

Keeping the worst of the rain off of them is the main thing rather than protecting them from the cold.  However, if they germinate before the winter, things get tricky and they would need something like your plastic greenhouse, Red Dahlia.

Gill, you water once when sowing them and only need to keep the compost slightly damp after that.

Have a read about cold stratification here:




Posted: 09/08/2013 at 19:19

Many hardy perennials either require or will germinate better after cold stratification (the technical term for sowing and leaving over winter.)  The best bet is to sow half of your seeds in late autumn and the other half in spring, that way you're covered if any of the over-wintered ones fail.  A cold frame or unheated greenhouse is ideal as too much wet will often "do them in" if left in the open. 


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 18:59

Chris, the roots could have dried out a bit at a critical time during the hot weather.  Raspberries are very shallow rooted so can be affected this way.  If you mulch the ground with a few inches of compost early in the year this can help both feed them and keep the roots from drying out.


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 22:05

Those are the larvae of the infamous red Lily beetle.  The best way is to remove them manually - a messy job but if you don't kill them now they will overwinter in the soil and adult beetles will emerge, lay more eggs and both young and old will devastate your plants next year.


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 21:44

My best tool is a stainless steel wooden handled hand trowel I picked-up from wilkos many years ago.  Next best is a border fork and spade set - also stainless steel.  Those three get more use than anything else by far.  Worst are all in a drawer I rarely open and are mostly gifts from well-meaning friends and family - cheap secateurs and hand forks (never found a use for one!)


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 21:26

Yes, counted 15 Peacock butterflies on a buddlia at coffee break this afternoon.  I'm sure there were more as I could only see one side of the bush.  Wonderful.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 22:44

Hi Tony, I think it's something to do with the file size as well as the pixel size.  If the test image below works, I'll post back with my settings.


 OK, that worked.

My camera produces pictures of 3072 x 2304 at about 3 to 4 MB each.  However, if I upload them as-is, they don't work, so I open them in Irfanview (a free PC image viewer/editor) and use SaveAs to save them as jpeg at 75% quality which keeps them the same pixel size but compresses them to about 1MB in file size.  Any other application which can do this should also work.

Hope that helps!


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 22:28

Parsnips are one of the slowest maturing veg, need sowing early and harvesting late.  I'm not expecting to harvest any of mine before the first frosts affect the top growth, so I think patience is the answer.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 19:34

You'll need to experiment to find which varieties taste best when grown in your particular soil as they taste very different when grown in different soils, no matter what the suppliers may say.  I spent a few years buying packs of 10 seeds of 6 different varieties before I found the ones that suit both my pallate and my soil.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 19:30

I suggest you net them next year - well before butterflies appear.  Use 7mm hole size netting.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

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Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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On Freeview/Sky 
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Front garden revamp - before and after photos

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Flowering in September 
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Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
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Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 328
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 417
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
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Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 378
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01
1 to 15 of 17 threads