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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 23:40

Zombie, the HH is about 4 or 5 years old.  It's grown as a group 3 so each stem is cut back hard to a pair of buds about a foot above the soil in early spring, so all of the growth you see there is from this year.  Calling it vigorous is an understatement!  The planting hole was well prepared though - a foot square by 3 feet deep filled with partially rotted home-made compost with the clematis being planted 6 inches lower than in its original pot.  Top-dressed each spring with potato fertiliser (virtually the same formulation as specialist clematis food but a fraction of the price.)

Stag's Horn Sumach tree

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 20:30

Whitean9el, Glyphosate is only effective if sprayed or painted on the leaves.  Pouring it into the ground will do absolutely nothing as it is deactivated by contact with soil.  The plant needs to absorb it into its tissue and roots through the leaves, so mix it strong and paint it on. 

Apricot tree that never was ...

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 00:49

I would suggest selecting the strongest looking shoot and cutting the rest off - gently dig down and cut each one where it joins the rootstock if you can .  By doing that you'll end up with something tree-shaped and probably a plum - St Julian A or Torinel are rootstocks usually used for apricots.  If you leave all six shoots, you will end up with a kind of bushy mess and it will take longer to get to a blossoming stage (although you are still probably looking at a three to five year wait.) 

Is this a weed?

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 18:23

I'm pretty sure that's a weed - I recognise those black markings but cannot remember exactly what it is at the moment - possibly one of the nightshades.

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 17:07

The peppers are 'Atris' and 'Gypsy' - both F1s and first time I've tried these two.  Sikorski is a really good 'doer' Verdun - similar to Elsa Spath in colour - have that too. 


Posted: 28/07/2013 at 17:03

Yes, fantastic year for them here too, Verdun.  I know what you mean about deciding which is the best taste but the fact is any home-grown tom is so much more delicious than a supermarket one that you can't really believe they are the same things!  Some of mine are so tasty they almost hurt the tongue!

pruning native trees

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 16:55

Hi Carole, as far as the hazels go, you can coppice those (ie cut right back to the ground) and they will quickly grow back without issue (and also provide you with a lot of useful wooden stakes, pea sticks etc.)  You would do that after leaf fall.  I'll leave others to advise you on the rest, but suspect you are best to wait for winter before doing any large scale pruning (except the Holly - early spring to early summer for that.)

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 16:42

Clematis 'Polish Spirit' is looking great right now - the two pics below are taken from opposite sides of the fence:

 Tree lillies (left), clematis Hagley Hybrid (centre), General Sikorski (right):

 Hagley Hybrid in full bloom:

 Quite pleased with my sweet peppers (conservatory), too:


can i eat last years crop of potatoes

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 15:53

Hi Sherry,  If you mean there were potatoes left in the plot and these have now grown and produced full size plants, each old parent (aka seed) potato will have developed a new crop of young potatoes by now which are fine to eat.  The parent potato will normally have rotted away at this time of the year - those are the ones (one per plant) to avoid.

Not sure what these plant is...

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 14:30

Can you take a photo of the whole plant Sam?  Lots of leaves look alike when detached and it's easier if we can see the growth habit.

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