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The Effect of Heavy Rain on Soil Nutrients
How to care for white bush roses
We have just moved and have the most beautiful white bush roses. We’ve never had roses and would love some tips on how to keep them healthy.
Hydrangeas with mealybug
I love hydrangeas but this year I have white fungal stuff on stems and underside of leaves. I sprayed with oil and then tried white vinegar but maybe my timing was wrong. When should I spray and when do I prune?
Controlling Porina Caterpillars in Lawns
Each year we have an issue with Porina caterpillars in our lawn which effects its growth. What would you advise as a good treatment plan for long term control of this?
Daphne Plants keep dying
One of my favourite plants is daphne, but I have had two die on me. I have them in semi sunny spot, stones in the pot for drainage, but they still keep dying. Are there any other tips for me please?
How to Grow Roses
Winter Vegetable Planting
I have just made a vege garden, I have dug up the dirt and added compost as a top soil. Can I plant any veges over winter and if so what ones could I plant?
A Struggling Daphne Bush
I love my Daphne bush, but it is dying. It is about a year old and growing by a fence where the ground is very wet. Is there any way of saving it, I have used Acid fertiliser. Should I shift it?
Thrips on Portugeuse laurel hedge
Some parts of my Portuguese laurels hedge have thrips. What can I do to get rid of them as I don't want it to spread.
Daphne Bush Leaves
Please tell me what is happening to my daphne bush leaves. They are being eaten and curling. What can I do to make my plant healthy once again?
June Gardening Tasks
May Gardening Advice
Why aren't my feijoas producing any fruit?
Why aren't my feijoas producing any fruit? One plant is at least 10 years old and has flowered twice but not set fruit.
Growing Ornamental Trees and Shrubs in your Garden
How to Grow Lawns
Cutting back lavender
My lavender bushes have finished flowering and are looking a bit woody. When and how much do I cut them back?
Pruning & transplanting a plum tree
I have a plum tree I planted 1.5 years ago. I plan to move it this coming winter and want to prune it back at the same time. Is there a special type of prune I should do prior to moving it and how long before the move should do this?
April: Mid-Autumn Gardening Tasks
We want to plant three or four fruit trees that will give us fruit spaced throughout the year. What grows well and how can we give them the best start?
With the new changes in Christchurch where we will be charged for using excess water, how would you recommend keeping my raised garden beds evenly watered during hot summers?
Alternative to Buxus
Is there an alternative to Buxus for creating a border to frame my rose beds? The beds are just less than a metre deep - is this enough space?
Pruning Hydrangea Plants
I have a hydrangea bush that has been blooming beautifully this summer. Once the flowers die off, when is the best time to prune it?
De-Thatching a lawn
I look after my daughter’s lawn/garden, and I cannot control the growing of "thatch" in the lawn. I purchased a special rake for this but other than a good work out, it only helps a little. Am I not watering enough, or too much? Should I be spraying it with something in particular?
Cutting Back Perennials for Winter
When is the best time to cut down or cut back perennials for winter?
Yellowing Leaves on Citrus Trees
We have a new lemon tree that has had good fruit production but now the leaves are turning yellow. What to do?
Lack of Daffodil Flowers
Each year since being on our new property we have daffodil leaves come up in the lawn but never any flowers. Is there anything I can do to promote flower growth when I don’t know how long the bulbs have been in the ground?
Dahlia's not Flowering
Over winter we dug up our dahlias and kept them in dry place in sawdust. We prepared the soil with sheep pellets and pot ash. Then in mid-April we planted them, but only eight came up. Some were rotten, others had no sprouts. Where did we go wrong?
My good crop of parsnips are spoiled buy a brown, rough surface round the crown. What can I do to avoid this next year?
Growing Healthy Broccoli Heads
My broccoli never produce heads but going straight to seed. I tried planting out in summer and this year planted into early autumn but still the same problem. What’s going on?
Promoting Flowers on Hydrangeas
My hydrangeas have only 1 or 2 flowers on them this year, and have been late to flower. They are 4 year old plants and I haven’t treated them differently than other years. Any advice?
Tackling Thrips on Shrubs & Trees
Over the last couple of months, most of my trees have been getting strange rusty coloured leaves, whereas before they were green. This includes a magnolia tree and a bay leaf tree - even though they are not close together. Can you tell me what it is, and how I can fix it?
Drainage in the garden and lawn
With all the rain we’ve been having over the past few months, my soil is very damp. What’s the best way to improve drainage in garden beds and lawns?
Each year, my Hellebores do not seem to flower as well as they should, having short stems and small flowers. They are growing in a damp, shady spot and some of the plants have not flowered for years. What could be the problem?
I have a sunny windy deck area where I want to grow potted geraniums. How do I ensure that what I grow will be compact and full of long-lasting blooms? What do I do to ensure I have good flowering over several years?
Mildew on dahlias
Every year my dahlias develop mildew as we come into autumn. It then spreads around the garden and limits the plants’ ability to thrive. Is there anything I can do to prevent mildew?
How to Grow Bulbs
Rebuilding Your Garden After a Flood
Attack of Mealy Bug
I bought a plant from a local shop and about a week later it looked like fluffy cotton dots all over it and then the leaves started to die. What is it and how do I treat it?
Oxalis in my garden
Apart from digging it out, what is the best /most successful way to get rid of oxalis.
Is there an environmentally friendly way to treat Tomato potato psyllid?
Can you tell me the best ways to control the Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) - Bactericera cockerelli. I first found them on my tomatoes about three seasons ago and I would like to know the best environmentally friendly way to control them or failing that other pesticides that may be effective against them.
Garden overrun with oxalis
Last year I got a trailer load of manure and garden mix from a local landscape provider. I am alarmed to find that the garden is overrun with oxalis. As you know the bulbs are numerous. Will I have to pull out all my peony roses, winter roses camellias etc and start from scratch by spraying the affected garden plots with something other than my usual weed killer (which does not seem to have any effect)? Hoping to get some good advice about this dreadful problem.