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Growing Big Grapes
How can I increase the size of my green grapes? I trim back the runners on the plant when the main bunches of grapes set to encourage the growth for the grapes rather than the foliage. Any tips?
A few days ago, I went to get some mint from the garden and had so many whiteflies! There has always been a little on the mint, but never this amount. Is there any way to get rid of them forever?
I have recently had a new ready-lawn laid by a qualified supplier. It’s now sprouting dandelions and tiny fungi (mini ‘mushrooms’). The ground was prepared properly and I did have dandelions in the old lawn but no fungi. I am digging out the dandelions and ensuring no flowers mature. I am also pulling out the fungi daily before they spore, root included, but they are still appearing in even greater numbers. Any solutions?
Growing Sweet Peas from Seeds
I have trouble growing sweet peas. I soak the seeds lightly on fabric or something porous, and when they appear to be swollen, I plant them in a raised garden which faces east. But little or no joy. Help?
Oxalis is all around my garden. Spray products are effective for a short time but it always comes back. I laid weed mat covered with pea straw but it grew through. What else might work? Could sieving the soil get rid of them?
Orchid Issues with Overwatering
I have a Phalaenopsis single-stemmed moth orchid which has flowered well for 3 years. However, a friend over-watered it and it’s now slowly dying. Can you suggest any way to rescue this beauty?
I have two very healthy Winchester Honeysuckle and they have been through two spring seasons without any fruit, flowers, or colour change in leaves. They are planted in partial shade with morning sun and there is also a large cherry plum tree above the area. What is causing the lack of expected seasonal changes?
Growing Fuschia Plants from Cuttings
Could I please have some advice on when to take fuschia cuttings, is April too late in the autumn?
We are in the process of enhancing an area of a local volunteer organisation, by establishing a native garden. The area is in a gully where the soil is hard with a lot of clay and poor drainage. What should we do to ensure the soil is suitable for growing plants, shrubs etc. We plan to do our main planting in the Autumn. Is this correct?
Feeding Olive Trees
Could you please advise me of the best manure or fertiliser you would recommend for olive trees in the home garden, particularly to stimulate the production of fruit?
Growing Tomatoes from Seed
When is a good time to sow tomato seeds in Wellington? What sort of tomato seeds are tough to survive and what should I not plant with them? Can you plant tomatoes beside strawberries?
Continuation of Strong Bulbs
This year, for the first time, I planted tulip and iris bulbs. There was a wonderful display of flowers. Now in March, what do I do with the bulbs over winter?
Espalier Apple Trees
I want to try and grow an apple as an espalier. Is there a variety which is best and what else do I need to know?
Sooty Mould on Lemon Tree
What is wrong with my poor lemon tree and what can I do about it? It looks terrible!
Growing Green Lawns
What’s the best way to get a lovely green lawn? We have tried seeding and feeding but just get loads of dandelions everywhere.
I have always managed to grow good shallots, but this year was awful. Are there any special things I should do to get better success e.g. soil wise?
First Time Gardener
I am a beginner gardener and trying to grow some tomatoes. Last year’s plants were very leafy and green, but the fruit was scarce. Any top tips to prevent this happening again?
My neighbour has a tree bearing the most magnificent large pink Camellia blooms. Would it be feasible to plant the seed pods from this tree to germinate replicas of the parent tree?
This year my strawberries were mostly deformed. They are growing in three different areas and were normal last year. Could it be because there are almost no bees in my garden? What could be the trouble?
I like the bunched look of lavender and recently saw some pink rather than the purple ones. We are about to buy a house soon and wanted to know if they were easy to find and grow?
Kaffir Lime Leaves
I have 2 kaffir lime bushes that are bearing more fruit than leaves. What should I add to promote more leaf production & reduce fruiting as kaffir limes leaves are more useful for Asian cooking?
Planting Over Bulbs
I have a large patio pot planted with tulip bulbs. During winter, is it alright to plant some primulas and pansies over the bulbs which have not sprouted yet? Or do I wait for the bulbs to sprout, then plant in the gaps?
Can you tell me please why my gypsophila plant was flowering really well for three years, a huge bush of flowers, then died? Branches were going yellow and I lost the plant. Also, I can grow the white ones but when I tried growing pink, they all died. Can you please help?
Growing from Seed
When growing carrots, beetroot, and parsnips from seed, I water until they have germinated and started growing. I continue to water them each evening. They seem to put on a lot of foliage but the roots are small and seem to stop growing. Am I watering them too often?
Lichen on Fruit Trees
Does moss and lichen on fruit trees cause any problems and what product should I use to remove it? Also, what fertiliser should I use for pip and stone fruit trees?
Our established black grape produces a lot of large leaves and cane growth. Pollination and fruit development is slow. How much leaf and cane pruning and at what stage should it be done?
I have recently started growing a frangipani from a cutting. While it has flowered once, it seems to have come to a bit of a standstill. What should I be doing for it to flourish?
Clubroot on Vegetables
Lately, one spot in my garden has been affected by possibly ‘clubroot’. I have been advised to plant different veggies there and/or spread dolomite lime. Is this correct?
Growing from Cuttings
I enjoy growing my own plants from cuttings. At present I have only used Hydrangeas and Rosemary. Can you give me some other variates that I can try?
Dead Leaves on Bay Trees
My ornamental bay trees have a lot of dead leaves in the middle. How do I bring them back to health?
I planted garlic cloves evenly spaced out in pots with Daltons potting mix and positioned them in plenty of sunlight. The shoots were healthy, watering was pretty generous and I fed them with a balanced NPK mix. A week ago, when some of the lower leaves were browning, I harvested a few stalks, but the bulbs were pretty tiny. What did I do wrong?
The ground is warming up and my passionfruit plant should be coming on quite well, but it isn’t. The last one I planted died. It gets all the morning sun but does not get it in the afternoon. What can I do?
Transplanted Rose Care
My favourite eight roses were relocated following the earthquakes from sandy soil in Dec 2011 to Templeton’s amazing rich soil, and then in Mar 2013 to heavy soil with clay base. How can I reward these plants with the best care?
Passion Fruit Tub
I have been given a passion fruit vine which I have planted in a large tub. It is thriving, so can I keep it in the tub or should I plant it in the garden?
Dutch Iris Plants
I have a small plot of about 100 purple Dutch iris plants. Each one produces 2-3 flower heads per stem. As one flower dies another blooms. Do I have something unusual and unique or is this the norm with Dutch iris?
We have a lilac tree and for the past fourteen years we have had plenty of green and growth, but very little in the way of flowers. Could you please give me some advice on this matter?
Growing Moneymaker Tomatoes
I have been growing Moneymaker tomatoes for years and saving the seed from each season. This year I had a huge crop of very small yellow tomatoes with one or two red ones. Should I get fresh seed for next season?
Fungal Growth in your Lawn!
I have a front lawn where the grass in the centre has died and even with lots of watering is not growing back. Around the edges it’s growing and bright green, but not in the large area in the middle. What can I do to restore or resow the centre grass?
My daffodil bulbs have all sprouted but none of them have a flower - they look like big spring onions! What’s gone wrong?
Some hydrangeas I picked and placed in a vase have started to grow roots and have new leaf buds. Can these be planted into the garden to grow into bushes?
Growing new potatoes
I have trouble growing new potatoes. I’ve tried rotation, fertiliser, a variety of seed potatoes, but to no avail. When I cultivate, they are the size of small marbles. Why is this?