Access our gardening guides here and get your garden in shape for every season.
Sowing lawn after grass grub
Can I sow new lawn seed just after treating lawn for grass grub? If not, how long should I wait?
Moss on Lawn
We have a lot of moss growing in our lawn. What is the best way of getting rid of moss in our lawn?
Expanding your lawn
I’m trying to update my front yard by growing a bit of grass. What is the best way to sow grass seeds? Also, when is the best time to do it and do I need any special top soil?
I am growing tomatoes called Moneymakers which aren’t ripening up well. Could it be that there is too much fruit on the vine? My Cherry tomatoes haven’t had any problems.
Growing Mandarin Trees
I have been having great difficulty in growing my mandarin tree in Grenada Village. I have used all sorts of products and have consulted my garden book and nurseries. Can you help me?
Pruning and Plant Feeding
What is the best time to prune roses, fruit trees and shrubs that bloom? Also when should I apply fertiliser to my apple tree?
Transplanting Feijoa Trees
We have a 3-year-old feijoa tree and would like to transfer it to another part in our garden. Can you tell us will the tree transplant? What is the best way to do this?
Which is the best place to grow raspberries? Northern aspect or west? I live in Dunedin on a hill and get a lot of wind.
Ensuring Feijoa Fruit
I have three seven-year-old feijoa trees that were shaded by a large walnut tree. They are quite straggly and have never had more than a couple of flowers. The walnut next door has been trimmed, but what can I now do to ensure some good fruit?
Encouraging Tomato Growth
How do I encourage the best growth from my tomato plants? Are there other plants that are good companion planting buddies or are they best grown on their own?
Caring for Passion Fruit Vines
My passionfruit plant had over 90 fruit this year, do we need to prune it and what fertiliser does it need? Would really appreciate your help.
I would like to know why I get only a couple of pickings off my silverbeet, then I get a big thick stem which grows up from the middle and don’t get much off it from then on. What am I doing wrong?
When chitting potatoes, if I have a potato with a few healthy-looking shoots, can I cut that potato in half and plant both halves? Do I need to cure the skin on the cut pieces? If so how do I do this?
Spring Onions and Chives
I have a problem with aphids on my spring onions and chives. I’ve been drowning them in Neem Oil and it is working, but I’d love to know how quickly those things can breed in a day. It seems they can multiply by hundreds over night?
Strawberry Soil Preparation and Vegetable Planting
I am new to growing fruit and vegetables. For strawberries, what soil preparation is required and what type of area do they grow well in? How close do I plant vegetable seedlings and what depth in the soil?
Strawberry Soil Preparation
For strawberries what soil preparation is required and what type of area do they grow well in?
Growing Kumara in the South Island Climate
How do you grow Kumara in Christchurch? I have three kumara sitting in a small amount of water and am awaiting them to sprout. Once the sprouts are long enough what do I do next and where do I plant them? I was thinking large pots or bags as they would be easy to shift around and the kumara would be contained.
Being a Winter Gardener
Gardening this Summer
Overcoming Clay Soil and Sunlight Issues
An area in my garden has clay soil and only receives afternoon sun from around 3pm. In summer, the sun can be so strong and in winter it may receive no direct sunshine. I’ve tried planting roses, peonies and hydrangeas but to no avail. A friend suggested I try planting cranberries. Do you think they will grow in this area? Any suggestions?
Caring for Camellia Plants
In March, I moved to a property with a hedge of several young camellia trees showing signs of neglect. How do I return them to health and encourage flowering? Should I do anything special for them in winter?
Autumn Gardening Tips
When do I prune back my thornless blackberry? There are lots of beautiful pink flowers, colourless berries but it's growing wild everywhere. Should I cut the shoots to promote berry growth or wait till the fruit ripens more?
We have a fairly large bank I would love to fill with easy-care flowers and foliage. Preferably ones I can use as cut flowers in vases and arrangements as I’m a florist. Any advice on what will grow well in our area?
About 18-months ago we had a new lawn installed with rolls of ready turf. Since then, almost half of the lawn is covered in brown patches of dead grass (most of these are from dog urine). Lots of weeds are coming through as well and we have been digging these out as they appear. We keep the lawn well-watered and have tried sowing new lawn seed, lawn soil and lawn fertiliser but have had no success. Do you have any recommendations?
Daphne Plants, 'Perfume Princess'
A year ago, I purchased a Daphne 'Perfume Princess' bush, and it has only grown leaves, nothing else. I am disappointed as I was looking forward to the lovely fragrance! Can you please tell me what could have happened or if there was something wrong with the plant when I brought it?
How to Grow Radishes
My radishes are always all tops and no bottoms. Is it too much nitrogen? We do make our own compost and use that quite liberally. Red beet is also a flop. Can you help please?
I have a Guava plant that is dormant over winter. I’ve had two small crops off this plant. What do I feed it for better growth? Do you prune guava plants?
My rose has long suckers and it’s not a great shape. How do I prune it so it’s a nice shape when it flowers again in the summer. How do I get rid of the suckers and when is the best time to do it?
Our grapefruit tree is about 6 years old and although fruiting, the fruit is very dry. I have used citrus fertiliser on the drip line and water it in summer. How can I grow juicy grapefruit?
Fertilising Raspberries & Pruning Nashi
When should I fertilise my raspberries plants and prune my nashi pear tree?
Hydrangeas and Colour
I enjoy the beautiful colours of our hydrangeas but not so much when the colour fades and start to look washed out. Is there anything I can do to rejuvenate the hydrangeas and enhance the colour for a longer period of time?
One of my indoor plant, zygocactus (commonly known as crab cactus or Christmas cactus) is badly infected with mealybug. I have tried various products but still it is beating me. What can I do please?
Looking after a Cyclamen after Re-potting
I have a Cyclamen which I put outside under a bush when it died off. To my delight, it has two fresh healthy leaves, so I have re-potted it and put it on the table in the conservatory. What care should I give it - will it be happy in the warm conservatory or in a cooler area and do I water it from the top of the pot or the saucer. Thank you, your advice would be appreciated as it’s the first Cyclamen I have grown.
Land of the Long White Cloud
I want to grow my rose, Land of the Long White Cloud, in a large pot. Do I have to do anything extra special to help it survive in the container? Also, where is the best area in the garden to put my rose over the winter months?
I have just moved into a new place and would like to grow a tree/hedge along my back and side fence. The back fence has two fairly large trees right up close (in the neighbour’s) and the side fence has a tree too but not quite so near. I want something that will grow quickly, be hardy and reasonably easy to maintain.
ToeToe bushes need some extra care
I have some Toetoe bushes that need refurbishing. What is the best way to do this as they have been in about 30 years and are all dried at the base? Do I need new plants, or can I fix up the ones I have?
I have a lot of lavender plants and I like to use the flowers to make creams, balms, soap, bath salts, lavender wands, lavender sachets etc, but I get some spittle bugs on some flowers. What is the best way to get rid of the spittle bugs without contaminating the flower please?
Whitefly on Lime Tree
I have a problem with my lime bush. It has a black film over some of its leaves and what appears to be tiny whiteflies. It’s a large bush but produces very few limes. How can I improve the health of this bush?
Limes falling before maturing
My lime tree is only about four years old but the number of limes that fall before maturing seems excessive. Last year there were heaps of flowers and the same this year, but the fruit drop has happened again. I counted 315 little limes, and only about thirty grew to maturity.
I'm new to fruit tree growing and have been told I need to weigh down my dwarf pear tree branches. I'm not sure what to use to do this as I'm worried about damaging the branches. Any tips and tricks you can share?
Strong, Flowering Orchid Plants
What is the best way to get phalaenopsis orchid plants to flower? I have had a number of plants, but have only managed to get one to grow new flowers.