Wednesday, May 23, 2018

09 Jun

Your Gardening Questions Answered!

We often recieve gardening queries through our Facebook page, we thought we’d share these questions with you and try to give the best advice possible!

Geraniums will thrive if they are given lots of sun, usually about 4-6 hours a day.

“My friend and I have shared 3 lots of geraniums from you about 6 or 7 weeks ago, but for the first time this year I used an inferior compost – she used a supermarket one…her plants are now 3 times the size of mine…and Im a tad worried…will mine catch up? I have been feeding them…they dont even seem to have grown. By the way I have been getting them from you for last 5 years always fabby displays!!”

Our answer…

I’m sorry to hear that your plants aren’t growing as well as your friends! As long as you have used a good, multi-purpose compost they should be flourishing in no time. Using too much feed (especially one that’s really high in nitrogen) can encourage greenary rather than flowers. See what happens when you stop feeding your plants, if they bloom then you’ll know this is the source of the problem!

For future reference, use a feed low in nitrogen and don’t over feed. Geraniums will thrive if they are given lots of sun, usually about 4-6 hours a day. I hope this helps, please contact us if you would like any more advice!

Ms. Chivers contacted us about her pest problem…

“Something is eating all the foliage on various vegetables – courgettes are now leaf skeletons, cabbages and some salad leaves are looking sorry for themselves, carrot tops are now single green sticks and runner beans are making an attempt to climb even though their leaves are disappearing. My husband thinks it might be the capsid bug? Only info we can find says no need to treat veg under attack but surely the plants can’t survive with no leaves. I’ve grown veg for years but have never had this before, or at least not on such a huge scale. Can you help please?!!”

A capsid bug's vegetable victim!

Our answer…

A Capsid bug can often be difficult to identify because they are fast movers! If you catch a glimpse of a green grasshopper-like insect then the Capsid bug is definitely your culprit. Capsids suck the sap from your leaves making them look, as you said, rather skeleton-like! Capsid bugs create holes that turn brown around the edges and your leaves will look tattered.
Capsid Bugs aren’t seen as serious because they don’t usually hinder the growth of plants. Sometimes a Capsid infestation can become so out of control plants will loose all their leaves and in turn, find it difficult to photosynthesise.  

From your photo and description it looks like your plants could survive but with some difficulty. Capsid bugs thrive from May until September so they really are at the early stages of invasion- which is quite worrying! If you see the bugs you can remove them by hand, or treat them with a spray.

Capsids don’t need a special type of spray. Any spray you would use on Aphids is fine, you can also use any spray listed as a fruit and veg bug killer. Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Cherry trees, Tree Lilacs, Dogwoods and Hawthorns are probably your best bet

“I have a small lawn 20ft x30ft and would like to put a SMALL tree in the middle of it. I would like either a flowering tree or a tree with red foliage. It’s also quite windy here and I dont want to overpower the lawn. Any suggestions please???”

Red maple trees sound like the perfect thing for you and your garden. They are often too large though, why not try a Japanese maple ‘tree’… these will turn a beautiful red in the autumn, but are listed as a shrub because of their size.

Ornamental trees are both small and beautiful. Cherry trees, Tree Lilacs, Dogwoods and Hawthorns are probably your best bet. However, the blooms are extremely delicate and may get blown across your garden if you live in a typically windy area. Try planting a small display of annuals around the base of your tree, this will stop your garden centrepiece from looking too bare when it isn’t in flower.

You could also try fruit trees, their size is limited and they look fantastic in large pots. They often have bushy foliage and fantastic colourful (and edible) fruit.

Please let us know if you have any gardening questions and we’ll do our best to answer them! Send all queries and photographs to gardenersblog@jerseyplantsdirect.com or write on our facebook wall here!


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