This week’s questions for Brian range from toadstools wallflowers
Q: Can you tell me how to get rid of toadstools in my lawn and where to buy the product I need. DG, Farlington.
A: There are two products. I mention two because you will be able to find at least one of these at your garden centre. The first is sulphate of iron. Simply sprinkle this over the toadstools and they melt away in a few days. The second is copper mixture, which comes in a green drum. Sprinkle this over the toadstools and this will also make them disappear. Wear latex gloves when using these products because they stain the skin.
Q: My wife wonders if you can identify this plant which has arrived in my garden. I am enclosing some photos? EHC, Fareham.
A: It’s the schoo fly plant and the botanical name is nicandra. This is an interesting plant because it keeps flies away. It will produce lots of seeds. Just keep one or two seedlings otherwise it will grow everywhere.
Q: I would like to grow some perfumed spring-flowering plants below a huge conifer hedge. The dry, hot border is about 20ft long and 3ft wide. We grow geraniums here and they thrive, but the polyanthus we planted last year were lovely at first but then the plants faded away, We would like something not too expensive. H and PT, Fareham.
A: Wallflowers called Golden Bedder will be ideal because the brilliant gold colour brings a ray of sunshine into the garden. Wallflowers are heavily perfumed and also loved by bees.
Things to do this week
Keep cutting the grass. It is much easier and quicker if done regularly. If it’s sometimes too wet, drag a stiff broom behind you over the surface.
This makes water droplets fall on to the soil and an hour later the grass is easier to cut.
If you are intending to treat wooden garden furniture with a preservative to restore its quality, choose the correct product. Ensure the wood is dry before using any preservative otherwise moisture is locked in.
Buy some fragrant long-stemmed exhibition sweet pea seeds ready to sow next month. They are more expensive but if you love perfumed sweet peas it’s worth paying a bit more.
Try to get the hedges trimmed before the cold winds arrive. The good news is that this will be the last trim required this year. Hooray!
Keep mentioning that an electric hedge trimmer would be a good idea to your wife’s best friend and your wife might buy one for you for Christmas.
Take a lot more care about watering in the greenhouse. From now until spring, watering is best done in the mornings. Take care not to splash it around as wet conditions encourage fungal problems.
If you are taking geranium plants into the greenhouse to over-winter, cut them back hard and remove every leaf. Dust the cut ends with sulphur powder to prevent stem rot.