This week’s posers for Brian
Q: Can you tell me how to get rid of toadstools in my lawn ? JF, Cosham.
A: Use copper mixture found in green drums at garden centres. Puff the dust over the toadstools and in a few days they will melt away.
Q: What’s gone wrong with my fuchsia? Just one plant has been infected. The buds look like cauliflowers. AB, Waterlooville.
A:The fuchsia is infested with fuchsia gall mite. Dig the plant out and burn it otherwise all other fuchsias will be infected. A product called Plant Rescue for ornamentals was introduced to control this pest, but it is difficult to find and may have been withdrawn from sale.
Q: I sowed seeds of spring cabbage Duncan as you advised. They germinated well but something is eating the leaves. It isn’t slugs? JD Waterlooville.
A: It is almost certainly caterpillars. If you look carefully you will see tiny green caterpillars the same colour as the cabbage leaves. Kill them by hand picking and then puff ant powder over the leaves.
Q: I’ve had the best ever crop of greenhouse tomatoes despite a lot of the fruits splitting. They will finish fruiting shortly. Can I take cuttings and get them to root so I can get more fruits? HFS, Emsworth.
A: Yes. Take 5in cuttings. Cut just below a leaf joint and keep them in the shade in the greenhouse. They will root in two weeks. Take more than you need because some will not root.
JOBS FOR THE COMING WEEK
Keep Autumn Bliss, Polka and other autumn-fruiting raspberries moist. If given a liquid feed of Maxicrop Complete now, it works very quickly and they will continue to fruit for many weeks.
Pick blackberries regularly to stop them falling on the soil or unwanted blackberry plants will appear. Tie in those great long fast-growing stems. These will provide next year’s fruit. Make bramble jelly. It tastes wonderful on vanilla ice cream.
Remove yellowing leaves on the lower stems of Brussels sprouts. They make good compost.
On allotments wind can be a problem as Brussels sprouts bend in the wind. Use two 3ft canes, one inserted on the south west side and another opposite to keep them upright.
Prune lavender. Use secateurs and cut it back hard. Ensure you leave live leaves on every stem which is pruned. Be bold to keep the shrub from getting too woody. After pruning soak the plant with Maxicrop Complete plant food – two gallons applied slowly.
Take rosemary and lavender cuttings – side shoots 5in long. Trim off all leaves apart from the top one inch and firm them into a seed compost adding 25 per cent sharp sand. Keep them shaded. This is the best time to get them rooted.
Got a question for Brian? E-mail him via email@example.com.