Gardeners' question time with BRIAN KIDD
This week: can you get a flower in a bouquet to root? And, what to do with an old container of creosote substitute.
Q: My son sent me a beautiful bouquet for my birthday and there is a yellow spray chrysanthemum among the blooms. There is a strong shoot growing from the base of the stem and I would like to root this. Is it possible please? DK, Baffins.
A: Yes. The cutting needs to be about four inches long. Cut below a leaf joint (node). Take off all the leaves apart from the top pair and the growing tip and insert into compost adding 50 per cent extra sand. Keep indoors in the shade and it will root in about four weeks.
Q: I found a container of creosote substitute which has been buried in the shed for more than 10 years. Is it safe to use? DK, Rowlands Castle.
A: Yes. Excellent for preserving fences etc but never allow it to touch shrubs or flowering plants as it will either damage or kill them. Never apply with a sprayer.
Q: Our lovely solanum creeper has been in bloom since last April. Can we prune it now? SA, Farlington.
A: Yes, prune lightly but any major pruning is best done in April because the blooms always appear on new growth.
Q: Silly question but my guttering on the shed at the allotment is a problem because the wind makes the down pipe fall off. Any ideas? VN, Fareham.
A: Use a little hand tool (gimlet) to make a small hole where the pipes join and put a screw into the hole so the two parts are kept together with the screw.
Q: I want to transplant some primroses from a border to a nature area. When is the best time? EP, Hilsea.
A: If you can still see them, do it now but ensure they have a good drench when replanting. The job can also be done in late winter once you see the leaves appearing.
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