Gardeners' question time with Brian Kidd

Pittosporum tenuifolium makes a good hedge, particularly at Hayling Island.
Pittosporum tenuifolium makes a good hedge, particularly at Hayling Island.
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Want to grow a hedge from seed? Brian has the answer.

Q: My camellia usually flowers well but last winter the flowers were poor and the bush lacked lustre. There are black patches but there don’t seem to be any aphids. NM, Hill Head.

A: The patches are scale insect. Spray with a tablespoon of liquid soap flakes in a gallon of water in the evening, concentrating on the leaves’ undersides. Feed the camellia with Vitax Q4 fertilser, four ounces a square yard over several square yards. Rake in and water well. In autumn give it plenty of water to stop bud-fall in winter.

Q: We don’t have a large income and grow much from seed. We want an evergreen hedge which will grow to six feet. Something from seed please. F and P, Hayling Island.

A: Pittosporum tenuifolium seedlings will grow to that height in nine years. I’ve sent you some seed!

Q: I am a bit cross because the bottom fruits on my greenhouse tomatoes are the size of a pea. What am I doing wrong? BC, Fareham.

A: As they are already turning orange it’s too late to improve those particular fruits BUT if you give the plants a shake every day pollination will take place and you will have normal size fruits. Take hold of the supporting cane and give the plants a good shake. You may see the pollen falling down on a sunny day.

Q: I want to sow seeds of primroses on the side of a ditch we have in the garden. How do I sow the seeds please? DG, Denmead.

A: Simply scatter the seeds thinly on the bank of the stream, nice and easy, no digging, raking. No worries.

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