Gardening: Brian Kidd answers your horticultural questions
Is blood from your Sunday joint a decent plant food?
Q: When I buy a joint for a roast I always drip the blood in the pack on to my clematis, something my mother always did. The clematis grows like mad but is now dormant. Where is the best place for the blood? HC, Denvilles.
A: I do receive the most interesting questions! Plants do not require feed during the winter but it is a very good idea to pour it into the compost bin.
Q: I read that if copper nails are hammered into the bark of a tree, the tree will die? Is this true? HS, Gosport.
A: If the tree is mature the copper will not kill it.
Q: Can you tell me what is causing this red powder on the backs of my rose leaves? PLB, Farlington.
A: This is a fungal disease called rose rust. Prune the branches back by half their length and remove the prunings from the garden. Spray the bushes and the surface of the soil with Systhane fungicide on a calm mild day.
Q: There are areas of grass dying off and the bases of the grass blades are red. Is this a serious disease and is there anything I can do to improve the lawn? GD, Havant.
A: Thanks for the sample. It is called red thread disease and I have sent you details of a local company which will treat it for you. A quote is free and the treatment is not really expensive. We are not able to buy the chemical required as it must be applied by certificated operators.
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