GARDENING: Brian Kidd solves your problems
From mystery seeds to an asparagus fern which needs a haircut.
Q: We had a privet hedge which we hated so it was removed.Â We'dÂ like an evergreen hedge with white flowers which only needs trimming a couple of times aÂ year. My wife told me to writeÂ as you haveÂ novel ideas! CD, Cosham.
A: There'sÂ a perfect evergreen shrub with white flowers which needsÂ pruningÂ once a year after flowering. It'sÂ escallonia iveyi. Plant twoÂ feet apart and fork in blood fish and bone and a large bag of John InnesÂ compost ae the ground where the privet was will lack nutrition. Each shrubÂ needs a gallon measure of the compost.
Q: My cymbidium orchid keeps falling over. Â DP, Emsworth.
A: TheyÂ need repotting every two years. Water,Â buy a pack of orchid compost and a clay pot twoÂ inches wider than the original. The heavy pot willÂ stop the plantÂ falling over. It'll nowÂ produce lovely flowers in autumn.
Q: Can you tell me the name of the seeds enclosed I forgot to label them. AS, Portchester.
A: They are broad beans. I expect they are the hardy type and can be sown outdoors in autumn.
Q: My asparagus fern is more than 20 years old but is getting far too long. Can it be pruned back and when should this be done? GH, Bedhampton.
A: Cut the longest growths right back leaving a sort stem to where there are fern leaves. This can be done right now. It sounds as if the plant has been in the same pot for a long time. Water it and put it into a larger pot using JI No3 compost and it will go on for another 20 years. I had a friend who grew one and it almost covered her ceiling.
Q:Â I have grown a peach tree from a seed and it is twoÂ feet tall. I would like to keep it short. Can you help me and do you think it will produce fruits?Â BC, North End.
A: Cut off the top by about sixÂ inches. I have sent you a diagram of what to do next and yes it will produce fruits in fiveÂ years. Something to look forward to!'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹'‹
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