Here are a few questions I’ve received in recent months. Please share your questions in the comments section below, and I’ll endeavour to answer them in my next post!
Janet says she has an un-opened bag of my compost which she bought last May and wonders if it will still be OK to use? Yes, you certainly can, as long as the bag has been kept dry. If rain has got in , and the compost is very wet, it would be best to dig it into the garden, or add it when planting in the border.
Recently I launched my Garden Health Kit, featuring a range of products, all of which are approved for organic gardening, that sort out most of the major pests in the garden , including slugs, ants, greenfly and lily beetle. Sarah wanted to know if it also controls vine weevil. Sorry, it’s about the one pest it doesn’t! I’d recommend using a biological control, which are sold by most mail order suppliers.
Now the weather has warmed up, and we’re starting to plant out our summer bedding, it’s time to start feeding your plants with Flower Power. It’ll make a huge difference. Most gardeners use a watering can to apply it but Maggie asked if it can also be used in a hose-end sprayer. Yes, it can, but only in the Flower Power hose-end sprayer which uses a special venturi system that dilutes the Flower Power at the right rate all the time you use it.
If you’re using the sprayer with Flower Power, do make sure the fertiliser is fully dissolved, I strongly recommend straining the dissolved liquid through a tea strainer before adding to the spray bottle.
One of my favourite, easy-grow summer bedding plants is Cosmos Sonata whose beautiful daisy-like flowers brighten up the garden for months. Philip posted a question asking what size pots they should be grown in? As the plants get quite large, I’d grow one plant per 30/35cm pot, or three in a bigger pot. My multi-purpose compost is perfect for them as they especially enjoy the free draining texture of my special mix.
When growing cosmos, you should pop them in a sunny spot, keep them well watered, feed twice a week with flower power and , just as important, remove the finished flowers to stop them from going to seed (and that means they’ll flower less).
Dale and I were chatting this week about how quickly garden birds are eating my bird food during the=is breeding season. It’s lovely watching the small birds on the feeders ( one of my favourites is a woodpecker) but Andrea has sent in a question asking how to keep the bigger birds off the feeders. One answer is to use feeders with smaller perches, so the bigger birds can’t get on to them. Alternatively, use a squirrel proof feeder, which is enclosed in a cage. The smaller birds can get in and enjoy the food, but not the bigger ones.