Hello, A friend has asked me what this lovely plant is in our garden
that I bought from you about 18 months ago? I can’t find it in your
book so if you can tell me I’d be grateful! It’s grown enormously and
I’m really pleased with it! Can I take cuttings at this time of year? Is
that the best method of propagation?
All the best, Jackie
Yes, it is a lovely thing - eremophylla Nivea - a real sun lover and very drought
resistant too. Cuttings are best taken now but look for bits that are non-flowering
(which is probably going to be difficult as it is such a prolific flowerer!). Or, when
you trim it later in the year, try some more woody cuttings - they will take longer
to root but are usually successful
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Hello, I have lots of Iris in the ground and pots with lots of green leaves but no blooms which is really disappointing - what am I doing wrong?
Kind regards, Frank & Sue
Hello Sue and Frank,
A few possibilities here. Firstly, make sure they are not planted too deep; iris like to have about half the rhizome (tuberous underground stem) above the ground to get baked by the sun. So always shallow plant. If some of the clumps are old, you'd be better to lift them and split them into sections. Discard the old centre and replant the younger, more vigorous bits. They may then take a year or two to settle into flowering but should then do so prolifically. And, lastly, always plant in a hot sunny position - even here, they love the heat.
I have also noticed this year that our common white and blue iris in the garden have smaller flowers than usual. I'm assuming that this is because of poor rainfall for two or three years now really.
Hello, I have two lemon trees with lots of spacing between leaves, what could be the cause? They also have white insects, I have sprayed twice with neem but no improvement so far.
My orange tree has curly leaves, what should I do?
I haven't had fruit on my pommegranate for 2 years, is this normal?
Last question, I would like to make compost, the compost bin is full of kitchen waste but totally dry, what should I do now?
Thank you! Will
I can´t see too clearly from the photos but it looks like you have a lot of growth low down on the lemon trees. This should be removed to leave a clean trunk and, especially, if it is growing from below the garft line on the tree - it is essential to remove that. This will encourage growth higher up. Then feed the trees regularly. Organic worm manure is very good and needs applying twice a year, in spring (now) and again in autumn. It feeds the plants and improves the soil at the same time.
The white insects are scale insects, very common on citrus trees. The neem oil will clear it but you need to be very consistent. Use a 5% solution and spray every 5 days until the plant seems clear. Then use a 1% solution weekly. There are so many on your trees, that it would be easy to pick them off by hand - you won´t clear them all, but it will help. The ants you can see in the photos too are feeding on the honeydew exuded by the scale insects. So clearing them will clear the ants too. The curling leaves on your orange tree are all part of the same problem, you can see the insects on them. I would spray all your citrus trees - even those that seem clean - weekly with 1% neem oil and that will protect them from insect attack.
Pomegranates need a full sun position to flower and it would need to be at least 5 years old.
Compost, you need to have equal amounts of 'green' waste and 'brown' waste. Green waste is moist, uncooked kitchen waste and weeds, lawn trimmings etc; brown waste is things like dry leaves, wood shavings, old newspapers etc. It also needs oxygen and water. Air flow stops it going rotten and sprinkling with water now and again helps everything break down.
A year ago you supplied me with 13 first-class fruit trees, half of which are citrus. We’ve had some delicious fruit from all the trees over the past year, by the way – many thanks!
Last year I fed the citrus trees with a soluble Abono Citricos, NPK 12 - 8 – 12 with added magnesium.
I’ve used up all this stuff now and have only a bag of granular Abono Universal which is NPK 15 – 15 – 15. Please could you tell me how much of it I should use on the trees, and how frequently?
Good to hear from you and know that your trees are doing well. It's so nice, isn´t it, to pick your own fruit!
We only keep organic products, no chemicals, so honestly I'm not the best person to advise you on this but most of them are a small handful applied every 6 weeks. However, it should say on the pack - send me a photo of the instructions if you are having trouble with it.
Do take care during these turbulent times and let me know if I can help with anything else.
Hope you are safe and well!
Do you happen to know what has attacked our old nisperos tree?
And if it is anything to do?
This is loquat scab/moteado de nispero/la negra del nispero/fusicladium eriobotryae and is very common in nispero. It's a fungal infection that usually starts in the leaves and young shoots, spreading to the fruits. First signs are pale, round spots which change to olive-brown colouring then go black and velvety. The fungus can overwinter in old leaves and lesions on the branches and also on mummified fruits that haven´t been cleared away. The spores spread to new emerging leaves by rain splash, wind and insects.
Organically, your best course of action is to always make sure the trees are well spaced for good air circulation and irrigation is by drip feed rather than sprayers. Always clear away old fruits and strip off any old affected leaves in autumn - this will reduce the incidence of over-wintering. In spring, apply a 5% solution of neem oil at flower bud stage and again at fruit setting; repeat this at leaf fall. In between spray with a 1% solution weekly throughout the growing/cropping season.
I have bought a villa with an established gramma grass coarse lawn planted 3 years ago with a sprinkler system installed.
Would you please advise on watering times for this type of lawn. Your article advised starting now in April.
How often do I water the lawn and for what duration?
Thank you and kind regards
(Javea area, Alicante province)
Good morning Norman,
April, yes, is normally a good time to start irrigation again on lawns though we are having very rainy and damp weather at the moment so, obviously, adjust for that.
Once it warms up, you will, ideally, need to water twice a day through the hot weather months and this is best carried out very early in the morning, before the sun rises, and last thing at night. If your system is powerful, 5 minutes at each time should be sufficient, gramma grass is not very deep rooting so you only need to be watering the top, say, 10cms. This is one time when there is no advantage to deep watering. If you only want to water once daily, then make it at night so the grass can take best advantage of thew water through the night and you would then be best to give it 10 mins but it does depend upon the amount of water going through your sprayers.
Hope this helps,
Hi, Can you identify the attachment (tree) and tell me what's wrong and how to treat. There are no aphids or bugs that I can see.
This is either a peach or nectarine tree - impossible to know until the fruit sets. And it is badly infected with peach leaf curl, a very common fungal infection found in peach, nectarine, almond and plum trees. It's wind borne so very difficult to stop the spread.
The best course of preventative action is to spray your tree with either copper fungicide or neem oil just as the leaves are starting to open and again at leaf fall. You're obviously a bit late for this now but to try and stop it spreading, I would spray weekly with a solution of copper fungide. The infected leaves you can pick off and dispose of carefully - don´t just leave them lying around - and the new leaves should come through clean.
Hello, I have a large avocado tree at the house and it didn't get enough water this winter. The leaves have died but the branches are still green, what should we do? Many thanks, Keep safe. All the best. Jacqui.
The avocado should come back if it's still green in the branches and all these recent rains should help. Cut everything back by about one third, give it a feed and make sure it doesn´t go short of water - then stand back and wait!