GARDENING: Question TimeÂ

Q: Can you tell us which fertiliser acts most quickly. Is it fish blood and bone or Growmore? G and MC, Fareham.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 2:46 pm
Brian has the answer to getting rid of unwanted bamboo

A: This answer will help a lot of gardeners. Growmore acts more quickly but the elements do not last long. Fish blood and bone works slowly and is organic. It feeds the soil before feeding the plant roots. These are both called compound fertilisers because they both contain all the elements that plants require.

Q: There is a bamboo in our garden and we hate it because it has pushed up our paving. How can we get rid of it? B D, Cosham.

A: Allow every shoot to grow to a height to 30cms. Once they are this high cut every shoot

and you will see that the stems are hollow. Fill every bamboo tube with Roundup, one part Roundup in 10 parts water. This formulation will travel through the entire plant and will kill it. Your paving will not be pushed up again. It will work. 

Q: I'm writing to tell you your advice about putting grass seed in seed compost works really well. C P, Waterlooville. 

A: Thank you. A lot of gardeners agree with you. 


■ This is the most exciting time because wall baskets, hanging baskets and window boxes can be planted. If it's very windy, wait.

■ If the stems on the potato plants look a bit thin, the crop will not be good. Thick haulms indicate a good crop. Scatter sulphate of ammonia along the rows, using two ounces per yard run and hoe this into the soil. Once hoed in, earth up the haulms again and give the plants a good watering - this will increase the yield.

■ Did you prune the forsythia shrub? Use strong secateurs and remove all the wood which had flowers. If this looks a daunting job, pull out one branch at a time, look for side shoots close to the ground and cut back to where the side shoots can be seen. Pull back the next branch and do the same. The sprays of prunings can be used to support perennial plants. ■ Keep the hoe going and pick up all the weeds and put them into the compost bin. If left on top of the soil, it will cause Murphy's Law to strike.