Q: When is it best to start trimming privet and conifer hedges in the year?
AJ via Facebook
A: To maintain privet and conifer hedges prune in July after the current season's growth. If you need to reduce the size of a conifer hedge prune in spring and again in July. Conifers don't like hard pruning so reduce in size gradually.
Q: I’d like to create a wildflower area in the garden, could you could recommend some wild flower mixes for me to try?
A: You could plant common snowdrops and wild daffodils for some early colour. Sweet violets will give a carpet of colour in the spring. Wild poppies can be sown directly onto the ground and they can flower within six weeks.
Q: I have a bonsai that had lost all of its leaves, after re-potting some new leaves are coming from the trunk. Should I cut off all the other branches or will leaves grow back on them in time?
NG, via Facebook
A: Some bonsai plants are deciduous and will lose all their leaves every winter. Scrape your finger nail on a bare branch. If it is green underneath leaves should grow back, if not give it a prune.
Q: I have a large stone wall in the garden which tends to get very warm in summer. I want to grow trailing tomatoes from a planter on it, but which varieties should I try?
A: A cherry tomato called tumbler is an old favourite ideal for this spot. A new variety called cherry falls is more vigorous. For a yellow variety try pear drops.
Tips for the week:
Choose and chit seed potatoes.
Plant garlic and shallots outside now
Sow broad beans and brussel sprouts under protection for planting out in March.
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