Q: When is it best to plant naga chilli seeds and do you have any tips for maximising the plants’ yields?
SC via Twitter
A: Hot chilli plants are easy to grow but the fruits take a long time to ripen. You can plant seeds from January to April. They like warm and sunny conditions. Take care with watering when the plants are small. When flowers appear pollinate with a small brush to maximize yield.
Q: I have a small lawn behind a new house that gets no sunlight at all as it faces north. The grass has gone very patchy and has been completely saturated this winter. In high summer the bottom end will get sunlight but that's it. Is a nice lawn possible and how can the bare patches be fixed?
MJ via Facebook
A: As grass never likes shade you might consider artificial grass. At about £50 a meter installed it is not cheep but it looks realistic.
Q: I’ve been given some gorgeous blue irises with leopard spots which I can grow indoors, but can’t remember the name. Can you tell me which variety they are and what I should do to make sure I get flowers again next year?
A: Iris suitable for growing indoors are reticulata types and come in many colours. They are hardy and can be planted in the garden for next year after flowering. If you want to keep them in their container feed with tomato feed after flowering and let the foliage die back in mid summer then keep the container dry till November.
Q: How do I start composting in a small garden?
A: For a small garden i would recommend a self contained composter. It looks like a water butt on a frame that you can spin. Traditional methods take up room and look unsightly.
Tips for the week
For gardeners with a green house or conservatory, summer plants can soon be purchased small to grow on and save you money.
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