Q: Having bought a plant from his garden centre in Oct in memory of my husband who had just passed away I need advise on its care.He loved fuchsia and I saw the firecracker new to both of us.It was just waving in the wind.I have kept it in greenhouse all winter. Have just cut it back and there are new buds what care should I now be giving and feeding hope you can help me.

JS by email

A: The beautiful fuchsia (Firecracker) needs protection from frost in the winter. As light levels and temperatures improve in the spring it will want to start growing again. Stand it in a dish of water for an hour a week for now. Use a house plant liquid feed at half the recommended rate from April. Bring the plant outside from mid May and start to water and feed more as temperatures increase.

Q: What evergreen tree that will grow to between 15 and 25 feet would be good for a sunny front garden to hide a sign?

MS via Facebook

A: Plant a gum tree (eucalyptus) for a quick result but it will get taller than 25 feet. Holly is an option but it is slow growing initially. Medium growth conifers (cypress) types are also an option.

Q: What is the best way to chit potatoes before planting?

JE, Caldicot

A: Put them on a tray and expose them to sunlight for two to four weeks. Make sure they don`t get frosted so by a garage window or in the greenhouse is ideal.

Q: Which weedkiller would you recommend for a garden where there are cats? I want to avoid them getting ill.

DD, Newport

A: Round up is a very effective weed killer that is safe as soon as it dries on the plant. Wait for the weeds to start growing strongly before application for best effect.


Ventilate the green house during the day.

Water in the morning so that foliage dries out quickly.

Garden plants will benefit from a feed now.

IF YOU have a question for our Garden Guru, email maria.williams@southwalesargus.co.uk, tweet @ArgusMWilliam, leave a message on the Argus Facebook page or write to Garden Guru, Newsdesk, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport NP20 3QN.