Q: We have two apple trees in our garden – both about 15 years old. One is a Bramley cooking apple, the second is a Cox’s eating apple.
Earlier this year my husband trimmed them back! So far there has been no blossom and presumably there will be no fruit. What can we do to remedy the situation?
A: The trees have been cut back too much in one go and all their energy has gone to regrowing branches. Take out any water shoots now (new straight branches growing vertically). Lightly prune every winter removing any dead and congested branches. Aim for the tree to resemble the shape of a wine glass. If you have room plant another apple tree to aid pollination.
Q: My tomato plants were hit by Hurricane Bertha last weekend – with one of them snapping in the middle. There is still green fruit on the bottom of the plant – is there anything special I should do to ensure they still ripen?
A: Make sure your tomatoes are in a sunny spot and they should ripen quickly.
Q: When should I stop pruning my privet hedge in the autumn?
A: Privet can grow fast. I would prune in late spring and late summer as long as you prune during the growing season you won't go wrong.
Tips for the week:
Spring bulbs are now in garden centres. Most bulbs can be planted any time in the autumn but snowdrops need to be planted as soon as you can buy them. They are small bulbs and can quickly dry out in their packets so get them in the ground quick for a late winter show next year.
Unless we have prolonged steady rain plants in containers need to be watered. Water in the morning if you can,the foliage will dry out quickly and lessen the chance of fungal infection.