Quick Qu estions
What’s causing my agapanthus flowers to be deformed? Julie Southall, Dewsbury, W Yorkshire This is a condition known as fasciation. It can occur randomly or in response to damage to the developing bud, by insects or other causes. Where it reoccurs year after year, the causes are likely to be genetic mutation or infection by virus or bacteria. Why do my broad beans do so badly? Eileen Peltit, Tunbridge Wells, Kent With dry springs now in the south east, I find spring-sown broad beans struggle. Autumn-sown beans do better for me. ‘Super Aquadulce’ is a good variety for sowing in October or November. Seedlings will make good root growth before the cold weather. What has caused the distortion on my grape leaves? David Polden, Bexleyheath, Kent The damage is caused by microscopic erinose mites. They suck on the sap-releasing chemicals that cause the foliage to blister on top and form dense, felty masses of cream hairs beneath. In late summer, these dry up and become brownish. There are no pesticides available. Fortunately, the fruit remains unaffected. Why is my beech hedge dead in places? Mrs M E Armstrong, Omagh, Co. Tyrone It isn’t unusual in mature beech hedges to have some older stems die off. Clear out the bottom of the hedge, removing them together with weeds and debris. If plants are dying in succession, I suspect honey fungus. Remove them and a couple of others on either side and replant with something resistant.
Fasciation on agapanthus