Quick Qu es­tions

Garden News (UK) - - The Problem Solver -

Can I ‘Chelsea chop’ my bud­dleja?

Rita Val­lance , by email If cu ing back your bud­dleja hard in late win­ter is re­sult­ing in growth that’s still too long you could try cu ing it back par­tially again in spring. This should re­sult in less growth and smaller and later flow­ers, but don’t wait too long to do it as you may end up with just fo­liage.

How do I store squash for the win­ter?

Hugh Vale, by email If plants are still in growth, leave them as long as pos­si­ble. Sit the fruit on blocks of wood to get them off damp ground. Har­vest be­fore frost is fore­cast and place in a green­house, con­ser­va­tory or sunny win­dow to cure for a cou­ple of weeks. Then store at 10-15C (50-60F). An un­heated room in a cen­trally heated home usu­ally main­tains that sort of tem­per­a­ture. Check ev­ery cou­ple of weeks for any signs of de­cay. Va­ri­eties like ‘Crown Prince’ may keep un­til April.

Is my multi-coloured hol­ly­hock un­usual?

Tony Bach­e­lor, Manch­ester I’ve not been un­able to trace any hol­ly­hock with red, pink and white flow­ers on the same plant if we are talk­ing about true, dis­tinct colours. On many plants where the flow­ers open pale pink, they often be­come darker as they ma­ture. The other pos­si­bil­ity, which I think is most likely, is that three dif­fer­ent coloured seedlings were po ed in the same con­tainer at the nurs­ery. These have sim­ply grown to­gether to ap­pear as a sin­gle plant, but each one flow­er­ing dis­tinctly.

Bud­dleja can be pruned in win­ter and spring

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