Quick Qu estions
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