How do I control rampant rhubarb?
Pam Corbin, Leicester In a fertile, moist soil rhubarb can be quite a thug, which is why it’s often relegated to a secluded corner. I find the simplest option is to almost defoliate clumps in May and June when pulling the stalks. Despite what’s often said, surplus leaves and stalks can be safely consigned to the compost heap. The other option is to divide every three years rather than the typical five year interval.
Where can I get mangetout ‘Sweet Horizon’ seeds?
Garry O’Sullivan, Hillingdon, Middlesex This is a great mangetout, ideal for successional sowing from March into June. It’s mildew resistant, coping well with warmer summer weather. At just 90cm (3ft) in height, it’s also suitable for container growing where space is limited. When in flower, water well to maximise pickings. It’s widely available in good garden centres. Alternatively, for mail order try Thompson & Morgan (tel: 0844 573 1818) or Simply Seed (tel: 01157 270606).
Do you need to pinch back flower seedlings?
Mick Fidoe, by email This depends very much on how they’ve grown. If sown in good light, pricked out and po ed on with plenty of space between the seedlings, they may naturally develop as nice bushy plants. In general, however, most small flower plants will benefit from pinching out the central growing point to make them bush out. While slightly delaying flowering, it will also tend to increase the total amount of flowers.
Rhubarb can quickly outgrow its spot in a fertile, moist soil