The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Potting Shed

Welcome to my potting shed! This is the column where I’ll share all my gardening hints and tips – and I’ll try to answer any queries you may have.

- email your questions:

My beech hedge, planted four years ago, has put on very little growth. How do I persuade it to start growing? – Colin Docherty, Dunblane

Clear away grass and weeds growing around the base, feed the hedge with a general purpose fertiliser and then mulch with compost or leafmould.

I grow a fig tree in my conservato­ry but last year’s fruits all split. How do I stop this from happening again? – Audrey Anderson, North Berwick

Erratic watering is usually the cause of this problem, so get into the habit of watering regularly. In a hot conservato­ry plants in pots can dry out very quickly.

I’ve grown tomatoes from seed for the first time. What do I do with them now that they have sprouted? – Clare Phillips, by email Wait until the first true leaves develop and then transplant the seedlings into individual small pots.

Should pumpkin seeds be sown flat or on their sides? – Tom Ritchie, by email

Roots and seedlings appear along the narrow edge so some gardeners sow the seeds on their sides, however planting them flat seems to work just as well.

My cosmos seedlings are very tall and thin. Should I discard them and start again? – Hayley Croft, East Kilbride

There’s no need to throw them away, simply plant them very deeply, until the leaves are almost resting on the compost, and they will be fine.

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