Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

How can I stop earwigs eating my silverbeet?

Get rid of sheltering plant debris and rubbish before resorting to poisonous baits, as earwigs eat other garden pests. Make overnight traps with rolled up corrugated cardboard, or scrunched up dampish newspaper in empty flowerpots placed upside-down on stakes near your plants, shaking out earwigs next morning into a bucket of hot soapy water. Fish oil is also attractive to earwigs, so any time you open a tin of tuna in oil try using the unwashed can as a lure.

Why are some branches on my Japanese maple showing signs of dieback?

This could be attributable to frost damage on soft unripened growth in winter, but if there are dark lesions on or around the branches it may be a bacterial dieback. Fungicides won't help with this but you should prune out the affected parts, always remembering to cut back to just above a pair of buds or side branch down to healthy green wood. Japanese maples need wind protection, and watering in hot dry weather.

If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@clear.net.nz

- Hamilton News

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