Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

Is there a single safe spray to kill bugs on all vegetables?

One spray to kill 'em all - wouldn't that be nice. The trouble is, different bugs need different treatments at different times - and what kills pests is also lethal to beneficial bugs. Few chemicals are without their potential problems for people, either, so try other control methods first: rotate, water, weed and fertilise your plants to keep them healthy; encourage natural predators, including ladybirds, hoverflies and birds; and remove pests by hand where you can.

How far back can I prune some very overgrown camellias?

As far as you like. As a general rule camellias need only a light annual trim after flowering, but they can take much more drastic measures. Be sure to use clean sharp tools, as jagged cuts encourage disease, and cut flush to feeder branches without leaving stubs. Applying sealant to the wound is no longer thought necessary. For the next year or a severely pruned plant will put its energy into producing new growth rather than flowers.

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

- Hamilton News

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