Q&A with Glenys Woollard - Gardening

Should I thin out immature fruit on my fruit trees?

Sometimes. Apples often drop fruit naturally in late November and early December, but after that it may pay to take out the central or "king" fruit of a cluster. Thinning of Japanese plums should have been done by now, and involves thinning clusters to pairs so no two fruits touch each other when ripe (this decreases the chance of brown rot spreading). Cherries don't need thinning and nor do citrus, most pears and European plums.

Sometimes earwigs emerge from my flowers - can they bite?

Well, they can pinch at any rate - though most simply scuttle away. Fortunately, earwigs don't breed indoors; they merely hide. The evil-looking creatures don't last long in a dry atmosphere, either, so no need to panic if one escapes (despite their name, earwigs rarely crawl into ears). More than 20 species exist in New Zealand, most of them native, but it's the European earwig that's a pest in our gardens - and they really love dahlias.

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

- Hamilton News

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