Evening of Gardeners’ Questions Answered by Steve Bradley
  1. Why do plum trees fail to come into flower? Possibilities:-

Pigeons are eating the blossom.

Most plum trees need pollinating; the exception is the Victoria plum  which is self pollinating.  A commercial pollinator may be needed.

Feed the tree roots via a drip line at flowering time with Sulphate of Potash,

  1. How do I grow flowering cherries in pots?

Plant out in sunshine. Any soil will be suitable. Add John Innes No.2. to absorb moisture in dry weather.

  1. Fruit trees’ burn damage on fruit/flowers, may be brown rot caused by a fungus. Pick off leaves and burn.

Use a ready to use fertilizer plug , but NOT in concentrated strength on edibles. These may be attached to fruit or flowers when fruit starts to develop. It is an efficient protector. Spray the whole flowering area and repeat when the fruits appear.

When does one prune flowering cherries?

The optimum time is in mid summer. Ensure you finish with a “balanced” tree. Care is needed.

Also prune to protect against Coral Spot or Silver Leaf in June at the earliest.

When do I prune Victoria Plums?

Prune in Summer and reduce the height.

Garden books do not always recommend when to feed or prune.


Cut to ground level , then spray with weedkiller. This procedure will result in a wax coating.

Spray “Weedfree Plus” on broad leaf plants.

  1. April/May.
  2. Sept/Oct.

Then prune in Summer.


Club root in soil or chalk.

Prepare soil then apply Jeyes Fluid. Also improve drainage.

Fumigate the greenhouse to remove pests and diseases and avoid mould.

Red Lily Beetle.

Spray  and remove.


Box Caterpillar. This pest strips leaves and is spreading in this century. Treat with pyrethrum. Nemesis – biological spray over the box tree will prove effective.


Leopard moth. This pest has a two year cycle. Stab with an extended paper clip!


Lift herbaceous perennials every 3/5 years. Replant Rhizomes.


Moths over winter in old plum trees, then mate in Spring. To eradicate them. spray in Spring when buds show colour.


Spring flowers.

Why do my primulas/ primroses not over-winter? Vine weevils could be the problem

Buy a vigorous root stock which may tolerate soil diseases and use new soil