First of all our 35ft oak tree came out with reddish leaves, they have now turned green but every day there are small brown dead leaves on the ground.   They are not the old leaves but some of the new leaves seem to be dying.  Ideas please?  Mrs King

ANSWER:  I believe that these leaves formed early when we had a spurt of hot weather, since then cold weather affected that small growth and now the full flush is sending that damaged growth to the ground. Keep an eye on it, if the
new growth is affected let us have a leaf to look at.  Keep Listening.  Ken C


Q: Dear Ken,  Where we live there are four houses surrounding a large natural pond over which we have joint responsibility.  A few years ago we planted waterlillies which have spread in an impressive fashion.  Unfortunately last year the leaves grew to significant proportions and the hundred flowers ended up hidden behind them.  Have you any idea why this is or what could be done to curtail the process so we can benefit from the blooms?   John Talman.
PS  If you wanted to see for yourself ours is one of the gardens open on June 10th as part of East Bergholt Open gardens day.

A: Hi, Ken Crowther has passed me your email about the waterlilies.  I think the description you give is when the leaves stand upright from the water instead of laying flat.  Generally this is a sign the lily crown has become overgrown and the solution is to lift the lilies and split them into smaller plants, which should solve the problem.  Best time to do it?  Now!  Afraid you’ll need to get your waders out.  Kind regards, Bernice Brewster, Aquatic Consultancy


Question: Hello Ken, I listen to your BBC Essex gardening programme as often as I can and find it very interesting and informative.  I recently heard you mention a lawn moss killer, only available on the internet, but cannot remember its name.  Can you tell mw what it is please, and where I can get it.  Many Thanks, Lynda

Answer:  The moss killer product is called Mo Bacter.  If you put it in a search engine lots of websites will come up.


Question: Hi, can you please tell me how to look after my goji berry. It is small at the moment. It has leaves. Does it flower? Also when does it have fruit? Marion

Answer: Feed the goji berry with ericaceous liquid feed.  If the goji berry has got dead tips, lightly prune in early May and keep well-watered.


Q: I had a new lawn laid in September. It looked lovely all winter but now as it has started to grow 4 or 5 very dark green or grey patches have appeared.  I lifted a small section and underneath I found some grey mould with a very strong smell like mushrooms.  What is this and how do I treat it before it ruins my lawn. Thanks for any help you can give  Mrs JK

A: The dark green patches of lawn could be a number of things, but I suspect its where the soil beneath is more nutritious than other areas. The grey patches most likely are winter damage which could have resulted from fuserium or similar fungal diseases. These were particularly prevalent this winter as a layer of snow encourages their spread beneath.  A feeding will usually get rid of it, but you may have to overseed by using a spring rake, scratch area of surface and apply seed.  As for the grey mould beneath the turf that you describe this is where bacteria is breaking down organic matter, it does sometimes smell mushroomy but is nothing to worry about.