Q:  Hi, hope you can help me. My garden has been invaded by earwigs and they are eating my pot plants, leaves and roots. They lurk under our patio table and come out at night. They are under every pot and even on the bird table.  Now I have found them in my Fridge in the garage and yesterday in my bread bin in the kitchen! Help, how can I get rid of them?
Desperate of Rayleigh!!!

A: One of the best methods is to place upside down clay pots on top of a cane strategically around the garden, stuff them with straw or shredded paper – the earwigs will be attracted to this.  You then have two options: the friendly one is to shake the material to the floor and stamp on them quickly, alternative I have known people to set light to the straw or paper.


Q: Please can you help. We planted a 5′ Robina Tree last week which has now sunk about 3″ below ground level.  Do we dig up and replant, or just top up with soil? Thanks Gill.

A: Ideally the base level of the original soil when it was in the pot should not be exceeded when planted in the ground.  If it is necessary to raise the level of the rootball of the tree, try not to lift the tree out completely but raise it by pushing soil underneath it with your foot by leaning the tree gently first one way and then the other.


Q: Please can you advise.  I have two acers planted in the ground growing well I recently noticed what looks like a white fungus on the trunk of both and its growing up the bark.  One acer leaves are starting to curl at the end of branches not sure if related to fungus.  What do I need to get rid of the fungus?

A: Are you sure it’s a fungus, as often Acers are susceptible to scale insect in these dry warm conditions.  If it’s scale insect it would be sticky and could be treated with Provado.  If it’s a fungus I would consider that quite worrying as Acers are never the strongest growing shrubs.  Try spraying with Fungus Fighter and see whether this helps.  A picture to us could help identify which it is.


Q; Have bay tree in tub on patio – approx 6 years old.  White spots appearing on underside of  some leaves – look like emulsion paint!  Also some leaves turned brown.  Is that frost damage?

A: The white is most likely scale insect.  If you don’t use it as an edible crop but treat it purely as ornamental you can spray with Provado which should over a period of time eliminate the insect within the white on the back of the leaves.  The browning could be winter damage, feed at 2-3 week intervals with a good liquid feed and it should grow out of it.


Q:  I have had a camellia in a pot for the last 3 years and had a lovely flower display this year, however, the buds look brown and are still tightly closed.  Advice please.

A: This means that the plant dried out sometime last summer which doesn’t allow the bud to develop the next spring, i.e. now, because the stem is too narrow for the sap to push the bud to open.  I would suggest you possibly repot the Camellia into a larger pot using ericaceous compost and try not to allow it to dry out this summer, particularly between June and September when its forming next year’s buds.