Q: We are trying to dig out some tree trunks and the soil around the one we are on at the moment smells of manure. Is there something we need to do with the soil?

A: I believe that what you can smell is the micro organisms working away in the soil trying to break down the smaller roots of your old tree trunks which is a natural phenomenon. It also may have white mycelium in the soil, again people worry about that but it is all part of the process. I personally don’t think you have anything to worry about.


Q:  Ken, could you help me I have been given a basket of hyacinths which have been really lovely but now they are wilting and would like to know if it is worth putting them in the garden and what should I do with them now, they still have green leaves. Many thanks for your reply.Really enjoy your programme on Saturday mornings. Regards Barbara,Gidea Park

A: I never waste any plants, including hyacinths. If you plant them directly now they have faded, into the garden, and cut the dead flower head only off, the nutrient will return to the bulb and you will get a flower next year although it will be closer to a bluebell than a hyacinth.


Q: I have a Fuchsia which is not hardy. Its in a pot in the conservatory for the winter. Should I prune it and if so, how much should I prune it back and when. Thank you. Love your show. Marion

A: Prune fuchsia back by a third now.


Q: Ken please help, all my ripe plums this year have been attacked by a small maggot and I would like to know what it is and how to deal with it. Note only the ripe plums seem affected, it is a very small maggot and leaves a nasty brown area around the stone. no evidence of entry and only when plum is split do you know its there. Ruined crop this year. many thanks if you can help. great Saturday programme try to listen most weekends.

A: It’s a moth that lays its eggs at the time of blossom set and you will need to use a pheromone trap in your plum tree at the first sign of the blossom.  This will be the best method for eradicating the moth from laying her eggs at the base of the young plums.


Q: Dear Ken, planted acer tree 8 months ago, now realise it is in full sun and is getting quite burnt.  Can I move it now to a less sunny position and a bit better protection?  Thank you for advice.

A: I would not move the Acer tree until late September or when the leaves have dropped.  See you prepare the area well with added compost prior to re-planting the acer tree.