THE front door of my cottage is in a shady alley and I've struggled to get anything to grow in pots. Any suggestions? - Laura Turner, Bristol
YOU could try an evergreen fern, polystichum. It's a tall, shuttlecock-shaped plant that could be up-lit for dramatic effect. Grow one either side of the door. They would look good in tulipshaped terracotta pots, or a couple of old chimney pots.
Line the base of the pots with crocks or broken terracotta pots and use a soilbased John Innes compost, which is moisture-retentive and holds nutrients for a long period.
Tricks for drying out your smelly compost
MY compost bin is very wet and starting to smell. What should I do? - Jackie Horrocks, Twickenham, Middlesex
STIR in shredded paper or add straw and broken-up twiggy prunings. Then kickstart the composting process by adding a compost accelerator or simply throwing in a handful of nitrogen fertiliser. Or, if you dare, try granddad's old remedy and water it with pee!
Beware blossom end rot ?
WHAT'S causing the black patches on the base of my tomato fruits? - Mike Oliver, Bridport, Dorset
THE problem is called blossom end rot. Irregular watering and calcium deficiency is the cause. Affected fruits are inedible and should be put in the compost bin. If properly cared for, the plant should go on to produce healthy fruits.
Write to Adrienne at Homes & Holidays, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ferns are good in pots Healthy toms
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 2, 2009|
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