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HOME: Holly berries are a prickly problem; The Beechgrove Garden's Carolyn Spray answers your questions.


Q MY neighbour's garden has many lovely hollies with berries. If I buy one, how can I be sure it will berry well?

A YOU need a male and female plant for berries but there is a way round the problem without buying two - a self- fertilising variety called J.C. van Tol with green, smooth leaves. There is also a yellow berried one (Bacciflava) and Madame Briot is silver and green.

Q I LOST my crop of beetroot this year because of going to seed or bolting. Any suggestions for next year?

A BOLTING is caused by sowing too early or growing in poor, dry soil. Leave main sowing until the end of April in Scotland with a second sowing in May. Use Boltardy variety which is resistant to going to seed. Thin seedlings as soon as they are big enough.

QI HAVE a new greenhouse and would like to get really early tomatoes. When should I plant?

A SEED is sown in December in a propagator, preferably under artificial sun lights. When they have two cotyledons or seed leaves, transplant them to 9cm pots. Plant out into pots or direct into the border in March. They will need a minimum temperature of 16C day and night.

Q I WANT to change some plants in my herbaceous border because the colours and heights are wrong. When's the best time?

A ANY time from now until March. If you have a plan of what is where and when it flowers, it will just be a case of lifting and replanting whenever the soil is not frozen or waterlogged. If the clumps are well established, divide and plant a group of 3-5 smaller plants, which will give a better display than an old clump.

Write to: Carolyn Spray, 7days magazine, Sunday

Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow, G3 8DA.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Gardening
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 22, 2002
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