I have an old (Not sure how old) red currant bush which produced about 2kg fruit this yr. It has been here since we moved in 2 yr ago. It sits right against the wooden fence in a very close to a gooseberry bush which it completely overpowers (you can hardly see the gooseberry bush) … read more

I have a bed of summer,mixed, and autumn fruiterer. Each year I prune my summer plants. I find there are berries unripe new on new green shoots. my question to you DO I REALLY HAVE SUMMER FRUITING RASBERRIES

We have 5 old apple trees and one old pear tree, all 10 to 15 feet high. They have always been good croppers and are professionally pruned every 2 years. In recent years, we have developed a huge problem with Codling Moth. We have used the traps each of the past 3 seasons. The first … read more

How can I prevent my unripe plums on the tree from being attacked by wasps as they are in full flight at the moment and the plums are not near ripe.

I would be delighted if you could enlighten me as to what is causing the tiny holes on the leaves of my Victoria Plum trees and of course what would rectify the problem. See photo.

Loganberries planted in good soil and growing very well on 4ft south-facing wall for 3 years producing abundant growth and flowers but not one fruit. I dont over-feed them. Have no problem with raspberries.

! planted a new apple tree ( bare root) early this year. started to leaf and produced two trusses of flowers with 5 flower heads on each. When flowers went the little apple buds appeared. however checked one morning to find one complete truss gone. put a mesh on the other one in case it … read more

I have recently planted 2 young pear trees and they seem to be doing well, but I have noticed the presence of much leaf rolling and black tipped leaves (as well as the cluster mites). I followed advice and took off all the badly affected leaves. As long as its not fire blight, do they … read more

I have 3 plum trees, 2 oulins and 1 opal. All were laden with fruit til 3 years ago when the Opal stopped. Then the gages stopped the following year. All are completely healthy with no disease. To my horror I read the fruiting life span is 20 to 25 years which is roughly how … read more

I hope you might be able to answer a question that I have. I Am attaching photos of something that has appeared all over the branches of a greenhouse Pear tree in the last week. We do have a lot of ants and woodlice in greenhouse and maybe there is a connection. Do you have … read more

My raspberry canes are thriving but I’ve noticed some of the leaves on a few canes have begun to dry with a brown colour. Is it due to lower than normal rainfall or bad maintenance? I can water them from my rainwater butts if necessary.

I have moved some fruit bushes from my late fathers garden and transplanted to my own the following day. I think gooseberry and raspberry and blackcurrant from what I can remember. I cut them back to about 4 feet. Do you think they will survive as I am unsure how much of the root I … read more

I get a small crop of blackcurrants by removing the big buds now. Is there any cure other than destroying the plants ?

Our pear tree produced fruit fine for a couple of years but, in the last few years, it blossoms normally but then the leaves turn as per the picture attached and the fruit it produces is withered. Is it lacking a nutrient or is there something else afoot?

We have a new house and new garden, half acre. Most of it is in lawn but I have a few special areas – like the Vivaldi Garden and the Via Augustino!! We will plant some fruit trees on Sunday next but we would also like to plant some soft fruits. Could you please advise … read more

How to care strawberry plant in winter?

Looking for help on pruning this old apple tree. I was pruned a couple of years back back but not sure if it was done right.A lot of new [long] shoots appeared [see pic] some are bearing fruit . Any help would be appreciated

Never one to put down a healthy plant I willing took some strawberry plants from my friend. He grew them from runners. Its September!! what can I do with them? Will they survive, will they grow, is there any chance of getting fruit from them and if so how should I plant? I don’t have … read more

Can you tell if this is a fungal or pest problem on my apple tree.Some leaves are going brown, others have a mosaic pattern on them and there are holes in the apples. Can you give me advice on how to treat this problem?

We have 5 apple trees, Bramley, Golden Delicious, Coxs orange Pippin, Braeburn, Floweing Crab. There was a a very good crop of blossoms on each tree, which formed small fruits on the long stems, but progressed no further. All of these fell off the 5 trees. We had a great crop last year. Just wondering … read more

The magpies are eating my plums even though they are not yet ripe. Should I bring them in to ripen on the windowsill, or just take my chances?

I am looking to plant some red currant bushes. 1) Will they successfully grow in this climate? (Best time to plant). 2) How do they fair in cooler weather (will they die off?). 3)When could one benefit the harvest? 4) Would they be (similar) to a rose bush & take over the garden? (Do they … read more

Yesterday I had a lovely gooseberry bush laden with fruit. I wanted to pick them but it was wet and misty so I waited. Today, only 2 berries left. the tree has been stripped completely overnight!! there are no intruders, its a fortress but I have a visiting fox! Could he be the culprit? if … read more

Received a present of 2 fruit trees planted on 13/3/2016. 1 Plum Prunus domestica ‘Rythgestetter’ and 1 Sweet Cherry, Prunus avium ‘Burlat’. Blossoms on Cherry but no sign of life on plum. Will these pollinate each other ?

Can I grow fruit trees on a north facing slope? I am in West Cork near to the sea. The land is arable and the slope is approx. 45 degrees and drains well. regards Dan O’Leary

Several years ago, we transplanted an apple tree. Most of it died but part of it recovered and grew new shoots producing apples. Another part of the tree grew new shoots producing apples also. We removed this part and replanted it and put rooting powder on the roots. Will it grow again?

One eating apple tree, 4 years old, either Katy or Fiesta (I have one of each), had a great crop of red apples but they were sticky to touch and it was not easy to wash this off. What is it? (Other eater and the Bramley got scab this year.) Should anything be done now … read more

I have Autumn bliss Raspberries growing on a west facing wall which I fed with chicken pellets in the Spring. The crop is plentiful and the leaves appear healthy but the fruit is very crumbly with white bits on the inside. Is this normal?

What causes hard woody bits in pear fruit? How to avoid?

Having tried unsuccessfully for three years to eradicate this disease from my cordon apple trees, we eventually dug them up this spring. They were in the best location ( South facing wall) so I would like to try planting other fruit trees, maybe a fig. Could this disease recur? Do you have other recommendations?

A young pear try that I purchased in Spring and planted up immediately always had droopy foliage. I assumed that was a varietal habit. However, in recent days it has developed black and brown marks on the foliage and the droop has become more prounced. I am concerned it might be fireblight as it is … read more

I want to lift this year’s raspberry canes to give to friends. I would normally do this in January, having cut the plants from about 1.5 metres to 0.5m. What’s the ideal month to lift them? The old canes have finished fruiting now, but I noticed some new fruit on one or two new green … read more

Apple tree (bramley seedling) purchased last year is showing brown sunken marks on the bark. There are two of them like this. What is this? Is it serious? What can be done?

I have Damson and Victoria Plum trees planted in County Monaghan . Both are Prunus domestica variety and are 8 years old. Last year was the first year that I had fruit , none before that and none this year. I’m told it was the late frost this year. Is there a more suitable variety … read more

I have a number of pear trees in my garden which last year showed signs of pear scab and a blackening of the leaves. I have looked in various places for a suitable spray but have been unable to locate one. I note Jeyes Fluid is recommended in some circumstances but only when trees are … read more

how do i treat peach leave curl i have 2 trees 1 in Ireland and 1 in Montenegro which has a warm Mediterranean climate. I bought trees in Ireland and was wondering is it the variety of tree that is prone to peach leave curl rather than the climate .

Is it too late to start growing blueberries?

I purchased an assortment of fruit bushes from a supermarket and am not entirely sure which is the best way to plant them in the ground?They come in pots and are grown with small bamboo stakes surrounding them, I do not know if I need to plant them with the same small stakes or else … read more

I have a gorgeous pink lady apple tree growing at my allotment. Last night I noticed a hole in the trunk close to the bottom of the tree, about 10cm in diameter and 1cm deep. I also spotted a joint on an upper branch withy crusty, dried and flaky chunk bark. I am worried!!! What … read more

A builder next door has dug up part of my border, in which there is a 250+ year old pear tree growing. He appears to have cut through half the roots to one side of the main tree trunk. What can I do to ensure the tree will not die. It still provides fruit regularly … read more

Very old apple tree (100 + yrs old) was pruned too hard to allow light to house, 3 parts of trunk cut straight across leaving main trunk and 3 stumps. It sprouted briefly afterwards but this year it seems totally dead. Twigs are dry and brown. Is there any way to save the tree? Was … read more

Please recommend disease free, sweet eating and also cooking apples trees for location in County Monaghan. I have finally thrown the towel in on trying to grow Cox Pippins despite spraying for scab etc. at recommended times. Little or no success with them after 6 years

I have what appears to be lichen on my Cox’s Pippin apple tree. Also some cankers (they look like hard sponges) on certain branches. I got little or no fruit last year through neglect. Is it too late to prune and feed and place a Codling Moth trap?

Recently my Dad put his new Connemara pony into the back garden to graze, when he came back he noticed she was eating the bark off my prize plum tree, what can l do to save it, or can l?

I have a gooseberry bush that i have’ nt pruned this year as pruned wrong last year and got very little fruit. Is it too late and how do i prune it ?

I mulched my apple trees this winter with well rotted horse manure. But then I heard that this is not a good thing to do because it promotes too much soft growth. Should I remove the mulch?

I’m looking for a Cherry Tree recommendation. 1) Tasty cherries 2) Mid sized – pref 3 metres approx height and bushy. Any suggestions? Also – Will birds devour the lot or will I be left with at least half the produce? I’m prepared to net the tree if necessary.

Could you recommend name of suitable apple tree to plant , i would like to plant two ,not too big and easy to grow ie not susceptible to disease . i have reasonable soil plenty of sunlight.

This seems to be affecting my victoria plums. Will the whole crop be lost? Is there anything I can spray the tree with to stop it happening next year? (lost entire crop 2 years ago due to constant rain, no crop last year due to very late sharp frost)

I recently noticed an apple blossom on the same branch as a fairly mature apple. It is a small Coronet apple tree. Would that be a usual occurrence?

We have an old apple orchard possibly 130 years old. we know the variety of some of the trees but not all. Unfortunately with the recent weather some of the trees have blown over. Would it be possible to salvage some of these varieties, i.e take a cutting and graft to a new rootstock? or … read more

Am I right in saying that pears won’t fruit in Galway? Or it dependable on the spring ie frost timing re buddingAlso should I prune my pear tree now as its gone a bit wild?

A few years back there was loads of pears on a pear tree but last year there was only one and this year none. There has been loads of flowers every year. Can you please help me as what I should do with it?

The attached pictures show the condition of a plum tree in my garden. Where the branch broke off, the exposed wood is soft. Also, there appears to be wood worm. Can the tree be saved? Can you let me know please. Thanks, Geoff

I have 2 damson and 2 plum trees. They are 6 years old. They have grown fairly profusely but little or no fruit . Only a single damson and a single plum last year. I have planted a new damson and plum tree last year of different variety in case pollination problems. There is an … read more

Is it too late to move new rasberry shoots that have grown near old plants? what time of year is the best for replanting?can i mulch rasberries with well mulched farm yard manure? when is the best time? can rasberries and strawberries be fed with liquid manure?

I have strawberry plants in the tunnel (2nd year). they have been out over winter, will they fruit this year? and when will i start to feet them. can these plants be sown outside and what time of year? can outdoor strawberries be mulched with well rotted farmyard manure?

I need advice on my Cox’s Pippin apples trees- 4 of them. A significant amount of the leaves turn brown and fall off each year. There are about 5-6 years old. I sprayed with Dithane this year and it only helped a little. I have read that I should spray with a dormant oil in … read more

The bark is coming away in some parts of the plum tree in my garden. In these areas there have been a lot of centipedes living there. Also, where one branch was cut off, there is a bubble of sap coming from the tree. From the attached picture, do you think this is a problem … read more

Can I prune or cut back blueberry bushes and a fig tree ? They are getting very untidy.

I got a present of a plum tree (Prunus Domestica Victoria). I was told that it was a minature, but not the height or spread. It’s about 3 foot high at this stage, but what height will it grow to? I planted it a few weeks ago, but I think that I planted it too … read more

Strawberries growing in ground since last year. If I cover them in straw now (march) will that help to keep the slugs away as well as protecting them from soil damage. Do have to use something for the slugs also. I have eggshells kept all winter and was going to use these with my brassicas.

I bought some strawberries last year at the garden centre and two growing bags. We didn’t get much fruit and i was wondering if I can put them in containers this year to increase the yield. I left them hanging outside over winter and most of them seem to have survived. What size containers should … read more

How can I prevent my Jonagold apple tree from continuing to bend the way it is a present?.

When is the best time to move blackcurrant and raspberry bush they are too close together?

my apple trees are 4 years old this year on 2 out of the 3 tress iv only got 2 small apples form one of them and about 6 from the other that were cracked what is the name of the white paint iv seen on some other peoples apple tree ,s ,iv this year … read more

Planting some strawberry runners this spring, I have read its better to remove the flowers this year in order to get better yield next year,is this a good pratice?also can runners be propagated from newly planted strawberries this year? and finally is it necessary to prune this years runners in August if flowers were removed … read more

I have two year gooseberries ,still no fruit how long do they take to fruit

I have for some time heard of the virtues of seaweed as a fertilser and/or Nutrient booster. I am fortunate in that I live minutes from the seas shore and an abundant supply of West of Ireland Seaweed. I was wondering is it safe to bring some fresh and unwashed seaweed directly over my strawberry, … read more

The above trees have spent 2 to 3 years in pots in my garden. I would like to plant them in the garden now. Is it ok to do this now ( January )? What special care should I take ?

When pruning our apple tree today we noticed some branches on one side had twisted shoots – looked like a witch hazel tree! What would cause this? Is it a disease? It is more than 40 years old and is a keeper apple, not sure of the name but has upright growth and long high … read more

My apple trees are infested with scale insects, the little ones — about 3mm long and les than 1mm wide. It takes forever to scrape them off with a knife. Have you any suggestions for getting rid of them, (preferably organic)

For some years I have been setting traps for codling moths and I still have them–what now?

I burn only dry timber in my fire (no coal). I was wondering what to do with ashes? Is it too early to spread around fruit bushes? Should I keep it to spread later on in the summer around bushes or could it be put in the compost heap? Or do the ashes have any … read more

I burn only dry timber in my fire (no coal). I was wondering what to do with ashes? Is it too early to spread around fruit bushes? Should I keep it to spread later on in the summer around bushes or could it be put in the compost heap? Or do the ashes have any … read more

When is the best time for pruning back ‘very old’ apple trees?

Problems with spots in the flesh of cooking apples from my tree. They are brown and the fruit is peppered, but the outside skins look perfect?

I have a 5 year old apple tree which has always blossomed but never produced apples until this year. Mind you the fruit was poorly. I recently noticed what appears to be canker on the trunk of the tree just where it branches outwards. I have checked previous questions and you suggest potash and also … read more

I have a number of very mature apple & plum trees which I would like to cut back. Trees are between 15-20 feet high.

The books all tell us that we should cut down the canes of autumn fruiting raspberries (mine are “Autumn Bliss”) well into the winter and I’m wondering if it necessary to leave it so late? Do the plants need that lateness (like daffodils do in order to store food in the bulbs) or is it … read more

We have three cooking apple trees, all 70 to 80 years old. I was always told they were Bramleys, but the fruits on each are clearly different from each other. I was wondering if you could help me to identify them from the photo. Left to right, 2 apples per tree. Tree 1, all the … read more

Diseased young apple trees? spray with Jeyes Fluid now? wasp nest in compost heap

How would I go about pruning an old apple tree 30 x20 ft high?

I attach a photo of an apple growing in my back garden . I thought I purchased a Bramley apple but it’s not. I have it 2 yrs. Originally I planted it in a border but the fruit was making the branches sag, so before last winter I transplanted it to a back wall where … read more

I’d like to try growing a plum tree from pits but am getting so much different advice i’m confused. do i need to put the pits in the fridge for a while or can i just pot them?

This plant is about 5ft high and I think it has white bell-shaped flowers in spring but not 100% on that; I hope the photo is evidence enough! It’s also now being squeezed on both sides.

My apples are small this year. I sprayed the base with weed killer earlier and I wonder if that could be the reason.

Fruit from tree this year has small hole in it and inside is rotten. Don’t think its an earwig, any ideas what it could be? I’ve attached a photo if it helps.

This year I had a poorish crop of summer raspberries. The canes for next year look small but to my surprise some of them have just fruited with good size fruits. Any ideas or suggestions?

How can i prevent wasps attacking my Victoria plums next year? I prefer not to use insecticides.

I intend to sow strawberry plants in the ground where I harvested my potatoes. Is this ok?

I have been growing two apple trees in pots, and they are going into their second year of winter. I am asking if you think they would be able to survive the winter outdoors at this young stage and if they will loose their leaves. Also, should I continue fertilising throughout winter?

A pear tree, planted 3 years ago, looks really healthy and produced flowers this year but they didn’t develop into fruit. Should we have pollinated them by hand, perhaps?

I have gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes which have grown out. Can I cut them both back to the stump now and will this kill them?

Is it too late to prune my plum tree.? Other websites suggest June .The tree is about three years old and is all over the place.I never did prune it at all as I was led to believe you did’nt need to.I did get a reasonable crop this year for the first time.

I was wondering if anyone could help with some advise as to how to over-winter strawberries that are in hanging baskets? I have heard mixed reports of where to store them – I only have a shed, no greenhouse.

I have two little girls that love the gardening, they want to grow an apple tree from the seed from the fruit, can this be achieved,

I have recently moved into a house that has three apple trees, one plum tree and one unknown tree in the back garden. I am a complete novice at gardening so desperately need a bit of help. All the trees have some sort of disease (rotting fruit, withering leaves, etc) to varying degrees. Help? What … read more

We have an orchard about 3 yrs old 1 tree has a lot of apples [not sure if they are eaters or cookers] they are covered in a wooly substance, and when rubbed off, are perfect underneath. it was the same last year, good with flowers , no use with fruit trees. sorry if the … read more

Is it safe to plant fruit bushes along a creosote fence?

I have a four year old cooking apple tree and I came home from holidays to find it had fallen over. It had been leaning. The trunk has split almost all the way through just above the graft. Can this tree be saved? What’s the best plan of action? It has a good amount of … read more

I have young strawberry plants growing indoors in pots.

my minature apple tree in pot is not doing well

We planted an orchard of 27 trees, 5 years ago with a variety of native old Irish varieties native to the West of Ireland sourced from the Irish seed savers. The trees look well have plenty of leaves, have been pruned and fed, however apart from a small number of tiny apples on two of … read more

My blackcurrant bushes are looking very sick. The leaves have been discolouring and dying off for some weeks, and some fruiting shoots are now dead. The bushes cropped reasonably well, but they’re under attack from something. The question is, what?

1.How should I store and bring on Plum stones to maximise their chances of germination? 2.What would cause carrots to grow like a bunch of gnarled up tree roots?

My apple tree Discovery usually has a good apple crop and again this year has lots of apples. However they seem to be splitting/cracking. Is this a virus or weather- related or pest-related?The other tree Elstar’s apples are not affected.I recently had to cut down a Bramley apple tree badly affected by canker and prune … read more

The pear tree in our garden seems to be attacked by a beetle which bores holes into it. There are exit holes from the larvae and plenty of saw dust around it (see photos). As a result the leaves turn brown and curl up. (The bark of the tree appears white in the photos because … read more

i have just bought a red gooseberry plant and have repotted it into a bigger pot rather than putting it straight into the ground as in the next month or 2 i will be moving and would like to take my gooseberry bush with me i have also tied it to a stake as the … read more

I have 3 plum trees. All have varying degrees of the following disease. These photos are the worst. What do they have?

I’ve inherited some blackcurrant bushes which had a very poor yield this year. The branches are 5-6 feet long & very mature. How do I get control of the bushes & increase yield & still have a crop next year?

This young apple tree’s trunk looks pretty sick, but it still has green leaves – is it apple canker? There are other apple, cherry and plum trees nearby – should i remove the tree, roots and all? and will i be able to plant another fruit tree in that location. Thanks for your advice.

I was given a cooking apple tree which had its main trunk broken in the garden centre…it’s always fruited v well but i would like to raise its canopy up…can i cut off the bottom branches now in july even though they have fruit or should i let them ripen, harvest them and do it … read more

I am just beginning to make a garden after building-work destroyed all of our previous garden. I would like to grow some fruit or vegetables to encourage the interest of my kids. The garden is north facing but long. I will need to buy soil or peat or some mixture. What is the best combination?

Our pear tree was falling over due to major rat problem there were lots of tunnels/nests all around and in its roots, different coloured families of rats etc we have just moved it today and it is full of fruit, but is it safe for our family to eat the fruit?

I’m so upset at finding one of my beautiful Victoria plum trees with a large branch broken off, as it was totally weighed down with fuit. I sawed off the remainder of the branch, but the wound left on the tree is about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The wound is about 4ft … read more

I had dug up the back of my shed to plant some fruit and veg and 1 of the things i had planted was strawberries.. i had planted them over two months now.. they still haven’t grown.. they are still only the tiny size they come like.. i have other strawberries in a green house … read more

I have two blueberry bushes, same variety, planted in large containers in ericaceous compost. Most of the leaves on both plants have turned yellow and some have gone brown at tips. I was wondering if problem was the windy weather we’d had or could it be soil or watered related?

We have an apple tree that is about 13 years old which has given us great crops of delicious apples for the last few years, but in the last few weeks the leaves have been turning a browny colour then falling off, it looks like Autumn and now the new baby apples are falling off.we … read more

What is happening to my plum tree?

We bought 2 pears Conference and Williams Bon Chretien …both are dwarf, also apple (Discovery) and a James grieve. we got these about 2 months ago and we were advised in garden centre not to remove them from the pots as they were newly potted. when we took them home we tied the pots to … read more

I’ve noticed numerous tiny insects on my strawberry plants. The plants are in a sunroom. I’ve tried wiping the leaves. Didnt want to spray anything and ruin the strawberries. Any ideas what I can do?

I potted some strawberry runners about 3weeks ago and just wondering how long to leave them before sniping off from main plant.there is definitly growth in the runners but i dont want to take them to early.

White powdery coating on leaves of 12 fairly strong strawberry plants. The little small fruit have disappeared off about half the plants and the fruit on the remainder are scabby and misshapen and now appear to be infected with the dust like coating as well. Am trying to keep vegetables and fruit organic. What is … read more

Have noticed we now have brown leaves on all our apple trees ( old cottage trees and new trees) Is there a blight that has blown through or is it wind burn due to the horrendous winds we have had ? They are beginning to look like they are dying

I have a raspberry bush also a redcurrant and blackcurrant bush, they are all beside each other in their own buckets but lately when i check on my raspberry bush the leaves look like they are being eaten away, my red and blackcurrant bushes are ok though. Could you tell me what it might be, … read more

On most of the apple trees i have (15 )the leaves are turning brown like they do in late summer what is going wrong or is there anything i can do to stop this?

M&S sold “Napoleon cherries” as a pack of fruit. They were the nicest cherries i ever tasted. I did a little research online and came across a cherry tree called “Bigarreau Napoleon”. Is this the only cherry tree with the Napoleon name? im trying to make sure i get the right tree.

I’m very new to gardening, planted a Conference pear tree, the poor thing needs help, can you identify the problem and tell me the cause and cure please, there are brown spots on top of leaves which are black on the underside, fruits are going black, i planted it last year and it did the … read more

I have 3 Pear trees, all of which appear to have what looks like fire blight. I have taken a cutting to my local garden center and was told they had an issue like mine and destroyed their affected trees after sending samples to lab for testing. The results returned negative but I’m not convinced. … read more

Over the past week i have noticed all my apple trees ,cox and bramley, along with pear trees and its beginning with the plum trees, have got brown leaves. At first i thought it was scaB and picked those affected leaves off, but now i notice one tree is full of brown leaves-its not scab … read more

I have 4 Blackcurrant bushes that have yet to produce either flowers or fruit ever. They look extremly healthy!

Why are the leaves falling from the bottom upwards on my Kiwi ‘Jenny’ This is the 4th year of growth and is currently 10 foot in height. I have sown in large pot in sunny location and watered. Grew very well during few good weeks but now all leaves are falling since the weather changed. … read more

We are after obtaining alot of greenfly in our school greenhouse, especially on our strawberry plants and our apple seedlings. What is the best and safest way to remove them.

My strawberry plants are just starting to bear fruit but on some of the plants the ends of the leaves are curling in and some of the fruits are not properly formed. There in a well ventilated glasshouse and are watered well. It looks as if i may loose a lot of fruit.

what can i do with shoots that grow from the base of strawberry plants

I have two plum trees. One absolutely laden with fruit the other consistently around 4 or five plums. It is a blue black variety looks like Ile de Louvain but cant be sure and is in all other respects very healthy and grows/flowers vigorously. Could it be that it is not self fertile? Although I … read more

Two years ago I transplanted a Coronet apple tree from a pot directly into the garden. While it has flowered successfully since no apples appeared last year and I have discovered that the flowered buds are falling off now. Before it was transplanted I had successive harvests of apples. What do you think might be … read more

The flowers on my blueberry plant have all fallen off,will this mean that they will not fruit.

Got 2 new raspberry bushes a while ago they were ok at first but now the leaves are curling and it looks like berries are going to be on it on it soon what should it do?

I have a dwarf apple tree (winston i think) and the leaves look like they have 2 different problems. One of the problems is that the leaves have a white powder on them, the other problem is brown spots(I put a pic of this). My gooseberries have the same problems. What is the best way … read more

I have a gooseberry plant which i feel is making very poor growth. It is approx 1ft high after being in the ground for two years. have now started to give it a feed. Do gooseberries make slow growth?

can you recommend treatment for above and any future prevention advice

my apple tree was covered in flowers a week ago. now all flowers are gone and leaves are drooping. what could be the cause of this problem? and what solution do you have for this problem if any? note this apple tree stands alone and does it need a companion apple tree?

My son planted an apple seed in the garden about ten plus years ago. it is now about 2 ft tall. do i need to graft it to another tree ,or what is the solution.i have no knowledge of grafting or propogating trees.

I brought in last year strawberry runners into my conservatory and now they are begining to flower. Do I have to put them out daily for pollination?

would Strawberries grow ok in hanging baskets?

Where can i purchase these types of strawberry in ireland. Cannot import plants from UK.

I have recently acquired an allotment & would really like to plant some small fruit trees or bushes. There is no issue planting same. I would like a recommendation as to what grows well in north Co Dublin soil & climate, plus where are the best places to purchase.

Could you recommend fruit trees to put into an orchard, other than Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, which are already growing?

The questions relate to training these two plums trees to train against 6’ high concrete post and panel wall. (All wires not in place yet.) Pictures attached. The first is ’Opal’ and I would like to know if I should leave only it’s 2 lower laterals or could I use both these and two other … read more

Was so intent to plant fruit trees (bare root). I know that time is running out, but my garden is not ready yet. Is it possible to plant them into large pots and then transfer into the groung later when my area is ready?

I am digging up the grass around my apple trees to make it easier when cutting the grass and can see little roots-am I going to damage the trees by doing this?

We have a mature plum tree over 15 years old – it has never been pruned and has fruited really well over the years however it needs a good pruning the main trunk of the tree has grown very high can we cut this main trunk or will this be too much of a shock … read more

We have a Jonagold apple tree for 3 years. Each year we have very bad rust on leaves and fruit. What can we do to resolve this.

My 3 espalier apples trees which are 40 years old have a fuzzy white disease on the branches each year which causes the affected branches to die back. Is this wooly aphid and what product would be best to spray the trees with?

I have 5 fruit trees to plant, 3 apple trees, 1 plum and 1 cherry. How far apart should I plant them? They are all standards.

My apple trees probably didn’t get the memo last year that it was the best fruiting year in a long time. We had a very poor harvest. What is the best thing to feed fruiting trees? & when? Having said that, our entire garden seems to be having a bad day compared to our neighbours. … read more

Hessayon in the ‘Fruit Expert’ reccommends a mixture of carbendazim & fenitrothion spray for blossom wilt and mildew in Apple trees. Where would fairly large amounts be obtained. Enough for 60 trees, Fiesta and Jupiter

About three years ago our heavily fruited victoria plum tree split in two with the weight of the fruit and subsequently died. Maybe we should have tied it to support it? As it died some sort of fungus hit it. We would love to plant a similiar tree in the same spot as it was … read more

My raspberry bush is not showing any buds or leaves except a tiny amount at the base. What should i do?

About 10 years ago I took a slip from a profuse fruiting damson tree in Nenagh. I now have a mature shrub in with no fruit. Not sure whether it flowered but if it did the birds or something got then. I have a conference pear tree in the vicinity which fruits – Does it … read more

I have canker on small discovery apple tree: its on main stem, and it’s not that old. If I get a replacement what would you suggest, and is there any steps I could take to reduce this from occurring again?


how to prune and multiply my gooseberry bush

My apple tree which is a ‘Family’ fan trained type about 18years old and virtually disease free until 3 years ago when a fluffy white cotton like fungus attacked it -I believe it may be red spider mite – I spend about 3hours a week spraying it after flowering – is there anything i can … read more

I am ten years old ad have a couple of questions to ask you about gardening.What does it mean when the leaves on my one year old apple tree curl inwards (grown from seeds)? What month do I plant pumpkin seeds and can I grow pumpkin seeds indoors?

I would like to grow hazelnuts in my garden but most suppliers offer cobnuts or filberts. Which would be the nicer nut and most reliable crop? How are they best grown? Also I see almond trees on offer but I’m not sure whether they’re successfull in Ireland.

I had 20 fruit and nut trees (plus other soft fruit)delivered last tues and have left them wrapped in the two plastic wrappers due weather. Ground here is about workable daytime and wonder if I should try get them planted before next weekend colder weather. I intend apples and pears as espaliers and plums as … read more

When is the best time to prune autumn raspberries and blackberries?, and how much of the canes do i cut down ?

I have strawberries growing in containers outdoors and I want to transfer them to a raised bed outdoors.Question: When is the best time to transfer strawberries from outdoor containers to raised beds outside.

I have a grafted apple tree (elstar and james grieve) this year the apples had grey spots on the skin. do you know what it is ?

I have planted a Bramley seedling, it is now about 20cm tall, how long will i have to wait before it starts giving apples ?

I would like to know what to do with two old apple trees at this time of year. My Father used to care for them but since he died they fall too soon, are too small and worms or insects have bored holes in them. I have heard that grease bands should be put on … read more

We made a new orchard in the spring – planting 28 apple trees; I scattered wild flowers around the area it looks lovely; The problem i have now is very strong dock leaves and coarse grass; The wild flowers are still in flower; Is there any way i can get rid of the weeds and … read more

I need to repot my 3year old raspberries permanently are 50litre pots sufficient.

When do I cut back autumn fruiting rasberry canes?

I have two Bramley Seedling trees which I planted as year olds last November, I also planted 1 Elstar and a James Grieve beside them. Do you think the Bramleys will pollinate with the other two oris there a better pollinator I could plant as well. I have the space.

Many apples on my 35 year old Bramley tree are rotten. Wonder why?

We have a mature pear tree in our garden which has developed rust spots on the leaves. On the other side of the rust spot is a growth – we have discovered it is a disease called Pear Trellis Rust. Are you aware of any cure for this? Other websites we have researched on seem … read more

I planted runners from my strawberry plants and planted them outside.I also have a polytunnel and I was wondering if I could put the new runners into hanging baskets now and leave them for next year?I have cut the foliage off this years strawberrys, do i let them dry out completely or continue to water … read more

Blackcurrant bushes are in a bad state with leaves holed and bad colour almost from the start. I bought them at a farmer’s market early in the year and planted them with care. Close by are raspberry bushes which are also showing signs of stress with withered greying leaves already – these are late raspberries. … read more

My friend has a plum tree that fruited for the very first time this year. It seems to be growing very tall and she needs some advice on pruning. I think they should be pruned in early spring but there is so much different advice out there, I would be grateful if you could give … read more

What Black Currants variety would you recommend for this area?

I have a apple tree 3 fruit its grafted i planted it too near a wall ,and i would like to move to a more suitable position its 5years old .,when is the most approprate time to do this?

is it ok to prune an apple tree and when is the best time hasnt given any fruit yet only sown two years

We have fruit trees, plum, pear, apple, morello cherry and sweet cherry. The plum has had lots of fruit over the last 5 years but didn’t fruit this year and looks unwell, the pear hasn’t ever fruited (5 yrs old) the fruit arrives but is blown off, the cherrys are good as are the apples. … read more

I recently bought a house that has a mature gardens and it has 2/3 pears trees, I never took much notice of them but I saw last night that there is a few pears growing on them. When i looked closer I noticed that all/if not most of the leaves have got brown spots on … read more

We have had a huge infestation of fruit flies in our raspberries is south Co. Kilkenny. They cover the fruit and make it inedible. Is there anything we can do now (for Autumn Raspberries) or can we deal with the larvae somehow in the winter months ? This is the first time ever to happen.

My fig tree produces loads of little figlets in Spring but they all fall off without ripening. a month or so later. How can I get them to stay and grow?

I would like to re use the compost i used last year made up of potting compost and soil in which i grew strawberry s and flowers and other veg i would like to re use to grow more strawberrys in containers and if it would be ok to add some 10 10 20 and … read more

I have my strawberry plants set out in a raised bed, for the Winter should i pot up plants and keep them in tunnel till spring time setting them in another raised bed?

Is there easy way of know when my eating apple tree fruit is ripe? Im sick of taking one every few days to taste and it not ready im wasteing fruit! An my cooking apple tree the fruit when stewed tastes too acid and looks like custard when stewed help?

i bought a gooseberry plant this year but it does not seem to be getting any bigger but is noy dead should i get fruit this year?

I have some apple and plum trees in my garden. Every year the bees eat all the fruit. What can i do about this problem?

Wasps have taken a great liking to my apples ( Katja and Discovery).I have sprayed them with ‘Bug Clear for fruit and veg’.It does’nt appear to be working very well, can you recommend anything else ?

Is there a way to stop bees eating apples off the trees? The bees seem to be busy eating, eating…. We will have no apples if they keep eating..

I have a cooking apple tree in my garden which is there for approx 80 years. There’s a huge crop of apples on it but you cannot use them. They look perfect but they are very sour and no amount of sugar can sweeten them.

Can I pick plums while they are not fully ripe.? Every year my plums are destroyed with wasps so this year I thought I might beat them to the fruit. Would they ripen off the tree?

The gooseberry plant is stripped bare of leaves. Will it recover?

When is right time to prune gooseberries and is it the old or new branches I should prune. Got it wrong last year resulting in a small ammount of fruit on some old wood.

Leaves wrinkled & branches distorted-no fruit my plum tree OPAL. have it 4 yrs but dont know its age when bought- never got fruit but lots of blossom this yr & last yr– when the same thing occured-its in a large container–grafted on to “PIXIE” stock-sprayed it with “Combat” this yr at 1st of damage, … read more

I have a friend in the country who sowed fruit trees plums-damsons and pears about 5 yrs ago and which fruited well for the first few yrs but she has no fruit this year and wants to know what to do for next year. also her 5 gooseberry bushes which were laden with fruit 2 … read more

My son has recently bought a house in Bagnelstown, Co. Carlow. It has a huge garden, with good alkaline soil & some old fruit trees. They are quite wild now, and he wants to plan a new orchard for the future. Could you tell me which varieties would be best, as they have to be … read more

I would like to know what do i do with blackcurrant bushes after picking fruit ?

We are not sure what type of apple trees we are growing but they are young, they are at a max. of 12″. There is white fur growing on the leaves, it is not on the bark as suggested in so many other people’s blog. Is this a fungus, should I be worried. It doesn’t … read more

my 4 year raspberries are fruiting fantasticly but each year I have an increasing number of yellow fruit, not just from one plant but randonly spread out, they still taste fantastic but can you tell me why is this happening ?

We had some strawberry plants out this year but none of the fruit developed. Is it possible to store them over the winter and re use them next year or would you recommend we buy new plants? We were very disappointed as there were some fruits but they neither ripened nor developed.

My gooseberries got a whiteish grey mould this year, fruit never grew properly and plant looks very poor. What do I do?

This years crop of cherries is the best ever,though I’ve never picked them before. How can I tell if they are edible type?The tree is green leaved with white cherry blossom in Spring, as distinct from maroon leaf type tree.I’m keen to pick and use them if edible. Secondly, the same tree is c.14 ft … read more

Coronet apple tree, 5 years old, got great growth and blossoms this year but when the blossoms died away the little fruit buds withered away and fell off? what happened? and how do I remedy this for next year?

Raspberry leaves developed into small mosslike structures .No growth –plant still alive.Would like to know cause and cure?

I have some woolly aphids on an apple tree. I tried getting a chemical in the local garden centre and was told that Malathion was the only one that would do the trick. But that has been taken off the market. Can you suggest another?

Could you recommend some hardy perennials to plant under apple trees.

3 years ago I purchased a dwarf containerised apple tree with 2 varieties on 1 stem (Cox’s pippin and James Grieve). Year 1 produced 25 fruits. It was repotted after that season and produced only 2 fruit last year and 1 this year. It is outside in sheltered patio and has been since purchased. Pot … read more

have 3 apple trees approx 4 years old. very little flowers this year. now there is no fruit .after flowering the stalk fell off. whats wrong?

I have two apple trees – one Elstar. this is very heavily laden with fruit, should I take some fruit off. Also have discovered a lot of cob webby looking things clinging between leaves. What should I do?

Last year I set a new crop (my first year) of strawberries and the crop was good. However this year crop is poor, some of the berries are getting rotten before ripening and the fruit is small. I left the plants in the bed over the winter and this year I did not lift them … read more

What can I use to get rid of caterpillars that are eating all the leaves of my redcurrant bushes, preferably an organic solution?

My apple and pears were attacked by sheep. they have eaten the bark off the trunk and they have also eaten this years new fruit, What can i put on the trunk for them to survive, I am afraid these will die? They have totaly ruined my crop for this year, will they grow back … read more

Caterpillars have shredded the leaves on the gooseberry bushes.These are very close to strawberry plants which are just about to produce fruit.534fionaI am harvesting the gooseberries now though not fully ripe. How can I get rid of the caterpillars to save the gooseberry plants without damaging the strawberries?

I have 2 plum trees separated by about 10 feet. One of them has some type of disease. One of its two branches produced leaves which are falling off and have brown spots. The other branch has no leaves at all. The other tree is perfect and is producing fruit. Can you help with the … read more

got strawberry plants in april in our local garden center we have very small garden so we just put them in bigger pots we had them in a mini green house until 3 weeks ago when we took them out of it we are feeding them as well as watering them but while they are … read more

I have a Stella fanned cherry tree against a wall. First year and have lots of cherries appearing. However this morning noticed lots of black tiny spots at the end of the branches and curled up leaves.I have just sprayed it with a malathion solution.should I take the pest ridden leaves off or not and … read more

Every year my 4 cordon pear trees get these black tiny slug like insects all over their leaves. They suck the chlorophyll out of the leaves and ruin them. I squash as many of them as possible but wonder if I can get rid of this recurring problem. I don’t like using chemical controls if … read more

We have a lot of fruit growing on our pear trees. Does this effect the quality of the pears and should we thin this out and if so when?

ihave black currant bushes growing in 10 liter containers which i intend planting out in authumn they are now berrys on them some of the leaves have a reddish rough blistery effect mostly near the top of the plant also some yellowing of of leaves lower down also some red and white currents show same … read more

I have an apple tree grown from seed about 15yrs ago planted out back, it is in poor soil and about 6ft tall and 4 inch wide at trunk base. i intend to graft an eatin variety onto it. Im wonderin is it to old to move it?

I was at our apple trees today ,noticed there was lots of ladybirds on them,one of them was black with gold spots,never seen one b4,cant seem to find any info on what it is,was wondering have you come across any of them.

I have two old dead gooseberry bushes but their off-shoots have created three new and thriving bushes. How do I get rid of the old bushes without affecting the new ones?

One of my two apple trees (Elstar) has only a few flowers this year, while the neighbouring Discovery is fully blossoming. I gave both them some potash in Nov. and in March, and both also some stable manure. What went wrong?

Is captan spraying topical or generic? I mean, when spraying, will the buds that got a hit become good fruit, while the others will not, or will the whole of the tree profit even if only one half of the tree is sprayed?

We’ve never grown strawberries before and are thinking of getting the elsanta variety. I’m wondering if they could be grown with success in containers or grow bags or would they be better off in the ground.

last year was the third year of eighteen apple trees in our new orchard. There were only four apples in the whole orchard that developed. there was plenty of blossom.. would you suggest we buy a butterfly tree to attract some pollination. as i understand the bees have decreased in numbers. Thanking you in anticipation. … read more

I recently acquired 4 apple trees namely Bramley, Jonagold, Annie Elizabeth and Egremont Russet. I know that the first two are triploid and the last is a good pollinator. My question is will there be cross pollination with this selection and will I have apples? They all have blossoms on them at the moment.

Is it just our garden or is there a severe shortage of plum blossoms this year? Every other year our trees would be overlaiden with blossoms at this time of year, but this year there are very few. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?

I planted three raspberry, three blackcurrant and three redcurrant last year. All in neat rows. This year they are progressing well but I noticed new shoots popping up all over the place nowhere near the main canes. My question is do I dig these up and discard or leave them?

Could you recommend Cooking Apple, Eating Apples, Plum Trees and Eating Pear trees to plant and grow now . Heavy Alkaline soil

I have a cooking apple tree which has had curled and dried out looking leaves for the past few years, It also has lines running across the leaves. However i have always had a very good crop of apples. Is there anything i can do to prevent it this year.

Would you know where I might be able to buy Sovereign strawberry plants? We had them when I was a child and they tasted much sweeter than any around now.

The leaves on one of my apple trees goes brown during the summer every year and I wonder if there is anything that I can do now to guard against this happening this year.

I recently purchased some strawberries and have since repotted them in to soil which has some fertiliser and worm castings to it. Should I1. Feed them before they start to flower in the summer or will they be ok without any feeding2. If they do need to be fed, how often should i feed them3. … read more

I have today discovered I have had brown rot on plum tree & have in error left dead fruit over winter. What spray is best to use having now removed dead wood around tree?

Can you please tell me the names of self pollinating fruit trees?

i am finding plenty of 2/3 inch (possibly black millipedes) on my garden walls . very thin and they curl up and are hard to kill.are they pests or do they do good in a garden?

I’ve recently planted strawberry seeds into individual pots on the inside on the window still over the radiator with no cover.Their planted around 5 days and nothing seems to be growing, I also haven’t got the pots covered allowing fresh air to hit them?

I threw compost from compost heap in greenhouse. kiwi plant (i think) started growing. i dug it out lately after 4 years growing in the greenhouse because it was taking over and growing out the windows. I planted it in the lawn, will it grow?

I have bought Fragaria strawberrys, these are for pots for someone who does not have a garden, Is it ok to plant them in pots and leave on window sil, Will these fruit without been on the out side in the open, How much water would they need when planted indoors, it is possible to … read more

I have a plum tree in a large container, When can i move this to the ground, It is called Prunus Domestica, It is self pollinating, Where is the best position to plant it, I live in county Galway near loughrea

An old friend of mine has an apple tree growing in her garden and each year the apples are attacked by codling moth. Is there any way of preventing this preferably organic . She is talking of cutting it down

I want to grow strawberrys in a tunnel, like i see on tv but i dont know what to grow them in do i hang them off the tunnel or from containers on the ground, i want nice strawberrys this year.

I have got seeds of these plants. Are they annual or perennial? I will start them in propogator but would welcome any help with growing them and when I could expect to harvest. I have a tunnel if they need to be grown inside.

Having read your piece on greenfly eggs on apple trees, I decided to inspect my own young apple trees to find that many of them have the greenfly eggs around the buds.Can you recommend a spray for greenfly eggs that would not harm other beneficial insects and predators.I could let nature take its course and … read more

How do I maintain my strawberry patch which I have in a polytunnel – the plants are in a mess – lots of dead leaves – do I discard the original plants and replant the runners?

these are 2 of my 3 apples-this is their 3rd year in the ground(i planted them late summer 2008) had some apples off them last year…they are not dwarf stock but the big old fashioned kind…do they need some pruning and any advice on how much to take off would be very appreciated

What causes premature fruit drop on my pear tree. Other pear planted beside it is fine.drainage is ok. I have been feeding with sulphate of potash

I need to clean my trees with something but the shops say winter wash is gone off the market. I get a lot of moss on the trees, is there anything I can do?

I planted an apple tree last year.just wondering when apples will appear

I have some old and very large apple trees, 15 to 20 metres in height. Is it possible to prune these down to a manageable height? It would probably mean cutting large branches and even the upper trunk back to bare timber, with no growth point. Would shoots grow from cuts like this? And what … read more

Two of my apple trees have severe damge caused by rabbits. The cambium has completely gone around the girth up to ten inches high. The older tree is now weeping sap. I know this is bad from reading the literature. 1)Should I put some wrappinrg around them or leave it in the lap of the … read more

I bought Bluberry..and later i read that for this plant need acid soil..in my area is more lime soil I think ..Will be good to buy bigger pot and plant in acid soil?

I have some fruit bushes (gooseberries, black and red currant) that I would like to move into a raised bed. When is a good time to do this? They are in their current position about 2/3 years

I have a pear and an apple tree on my allotment which is waterlogged. Apart from doing major drainage work on the allotment is there any other sollution to this problem? I am affraid that the trees will get root rot. The allotment is leased from my local council.

I have cleaned around the base of apple and plum trees. Is there anything else I should do at this time of year?

I planted some apple trees at the beginning of October. It is now 24th Oct and one of them has buds that have opened out. I presume the frost will kill the new leaves and I’m concerned that there will be no new buds on the tree in the spring time. Is there anyting I … read more

Why use grease bands on fruit trees? Why are these tree trunks sometimes painted white?

I planted 2 crab apple trees last year and have the first crop of fruit. They seem very small apples which I know they should be but they are very little. Should I harvest the tiny apples now?

I just bought a few bare root fruit bushes that I put into pots. A few of the buds are opening, what should I do? should I put the pots into my garage over winter to protect them? (there is no light)

i’ve had very few apples on my trees this year. usually i have many more than this year. is it a weather issue?

I would be most grateful if you could advise me to Fruit Grafting courses coming up in the next few months in the Leinster area. I haven`t had any luck to date.

The fruit/veg garden has been neglected for the past few years, raspberry canes have suckered all over ( var. Glen Clova). We wish to clear unwanted canes, keep the good ones and renew the garden for veg. and fruit. Advice needed on clearing/spraying and re-fertilising.Starting early October.

Some raspberry canes have died back this year Can I dig up existing healthy canes & replant in spaces where canes have died -having replaced soil. Do I need to cut down new growth on replanted canes & can I transplant now.

For the last two years we had a reasonable crop of apples which were maturing nicely but in the last two Septembers they have completely disappeared would magpies or buzzards have stolen them as we have a lot of both around the area, any clues

My two year old apple tree (KATJA ) has produced a wonderful crop for the first time and are delicious.However I have been told that I should not pick them all this time round.I’m not sure why as they will fall off eventually anyway. Is it something to do with energy or is it a … read more

I have blueberries in pots. I plan to put them in the ground in november. the soil is ph 6. should i use your polyhene lined trench method? or should i use an acidic mulch? basically i dont want to dig a trench but if it would affect my blueberries i will.

Q1: i have cut back and dug up as much of the bramble roots as i can in new fruit patch. If i spray roots with Round up now how soon can I plant raspberry canes? or is it better to snip off as much root as possible?Q2: how do you get new strawberry plants … read more

We have 3 apple trees in our front garden. We moved into the house nearly 2 years ago but do not know how old the trees are. They are quite mature though. We are fairly novice gardeners and in the last few weeks have found a grey sort of bubbly fungus on the trunks of … read more

Our garden is recently becoming infested with clusters of tiny, slim black worms (12mm max) feeding on tunnel strawberries, fallen apples, tunnel and outside lettuces – any soft fruit/vegetable in contact with ground. Are these a kind of eelworm and how can they be controlled.

Is this Pear Scab Disease? It is only on a few of the pears on my only tree.

We have about 6 (out of about 12) apple trees that produced few leaves this year, leaves have brown spots, are dry and fruit is sparse. They look sick. The trees are about 13 years old, dwarf, not sure the specific types, but various types. We have lived here 3 years and the past 2 … read more

This appears to be a bad Summer for Pollination of Fruit trees in the West of Ireland.Can you give me some ‘specific advise’ about the pruning of young Fruit trees. The trees are only in their second year from the Garden Center and are Apple and Plum.

In one of your answers about raspberries you say the plants should be replaced after 15 years. D.G.Hessayon (‘Fruit Expert’) says that would be 8 years. Can there be such avariance?

2 Pears trees with promising crop now show serious mosiac like splitting on some and brown spotting on all fruits. Is this weather related or disease?

How many times do strawberries produce fruit in the year in a polytunnel,when is the right to cut them back.also is it advisable to put plastic around them or straw. also what manure is required?

My Pear tree which I have for 2 years has not borne any fruit, when should I expect pear to fruit? There are alot of branches and leavesAlso I have another dual pear tree, one section has leaves but the other section seems to have died, what would cause thisMy apple trees this year, some … read more

I bought an apple tree today. I can’t find the information I am looking for on the internet. I wonder can you help me. It is Malus ‘Redlane’ and I would like to know does it need a second one to pollinate it.

Cooking apples are rotting on tree , leaves are curled.Most of the apples appear fine but some rot very quickly and fall.Any help would be appreciated.

Every year some of my Victoria plums get a fungus like scab, shrival up and then fall off the tree. I know I’m too late for this yearI but I was wondering if you could tell me if there is anything I can do to avoid this problem next year.

Three questions in one I’ll try to be brief.I planted summer raspberries in my allotment two years ago this summer. They grow but not to any great height and leaves curl no fruit to talk of. I have autumn raspberries beside them and they usually are fine.I have a coronet coxes pippin in a pot … read more

my cooking apples which are a year planted are producing really big apples but close up the apples have huge fissures in them. i opened one and it looked perfect on the inside. its just unsightly on the outside. is it to do with inconsistant watering?

Is it safe to use plums from a tree where some fruit have brown rot.

A recurrent problem since getting the goosberry bush around 3 years ago. I sprayed it just as flower were beginning this year, but again with no apparent sign of disease or insects, the leaves were stripped bare in one day/night. Is there something I can do to avoid this problem next year or should I … read more

Of late I have noticed my strawberry fruits to be of poor condition. The fruit have all cracks on them.Why is that?I also noticed this year a few of the fruits to be of abnormal shape, is that okay?

i have strawberry and redcurrent plants, alot of the leaves are folded over at the edges with what looks like silk. i examined a leave and a small bug which looks like a green caterpillar just under a cm in size was within the folded leaf. i took off a few of the affected leaves. … read more

I purchased a young Victoria Plum tree last November and it is doing well. It is a good shape, “wine glass”, but is getting very leggy. Can I trim back the long spindly new growth now or must I wait until the autumn?

Should I cut strawberry plants right back after taking off runners?

For two years we had amazing early Raspberries. thought they were supposed to be foolproof! Followed all books to the T. Third year they all turned brown and died after growing and leafing up wonderfully. Waterlogged? We re-dug and put on a mounded rows.(Slightly clay soil.) Year 4 Still not good – some canes grew … read more

CAn you advise why my single apple tree had apples on for the first 2 years but none this year and how can I make sure it produces next year?

I planted raspberry canes approx 4 years ago and in this time we have had 3 raspberries I have cut back when i should, in the spring they were sprouting & flowering well then nothing.

My dad’s apple and pear trees are not bearing any fruit this year. He is wondering if it is due to a frost that may have occured when he was away in April.

Our Bramley is sick, its 30 years old lots of blossom but few apples and leaves are sparse except on the top, would it have suffered during the dry spell? Our soil acid dries out but none of the other trees have suffered. We have had a bumper crop each year and was expecting the … read more

When and how is the best time to prune a pear tree. I bought one 2 years ago. No fruit yet, when do they fruit?

when should i plant blackcurrants, blueberries, redcurrants, gooseberries, apples, plums and cherries? where is a good place to buy?

What’s happened? We have a small orchard with old fruit trees (in Cheshire) including plums and cherries (plus apples etc). Many trees, including some that have always had plums on them before and some that have always had cherries on are now full of ripe fruit that looks exactly like largish cherries (colour, shape, skin) … read more

When my stawbwerry plants have finished for the season and they start to dry up & wither, is it ok to leave the pots as they are out in the open for the winter OR, do they need to be in a shed/ sheltered area? If it’s the latter, when can I take them out … read more

Just purchase Raspberries..variety on the packet said ‘MARAVILLA’. They were tasty, large and looked good. Can I grow this vaiety myself. Would I need a glass house/tunnel. How do I get this variety

what type of Blueberry do I require to make a hedge between my plots on the allotment, and what Blueberry have the largerst berry.

I have a problem with a new Bramley apple tree I planted this summer. It has a white fungus growing on where the branches meet the trunk. When I rub it off, its red!!!!! like blood. Can you help please?

do i leave strawberry plants as they are once they have fruited and can i grow new plants from the runners for next year

I planted 3 apple trees and two pear trees last year. All are good except for 1 pear tree, the leaves have black/brown spots on them and the tree looks like it is dying. I water them regularly.

I have strawberries plants which i orignally bought in hanging baskets, i moved them to half barrels and while the plants are bigger and stronger than ever, they have finished flowering and ther is no sign of any fruit, any ideas, sorry do not know their name, they are 3 years old.

I think I may have lost a lovely blueberry bush, it may have been damaged by very windy weather in May. it was in full bloom, but alas now looks all shrivelled up. I have other b’berry plants also in containers and they look ok. I water with rain water.If I cut off the damaged … read more

is it a good idea to keep the amount of fruit on apple trees (a year planted) to a minimum so that the energy goes into the root system

do you need to spray every year even if no sign of scab?

My mother recently set apple tree ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and she has noticed brown rusty spots or patches on the trees and she was wondering is there a spray to use on young apple trees.

I have a problem with my cherry tree. I have loads of blossems, lovely plump green cherries and then when it comes to ripening they just wither on the tree and fall off. This happens every year and I am very disappointed. I thought last year it was because they did not get enough water … read more

Leaves on Pear Tree are going black and crinkled ?

What is the best treatment? Have used Nimrod and Bugclear to no avail.

I have a 4 year old cherry tree, however I have noticed some of the leaves are covered with black bugs and the leaves are curling up. Can you recommend a treatment?

I notice that my Victoria plum trees have a very sticky substance on leaves and fruit. Could you please let me know what is causing this and if there is anything I can do now to remove it. There is a very heavy crop which I have already thinned.

I have 2 coronet apple trees. They were fine until about 2/3 weeks ago. They had brown/black spots on leaves which then developed into the the leaf becoming almost scorched or burned looking and crumbles away. They have been kept well watered and were fed potash some time back. One of them has no fruit … read more

how can i make a bed suitable for the above?

I was at the Bloom festival and heard Dermot O’Neill talking about strawberries. He recommended a variety Royal Soverign – I ordered 6 plants of this over the internet and am waiting on their delivery. Now I am wondering1- is it too late to sow them ? 2 – if not, can I grow them … read more

I have a Coronet apple tree with leaves curling and dry what is wrong with it?

I have a south facing wall, 1 m high, about 6 m wide. It faces a border about 10 metres away with 2 birch trees and 3 snowy mespilus + shrubs, so gets dappled shade.. Would nectarines or peaches grow on the wall, if not any other fruit eg pear.

I want to try growing strawberries in a pot. Do they grow like peas, upright and clinging to sticks.

My Dad has Blackcurrant bushes which for the third year in succession have flowered and before fruits form they fall to the ground, any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

About 6 weeks ago I planted a bare root Stella Cherry. I live in Central Scotland with a very sticky clay soil.There is no growth whatsoever but I rubbed off 1 bud, it was dead then another and it was green underneath, but still no signs of growth.Do you think I have lost it or … read more

slugs are eating my blackcurrant buds i dont want to use chemicals what can i do?

I bought some gooseberries, rasberries, blackcurrant and redcurrant bare roots from lidl, only the redcurrants have leafs. the others have buds but there not open? Some of the blackcurrant buds are opening but it looks very brown and dry is that ok? is it not very late for the buds? will they survive?

I have and my father before me, tried to deal with pear midge on a very old pear tree in our garden (over 100 years old). The pear tree flowers profusely and produces ‘pearlets’ but many if not most of them have been invaded by pear midge which rots out the centre and the ‘pearlet’ … read more

What can I use to get rid of sawfly caterpillar on white currants and gooseberry organically.

I have two young apple trees, this is their first year to blossom. I have them since they were little more than whips they were a gift in 2006. They appear to be very healthy, they are old varieties, Appletown Wonder and Glenstal Cooker.One of them has 4 – 5 blossoms and the other is … read more

I planted a plum tree seven years ago it only produced fruit last year only two. It is situated between apple trees that are flush with fruit every year. The plum tree produces blossoms but no fruit. Any help please

I bought my sister a pear tree 5 years ago. It blossoms every year then leaf curls and fruit buds go black. She has never had a pear.

Strawberry leaves look like they have been shredded, torn , or “flittered”Initially I thought this might be due to severe hailstones, but now am not sure. Some leaves on rose bush affected also. Peas look to be affected also.Hailstones did lodge for some time on peas.

I have been growing strawberries for about 12 years but have moved house 2 years ago and i have had serious problems with vine weevil. The first year i noticed the weevil i hand picked all the grubs from the pots and repotted all the plants but the crop was still poor. I have tried … read more

I have two Conference pears put in two months ago grown as espalier on sunny wall. They flowered but now the leaves are curled and dry. maybe lack of water, dont know, hope they will recover. Also will they cross pollinate okay.

Copper sulphate is sometimes recommended for canker. Any views?

I bought a cutting of a fig last year at Glenarm Gardens and it is flourishing in its pot in the greenhouse. I have always wanted to grow a fig and ask whether it should be kept in a greenhouse or is it capable of living outside against a south facing wall. The wind does … read more

Would it be advisable to grow strawberries in containers to allow the runners to trail. I was recently told to use a barrel or something similiar so that the insects and slugs don’t affect the crop when the runners are on the ground.Please advise Clare

just purchased one Grenadier apple tree. The internet says partially self fertile….what is your opinion?. I am in suburbia and there may be other trees about but none I know of in my estate.

I have had a plum tree for about 4 years, and every year up to last year, there was a fantastic crop.Lat year, there were about 3 plums on the tree.This year (now its April 2nd) buds are just starting to flower and they look fine. Is there anything I need to do . Will … read more

Hi Gerry, I have been composting my garden waste regularly but wonder if I am using it properly. I used 6 month-old compost for young strawberries last year but with very poor results. I wonder if the compost was too strong ?. Should I mix it with soil, sand etc.. before use ?.

Gerry, ashes from wood fire are good as potash source, isn’t it? What about coal ash?

I have just invested in two new apple trees, Discovery and Katya, also have an old unproductive tree.when should I spray and with what? have sulphate of phosphate to feed in next few days .thanks

Is there still time to prune Bramley and Coxs Pippin apple trees planted last Spring.

We moved in to a new house 2 years ago. We have a space of approx. 40ft x 50ft which we hope to plant as an orchard and small veg patch. We want to sow varieties of cooking apples, eating apples, plums, pears and maybe cherry trees. Somebody mentioned to us to get dwarf varieties, … read more

hello GerryMy grandchildren are hugely interested in helping me in the garden they are aged six years and eight years like all children they expect instant results i have a polytunnell so seeds aregreat in that respect they are both boys they want an apple tree that will have apples they can eat in the … read more

My blackcuurant and gooseberry bushes have red spots/spores, (not sure what they are ) all up along the stems. any idea what it might be, and do I need to get rid of them, Its only thier second year in my garden.

I know about the “June Drop”, but my apples (Worcester Pearmain), growing against a South facing wall, keep dropping until they are all gone, long before they are ripe, or big enough. Is this a deficiency?

I have a mature cherry tree inherited with the house 4 years ago. It has only produced 1 cherry in 3 summers. Blossom & leaves are fine and we get pea sized fruit on stems then suddenly they are all gone before they have a chance to ripen. 2 years ago some branches developed a … read more

This year we found our crop of damsons to be inedible due to the presence of maggots in the fruit. Is there something we can treat the tree with to prevent this happening again next year? Thanks.

We have an apple tree thats continually getting covered in moss. Is there something we can spray/treat it with to get rid of it? Thanks.

I have geothermal pipes under my only south facing wall. Can I plant MM106, quinceA ,St Julien A and colt rootstock trees over them. the pipes are ! metre deep. The guy in the nursery said the root will extend below 1 metre.

Where can one purchase ‘winter wash’ for friut trees? It must have another name now – was it ‘tar wash’? Your help would be appreciated.

What are the chances if I plant a store bought fruit’s pip that I will get a fruit that tastes more or less like it? Also how do I go about it? Should I stratify the seed or plant it in fall/winter or will it grow without a dormant period?

Hi! I’m growing two apple trees as espaliers. I got them as 1 year old maidens last winter, pruned them above a bud and they’ve grown the first level of branches this summer. However, one of them only grew one branch, on the left. Is there any way I can encourage it to produce another … read more

Gerry…I put wood ashes on my fruit trees, but i use firelighters to start fire. How poisonous is this for my garden. Thank you.

Hi Gerry, congratulations on a great site. I’m having difficuly sourcing trained apple and pear tees in Ireland – any suggestions? Kind Regards.Brian

Thanks for your very prompt reply. …You say to plant in polythene lined trench 30cm deep. What diameter of hole if i am digging separate holes for my three plants…I have three holes dug already over 20inches diameter and well over 30 cm deep…. .Would Tippland Irish Mosspeat do on its own or would i … read more

I have a new ‘woodland’ garden, bounded by mature trees but freshly landscaped with paths and planting areas. In the middle, the least shaded area, bounded by wooden roundels is a patch planted with 5 young fruit trees and filled in with meadow grass. The meadow grass, though beautiful in the spring, grew tall and … read more

You advise people in limey areas to plant bluberries in polythene lined trenches. Can you spell this out a bit more eg size width and depth and material to use. I have composted a lot of Leylandi clippings could i use this compost. Do i need to line the bottom of the trench as well … read more

hi gerry a friend of mine over the road gave me some pears he had grown perfect on the outside but when you cut into them they were soft and decaying in the middle a few were ok but the majority were bad inside any ideas what happened thanks franksenior

Hi Gerry. When is it suitable to prune apple and plum trees and about how much should you take off them? Thanks Breda.

Hi Gerry i have 5 hanging strawberry plants in my garden my question is do i live them outside or in the garage. Thanks PAUL

Hi Gerry, Is it possible to harvest unripe kiwi fruit (i.e. will they ripen off the tree)? Best harvest ever but fruit still very hard. Kind regards, Olivia

looking for old variety of apple tree dont know botanical name it was always called lady finger.

Planted two years in unsuitable place. Can I move them now?

hi gerry i have just planted an apple ‘Elstar’ and pear ‘Conference’. There are no other flowering trees or shrubs in my garden yet its a new house ..do i need to plant something to cross-pollinate them?

Gerry,We grow our own fruit -plums, apples and damsuns. We have made delicious rum pot and damsun wine in the past. We are keen to make cider and would like to purchase an apple press. However, we do not know where one can buy these in ireland or are there course available on winemaking. Any … read more

I have a single Apple Tree “James Grieve” which I planted 3 years ago. This year there is a fair number of large fruit- We have had 2 or 3 windfalls in the past week (1st week Sept). The fruit is very firm to hard and lacks any sense of ‘sweetness’- There would appear to … read more

Gerry We have purchased a farm on which there are some very old apple trees. Part of the trees are actually rotten in that the branches just crumple when handled. Yet some of the branches are still alive and have produced quite reasonably sized fruit. We just wonder how and when we can cut off … read more

I would like to buy a grape vine suitable for growing outdoors. Could you suggest suitable varieties and possible suppliers.


My Plum Tree seems to have some sort of disease, towards the end of July, there seemed to be a lot of flies and wasps on the leaves, now all the leaves have little holes in them, the fruit have slits on them and there are flies and wasps eating them. Overall the tree looks … read more

Hi Gerry, I noticed earlier in the week the damsons are starting to ripen, but some of them seem to have what looks like rust spots – could this be the brown rot – or do i need to do a little more investigating of the damsons?The trees were in the garden when we moved … read more

My Bramley tree has grown very “leggy”with long thin branches that bend excessively with fruit. Can I shorten these branches and if so when?

I have just laid a patio and i would love to grow fruit in tubs/containers…i am thinking specifically strawberries,gooseberries,blackberries, more what I call the old fashioned fruits. Problem is i am a total novice. Am I being unrealistic as i have never done anything like this before or is it a relatively easy undertaking

Hi Gerry, I’m just wondering can I do the above,they are Coxs orange ippin and Apple Laxtons superb.Also how near do they need to be planted and when can I expect some fruit?Thank you

Planted a blueberry bush last year and had a few berries. Nothing this year. I didn’t prune it. Should I have and by how much? Should I have more than one bush for pollination?

Dear Gerry,i planted both Malus ‘Cox’s orange Pippin’ and ‘Elstar’ May ’06. aThey have now produced fruit. They are both approx 2 metres tall 500mm wide. Fruit is about 1.5 inches diameter. Some apples have fallen (I need to support trees better also – weight dragging them sideways). Can you please tell me when the … read more

I inherited two trees when I bought my house 3yrs ago. One is an apple tree. The other one seems to have died! this is recent. I am concerned that the disease could have spread to the apple tree:which now has brown spots on it’s leaves. Should i have the dying/dead tree cut down-do I … read more

Any suggestions for a lovely apple tree and Pear tree and also cooker apple tree – planning my fruit and veg plot at the moment and would appreciate any suggestions. Soil is neutral.

Gerry, how long can I keep my strawberry plants going, should I discard them after x years?Can I keep them in the same spot or should I practice rotation, and after x years?

newly purchased Elstar apple tree – in pot – taken home and soaked in bucket of water overnight as it appeared very dry. Following day the leaves look curled and the new growth has wilted. The second apple tree ‘braeburn’ looks a bit sad also but the morello cherry tree looks fine – all 3 … read more

what am i doing wrong while i am getting some small fruit i am getting plenty of growth

I have raspberry canes for about 15 years, and have good crops each year . I never spray. But this year I have noticed a few canes with crinkled slightly yellowing ( at the edges ) leaves. The fruits are uaffected, but two canes have no leaves or fruits at all. And appear to have … read more

The leaves on some of my loganberries are shrivelled and yellowing. The berries are hard and not ripening. The remainder of the plants are ok but cropping poorly.Any ideas what might be causing it?

my neighbour sprayed gooseberry plants i sowed earlier this year with roundup they are all now dieing off what should i do with them

Hi Gerry, I planted a cherry tree ” Stella” 4 years ago and it is very healthy. Every year it has a very good crop but then the fruits dry up, shrivel and fall of the tree. This year there were about 10 edible cherries but even then they were not as plump as they … read more

Just wondering where would I buy one to grow as I love blueberries. I am looking for berkeley variety?

HiI’ve noticed a substance like a spiders web along the edges of the leaves on my strawberry leaves. I did get some strawberries but only a couple, and that was a while ago. No more have appeared. I’m growing the plants in my conseratory along with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Is this something that could … read more

I have a well established blackcurrant schrub which has a disease on the leaves. I was told it is “rust” and have started to treat it with a copper treatment which i use every forthnight. My question is, are the fruit safe to eat? long term will it rid the schrub of the disease or … read more

In our mature garden we both had our “set” chores. My partner, who died last year, was the “pruner” and sadly I was too busy with “my” chores to take a whole lot of notice of his! Last year armed with the pruning book and pruners I set too (carefully) and did what I thought … read more

No Flowers on one of my apple trees this yearwhy is that?

Fed all fruit trees with potash in March but8 year old pear tree that bore over 300 pears last year and 6 year old peach tree bore 6 fruit last year have now dropped all fruit this year. What can I do now to prevent this happening again (or is it weather related – I … read more

Is it OK to use grass cuttings around strawberries, or am I providing a happy haven for slugs to eat up my fruit. In the absence of straw which is not readily available, what would you suggest to keep the fruit off the ground? I tried shredded paper last year, but it melted away too … read more

Something has eaten all the leaves off my gooseberries. I have checked for sawfly but cannot see anything on the few remaining leaves (which are at the very base of one bush, the other is completely denuded). Any ideas? I thought maybe birds but no other plants seem to be affected. Thanks.

I first notticed a lichen that developed on a Victoria Plum tree which seemed to cover the bark of the branches eventually killing them. I firstly cut off the affected branches but tree later died anyway.This same lichen has now spread to a number of other trees, including apple trees, ash and oak trees and … read more

My rasberry plants were planted in rows (3) thatare too close together – 3 years ago. They did produce good fruit. If so, what time of year would be best for doing this please and should they be pruned back hard when doing so? Thank you Mary

While weeding raspberries this morning I found 2 beetles. Thye were approx 2.5 cm long , abrownish shell and on the undersurface they had a very distinctive black and white pattern towards their tail. Just wondering if they are dangerous!Many Thanks.

My apple tree, a 15-year old Egremont Russet, fruits prolifically one year, and not at all the next. What can I do to get a (smaller OK) crop every year?

Gerry – I have 3 apple trees growning on a south facing wall. They are 4 years old. This year, for the 1st time, the leaves at the very end of some braches are looking witherd and have a greyish colour. What should I do.

the tree went in two years ago as a whip, had seven fruits last year and is very vigorous, with much blossom and beginnings of fruit this year. but now single branches have wilted and died, initially the lowest couple but now higher in the tree. i think it might be verticillium disease but can’t … read more

can you use the ash from a wood pellet home heating system as a source of potash to soft fruit and apple trees.

Hi Gerry, The leaves on my tomato plant have started to droop badly. What can I do to bring it back to health?

Hi Gerry, I was reading the jobs to do in May ,I was wondering what spray to use on my apples and pear trees.The blossoms are already on the trees ,so would it be allright to spray them.hope to hear from you soon . Rosemarie.

planted 3 trees, apple, pear, plum last year. apple fruited, maybe dozen, v small, fell early. No great hopes for fruit, planted mainly for interest, fruit bonus. If left alone, not pruned etc. will they grow ok? Pear well flowering, apple starting, plum just leaves. Beside the sea, both sides, and garden high and fairly … read more

Are there any fruit trees that would grow in a new rural garden that is exposed to strong south-westerly winds? I plan to grow native hedging and shelter belts of trees, should I wait till they are established? Or would there be any point in planting fruit trees to give them some time to establish….even … read more

Gerry, In the last 10 days I planted several apple trees using rootstock M111 (large standard). I allowed 12ft between them and have now read elsewhere that I should have allowed 18ft +. Can they be moved now or will I leave well enough alone? They were from containers. Thanks.

I have space in my garden for an apple tree but I am told that one is no good as it will need a pollinator beside it. Is this essential?