Emma Crawforth

Latest posts by Emma Crawforth

my rosemary!!

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 17:19

Hello jdjp122,

This sounds like tortrix moth. These moth caterpillars roll leaves around themselves to protect themselves - a very successful strategy. Carnation tortrix moth is known to attack many different plant species, including herbs, and can over-winter as a caterpillar, so could be active on your rosemary now. Chemicals that work by contact with pests don't work on tortrix as it protects itself with plant material. I wouldn't want to advise a systemic insecticide on a plant you might eat, so your best, although difficult solution is to cut off all the curled ends that you can find. You need to be very vigilant. This pest is difficult to control and you will not want it spreading to other plants. However, at least the curled ends give you a clue as to where it is.

Good luck,


gardenersworld.com team

Chiicken v's Veggies

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 16:49

Hello Skinnycat,

Have a look at James' blog on chickens. There are a few tips in there but I'm afraid he doesn't have any solutions to keeping them off your veg other than fencing. Pippa also keeps chickens, and uses them as an environmentally friendly way of disposing of slugs and snails. I hope you'll also be able to make use of their eggs and manure!


gardenersworld.com team


Posted: 15/03/2012 at 16:34

Hello Burtie,

Some daisies-type plants are annuals, so they would naturally die after a few months. Many however are perennials and could live for years if hardy. Do you have any photos of it when it was looking good? If so you could post one on the forum so we could see what type it is. Many plants do die down and grow brown in the winter, but send up green shoots when weather is warmer. As you were so fond of it it would be a good idea to be patient and keep an eye out for green shoots. If you get any, then cut back the dead brown foliage to give them space to grow.


gardenersworld.com team

Talkback: How to improve your soil

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 15:31

Hello wellingtonsallday,

Don't dig the compost in where you have bulbs. You can lay mulch (made of compost or well-rotted manure etc.) on top of the areas where you have bulbs, when they are dormant i.e. when there are no leaves showing. Worms and other soil-dwellers will gradually pull the nutrients down into the soil. This is what happens in nature, when leaves fall - there are no garden forks there! Digging it in is great for places like empty veg plots where you're planning to sow a crop later in the year.


gardenersworld.com team

Pyracantha leaf problem

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 14:02

Hello Pauline,

These symptoms sound like the disease silver leaf, which affects plants in the same family as pyracantha. This is a fungal infection, which causes the upper leaf surface to separate from the rest of the leaf, making the leaf look silver.

However, adverse weather, drought, insects and poor feeding can also cause these symptoms.

To investigate the cause, cut an affected stem where it is wider than 2.5cm, and look for a brown stain inside.

The best way to avoid silver leaf infection is by only pruning susceptible species in the summer. If you find the brown stains, cut back to 15cm lower than the stain. Keep disinfecting your pruning tools with a household disinfectant, as you prune. Burn the pieces you cut away.

In the meantime, make sure your shrub is well-fed and well-watered to give it the best chance of recovery if it does have silver leaf, or to avoid these symptoms if they are simply caused by plant stress.

Good luck.


gardenersworld.com team

Talkback: Gardening with children

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 12:05

Hello Sandra mum of 2,

I presume you're talking about Jasminum officinale, summer jasmine. You can take cuttings from it but they take a long time to root - about four weeks, which makes the process quite difficult. Maybe you could have a go at doing something easier at the same time - like pelargoniums. Then if the jasmine doesn't work your son won't be put off the whole process.


gardenersworld.com team

so the toms leeks and parsnips whats your plans for the weekend

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 11:49

Hello weekend gardeners,

I badly need to do some pricking out of my seedlings this weekend. Some of them are starting to get leggy and will make very poor plants if I don't get them out of their crowded seed trays soon.


gardenersworld.com team

Container Gardening - all seasons

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 10:32

Hello mysterywoman196,

It may seem old-fashioned, but how about pinks? if you keep dead-heading them (which is quite a pleasant job) they can produce flowers for months. If you don't like the grey foliage look, some of them come with bright green leaves. And if you think the colour pink is not right for your pots, then go for white ones. They smell great too. Have a look at James' blog on pinks for some inspiration.


gardenersworld.com team

tomatoes and mould

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 10:23

Hello Elly,

It sounds like you're doing the right things. Grey mould loves cool, damp conditions. Ventilation is really important. On warm days, try to open all the vents in your greenhouse and the doors to get as much fresh air in as possible. Spacing is also crucial. It's always tempting to pack in as many plants as possible, but closely spaced plants have humid pockets of air in between them - which fungi love. After the danger of frost has passed you can take some of your plants out of the greenhouse altogether for the summer.

I hope you have a good crop this summer,


gardenersworld.com team

pelargonium cuttings

Posted: 15/03/2012 at 10:12

Hello Gilda,

Don't worry, pelargoniums are some of the most forgiving plants when it comes to taking cuttings. Softwood cuttings can be taken from now through to autumn. Gardeners often recommend taking them in autumn so as to overwinter them but as yours have survived winter in their original pots (I presume) you can start taking cuttings now. You can use the method in our geraniums cuttings project.You probably don't need to bother with the hormone rooting powder. Be sure to keep them in a warm place.

Good luck,


gardenersworld.com team

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