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Eric Robson and the panel are in Glasgow. Christine Walkden, Neil Porteus and Bob Flowerdew answer the horticultural questions.

Eric Robson and the panel are in Glasgow. Christine Walkden, Neil Porteus and Bob Flowerdew answer the horticultural questions.

This week, the panellists debate how to keep slugs out of the kitchen, the best composters, and reducing plastic use in the garden.

They also diagnose a sickly Camellia, advise on propagating a Daphne Bholua, and suggest the best long-life cut flowers.

Outside of the hall, Christine Walkden visits Horatio's Garden at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow

Produced by Darby Dorras
Assistant Producer: Laurence Bassett

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

42 minutes

Fact Sheet

Q – I have slugs constantly coming in my kitchen, how do I stop this from happening?

 

Bob – Use salt. Don’t pour it on them, that’s cruel, but they will avoid it if it’s on the ground.  They don’t like powder.

 

Q – I need a new composter; which type is best?

 

Neil – I go low-tech and lay palettes with sticks on top and then layer up from there.  Keep turning it and you’ll get great compost even within eighteen-months. 

 

Bob – I wouldn’t recommend anything with moving parts

 

Christine – Keep it simple. And remember the more compost you have the easier it is, and if it gets dry in the summer you should water it.

 

Neil – Sometimes we cover it in tarpaulin in the winter if it’s very rainy

 

Q – How can we reduce our use of plastic in the garden?

 

Christine – Reuse the pots yourself.  And use other things like tin cans that are already in the house.

 

Neil – You can buy Miscanthus/’Elephant grass’ and you can buy rice and bamboo pots. 

 

Q – I have an eight-year-old Camellia that has never flowered.  Why?  It’s south-facing and underneath a Wisteria

 

Christine – It’s competing against the Wisteria for one.  If they’re both growing badly look at the soil and the environment. 

 

Bob – Give it a dose of potash (not wood ash on a Camellia as it’s too limey). 

 

Christine – Make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry in the summer. 

 

Neil – They will take pruning quite well too

 

Q – How do I manage a patio in a shady garden that is covered in algae and moss?  I’ve tried scraping and I don’t want to use chemicals

 

Christine – Without more drainage/less shade it’s going to keep coming back.  Walk in sharp grit into the algae. 

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