The 10 Facebook questions of the week

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Every week our social media team reaches a few hundred questions about our favorite hobby: the garden. Most of them are quite easy to answer for the editorial team of MEIN, but some also require some research effort to be able to provide the right answer. At the beginning of each new week we put together for you our ten Facebook questions of the past week. The themes are mixed - from the lawn over the vegetable patch to the balcony box.

Facebook: The top questions of the calendar week 20

1. We want to plant a bunch of fruit trees and I would like to plant them with herbs or vegetables. What is suitable for this?

In the case of fruit trees, it is generally the case that the tree disk should be kept free of vegetation as much as possible, because it can affect the absorption of water and thus the growth of the fruit. Better put on an extra bed or put the trees a bit further apart to have room for vegetables or herbs in between. You can mulch the tree slices, for example with dried grass clippings, to keep the soil moist.

2. What can be planted under a lilac hedge so that it does not look so bald and naked?

The planting of lilac is not easy, because it forms many shallow roots and represents a strong competition for most plants. For example, forest anemones, funerals, rodgers, elven flowers, Balkan cranesbill or forget-me-not are suitable. Flower bulbs should also grow well. In the subplantation you can also put some tread plates or leave gaps in which you can step to cut the hedge.

3. Can you actually share thyme? I have a big bush that is not so beautiful in the middle.

Thyme grows shrubby and woody at the base. It is botanically a semi-shrub, which unfortunately can not be shared like a perennial. But you should cut it back vigorously after flowering to keep it compact. Thyme can easily multiply via cuttings.

Plant thyme

Thyme is undemanding, but it needs full sun and prefers dry, well drained and sandy to stony soils with a high lime content

4. I have bought a small Andentanne this year, which is about 20 centimeters tall. Do I have to pack them in the winter?

It is advisable to give the Chilean Andean fir (Araucaria araucana) a winter shelter for the first few winter months because especially so small specimens are not as frost hardy and can be severely damaged by the winter sun. You should mulch the root area with autumn leaves and shade the shoots with fir branches.

5. How can I settle stinging nettles in my garden? Just dig up and transplant?

The small stinging nettle is annual and can be multiplied only by seeds. It occurs mainly on arable land and in the vegetable garden. The Great Nettle is a horstbildende, perennial. It has creeping underground foothills that you can just cut off and transplant. In this way you can provide food for butterfly caterpillars in an unused garden corner. Note, however, that the plant needs a sufficiently moist, loose and nutrient-rich soil.

Butterfly caterpillar on nettle

If you let a few stinging nettles in the garden, you feed the caterpillars of the peacock butterfly, admiral or painted lady

6. I bought a blue rain in a nursery about 10 years ago. It grows magnificently, but has never blossomed. Why is that?

Your wisteria is probably a seedling, meaning the plant has not been grafted. The increased abundance of blue-flowering flowers often only starts to blossom after many years. Dryness can also prevent flowering: Too dry soil lets the buds fall off even before they have opened. If the growth conditions are optimal, you should consider removing the plant and replacing it with a grafted specimen. It already blooms as a very young plant, is usually flowering and also makes larger flowers than a seedling.

7. My rhododendrons have brown buds. I broke everyone out, but what can I do to prevent the next year from happening again?

The bud tan on rhododendron is a fungus that appears on the bud surface in the form of small, pedunculated buttons. It was right to break out the affected parts immediately. The fungus is transmitted by the striking green-red colored rhododendron cicada. From May to hatch, the larvae, which usually sit on the underside of the leaf and feed on the sap. The insects do not cause any damage except a slight foliage. Control is possible with insecticides such as pest-free neem. Tip: also spray the undersides of the leaves.Winged cicadas from July can be caught with yellow boards. The cicada lays its eggs in the young buds. Through these wounds penetrates the fungus that causes the brown buds.

Rhododendron black-brown buds

Black-brown buds on rhododendrons are an unmistakable sign of cicada infestation. The insects when oviposition transmit a fungus that causes the buds to die off

8. Do beer traps help snails?

Beer traps against snails only make sense if a worm fence limits the area. On open beds, the snail density can even double, because even animals from adjacent areas, which would otherwise remain there, are attracted. Another problem: beneficials can also drown in the beer-filled containers.

9. Are there bamboos whose rhizomes do not spread?

The bamboo is divided into two groups: Horst-like species such as the umbrella bastards (Fargesia) form short, thickened rhizomes that are close together. Overall, the plants remain compact, a rhizome barrier is not necessary. Quite differently the Hainbildner such as Phyllostachys, Sasa or Pleioblastus: They send underground foothills in all directions, which can drive away meter-far above ground. In any case, build a rhizome barrier here.

10. Can you plant zucchini next to pumpkin?

Of course. But on the bed on which zucchini have grown, no cucurbits should be planted for four years. So the soil does not leach out unilaterally and pests or diseases can not spread so easily. If you want to harvest your own zucchini seeds, but you should not put the plants close together. They are so closely related that they can cross each other. In addition, seedlings made from crosses with ornamental squash often contain the poisonous cucurbitacin - this is immediately recognized by the bitter taste and must not be consumed under any circumstances.

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