Q. Dee D. (\\no-location\\)
"My entire flowerbed is covered by Ground Elder. Help!"?
Use a systemic weed killer, NOT A SPRAY. Something like glyphosate pads or gel (Round-Up) will do the trick. Rub it on the top and bottom of the leaf on a dry day. The leaves will draw in back into the plant and it will spread until dead. It takes time, but is the best way as it will be killed at the roots.
Top tip: There is a 'homemade' herbicide recipe that can work well on smaller weeds in your garden / patio / paving. Its a mix of Vinegar and salt (and dish soap).
Mix 2 litres of vinegar, half a cup of salt and 2 tablespoons of dish soap. Spray on the weeds (again, on a DRY day) and leave it to do its work. You may need to do this twice over the period of a couple of weeks, but it is quite effective. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has well known herbicidal properties, and is commonly used by organic gardeners and farmers as a herbicide.
Q. Peter Brook. Kildare kildare.
"I have Marestail around my garden. I cant seen to get rid of it"?
Horsetail / Marestail (also mare's tail and mare's-tail) is a difficult one to kill. Again, you need a systemic weed killer, NOT A SPRAY. There are a few different ones out on the market for the last while that work well on this weed.
Either: Kurtail weed killer
Kurtail weed killer in particualr has a great reputation in dealing with this.
Q. L. Dunne. Wicklow.
"I have an ivadsion of cranefly larva. What works best"?
You need a spray that will come in direct contact with them - this will work best. Again, I would recommend using an organic spray called 'Pyrethrum'. It works very well and should give you the results your looking for.
Q. JJ in Fermoy
"I have Vine weevil all over my Laurel hedge - how do I get rid of them without damaging the hedge?"
The 1st thing to do is to double check that it is Vine Weevil. Weevil is a little beetle, with a pointy nose, but is generally nocturnal. Its the grub of the beetle that does the damage, as when they hatch they tend to eat the roots. Normally you will find them on plants and shrubs such as Cyclamen or Primula flowers. They adore them. They seem to have a taste for the expensive!
There is no easy way. Usually you divide the plants / flowers from each other so that they wont spread, and remove the beetle from the affected plant BY HAND! They don't bite, so no worries. Once removed, make sure to gather them up and take them far away / kill them.
There is a treatment available called "Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer". If removing them by hand is too much, it can be worth a try.
Also, for future reference, it would be a good idea to encourage natural enemies into your garden, such as birds, frogs, hedgehogs and other predatory ground beetles.
Q. Sean and Nancy in Offaly
"I have apple tree in my garden, but this year there is very few apples on the tree. Normally there are?"
Its possible that when the tree was pollinating, that is was too wet. Its important the tree gets to pollinate, otherwise you wont get apples - often, if its too wet outside, this can prohibit pollination.
Now, this wont be any good to you this year, but for next year (future reference), keep in mind that apples are rather greedy, and need lots of nutrition when the tree comes INTO BLOOM. So spread manure / compost etc at the base of the tree (MAKE SURE NOT TO have it touching the tree itself, as it can cause damage). Also, banana skins work well for this purpose (potassium).