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Below you can find a listing of gardening questions submited by our customers. Our garden experts from around the world have shared their knowledge and answered the gardeners' questions in this Q&A section.

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  • Question submitted by FAQ

    Can roses handle bark mulch or should I use something else?

    Basically, roses can handle bark mulch. But still one needs to differentiate: Roses have deep roots and get their water and nutrition from deeper soil layers. So if you start to give humus on the top layer the roses will build roots which are very frost-prone. So they are not that frost resistant anymore. So if you decide to mulch, make sure that you use bark mulch which decomposes slowly. This way you do not have too much humus and you can avoid the problem described above. 

    The mulch will change the ph-value of the soil, it will get more acidic. So you have to lime the soil as roses prefer basic, not acid, soil. During decomposition the mulch drags out the Nitrogen of the soil. So you have to give nitrogen and potash as well. My suggestion is to fertilize with 50-70 g/m² nitrogen and 30-40 g/m² potash – this comes on top to the usual fertilisation.

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  • Question submitted by FAQ

    What soil do berries need?

    Berries need acid soil. Indeed the ph-value should be about 5.5. You can reach that value by filling the raised bed with lose garden soil and then a 30-40 cm layer of a 1:1 mixture of sand and peat (white peat preferred). A few shovels of loam are welcome as well. Instead of peat you also can mix in bark mulch.

    Especially when you use calcareous irrigation water you should add peat und bark mulch to keep the ph-value as required. Otherwise the soil could get neutral or even calcareous and that could hinder growth. Also, use special berry fertiliser or other sour acting fertilisers. As you suggested you can also add some magnesium sulphate but the fertiliser plus the micronutrients are much more important.

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  • Question submitted by FAQ

    How can I dry fresh laurel?

    Similar to other evergreen herbs like rosemary or thyme you can reap your laurel all-season. But the leaves are more aromatic in summer. If you want to have dried leaves as winter stock just take the branches which you will take off anyway during next season's contour cut. For drying the herbs, make little bunches and spread them at a warm, shady and well ventilated place. But do not forget to turn them over so that the air will reach every leave. In general, fresh herbs are better than dried ones as they are more aromatic.

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  • Question submitted by FAQ

    Where do I place a nesting box for birds?

    Great that you want to take care of the birds. Always make sure that the entrance hole points south east in direction of the rising sun. Also make sure that the location of the nesting box is cat-safe. Experience has shown that a height from three to four meters is favourable. Install the box quite early because the birds look out for their breeding area quite early as well.

    If you are interested in the breeding and would like to do some birdwatching, there are good bundles of cameras on the market. Just install the camera in the nesting box and wire it to your television, for example.

    And a last tip: Clean out the nesting box as soon as the first breed has left. This way it is ready fort the second breed.

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  • Question submitted by FAQ

    The leaves of my rose roll up - what could that be?

    When the leaves of a rose roll up, the rose is afflicted by a wasp called Blennocampa Pusilla. This phenomenon is usually quite rare and shows only a small infestation. Whenever you see this kind of infection, you can just remove the leaves together with the larva in the center of the leaf and destroy them. By the way, the larva itself does not overwinter in the rose but in the soil.

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