YOUR PROBLEMS SOLVEDISTOCKspring/summer 2012 www.dobbies.com 335top tips for buying new plantsQ I feed the birds regularly in the winter months and wondered if it's important to continue in the summer? Rachel Adams, AberdeenYes. Birds rely on the food gardeners provide and you should never stop feeding them. High-protein foods are important in the summer, along with sunflower seeds, raisins and mealworms. Avoid peanuts as they can damage nestlings.STRAWBERRIES are easy to grow at homeONE. Look for bushy plants with lots of buds - these are usually the most healthy specimens.TWO. Keep an eye out for plants that have the potential to be split or divided - this way you can get two for the price of one.THREE. Always remember to read labels and check if plants are suitable for your garden.FOUR. Buy a plant when it's in flower - that way you know what to expect.FIVE. Take advantage of special multi-buy deals to get more for your money.HANGING BASKETS are perfect for brightening up a wallQI love fresh strawberries - are they difficult to grow at home? Joe Brown, PeterboroughAStrawberries are easy to grow. Buy young plants now, plant them in containers or the ground, and wait for them to grow and produce fruit in the summer - it's that simple. Watch out for birds as fruits develop, placing scarers and deterrents around your plants to ward them off. Strawberries produce new plants called 'runners' after they fruit. Pot the runners into small containers, and grow them on ready to plant next year - this is a great way to get a harvest for free. Give spare plants to friends and family. QHow do I keep my hanging baskets looking good for the entire summer? Steve Willis, GlasgowAAdd slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining crystals at the time of planting, as this will keep blooms healthy throughout the summer. Once planted, make sure the compost in your baskets never dries out (this could mean watering every day in hot conditions), and remove spent blooms regularly - this will encourage more flowers to grow. Remove baskets from their hooks or brackets in windy conditions to prevent them being damaged.
Selected stores across the UK. Shop online at www.dobbies.comBakery | Quality Fresh Produce | Cheese Counter Butcher | Delicatessen | Wines & AlesBeautiful flour arrangements.Like our plant experts, Dobbies bakers are sticklers for detail. That's why all our artisan breads, cakes, pies and pastries are freshly baked daily using the finest ingredients and to the highest standards. So, when you choose any fresh bread from Dobbies you know it will always rise to the occasion.