Kynoch’s Dirt Diaries – May

Dear Tanya…

Can I submerge Juncus effusus in pond pots without soil, only with silica? Will it survive? Thank you, Helen

Hi Helen,

Yes, it will! What I normally do is wash as much of the soil off the plant as possible, but I do leave a bit of the soil as I find this helps the plant a great deal. Of course, the gravel will also stop any bits of soil from getting loose and floating around the pond. Another great water plant is Acorus ‘Golden Edge’.

All the best, Tanya

Please advise. This old lady is over 20 years old, and she still gives me blooms although they seem to be a lot smaller and the stems much thinner and straggly. Is it time to replace her? Thank you, Gordene

Hi Gordene,

Shew, she is an old girl!

I suggest giving her a boost with some good nutrition. The pale leaves are a sign of lack of nutrition. Of course, without the right food she can’t green up her leaves which in turn will produce flowers. Please use Kyno Shrub, Flower & Fruit as per the instructions on the bag. I would also use a foliar spray that is diluted into water and simply sprayed on the leaves as per the instructions. Try Nutrifeed or Kelpak.

All the best, Tanya

I live in Centurion, Pretoria, in a complex that is just face brick and boring concrete paving. So, zero colour. I planted tickey creeper against our boundary wall to break some of the face brick. It took a while to take off, and then did it really take off! My concern is whether the roots can cause damage to the foundations of the walls. It has now covered my boundary wall facing the complex driveway, as well as the wall between us and the neighbouring unit. There are some thick ‘vines’ on the walls as well. Whilst it looks very nice, I will really be in trouble if it causes any kind of damage. Your advice will be so appreciated.

Regards, Janice

Hi Janice,

Although tickey creeper is an amazing quick-covering creeper there are some challenges, especially if you have not clipped or shaped the plant. The tickey creeper (Ficus repens) belongs to the fig family. So, its roots are incredibly strong, and powerful enough to get into cracks and weaknesses in concrete and break it. This only happens though when the plant is not controlled. So best  advice is to cut it back significantly and keep it well trimmed. I would also look for any thickened roots that have got out of hand and simply remove them. Once it is under control you can take a deep breath!

Happy gardening, Tanya

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The Gardener