dmg media (UK)


Q When I was digging in a border, I found a substance that looked like grey ash. What is it, and should I remove it all? Doreen Roberts A I don’t think this is a problem. It is most likely to be mycelium, a fungal growth that feeds on organic material – common if you use garden compost, and found just below the surface. At certain times of the year, harmless toadstools will sprout from the ground above it. Q We have a clematis that has bloomed four times so far this year and there are still six blooms on it at present. Is this unusual? David Johnson A Not really. The weather has been very mild this autumn, encouraging many plants to continue to bloom, while others are blooming out of sync due to drought conditions experienced in summer. Once the cold weather sets in, they’ll drop their flowers and return to their normal growth cycle. Q I opened my compost bin the other day and discovered little white creatures under the lid and on the walls of the structure. What are they and are they detrimental to the compost? Ian Rees A These tiny critters are springtails, harmless invertebrates often found in compost bins and heaps. There are thought to be about 250 species in Britain and they help the composting process by eating decomposing plants.