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December 2023

Dear Tanya  

About seven years ago I planted a lemon tree which I had bought from a nursery in George.

I live in Hoekwil where we have lots of nocturnal wild beasties visiting, and about three weeks later the lemon tree had been dug up, chewed in half, and some of the roots eaten on the bottom half of the tree. I replanted the bottom half and put hormonal rooting powder on the top half, which I planted only after it had started shooting. Both halves have grown very slowly, and neither have ever produced any fruit. I feed them periodically with liquid fertiliser, Epsom salts, and fruit and flower fertiliser.

Another lemon tree which grew from a pip on the compost heap, has grown into a tall healthy tree, but has also not produced any fruit yet. Both trees have been fed the same. My mother also had a lemon tree grown from a pip which gave her an abundant supply of lemons for many years, so I’m wondering why mine haven’t. Your expert advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, Carol Mulrooney

Can you please advise which trees will be best suited to be planted next to an Astro hockey field? The main purpose will be to offer shade for players and spectators. I’m sure it should be evergreen with a tap root system? Your help will be greatly appreciated. Yolandi

I decided to give geraniums a go again this year after they were totally trashed by a hailstorm here in Johannesburg last December. However, I seem to have a strange problem with them, as you can see in the photos. I have not been able to find out what the problem is, and am hopeful you can help.

Dale Hastings

I have several succulents – as per the attached photo –which are flowering at present. The leaves look good for a while then start to gray off, as you can see. How do I either prevent this, or restore them to their full glory? And more importantly, what causes this unsightly graying off? Mike Clancy

Can you please help me with the name of the tree in the June 2023 issue, page 18, from the story Inspirational Walls from the Melbourne Flower Show. I have a very small walled garden with an east-facing wall. I’m looking for something to give a little green height against a stone wall. In summer the wall gets some lovely sunlight, but not so much in winter. I really liked the ‘look’ from the June issue and was wondering about those trees. Kind regards, Annie Lewis

Send your questions to using the subject line Kynoch’s Dirt Diaries.

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