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Name: Kay Rogers
Question: Question for Sue's session please. My peach has suddenly developed peach leaf curl and all its leaves are curled up. Is there anything I can do now to sort it out - can't really pick off the leaves as it has affected all of them.
Answer: Oh dear Kay. I’m afraid that once the symptoms of peach leaf curl are spotted in spring it becomes very difficult to treat the problem. This is why most treatments for peach leaf curl are preventative rather than curative. The fungal spores of peach leaf curl require moisture to germinate, so this infection occurs particularly during wet spring weather.
You will need to spray the tree in autumn and again in February with a copper based fungicide. I would suggest that you might need to follow up your February spray with a second application about 2 weeks later. If your peach is wall trained then you can erect an open ended screen to cover the tree from late winter to May to keep the rain off, thereby preventing the spores from germinating. I know this sounds a bit extreme but this technique has been proven to be very successful.
For this year, I’m afraid that all you can do is collect up the infected leaves and burn them or remove them from your garden entirely - do not add them to the compost heap. Better luck next year Kay.
Name: John Thompson
Question: Question for Sue: In the world of companion planting, when it says don't plant something 'near' something else, how far away does it need to be? 1 foot? 2 foot? 5 foot? I've looked and looked for an answer plus asked other gardeners but no-one seems to have a definitive answer. Cheers.
Answer: Hello John. There is no definitive answer to this question as it really depends on how much space you have available and what crops you are growing. Rather than putting a precise measurement on how far apart these crops should be, I would suggest that you simply try to avoid planting them directly next to each other. If you have a large plot then you can plant them in different areas provided that both crops will still receive adequate growing conditions. Companion planting isn’t an exact science so you can afford to be experimental and see what works on your plot - this does however, require a little bit of extra planning before you plant! Best of luck with it John.