MR and Mrs Fearnley from Mirfield have had a very bad setting of apples on their Bramley’s Seedling apple tree, despite have had many years of bumper crops and they would like to know whether it is their fault or not.

The Bramley’s Seedling, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, is a strange beast in the world of apple pollination, needing two other apples to ensure good pollination. It sits in the largest group (Group 3) of mid-season cultivars and so there is plenty of choice when selecting suitable cultivars as pollinators – this is often the main cause of poor pollination, even in built up areas where there should be plenty of variety.

However, there are three other possible causes of poor pollination. Firstly a spring frost can ruin the pollen in one night. Secondly, a period of wet weather that ruins the pollen and finally, the lower numbers of pollinating insects such as Honey Bees and Bumble Bees is sure to have had an influence.

For more advice, why not have a chat with the Northern Fruit Group experts at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show ( ) or visit the RHS website at and search their advisory pages for the leaflet on apple pollination.

For those of us who planted over-wintering onion sets last October, the crop is maturing well, where it has not bolted to seed (a result of the cold winter probably).

Mr Matthews from Slaithwaite is now wondering whether he can grow a crop of garlic here in the North of England, when most seems to be grown on the Isle of Wight or in France and Spain.

Last October, when I planted my onion sets with my grandchildren, I also planted seven cloves of garlic and I harvested six good sized bulbs about three weeks ago – they smell good and, when they have dried thoroughly, we will be using them – I will be planting more in October in a well-drained, open, sunny position in well-prepared soil.

The big camellia question has raised its ugly head again and, with this year’s very dry weather, it is likely to be a concern for many.

Mrs Maude, from Waterloo, is amongst many who have asked me about this over recent months and so, here is the definitive answer to help all of those camellia growers across the Huddersfield area and beyond.

After flowering in February and March, camellias put on a huge surge of growth that by July has all but stopped. It is at this point, on shorter spurs, that next year’s flower buds start to form and so, it is during the late June to September period that the availability of water and high levels of potassium are required to help develop those buds properly.

We do not see those buds until October but good attention to watering and feeding over those three to four months is critical, whether the plants are in a container or in the open garden.

If you have any questions or queries that you want help with or gardening related subjects that you would like to discuss, why not write to me at Graham’s Gardening Questions, Features Office, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Queen Street South, Huddersfield, HD1 3DU.