Ask the Expert
Peat moss on its own is used as a soil conditioner rather than as a potting medium, as it doesn’t contain enough nutrients for most plants. House & Pot Plant Compost, which uses peat moss as a base and which contains other nutritious elements, is ideal for your croton.
Ivy can be a pest in the wrong place, as it gets into walls and up trees. If you can’t dig it out, I’m afraid you’ll have to use several applications of weedkiller. Your garden centre should be able to advise you on what kind to use. If it isn’t doing any damage, you can clip it back into a neater shape. It is a great wildlife plant.
There are many reasons. If it is an older tree, it’s probably a traditional, non-self-fertile variety. This means that it needs another compatible cherry tree for pollination, and there might not be one nearby. Or the blossom may have been damaged by a late frost. Or there may not have been enough bees around to pollinate it. Or it may be that the birds are eating the fruits.
Composting at home
The problem is that grass clippings and kitchen waste are very rich in nitrogen. They decay very quickly, and turn into a mushy mess instead of lovely, crumbly compost! You can correct this easily by adding materials that are richer in carbon. This will give a better balance. Carbon-rich stuff tends to be brownish and more brittle — dried leaves, dried stems, or straw. You can even add brown corrugated cardboard, torn into strips, or small amounts of newspaper (not glossy paper). It might take a few months to sort itself out, but it will eventually.