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Brian Kidd, retired Parks Officer for Portsmouth City Council, will be giving weekly gardening advice and answering gardeners emails. Email your gardening questions to



Come along to see the lovely range of plants for instant effect, you will find some wonderful plants and everything you need when you make a visit to Keydell Nurseries, if you need help with anything heavy please ask a member of staff to help you. They will take the item to the tils and the into your car - with a smile!


Take cuttings from aubrietia plants, 3 inches long and remove the bottom 2 inches of leaves. Insert them in 50% sharp sand and 50% seed compost. Keep them in the shade and protect the box from cats and they should root in 3 - 4 weeks. If you don't have any have a look at the plants at Keydell.

Place greenhouse ferns in a shady part of the greenhouse, many end up with scorched leaves if left in direct hot sunshine.

Feed greenhouse cucumbers by top dressing the surface of the compost with a little Vitax Q4 fertiliser and water afterwards with a rose on the watering can, in a few days, new white roots will appear on the surface of the compost. When these roots are seen top dress the surface of the compost with John Innes number 3 compost, this will increase the number of fruits. Repeat the action several times at weekly intervals. Vitax fertiliser is difficult to find but is always in stock at Keydell.

Summer prune apple trees, this means cutting the side shoots to half their length, the prunings will be soft and should be composted, this practice will induce fruit buds for next year’s apples. If you need new secateurs have a look at the range at Keydell, do not buy cheap ones have a look at the excellent range of excellent tools at Keydell.

Use fingers and thumbs to see if early potatoes are ready, don’t dig the whole plant, give it a liquid feed to encourage more tubers

Thin the grapes again and blow sulphur dust into the centres and the bunches to prevent powdery mildew.

Check tall flowers in borders, they may need support if you didn’t use hazel sprays in March. Canes, string and plant supports are always in stock at Keydell.