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



Before storing the plastic garden furniture away, give it a good wash using Flash, it brings it up like new again. Allow it to dry before covering with specially manufactured garden furniture covering.


Keep cutting the grass, it is much easier and quicker to cut if done regularly. If the grass is sometimes a bit too wet, drag a stiff broom behind you dragging it over the surface. This makes the water droplets fall onto the soil and an hour later the grass is easier to cut.

If you are intending to treat wooden garden furniture with a preservative to restore it’s quality, choose the correct product. Ensure the wood is dry before using any preservative otherwise moisture is locked in.

Buy some fragrant long stemmed exhibition sweet pea seeds ready to sow next month. They are more expensive but if you love perfumed sweet peas it’s worth paying a bit more.

Try to get the hedges trimmed before the cold winds arrive, the good news is that this will be the last trim required this year. Do you need new shears? Have a look at the wide range at Keydell or try the electric cutters, these are brilliant if you like to keep the hedges looking smart all year.

Keep mentioning that an electric hedge trimmer would be a good idea to your wife’s best friend, your wife might buy one for you for Christmas.

Take a lot more care about watering the greenhouse. From now on until springtime, watering is best done in the mornings. Take care not to splash it around as wet conditions encourage fungal problems.

If you are going to take geranium plants into the greenhouse to overwinter, cut them back hard and remove every leaf. Dust the cut ends with sulphur powder to prevent stem rots. This will enable you to store them closer together to save space.

In the greenhouse plan to keep a small area warmer by dividing the greenhouse with bubbled polythene sheeting.

Try to get some more digging done, bear in mind it is a good idea to complete the winter digging before Christmas - Have a look at the stainless steel spades at Keydell, these are really good to use when the ground must be left rough.

Plant a horse chestnut conker and a walnut in a pot and next year plant it somewhere so that the children in 30 years’ time can get the nuts without breaking windows.