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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



Are you going to grow some veggies this year? Never grown them before? Have a look at the brilliant range of plants in cells at Keydell Nurseries. The best fertiliser for all vegetables is fish blood and bone fertiliser and you will find this in boxes at Keydell. Enjoy your visit. This family business is dedicated to all things to do with gardening and you can find everything you need.


This is the most exciting time, wall baskets, hanging baskets and window boxes can be planted. If it’s very windy, wait until the windy weather passes, we all know what it is like to suffer from the wind!

Have a look at the range at Keydell.

If the stems on the potato plants look a bit thin, the crop will not be good. Thick haulms indicate a good crop. Scatter Sulphate of Ammonia along the rows, using 2 ounces per yard run and hoe this into the soil. Once hoed in, earth up the haulms again and give the plants a good watering, this will increase the yield. YES you will find this at Keydell in handy boxes.

Did you prune the forsythia shrub? Use strong secateurs and remove all the wood which had flowers. If this looks a daunting job, pull out one branch at a time, look for side shoots close to the ground and cut back to where the side shoots can be seen. Pull back the next branch and do the same, The sprays of prunings can be used to support perennial plants.

Keep the hoe going and pick up all the weeds and put them into the compost bin. If left on top of the soil, it will cause Murphy’s law to strike. Have a look at the stainless steel hoes at Keydell. they make the job a lot easier.

Black currents like nitrogen at this time of year. Give them a dressing of Sulphate of Ammonia using 2 ozs per square yard and fork this into the surface of the soil. If you like to be organic, then top dress the plants with well made compost but water the soil before and after the application.

Tie in shoots of blackberry, try to stop the tips rooting in the soil, if they insist on going down towards the soil, cut the tips off

Potato and tomato blight will be here soon and this year we will be PREVENTING the problem - won’t we? Buy Copper Mixture, you will find this in drums at Keydell Nurseries. 1 heaped tablespoon to a gallon of water. Spray when the sun is off the leaves.

Plant out runner beans, even if you don’t have a garden, just think, I must have some runner beans, they look wonderful in a flower border or in growing bags - just use a little bit of imagination. Runner beans in July - won’t be long now! You will find the plants in cells at Keydell.