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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



Have a look at the attractive display of plants as you walk through the first glasshouse at Keydell Nurseries. A combination of shrubs and potted flowering plants all put together for your enjoyment. As they are sold the specimens are replaced in this lovely display.


Pathways are very slippery at this time of year, try to clear away fallen leaves because you may slip up if conditions are wet. If moss is making pathways slippery, water on Brintons patio cleaner diluted in water, this will kill the moss. After watering the pathway, leave the solution for about an hour before brushing off the moss with a stout broom. There are hundreds of products but if you can't find Brintons. a member of staff will direct you.

Our lawns at home are still very wet, it would be wise to insert a garden fork into the turf to the full depth of a garden fork and then scatter sharp sand over the surface of the lawn. Brush this gently into the grass and this will prevent slipping when walking over the grass. Have a look at the stainless steel prongs in stock at Keydell at bargain prices.

Thank goodness most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, it has been a mammoth task picking them up. If you have not done this yet, rake them up so that the wind is blowing towards the heap you are gathering and once there is enough to gather, grab them and put them into huge former potting compost bags so that they will rot and become leaf mould. Sprinkle on 1 part urine to 7 parts water, this is the best activator and it’s free!

At the allotment, due to the wet weather, some of the Brussels sprout buttons look as if they have rotted, leave those which still look a bit green because after Christmas, they will burst open to form what looks like little cabbages. It’s a bit fiddly, preparing them in the kitchen but these can be very useful to eat and the leaves taste as good as spring cabbage.

If you enjoy growing lettuce in a cold greenhouse, another batch of winter lettuce can be sown now for harvesting in March. Look for the variety Rosetta, produced by Suttons seeds.

A horrible job but as soon as all the leaves have fallen, this is the time to clean out the garden pond. Water lilies can be divided now, you will need to do this if you found the leaves of the water lies grew long leaf stems which were 9 inches over the top of the surface of the water. How do I know this? I’ve got to sort ours out

This is a very good time to think about changes in the garden, as we are all a day older than we were yesterday, what changes would make the garden easier to look after?

Do you need that flower bed in the middle of the lawn? Why not move the bird bath into a border? Have a look, think about it.

Are you looking for shrubs and you are unable to dig large holes? You will find a wonderful selection of shrubs called starter shrubs in pots all along the walkway in the first greenhouse at Keydell Nurseries. If you need help. please ask a member of staff or ring the bell at the information desk.