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



Thank you for reading these notes, I very much hope they are a good reminder of jobs that we may forget. All the products recommended are in stock at keydell Nurseries and thank you for visiting the nurseries.


Are you saving water? Gardeners can set a good example. Everyone lets the tap run for a few moments so that the water runs cold, cold water is far more pleasing to the palette. Don’t allow that water to run down the plug hole, use a bottle to catch it and put the bottle in the refrigerator, the water will be lovely and cold in an hour or so, or do you waste your money on bottled water?

Keep a sharp eye out for flea beetle on all types of cabbages, wallflowers and stocks. These tiny creatures hop all over the plants causing brown blistered edges on the leaves and if left unchecked multiply rapidly. They are difficult to see because as you approach the plants, they hop off and hide away. The answer is to use ant killer dust over the foliage.

As the early blooms of roses die off, remove the dead petals and seed head and put them into the compost bin, never leave them on the soil, this encourages massive attacks of black spot disease.

Spray the roses late in the evening with Multirose to keep pests and diseases at bay.

Plant out mid season Brussels sprouts, not closer than 2 foot 6 inches apart.

Check for rust on hollyhocks, remove all infected leaves, then spray the undersides of the leaves, the soil around the plants and the wall behind the plants with Systhane to prevent further outbreaks. There’s no need to stop growing these gems, we simply need to PREVENT that rust disease.

To prevent carrot root fly, cover the row with insect barrier mesh supported by plastic water piping in the form of half hoops, ensure the edges of the mesh are either buried in the soil or kept in place with 2” square wood, the idea is to stop the fly getting at the carrot seedlings.

Try mowing the grass before it needs cutting, you will do it in less than half the time!

Have you got a compost bin? It’s about time you did! Use 1 part urine to 7 parts water every time you add a gallon measure of waste material which you want to turn into excellent compost.

Make sure the raspberries are kept moist, cold washing up water is ideal for them. Raspberry fruits are always larger if watered well when they are in flower and when the fruits are forming.