Gardeners’ question time with Brian Kidd

Who me? What holes in the lawn?
Who me? What holes in the lawn?
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This week: troublesome squirrels and lavender pruning

Q: I have just dug my new allotment and am pleased with the result. I want to grow peas. What’s a good variety and when can I plant the seeds? GN, Copnor.

A: Feltham First is a good variety. Sow indoors in cells and plant out when they’re 2in high. Sow directly into the soil and crows, pigeons and mice will ensure they won’t germinate!

Q: I have trouble with squirrels digging holes in my lawn. I have tried an electric device but with no success. How can I repair the lawn? MH, Lee-on-the-Solent.

A: We do use electric repellers. I move them every other day and they work well. Powders are also available. Mix 1lb of grass seed in 10lb of John Innes seed compost to repair the lawn. Leave in a black polythene bag for seven to 10 days to allow the seeds to send out roots. Prick over the patches, scatter on the mixture and water.

Q: I want to grow strawberry plants in my cold greenhouse and have rooted 30 plants from runners. Each one is in a 3in diameter pot. Can you advise when to put them into the greenhouse? BC, Cowplain.

A: Leave them outside in these pots in a sheltered place to protect them from very cold spells because runners can die if the compost freezes for more than 10 days. Put them into the next size pot using John Innes No3 compost during the third week in January. They are then put in the greenhouse or you could use best quality growing bags,eight in each bag. When flowers appear you must cross-pollinate them using an artist’s paint brush. .

Q: Is it too late to prune lavender? GC, Waterlooville

A: No, do it as soon as you can. Use shears to create a good shape, the results will be great and there will be lots of flowers next year.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​