Gardeners’ question time with Brian Kidd, Dec 16  

Strawberry Gigantella.
Strawberry Gigantella.
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Can you grow strawberries in a growing bag?

Q: The lowest branch of my new apple tree has been bent down but has not broken off. This tree cost me £45 and I bought it because it had 20 fruit buds on the damaged branch. Is there any way I can repair the damage? MB, Emsworth.

A: Get someone to help and ask them to carefully lift the branch back up while you use about a yard of inch-wide bandage. Wrap it around the damaged branch and then around the main branch, keep repeating.

Q: We grew last year’s Christmas tree in a pot and put another pot into the ground and twisted it several times as you recommended last year and all went well. One lower branch is brown (sample enclosed). What has caused this? FL, Denmead.

A: Glad it was successful. It has red spider mite. When putting it back in the garden spray the entire tree with Py insecticide and repeat in July.

Q: I bought a strawberry plant called Gigantella and the fruits are about the size of a dessert spoon but the flavour is not that good. I would like to grow the six runner baby ones in my cold greenhouse next year. Would a growing bag would be large enough for all six? CP, Eastney

A: Yes. Leave the plants outdoors until the end of January and then plant them in the bag. Bear in mind you will have to pollinate the blooms with an artist’s paint brush when the blooms open early next summer otherwise the fruits will not form​​​​​​​.

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