GARDENING: Brian Kidd answers your questions

A bed of pink and white petunias - which will take a lot of dead-heading.
A bed of pink and white petunias - which will take a lot of dead-heading.
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Our horticultural hotshot dips into his inbox  to solve your problems.

Q: I heard about half-sized cucumbers when you were on Radio Solent. Is it too late to sow seeds and what was its name? BJ, Cosham.

A: Look for Petita. They are easy to grow in a growing bag. Cucumbers love heat and humidity so keep windows closed or grow it on the opposite side of the door. Once it grows feed once a week with Maxicrop Complete.

Q: I have a bed of petunias which need much attention as there are so many dead flowers. You always tell us to remove dead flowers. Is there an easy way to pull them off? ND, Hambledon

A: Use sharp scissors and allow the dead flowers to fall. Dead-heading ensures more flowers.

Q: A lot of leaves have gone white on my runner beans. Will they be all right? HS, Fareham.

A: Next time leave them outdoors for about a week first. This is called hardening off and it won’t happen again. They will grow but do not allow water to touch the leaves. This sounds silly but we all rush jobs when we need to take a bit more time and think. Water has to go down to the roots, not over the foliage.

Q: The leaves on my pyracantha are going brown and the new berries are also affected. Any ideas? PG, Old Portsmouth.

A: This is a fungal disease. Spray the foliage with Fungus Fighter or Roseclear late in the evening and repeat 10 days later.