GARDENING: Brian Kidd solves your horticultural headaches

A thrip - give it a sticky end.
A thrip - give it a sticky end.
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This week: pests on tomatoes and cabbages.

Q: What is causing cobweb markings on my greenhouse tomatoes? There is a flitting insect but I can’t catch it. GV, Copnor

Duncan F1 hybrid cabbage.

Duncan F1 hybrid cabbage.

A: Thank you for the sample in dry newspaper, it arrived in perfect condition. His pest is thrip and is quite widespread because of the hot weather. Buy some sticky traps. Unpeel just one side and hang it on the cane which supports the plant and the pest will fly on to the sticky trap and die. No chemicals are on the sticky surface.

Q: My cabbages have lots of tiny holes and are scorched around the edges of the leaves. I think the pest is flea beetle but Derris is no longer available.  WR, Fareham.

A: You can dust the plants with ant powder, but if you buy sticky card traps and hang them on to short canes the beetles will hop on to the sticky surface. This is what I do at the allotment.

Q: I have a wonderful perennial sweet pea in my garden and it has been a picture for weeks. It had produced seeds and I am wondering if these will grow and when to sow them? HD, Crookhorn.

A: Some readers call them American sweet peas. Yes, they germinate well if sown in early April. The seedlings will grow rapidly and will flower next summer.

Q: My greenhouse will be empty all winter. Can I grow cabbages in there? The pigeons eat them if I grow them outside. BP, Waterlooville.

A: Yes, sow seeds of a spring cabbage called Duncan F1 Hybrid. It is a green pointed cabbage and if sown now you will have a good crop around about March next year. I think your question will be appreciated by lots of readers.

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