Question time with Brian Kidd

Brian has some top tips on caring for your sweet pea plants.
Brian has some top tips on caring for your sweet pea plants.

Our horticultural hotshot delves into his inbox and postbag. 

Q: I found a great lump of ammonia sulphate in my father’s shed. What plants like it? How and when can I use it? JD, Paulsgrove.

A: Yes, put the ammonia in a strong bag and keep hammering until it breaks up.

Use it in the spring by adding a tablespoon into two gallons of water and then water cabbage roots.

Then, use half the amount in water to spruce up green up lawns using a rose on the watering can.

Q: We seem to have an abundance of sweet pea pods.

We would like to sow these seeds to raise money for our social club.

When is the best time? TP, Purbrook.

A: They can be sown now if you can prevent frost penetration during the winter.

If this is not possible sow them in pots in April next year. The seedlings will grow very rapidly if they are sown in April.

Q: We are having to clean out our pond When is the best time please? SD, Cosham.

A: The best time is as soon as the leaves fall off the trees. Try to avoid a very cold day for obvious reasons.

Q: I enclosed some stems which were at the top of the runner beans. They are ragged and some of the leaves only have the veins left. The chap on the plot next to mine told me it was pigeon eating them. What do you think? CS, Copnor.

A: The specimens in dry newspaper were perfect thank you. No, it isn’t pigeons the damage was caused by snails during the night. Check the soil and behind the leaves and apply a ring of slug gel round the base of the stems. This product will not harm any other creatures or children.

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