Will high winds ruin petunias? Brian Kidd answers your questions

Readers’ queries range from apricots to rabbits this week.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 4:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 8:25 pm
Rabbits make great pets, but can you compost their droppings? Picture: Shutterstock

Our large bed of petunias was spoiled by high winds. Will they recover? V and MU, Hayling Island.

A: The type you’re growing will recover quickly if you nip off all the seed pods and drench them, one pint to three plants, with Maxicrop Complete fertilser in the evening. You will be pleased with the results after two weeks.

Q: We gave our grandchildren a rabbit because as they are fond of animals. What should we do with the litter and droppings as we understand this shouldn’t be put in the dustbin. D and PR, Waterlooville.

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A: Buy a compost bin and a sheet of wire mesh. Fork a small area of soil and lay the wire mesh. This stops mice and rats entering the bin. Put the litter in the bin and add a little water to keep it moist. Gardeners used to say rabbit litter attracts wireworm. This is not true. It makes excellent compost.

Q: I have been given an apricot bush which is partly trained as a fan shape and would look good on a south-facing spot on the wall of our house. There is a three-feet-wide border and I can see it will look good but am worried in case the roots will damage the house foundations. CS, North End.

A: The apricot was grafted onto a dwarfing stock which has fibrous roots. It will not undermine the foundations. If you are concerned, get hold of two large roof slates and put these against the wall so they are buried. This will give you peace of mind and those apricots will be a joy.

Q: We bought a climbing shrub called Solanum jasminoides and can’t believe how pretty it is. When and how should we prune it please? LH, Horndean.

A: I agree with you, it is a beautiful climber. It is pruned as soon as the first flowers finish flowering in about a week’s time. Simply cut off the flowering tips and afterwards tie in the growths. It may flower again after a few weeks.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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