- Protect vulnerable plants and tender, soft growths from frost and wind damage by covering them with an insulating material such as horticultural fleece, plastic bubble wrap or straw.
- Prune trees and continue to plant new trees, check ties, supports and stakes.
- Look at the range of seeds available in the catalogues and order from:-
Thompson & Morgan
- Keep the garden tidy and weed free to give overwintering pests fewer places to shelter.
- Use cold winter days when it is not possible to work outdoors to plan design improvements and new plantings for the spring.
- Brush heavy snow from shrubs, conifers and hedges so that there is no danger of branches breaking.
- Firm in any autumn planted shrubs and border plants lifted by frost.
- Cut back clinging climbers from windows and doors.
- Deadhead and tidy plants in containers. Move pots containing vulnerable plants under cover if severe frosts are forecast.
- Make any necessary repairs to structures supporting plants such as trellises, pergolas and arches while the plants are dormant.
- Wash and disinfect seed trays and pots, ready for early spring sowing and planting.
- Hang fat up in trees to attract insect-eating birds.
- If you keep fish, keep an area of the pond ice free.
- Plan where to grow plants this year and rotate crops.
- Sow seeds:-
- half-hardy annuals that are slow to mature.
- begonias and pelargoniums.
- Ensure fuchsias overwintering in leaf in the greenhouse get as much light as possible and are not becoming pale and leggy.
- Complete the pruning of greenhouse vines while they are still dormant and remove loose bark which may harbour pests.
- Sow carrots, radishes, peas, broadbeans, spinach and parsley under light cover.
- Sow onions and cover with straw.
- Plant garlic and horseradish.
- Pot up mint roots to bring in for the windowsill.
- Cover rhubarb and sea kale for forcing.
- Continue to blanch chicory.
- Cut down newly planted canes of raspberries, blackberries and hybrids to within 25-30 cm (10-12 in) of the ground.
- Prune apple and pear trees and treat the cuts with a wound paint.
- Prune gooseberries and currant bushes.
- Cut back newly planted blackcurrants and blackberries and hybrid berries and raspberries to give them the opportunity to grow strong roots.
- Hoe lightly around fruit trees and fork around existing fruit canes to expose over-wintering pests to birds.
- Check greasebands.
- Propagate grape vines
- Germinate seeds such as begonias and pelargoniums on windowsills indoors or in the greenhouse.
- When ready, bring indoors pots of forced bulbs for indoor flowering.
- Protect winter-flowering bulbous irises in the garden from severe cold or damp.
- Start forcing pots of lily bulbs for Easter and early summer flowering.
- Pinch out rhododendron and azalea buds damaged by frost to prevent the spread of disease.
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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.