• 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:-
      Dobies   Suttons Seeds   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:-
    • tomatoes
    • 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.

Vegetable Garden

  • 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.

Fruit Garden

  • 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

Flower Garden

  • 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.


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