• Protect newly planted shrubs and those at risk from frost by covering them with an insulating material such as horticultural fleece, plastic bubble wrap or straw.
  • Plant out Bare-root roses, fruit trees and bushes.
  • Plant out winter and spring bedding plants including:
  • Polyanthus
  • Wallflowers
  • Prune trees and continue to plant new trees, check ties, supports and stakes.
  • Protect tender, soft growths from frost.
  • 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
  • Reserve your choice of grafted tomato and pepper plants to plant out later in the year click here.
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • If barley straw bales or pads were used to reduce algae during the summer months, these can now be removed and added to the compost heap. Let them sit by the edge of the pond for 24 hours before composting, so that pond insects can find their way back into the water.
  • Rake out fallen leaves or shake off those that have gathered on protective netting.
  • Use Pond Net to prevent hungry herons depleting your fish stocks.
  • If the pond becomes frozen do not be tempted to smash the ice on the pond with a spade or hammer as the shock waves could kill fish and other wildlife. Put some boiling water in a pot and hold it over the pond to melt away a hole.
  • Before the pond is likely to freeze float a tenis ball in the water before it freezes. Once the ice has formed, remove the ball to create a breathing hole.
  • Prevent the pond freezing invest in an Air Pump or Pond Heater or Air Stone. These kits will keep the water aerated and moving.

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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.


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