Even on the coldest days there are things that you can be doing to ensure that you get the best out of your garden in the months ahead.
TREES , SHRUBS AND FLOWERS
- Cut back vigorous climbers such as Virginia creeper to keep them within their allotted space on your wall.
- Remove some of the older leaves from early flowering Iris to see the flowers better.
- Ventilate greenhouses on mild sunny days to help reduce fungal infections.
- Use a non toxic disinfectant such as Citrox, or hot soapy water to clean seed trays ready for Spring.
- If it snows then gently brush the snow off hedges and branches of trees and shrubs to prevent damage.
- Cut back the leaves of Helleborus x hybridus before the end of this month to reveal flowers and to help to control hellebore leaf spot disease.
FRUIT , VEGETABLES AND HERBS
- Prune grapevines if you have not already done so this month.
- cover rhubarb crowns with straw and a traditional clay forcing pot or upturned bucket.
- Plan where you are going to grow specific plants bearing in mind that crop rotation helps to prevent the build up of crop specific pests.
- Evergreen herbs such as Rosemary and Sage, and winter salads such as rocket can be harvested through the winter.
- Seed potatoes and onion sets will be available this month.
- As food becomes scarce birds are attracted to developing flower buds, cover smaller trees and bushes with netting.
- Start saving containers for seed sowing, such as yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and fruit punnets. Wash well and add drainage holes.
- Continue to feed the birds as food is scarce this time of year. Keep bird feeders topped up as they can waste valuable energy going to an empty feed station where they are used to finding food.
- Take care with grit and salt as it can damage plants.
- if fencing has been wind damaged,consider replacing it with a hedge which will reduce air and noise pollution whilst providing a habitat for wildlife.