The days, although short and cold, are beginning to lengthen and the promise of spring is beginning to show with the emergence of early flowering plants such as Snowdrops.
- Continue to tidy beds and borders and then mulch with compost, well-rotted manure or bark and apply a slow release fertiliser such as bonemeal.
- Continue to prune out dead, damaged, or diseased branches from established trees and shrubs in frost-free weather.
- Continue to firm in the roots of trees and shrubs that are lifted by frost.
- Remove snow from evergreen trees and shrubs to prevent branches being snapped.
- Now's a good time to decide on the plants you'd like to plant for summer colour.
- Look back over the successes from last year and decide what didn't work so well that could be improved for this year.
- Check the fixings on hanging baskets to make sure they are secure.
- If not already done, clean and overhaul any machinery, oiling parts and storing under cover.
- Choose different paths when crossing the lawn, as continually following the same route will cause compaction.
- Avoid walking on your lawn when it is frosty, as this will cause damage.
- Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes providing the ground is not frozen or too wet.
- Continue to prune Apple and Pear trees.
- Check and firm in all newly planted fruit trees and bushes.
- Check the stakes on fruit trees, and tighten or loosen them as necessary, replacing any that are broken.
- Select the varieties you intend to grow during the year and order seed or baby plants.
- Continue to dig over vacant ground and dig in well-rotted manure or compost providing the ground is not too wet or frozen.
- Towards the end of the month consider putting up plastic cloches to warm the soil before planting early crops.
- If not already ordered, buy and store seed potatoes in a dark place.
- Do not water plants too much - only when the compost is dry.
- Check plants regularly for pests and disease i.e. moulds and fungus.
- Ventilate only on warm days.
- Start to heat greenhouses that have peaches and vines in them.
- Prune Grape vines now before the sap rises.
- Keep an area of the pond free of ice to help fish to breathe.
- Provide food and water for garden birds.
- Clean and oil all garden tools.
- Check Dahlia tubers, Gladioli and Begonia corms that are being stored and remove any that are rotting.