Seeds to plant now:
Indoors or in a heated greenhouse
Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia
Outside under cover
Shows and events:
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Jobs to do in the garden this week.
- Prune apple and pear trees and remove any "suckers". Cut these off as close to the trunk as possible.
- Prune fruit trees, rose bushes and wisteria.
- If you are ordering seeds or plugs from mail-order companies, you'll need to get your order in soon.
- Start off seed potatoes, standing them in seed trays with eyes uppermost.
- For an early crop of strawberries bring the pots into the greenhouse now.
- Clear away old crops from the greenhouse, including grow bags, they can harbour hibernating insects and their eggs. Spread the grow bag compost on the soil as a soil conditioner.
- If you have had a fall of snow, gently shake shrub branches, a build up of snow and ice can cause branches to snap.
- If your pond has frozen over, melt a small area of ice with hot water to release any build-up of gases that could harm your fish. Don't be tempted to break the ice, the shockwave created can kill pond life.
- After a frost try to stay off the grass. Treading on the lawn in frosty conditions can damage the grass.
- Refirm the roots of any shrubs that may have been lifted by frost.
- Switch outside water taps off at the mains and leave the outside tap open, draining any water, so the pipes don't freeze.
- Put out feeders for birds, not forgetting fresh water. Encouraging birds into the garden will help reduce the number of insects and slugs.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover shrubs that are likely to be damaged by frost with garden fleece, sacking or an old light blanket.
- On a dry still day rake up fallen leaves, don't put them on the compost heap, as leaves break down in a cold process, whereas a traditional compost heap breaks organic matter down in a warm/hot process. Put them into a leaf composter, or make leaf mould. How to make leaf mould.
- If you have any decorative plant pots that aren't frostproof. Empty them of all soil and store them in the shed, greenhouse or garage.
- Plant apple and pear trees. Check and adjust any stakes on young trees and remove stakes on any trees that have been planted more than 3 years.
- Plant or move roses. They like plenty of sun and a clay soil. Leave 60cm (24in) between plants to allow air circulation, which will reduce the chance of infection.
- During autumn and winter, indoor plants will require less feeding and watering. However as the temperature drops outside, the central heating goes on and the temperature in the house tends to go up, so whilst it's a good idea to keep your pot plants on the dry side and not water them too often, you should check a couple of times a week to ensure they haven't totally dried out. Oh and if you have a water spray bottle, hold the plant over the sink or bath and give the foliage a quick little squirt (don't do this to hairy leaved plants like african violets).
- Don't go and buy an indoor (small) watering can, I find that the kettle does just as good a job, but obviously not after it has just boiled!! (the water should be room temperature or cooler).
- Making leaf mould
- Care of Hippeastrum/Amaryllis after flowering
- Planting up winter containers and baskets
- Storing plants over winter
- Creating a compost heap
- How to lay a new lawn
- Removing large branches
- Updated photo gallery