Though the weather is bleak, tasks accomplished
now will yield benefits later. Take advantage of
frost-hardened ground to transport manure and fertilisers,
and when the ground is soft, aerate the lawn with
a hollow-tined fork. Complete all digging.
TREES AND SHRUBS
Plant new specimens in suitable weather. Feed
established plants with general fertiliser and
Complete pruning of deciduous specimens while
they are still dormant.
Prune large, late-flowering hybrid clematis
back to 9-10in from ground level. Feed and mulch
with decayed manure, leaf mould or compost.
Prune flowered growths from Campsis x tagliabuana
and remove unwanted stems from Solanum crispum
if necessary to keep in check.
Continue planting whenever soil and weather
conditions are suitable.
Support bushes damaged by winter gales.
Prepare borders for spring planting –
fork in well-rotted farmyard manure or garden
compost and apply general base fertiliser.
Continue to take root cuttings of any perennials
with thick, fleshy roots.
Re-firm soil around any plants loosened by ground
If not already done, lay fine chippings around
plants to keep the soil cool in spring and summer
and help to keep down weeds.
WATER AND BOG PLANTS
Sow seeds of moisture-loving plants, such as
mimulus, in a heated greenhouse or frame.
Remove any weeds from the bog garden.
BULBS, CORMS AND TUBERS
Place dahlia tubers
in a temperature of 13-16°C (55-61°F)
to promote early growth for propagation by cuttings.
Check stored bulbs and tubers for signs of drying
Feed bulbs with general fertiliser as soon as
they begin to push through the ground.
ANNUALS AND BIENNIALS
Sow slow-growing half-hardy annuals, such as begonias
in heated greenhouse or heated frame.
When the ground is not frozen or waterlogged,
spike to aerate, and rake over to remove debris.
Apply moss killer if required.
Firm, level and rake over sites ready for sowing
Take advantage of frost-hardened ground (when
a wheelbarrow will not get stuck in the mud),
to apply manure and other dressings to beds and
borders throughout the garden.
Check and overhaul garden machinery, clean and
disinfect soiled pots and seed trays, and make
any necessary replacements.