Ensure that vulnerable plants are protected from wintry conditions

Keep on top of winter germinating weeds

Clear the crowns of plants of damp leaves

Continue with winter digging as soil conditions allow

Brush any snow off heavily laden trees, shrubs and hedges

Take hardwood cuttings of trees and shrubs you wish to propagate

Sow summer bedding under cover

Start sowing early vegetable crops under cover

Chit early potatoes

Plant and winter prune fruit trees and bushes

Force rhubarb

Warm up some soil with cloches for early seed-sowing outdoors

Clean all pots and seed trays for spring sowing


From “Gardening Through the Year by Ian Spence

Complete winter digging of empty beds and new vegetable plots

Plan your crop rotation

Cover ground with black polythene after digging to allow for easier raking later and to keep the soil warm for early sowing

Continue to harvest Brussels sprouts, leeks, parsnips, swedes and turnips

Sow a few early crops indoors

Bend leaves over cauliflowers to protect the developing flowerheads

Start early potatoes

From “Gardening Through the Year by Ian Spence