1) Rake dead leaves out of ponds to prevent water stagnating.
2) Plant winter aconites.
3) Remove dead and dying foliage from hellebores.
4) Plant fruit trees and cane fruits, mulch newly planted trees (do not build compost up around the trunks of trees).
5) If the grass needs cutting due to mild weather, remove mowings as too cold for decomposition.
6) Lift self-sown Cyclamen coum seedlings and replant where most effective for winter display.
7) Cut out reverted stems from variegated evergreens. These will be green only, and appear stronger than variegated stems.
8) Pick up all fallen foliage in the greenhouse to prevent disease establishment.
9) Clean rainwater gutters from all garden related buildings to prevent over-flow.
10) If very hard frosts are anticipated wrap tender plants such as Agapanthus with straw or bubble-wrap and tie securely.
11) Continue to remove fallen leaves and twigs in the shrubbery and lightly fork soil over.
12) Shorten the summer growths of Wisteria (already reduced in September) to 2 buds.
13) Nets draped over the branches are the only reliable way to prevent birds from damaging the buds of flowering cherries.
14) Check all trees and fruit trees to ensure that the root-stock of the tree is not growing in competition with the scion variety.
15) Prune overgrown hedges hard in winter, during frost-free weather. Cut back yew and privet severely to within 15cm of the main stem. For hornbeam and beech cut right back to the main stem to prevent tufty growth. Prune one side one year and the other side the following year.
16) In freezing conditions ensure that the ice on ponds is broken to allow the escape of toxic gases. Do NOT hammer the ice as it may stun the fish. Apply bottles containing hot water.
17) If water remains on the lawn surface for some time after rain, check for blocked drains. If there is no system, make plans to put such work in hand.
18) Take the frosty weather and dark nights to look up the answers to the questions you keep asking yourself whilst you are doing a whole rage of jobs during better gardening conditions!
Posted 4th Jan 12:46pm
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