If you need help in getting your garden ready for spring please contact us

Wisteria needs pruning in summer and winter to encourage flower buds and control vigorous growth. Prune in January or February when the plant is dormant and leafless, cutting side shoots back to two or three buds. Tidy it up before the growing season starts.

Cymbidium is one of the easiest orchids to grow, preferring cooler growing conditions than some other tender indoor orchids. Provide winter growing temperatures between 10-14°C (50-57°F) and ensure it has good light levels. At this time of year, reduce watering to approximately once a fortnight.

 

If you missed planting in November or December you can still plant out rhubarb crowns now. If necessary, planting can continue up to March. Buy named cultivars or choose a division from a strong, healthy-looking plant. Plant the crown with the growing point at, or just below, the soil surface. On wetter soils, planting with the buds just raised out of the soil may help prevent rotting.

Protect brassicas from pigeons using cloches, netting or fleece. Pigeons are particularly keen on the leaves of brassicas (such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and cauliflower).

Deciduous hedges such as hawthorn, blackthorn, beech or hornbeam can be renovated during January when they are dormant and leafless. Where drastic renovation is necessary it is better to stage this gradually over two or three years.

Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot. Do not compost any diseased material such as blight-infected potatoes, onions suffering from white rot and any crops with rust. Burn or bin the diseased material.

Vegetables ready to harvest include parsnips, swede, sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leeks, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes and turnips.

Plant gooseberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants but avoid planting in waterlogged, parched or frozen soil.

If you are holidaying this month, houseplants can be left for a week or two with no attention, but ensure that the temperature does not fall below the minimum they can tolerate. Move plants away from windows (where it can get cold) and water them before leaving so that the compost is moist but not waterlogged.

Provide a shallow dish or container of water at ground level in an open area of the garden. This will benefit other garden wildlife that needs to drink, as well as birds.