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Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Re­cy­cle your Christ­mas tree by shred­ding it for mulch. ●● In­spect stored tu­bers of dahlia, be­go­nia and canna for rots or dry­ing out. Re­move any dis­eased or dried-out bulbs. ●● Plan veg­etable crop ro­ta­tions for the fol­low­ing sea­son. ●● Cut off old leaves of helle­bores that pro­duce flow­ers from ground level to ex­pose the flow­ers. ●● Col­lect leaves that have blown over alpine beds as th­ese plants are eas­ily smoth­ered. Bare patches can be cov­ered with gritty com­post. ●● Watch out for downy mildew and black spot on win­ter pan­sies. Re­move any in­fected leaves and de­stroy badly af­fected plants. ●● If there is snow in your area, then you may need to brush it off the branches of conifers, climbers and light-limbed shrubs and trees. Heavy snow­fall can splay branches, break limbs and spoil the shape of the tree. ●● Or­na­men­tal vines, ivy, Vir­ginia creeper and Bos­ton ivy can be cut back now – it’s a good idea to keep them away from win­dows, doors, gut­ters and roof tiles. ●● Put rab­bit guards around newly-planted trees and shrubs to pro­tect the bark from rab­bit dam­age. ●● Mole ac­tiv­ity will in­crease in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary due to mat­ing and nest (fortress) build­ing. Re­move the largest hills and re-firm be­fore over­seed­ing in spring.

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