●● If you had a Christmas tree without roots, let it dry out then remove the branches to use as twiggy supports for plants in spring or take it to a council recycling centre for shredding. ●● On your winter rambles around the garden, take the hoe with you and knock out weed seedlings before they get too big. ●● If weather allows, treat outdoor timber with preservative. ●● Clean and lubricate garden tools. ●● Keep a bag of gritty sand on standby in the shed to sprinkle on icy paths. It’s cheaper than salt, which also doesn’t do your paths any good when the thaw comes. ●● Spread organic matter such as well-rotted manure or garden compost, even if the soil is rock hard. The soil will soon thaw when the weather improves. ●● Plan your vegetable patch on paper so you know which seeds to order from catalogues. ●● Prune standard apple and pear trees. ●● Continue to water greenhouse plants sparingly and ventilate the greenhouse. ●● Bring seed and potting compost into the greenhouse several days before use, to give it the chance to warm up before sowing.