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Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Pinch out rhodo­den­dron and aza­lea buds dam­aged by frost to pre­vent the spread of dis­ease. ●● Cut out bro­ken, dis­eased, dead or rub­bing branches on es­tab­lished trees and shrubs ex­cept Prunus. ●● Wash and dis­in­fect seed trays and pots, ready for early spring sow­ing and plant­ing. ●● Make any nec­es­sary re­pairs to struc­tures sup­port­ing plants such as trel­lises, pergolas and arches while the plants are dor­mant. ●● Give peren­nial veg­eta­bles such as as­para­gus, ar­ti­choke, rhubarb and sea kale a dress­ing of gen­eral fer­tiliser, which will wash down to their roots ready for the new grow­ing sea­son. ●● Sow early salad onions in a green­house now, or out­doors un­der cloches in midFe­bru­ary. ●● Give strug­gling hedges a boost with a dress­ing of gen­eral fer­tiliser or a mulch of well rot­ted ma­nure any­where over its root run. ●● Ap­ply lime to any ground that needs it, par­tic­u­larly the veg­etable plot. Soil en­riched with ma­nure in the au­tumn can now be treated. ●● Check that cloches haven’t moved out of align­ment, or un­wanted cold air may find its way to your crops. ●● If a cold spell threat­ens, crops such as spring cab­bage can be pro­tected by spread­ing straw around them.

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