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RTÉ Guide - - Gardens -

1 This is the best time to get your lawn­mower ser­viced, if pos­si­ble by the com­pany that sold it to you.

2 Dur­ing cold weather, squir­rels, rab­bits and even deer (depend­ing on where you are) are more likely to nib­ble valu­able plants. You may need to put up a fence or other de­ter­rents.

3 Start an early crop of pota­toes in a large con­tainer or a tub. Do this in a green­house or poly­tun­nel and you will have new pota­toes in time for Easter.

4 Cover a patch in your veg­etable gar­den with a firmly se­cured sheet of plas­tic. This will warm the soil, as well as dry­ing it out, leav­ing it ready for spring crops.

5 Use mulch wher­ever pos­si­ble – it im­proves the soil struc­ture and fer­til­ity, stops it dry­ing out and sup­presses weeds. A 3-5cm layer of or­ganic com­post is ideal.

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