JOBS FOR THE WEEK
■ Hit by snow and frost this week? Avoid walking on snowy lawns as this will cause damage. Brush excess snow off branches, hedges and greenhouses.
Frost may have blackened some plants – you can remove the damage in spring. Newly planted shrubs can lift up during hard frosts so firm gently back in.
■ You might be too busy with Christmas preparations to do any gardening this week, but if the sun does come out, it can be great to get a bit of time outdoors.
There’s always plenty of tidying up to do around this time of year, clearing leaves, weeding and cutting back dead perennials.
■ Pinch out the tops of autumn planted wallflowers to create stronger flowering plants.
■ Block any drainage holes on pots for forcing rhubarb with black polythene to exclude light. Only force grow every other year – alternate these years with natural growing.
■ Peaches and apricots grown against a fence or wall can be given some protection against peach leaf curl by erecting a rain shelter made of plastic. It should cover the top of the tree but allow access for pollinating through the open side ends. Keep in place until mid-may.
■ Put out fresh water for birds when ponds are frozen.
■ December is pruning time for outdoor grape vines.