January and February:
Shrubs and Perennials:
Now your shrubs have moved their food stocks back into their roots and main stems it's the best time for pruning of most your climbing shrubs and roses.
Firstly prune out any dead wood, then a good general rule of thumb for most roses and climbers is to prune back to the second bud from its main stem on each lateral shoot
Finally, you may need to remove one or two old main stems in order to bring older shrubs back to life, but be careful not to remove too much at once.
During the winter period your lawn may benifit from a light scarifying if conditions are mild. Scarifying will help remove moss and thatch build ups. A liquid Iron treatment will help green up your lawn, strengthen its root system and suppress moss growth.
Now you can clear out any spent veg from your plot and give the area a good digging over. Summer fruiting raspberries can have their old canes pruned out so as to leave their new stems in tact to bear this years fruit. If using string to tie them to frame work dispose of any old string to help eliminate spread of disease and use new. Autumn fruiting raspberries can be cut down to the ground and framework put in place ready to support them - this can be as simple as some old hazel stems pushed into the ground which they can grow through.
If you have a greenhouse now is a good time to give the glass a good clean so as to maximise light penetration next season.
Mixed planting schemes round the garden are a proven way of reducing pests over simply having block planting.
Roses may be getting attacked by greenfly and require a treatment with insecticide.
Regular weeding and hoeing over of borders will always be required at this time of year. While no chemicals are 100% safe glyphosate based weed killers have reduced long term risks over some residual types available. These weed killers can greatly reduce the need for physical weeding and have a longer term solution for couch grass, docks and dandelions.
As the bird nesting season nears and end you can start planning any end of season reductions required. We generally leave conifer reductions untill October / November as they are some of the most popular nesting places so may have a few still live in them.