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Whenever it is not too cold it's worth setting to for a big clean up of all your pots and equipment. Perhaps now is the time to start a garden diary and write down all those jobs you want to do this year and the best month to do it.
Have a big clean up
Wash, brush and disinfect all your pots and seed trays;
Protecting Plants from the cold
Preserving banana palms. The colder your winters the lower you should cut your banana palm. Down to -10°C cut off the leaves. -10 to -19°C cut down to 60-80cm from the ground and hide the stems under a layer of straw or dead leaves. Cover with polythene to keep this dry as humidity can kill the palm.
Protect camellias and ceanothus by placing straw around the base of the plant. Dig up cannas or cut back to the ground and cover with mulch or straw.
Any mild days I continue tidying borders as it is amazing how many weeds seem to grow steadily throughout the winter.
Continue to add compost wherever you see bare earth. During the winter worms will drag this into the soil ready for your plants to take advantage of in the spring.
Plant new shrubs and trees
During mild spells it is still possible to plant trees and shrubs. Take cuttings of willows and cornus (see February for advice).
In the potager (vegetable garden)
Plant garlic - Plant each bulb 3-4cm deep, every 12cm. Cover with 1cm of earth. Do not water. Planting in rows makes future weeding more simple.
Sprinkle ash from your wood stove on the potager as this is full of minerals.
Do any digging you need to do as exposing the earth to the cold helps to break up lumps and expose harmful insects to the cold.
What to do in the garden next month