For those of you with green fingers it’s time to shake off those post-Christmas cobwebs and do some important preparation jobs to give your flora and fauna the best start for 2022. So grab your hat and scarf and a pair of good pruning cutters!
Prune Buddleja and Elder:
Prune these vigorous shrubs to the base to keep them to a reasonable size. They will become very tatty if not properly pruned and, especially with Buddleja, all you will see is a twiggy tangle of bare stems. If pruned hard in Winter, they will only grow between 2-3m tall by early Summer.
Ivy, Virginia Creeper and other climbers:
Trim these back if they have outgrown their space to discourage birds from nesting in them.
Winter fruit trees and shrubs:
Finish pruning fruit trees and soft fruits including apples, autumn raspberries and blackcurrants. This encourages new stems to grow from the base which will carry the fruit next summer.
Prepare vegetable beds:
Prepare your vegetable beds by weeding thoroughly and then covering with a thick layer of garden compost.
Put cloches or fleece over strawberry plants to start them into growth and encourage and early crop.
Snails are the bane of gardeners’ lives. Hunt out overwintering snails huddled in empty pots and hidden corners to cut back the population in your garden. They are a problem all year round but are a particular problem in Spring when there’s plenty of young growth for them to eat. You’ll never rid your garden of the little beasts but prioritise the most vulnerable plants.