Prune your roses

Start with those on walls, then those in the borders and lastly those with bird-sustaining hips. First clip and clear away any dead leaves so you are left with the stems.  Now it is easy to see if there is any dead, old or diseased wood to cut away. The new growth on climbers looks …

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Prune roses

Jobs for February

February is your last chance to prune your currant and gooseberry bushes while they are still dormant: Prune up to a third of the older shoots at the base from your blackcurrant bushes Trim back by half the leading shoots of gooseberries Cut back sideshoots to two buds for red and whitecurrants Remove any dead …

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Jobs for February

Heel in parsnips

These large roots take up a lot of space at a time when you may need room for planting. If this is the case, carefully lift them and store them in another part of the garden by heeling them in. This involves digging a shallow trench, laying the roots closely together and covering with soil. …

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As it’s a relatively quiet month in the garden, now is as good a time as any to turn your compost heap, breaking up any large lumps as you go. If it has composted down nicely, you can put it to one side, ready for your borders in spring, thus making room for a new …

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To all garlic lovers out there

If you have heavy soil and find that over-wintered garlic rots in the ground, plant a spring variety such as ‘White Solent’ now. Split the cloves and push them into the soil, flat end down and tops covered, about 10 cm apart with rows 25 cm apart. Cloves planted under cover in the autumn can …

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Busy Bees

Peaches and apricots come into flower this month. They must be pollinated if they are to produce fruit later in the year. If the weather remains cold, there will be few insects around to do this so you need to get involved! Take a small, soft paintbrush to transfer pollen between flowers.