Although December was the warmest recorded for years, this month your garden may need protecting from frosts, strong winds and heavy rain. Make sure you check stakes, ties, fleeces and other supports for damage and consider moving plants to sunnier positions to maximize light. Also keep feeding the birds as food is in short supply for them during these winter spells.
Pruning and training fruit
Prune apples, pears, quinces and medlars.
Prune currants and gooseberries.
Prune autumn raspberries.
Place mice controls near stored vegetables.
Protect early seed sowings from slugs.
Protect brassicas from pigeons.
Look out for grey mould and brassica downy mildew on brassicas.
Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot. Do not compost any diseased material such as blight-infected potatoes, onions suffering from white rot and any crops with rust. Burn or bin the diseased material.
Spray against peach leaf curl.
Check apples for canker and prune out.
Keep checking stored fruits and remove rotten ones.
Ensure tree stakes and ties are firm and sound.
Apply winter washes to fruit trees and bushes.
Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruits and nuts.