The early part of the year is the time to prepare your garden. If the weather is not good, you can do things from your armchair, for example, planning your vegetable patch and ordering seeds and plants online so you are ready for the better weather.

January is the perfect time to prune rose bushes as roses are still dormant; cut back to just above a bud and remove any crossing or dead branches.

It is a good idea to get on with winter pruning of apples, pears etc but not cherries and plums (summer prune); if you  are fed up with scratched hands picking gooseberries, buy thorn less varieties, they are just as good.

February is a good month to plant an early variety of broad beans and a little later, early peas.

Deadhead hydrangeas before new growth appears; cut to about one third of last years’ growth.

Start chitting potatoes – stand them on end in an egg box and place them in a bright, cool, frost free place. If you are short of space for gardening, you can grow lots of vegetables in hanging baskets and the like. Trailing tomatoes, peas, peppers and courgettes do very well in baskets so just search the web for ‘veg for hanging baskets’.

More tips to come next month from,
Greenish fingers!