As we prepare for warm winter evenings in front of the fire there are just a few jobs you could do to on those lovely clear winter days.
- In anticipation of frosts and winds, cover your root vegetables with straw or cardboard up to 30cms, to enable you to dig the ground when you want your vegetables. Also stake your sprouts and earth up your cabbages to prevent wind rock. If we have a hard frost coming you can protect your cauliflowers by wrapping a few of the outer leaves around them.
- Plant garlic anytime before Christmas in well drained soil; do not plant on freshly manure sites as the garlic is prone to rot. There are varieties of onions that you can plant now which can be harvested in June.
- Take hard wood cuttings of currants and gooseberries and indeed any other shrubs.
- Protect any pots by wrapping them with bubble wrap and then if you think that is not aesthetically beautiful enough add a little hessian to the outside.
- If you have existing apple and pear trees it is time to get out and prune them. You’re aiming for an open goblet shape, so remove any crossing branches, damaged and horizontal branches and prune to an outward facing bud. Do not prune your soft fruit trees at this time of year as you can damage them. Also leave trained apple and pear trees alone such as espaliers as these require summer pruning.
- If you want Rhubarb now is the time to plant it, you may be lucky and get a crown off a neighbour. When you’re planting Rhubarb dig in a lot of manure around the crown and let the crown peek out and see the light it does not appreciate being buried.
- Cut leaves from the crowns of kale to encourage side shoots for harvesting in late winter