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Every week Thursday 6 December, 2012
Down to earth
With the veg plot relatively empty, now's a good time to improve the soil and test it so you know which plants will grow best. Also, get festive with our daily Advent Calendar prize draw.

Daniel Haynes
Editor, gardenersworld.com
What to do now...
Keep on top of garden and greenhouse jobs with the help of our weekly checklists.
Flowers checklist
    Fill empty containers with winter heathers and trailing ivy
  Plant lily-of-the-valley
  Spread compost over flower beds
Greenhouse checklist
  Water azaleas regularly with rainwater
  Bring potted strawberries under cover to encourage earlier fruiting
  Bring pots of hyacinths indoors to flower
Fruit & veg checklist
  Net crops to protect them from pigeons
  Earmark your best Brussels sprouts for the Christmas table and protect if necessary
  Prune large fruit trees to control their size
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Editor's picks

Use a simple pH test kit to find out if you have acid or alkaline soil, so you can choose suitable plants.
Read more
Make your own soil improver by following our easy guide to making successful compost.
Watch video

Get better crops next year by digging plenty of organic matter into your soil to boost its structure.
Read more
On the forum
Then go to the 'wildlife gardening' section of our forum and post your query, photos or observations.
Start a thread
Plant apple trees now
'Egremont Russet' - sweet, nutty flavour
'James Grieve' - large, early maturing fruits
'Lord Lambourne' - crisp and juicy apples
'Pixie' - heavy crop of small, sweet fruits
'Spartan' - abundant, ruby-red apples
Look after wildlife
Gardeners' World blog
The foxes have been busy in my garden again and they leave tell-tale signs. Today I find they've been raiding the food store.
Read Richard Jones's blog
Also this week...

Get hands-on with your soil to discover if it's light or heavy, then learn about its pros and cons.
Read more
What does the weather have in store for you? Check out your local 7-day gardeners' forecast.
View forecast

Don't let your heating damage your house plants - follow our steps to keep them from drying out.
Read more
On the forum
What's on your gardening wish-list this Christmas - a duck pond, lilac wheelbarrow or greener fingers?
Share your suggestions
Subscribe and save 30 percent
Great value hydrangea
Buy two, get one free

This beautiful mop-head Hydrangea 'Ayesha' produces pink flowers on alkaline soils, and blue flowers on acid soils. Ideal in pots or borders, it likes light shade. Buy one in a 9cm pot for £11.99, or three for £23.98.
Order now
Gardeners' World Magazine

Make festive container displays, enjoy your free 2013 calendar, learn how to tackle winter pruning, and claim your three free peonies.
Find out more
Enjoy five issues of Gardeners' World Magazine for only £5. Then you can continue your subscription for just £19.38 every six issues by direct debit.
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Win gardening prizes
Sign in or register to enter our competition to win one of three Toro Ultra Blowers, worth £119 each.
Enter now

Make sure you're in with a chance to win a four-seat garden furniture set, worth £399.
Enter now

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