On the forum: share your growing tips with other gardeners and ask for advice

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Fruit and veg

  • Winter-prune apple and pear trees to remove any dead, damaged, congested and diseased branches
  • Sort out your seeds, throwing away empty or out-of-date packets and noting down any to buy for the coming season
  • Plan this year's crop rotation to ensure you grow each type of crop in a different bed to previous years
  • Prune gooseberries and redcurrants, cutting sideshoots back to three buds from their base
  • Clear old crops and weeds from the veg plot, then dig over the soil, mixing in compost as you go
  • Regularly inspect stored crops, discarding any showing signs of rot or deterioration
  • Plant bare-root fruit bushes and trees into enriched soil, as long as the ground isn't frozen
  • Ensure netting is in place over brassicas, such as kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbages, to protect from pigeons
  • Cover rhubarb plants with a bucket or terracotta pot to force an early crop of tender long stems
  • Feed spring cabbages with high-nitrogen feed to encourage leafy growth
  • Prune blackcurrants, if you haven't done so already, removing about a quarter of the old stems
  • Order seed potatoes, onions, shallots and garlic bulbs for planting in spring

On the forum: which fruit and veg varieties are you growing?


  • Sow winter salads in a greenhouse, conservatory or on a sunny windowsill, for harvests within a few weeks
  • Tidy up the greenhouse, getting rid of any broken pots, old compost or debris that could hide unwanted visitors
  • Move potted strawberry plants under cover to encourage early fruiting
  • Check overwintering plants regularly for aphids, mealy bugs and other pests, and take action where necessary
  • Bring potted peaches into the greenhouse to avoid leaf curl disease
  • Plant hippeastrum (amaryllis) in pots and place on a warm windowsill
  • Keep the greenhouse frost-free by installing a thermostatically-controlled electric fan heater
  • Bring potted camellias into an unheated porch or greenhouse to encourage early flowering
  • Take root cuttings of perennials such as phlox and Japanese anemones, and plant in free-draining compost
  • Start sowing seeds of hardy annuals, such as cornflowers, cerinthe and ammi, in modular trays for early flowers
  • Prepare your greenhouse for spring by improving the ventilation, shading and heating
  • Repot moth orchids after flowering if they look like they're about to burst out of their pot
  • Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days to prevent humidity building up

On the forum: find out more about growing plants indoors

Rose 'Sweet Remembrance'
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Garden maintenance

  • Top up bird baths with fresh water daily and melt ice with warm water on frosty days
  • Repair wobbly or damaged fences, and treat wooden structures with preservative during dry spells
  • Give your lawn mower a basic service or take it to a dealer for maintenance, while it's not in use
  • Put up bird boxes in sheltered spots, on tree trunks, sheds or walls, well before the nesting season begins
  • Clean and sharpen your tools, including hoes, secateurs and shears, and spray metal tools with oil 
  • Sprinkle an all-purpose fertiliser along the base of hedges and around shrubs
  • Trim back ivy, Virginia creeper and other climbers that have outgrown their space, before birds start nesting
  • Provide high-energy food for birds to help them through the winter months
  • Clear soggy leaves, algae and moss from paths, patios, decking and steps
  • Dig over any gaps in borders, removing the roots of perennial weeds
  • Give empty pots and seed trays a thorough scrubbing ready for the start of the sowing season
  • Remove debris from shed and greenhouse guttering, so winter rain can fill up your water butts
  • Clean out and scrub bird feeders regularly to maintain hygiene

On the forum: join in the discussion, share your wisdom and ask for help

£24.95 Supplied as a 3ltr potted shrub. Price excludes P&P.

Sarcococca confusa, also known as ‘Christmas Box’ or ‘Sweet Box’, is a trouble-free evergreen shrub celebrated for its glossy box-like leaves and incredibly fragrant winter blooms. Ideal for a front garden border or patio container, it adds a touch of elegance with its fragrance. While it can reach 2m (6'.6") in height, it is easily manageable through pruning and shaping.

Use code: GWSAR23

Ends in:

Seed Pantry sells a unique, tailored, monthly gardening seasonal subscription service with easy-to-follow planting guides for novice to expert gardeners. Give it a try and save 20% on own-brand products throughout December.

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£12.99 Supplied as a single bulb, sized 24/26cm, ready to plant up

Whether you're searching for a pop of colour or a stunning houseplant, amaryllis is the perfect choice. Though it typically blooms in early spring, it's best known as a Christmas houseplant, making it a delightful gift that adds a touch of magic to holiday displays.

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