This month it’s all about getting ready for the year ahead, pruning fruit plants and starting to sow seeds. Exciting stuff!


Pears ©Firgrove Photographic

Complete any pruning of apple and pear trees and check ties to make sure they are secure and haven’t become loose in the recent winds.

Prune bush fruits (currants & gooseberries) to reduce overcrowding and to allow light and air into the centre of the bush.

Prune autumn fruiting raspberries by cutting all stems down to 1inch above ground, and plant new canes any time from now until mid-March. Feed & mulch after pruning.

Chitting potatoes

Chit early potatoes by laying them out ‘eye’ end uppermost in a cool, light, frost free place (I find that egg boxes are perfect for this). This encourages them to sprout before you plant them, so they get off to a faster start when they’re in the ground.

Cover soil in vegetable garden with black polythene or cloches to warm the soil for early planting.

Sow broad beans, lettuces and peas in late February in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame for planting out in spring.


Sow chillies and sweet peppers in a heated greenhouse.

Carrots can be sown in pots for an early crop.

Plant spring garlic and Jerusalem artichoke tubers.

Sow hardy and half-hardy annuals under glass in small pots or modular trays, for planting out in spring.

Sow sweet peas in a cold frame and pot on those sown in the autumn.

Pot up stored Dahlia tubers and Lily bulbs over the next month or two, and keep them in the greenhouse until you’re ready to plant out in warmer weather.

NB  The information here is for UK gardens, but you’ll need to make a judgement based on your local weather and ground conditions.

Picture credits:  Janet Bligh & Firgrove Photographic