1Buy colourful dogwoods
Look out for the most colourful dogwoods (Cornus), Salix and white-stemmed Rubus in garden centres – they’ll make a great winter display.
2Check for greenhouse pests
Many pests can overwinter in nooks and crannies in the glasshouse structure and in the bark of woody houseplants and vines. Mealybugs and scale insect nymphs are commonly found and should be picked off.
3Beware of pansy and viola diseases
Watch out for downy mildew and black spot on winter pansies.
4Check for houseplant diseases
When bringing plants into the house or greenhouse, check them carefully for any pests and diseases. Unhappy looking plants can always be tipped out of the pot to look at their root balls for signs of over or under watering, or for soil pests like vine weevil larvae.
5Tidy up leaves for leaf mould
Tidy up leaves from around borders. They can be added to the compost heap, or placed in separate bins to make leaf mould, which is an excellent soil improver and can also be used as a seed-sowing medium.