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Watch the weather
As long as the ground isn't frozen, a key job for this month is to cultivate and prepare seedbeds. To warm them up before sowing, cover them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece.
Take delivery of and plant fruit trees, bushes, canes and vines if the soil isn’t frozen.
Chit seed potato tubers as soon as you have them.
From mid-February onwards sow tomato and cucumber seed for greenhouse growing.
Plant out garlic and shallots in light soils only; heavy soils need longer to warm up.
If you have light (sandy) soil and live in a mild part of the UK, you can sow broad beans, carrots, parsnips, early beetroot, salad onions, lettuces, radish, peas, spinach and summer cabbages outside under cloches. Otherwise it's best to wait until the soil has begun to warm up in March or April.
Peas can be sown in the greenhouse in old (but clean) guttering that has had drainage holes drilled in the bottom.
Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers.
Untie festooned fruit tree branches that have set into position.
Prune citrus trees.
This is your last chance to winter prune apples, pears, medlars and quinces.
This is your last chance to prune established autumn-fruiting raspberries.
Prune back newly planted raspberries back to 30cm (12in).
This is your last chance to winter prune red currants, white currants and gooseberries.
Slugs can pose a threat, and slug controls are necessary now, as always.
Place mouse controls near stored vegetables and any in the ground still.
Protect brassicas from pigeon damage.
Pick yellowing leaves off Brussels sprouts and other brassicas promptly, to prevent spread of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.
Remove all remaining plant debris from the vegetable plot.
Digging-over in winter exposes soil pests to frost and bird predators.
Clear the ground under trees and bushes of weeds.
Last chance to winter wash trees and bushes.
Remove any rotten stored fruit.
Check protection against peach leaf curl.
Protect almond, peach, apricot and nectarine blossom from frost, but make sure insects can access the flowers for pollination.
Harvest citrus fruit when ready.
Cover outdoor, soil-grown strawberries with cloches for an earlier crop.
Tip back summer-fruiting raspberry canes to 15cm (6in) above their top support wire.
Apply a top dressing of sulphate of potash to all fruit if not done last month.
Cultivate and prepare seedbeds, covering them with clear polythene, cloches or fleece to warm up the soil before sowing.
Plan a crop rotation system for your vegetable plot.
Rake in lime if you have acid soil.
Prepare new asparagus beds.
Feed spring cabbages with high nitrogen feeds.
Dig over new beds, but try to avoid digging in wet weather.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.