The holiday season has come and gone and now that the new year has started it’s time to get busy. You might think that winter and gardening don’t exactly go hand in hand, but once you get started you’ll find there are quite a few things to do.

Dispose of the Christmas tree

Don’t put the Christmas tree out with the trash. If the tree still has its roots, you can plant it in the garden. Evergreens grow surprisingly quickly and don’t require much attention.

Alternatively, you can cut the tree up and burn it in the fireplace. In addition to warmth, your house will carry a fresh pine fragrance.

Or you feed the tree to the wood chipper and use the remains as mulch.

Prune the trees

If you’re lucky enough to have an apple or pear tree in your garden, winter is the ideal time to prune it. All you need for this job are sharp secateurs. Try not to take too much off though and work evenly around the tree. The more you prune, the stronger the regrowth will be.

Flowerbeds and vegetable patches

Take a walk around your garden and start planning flowerbeds and vegetable patches. If the ground is not frozen, you can start designing and digging. If you already have flowerbeds, dig them over so the soil can breathe.

If your garden suffers from excessive weeds, consider planting potatoes or string beans. Not only will you have plenty of food, but the weeds will be gone.

Pots and containers

Whether you keep flowers in plastic containers or clay pots, it’s a good idea to clean them before planting season. To do this, remove as much of the old soil as possible with a hard bristle brush. Next, wash the pots with a mixture of 1/3 of vinegar and 2/3 of water. Place the pots upside down to dry.

To prevent the pots from getting ugly white residue, water your flowers with rainwater instead of tap water.

Greenhouse maintenance

If you have a greenhouse, do a thorough inspection. If the weather allows it, wash the glass panes inside and out and replace broken parts. Pay attention to gutters and remove dead leaves. If you have water butts in the greenhouse, tip them out, wash them and place them upside down.

Feed the birds

Attract a variety of birds to your garden by making food and water available to them. Most supermarkets sell fat blocks containing a mixture of bird seeds. Alternatively, you can make your own blocks by melting fat, adding bird seeds and letting the mixture cool in a container. When the fat is hard, place the block in netting bag. Hang the bag in safe place.

You can also scatter slices of apple and leave them on the ground.

With a little preparation, your garden will be clean and ready for spring. In the process, you will have had some exercise and filled your lung with fresh air.

For more gardening ideas, be sure to visit Garden Club London.