Midwinter can be a tough time for wildlife in the garden. Make sure there is a continuous supply of food and fresh water for them. Prune redcurrants and gooseberries, if there is no risk of frosts.
Rhubarb can be forced by covering crowns with a bucket, box or forcing jar. Winter prune wisteria by reducing last year’s growth to spurs of two or three buds. Remove any leaves on winter pansies and violas with downy mildew and black spot.
Cut away tired old leaves of hellebores to show off their flowers (unless they are cultivars grown for foliage effect). Buy and start chitting early potatoes at the end of the month.
Sow sweet peas inside, if you haven’t already done so.
Clean and sharpen your tools ready for use again in the spring. Smearing a thin film of oil over garden tools made of steel, or other metals likely to corrode, will protect them from rust.
Spray peaches and nectarines with copper-based fungicides against peach leaf curl, check grease bands on fruit trees, replacing any that are damaged or worn.