Complete pruning of climbing and bush roses before new growth becomes too strong. Once winter flowering heathers have finished, trim them back with shears to the base of flower stalks. Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials left for winter interest. Prune shrubs hard such as Cornus and Salix grown for winter coloured stems.
Winter flowering jasmine can be pruned after it has finished flowering. Take out any dead or damaged wood, then tie in any stems needed to extend the framework, then shorten side shoots to 5cm from main framework. Topdress beds and borders with a balanced fertiliser.
Prune late summer flowering shrubs such as Buddleia, Lavatera and Fuchsia hard. These produce best show of flowers on wood made from spring onwards, so cutting them now encourages plenty of new growth. Try and finish pruning apple and pear trees by the end of the month. Cut autumn raspberry canes to ground level ensuring you leave no stumps to harbour diseases. Prune out a quarter of blackcurrant older growth at ground level.
In the greenhouse aubergines, tomatoes, chilli, celery, cabbage and leeks can be sown. Outside in the vegetable garden peas, parsnips, shallots and onion sets can be sown. Group 2 and Group 3 Clematis should be pruned now.
Group 2 comprises the large-flowered cultivars that flower in May to June on short shoots developing from the previous year’s growth. Prune them by removing any dead or weak stems before growth begins. Check individual stems from the top down until you reach a pair of healthy buds, and prune just above them, removing the spindly or damaged growth above.
Avoid heavy pruning or flowers will be lost. Group 3 comprises clematis that flower from mid- to late summer on the terminal 60cm (2ft) or so of the current year’s growth. Prune these by cutting back all the old stems to the lowest pair of healthy buds 15-30cm (6in-1ft) above soil level