Our top jobs and advice for the month:


1. Watch out for pale blotches and fuzzy grey mould on leaves of Winter-flowering pansies that can be symptoms of downy mildew. Remove infected leaves as soon as discolouration appears.

2. Apply dry mulch such as chipped bark, Weedstop or Strulch around borderline-hardy plants such as agapanthus, phygelius, hedychium and melianthus to protect the crown.  Bark deals are available in store.

3. During Winter pruning do not forget to remove mummified fruit that remained on branches, ideally together with a short piece of the spur to which they are attached.  Use a sharp/new pair of secateurs or pruners to help.

4. To enjoy fresh garnish in Winter bring container-grown herbs such as chives and mint indoors for forcing on the windowsill.  Or use micro greens trays and seeds, which are designed exactly for this job.

5. Help prevent Christmas plants such as azaleas, Christmas cacti, and indoor cyclamen going over by keeping them cool at 13-15C (55-59F). In particular, forced bulbs such as daffodils, amaryllis and hyacinths require lower temperatures.  We have lots of Christmas plants, bulbs and gift plants in store now.

6. Orchids such as Phalaenopsis and poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) require a minimum temperature of 16-19C (60-66F), but do not position them close to radiators, open fires or draughts.  We have lovely poinsettias in store, plus orchids too, and house plants in gift pots - a perfect present.

7. Drain and insulate outside plumbing. Store watering attachments indoors or make sure they are drained.  We have a range of covers and insulators in store.  Use a gutter brush to prevent gutters clogging up.

8. Tidy up sheds and clean pots and trays making them ready for the next season.

9. Fumigate your greenhouse and insulate with bubble wrap, if you haven't already.

10. Clear debris - this is vital to prevent slugs and snails from setting up home in damp conditions!  Leave some cover for wildlife though.

11. Take care not to let leaves accumulate, especially around alpines - they will die if left damp for long. Cover bare patches around clumps with gritty compost to encourage regrowth.

12. Use fleece for frost protection for vulnerable plants and wrap around less hardy plants.

13.  Grab a pond heater if you have a pond to prevent ice forming, as cracking the ice could kill fish, and you have to leave an air hole free for toxic fumes to escape.