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 or Smart Cover around borderline-hardy plants such as agapanthus, phygelius, hedychium and melianthus to protect the crown.  Bark deals are available in store, including 2 large bags for only £10.

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.  Pick up a new pair of secateurs or pruners in store 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 for only £2.99, plus orchids from only £9.99, 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 drain cover and gutter brush/guard to prevent clogging up.

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

9. Clear debris - this is vital to prevent slugs and snails from setting up home in those lovely warm and damp conditions!

10. 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.

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

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

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.


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WATERSIDE CAFE: Mon to Sat 9am - 4pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm | Tel: 01363 460466
Bow | Crediton | Devon | EX17 6LA
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