What to do this week: Jobs to keep people busy during the cold weather

Put up a protective screen to shield newly planted evergreens from wind scorch.

Cover holly berry bunches with netting to ensure they are still there at Christmas.

Check that newly planted trees and shrubs have not been loosened by frost and carefully re-firm their rootballs into the soil with your heel.

Check that stakes and ties are in good condition and in the right position.

Plant any remaining spring-flowering bulbs if soil conditions are suitable. If not, use containers.

Clear any remaining fallen leaves from alpine or rock garden plants, which often react badly to moisture around their crowns.

Look out for apple canker in the bark of trees and prune out infected areas completely.

Leaf through seed catalogues and order vegetable seeds, onion sets, garlic bulbs and seed potatoes.

Sow a few pots of radishes or lettuce in a heated propagator until they are ready to be planted out.

If the lawn is not frozen, brush worm casts over the surface on a dry day using a besom or broom.

Bring bay trees grown in pots under cover if cold weather is forecast, as their leaves are susceptible to cold winds and need protection.

Earth up spring cabbages and other winter brassicas to give them better anchorage in strong winds, if the soil condition allows it.

YP MAG 18/12/10