In dry spells, you can treat timber structures with wood preservative and stain. Only do this in a well-ventilated space, to reduce the risks to your lungs and eyes. Make sure you use appropriate products. Creosote, for example, is no longer legal.

Continue with hard landscaping if the ground is firm. Try and finish projects early in the month, to free time and space for much needed maintenance and planting as the spring begins.

Re-surface paths before plants encroach.

Remove dirt and algae from walls, paving and patios. Pressure washers can be rented if necessary.

Check and repair pergolas, arbours and arches if needed.

Give watering cans a good scrub out to prevent fungal disease.

Take action to remove algae from paths if they start to become slippery.

It’s your last chance to make structures such as fences and arbours from living stems, including willow.

Go through your shed and remove any old, out-of-date garden chemicals. If in doubt of how to dispose of them, your local authority tip should be able to help. You can check our list of chemicals removed from the market for up-to-date information. More information on garden chemicals.

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