Keep off the grass when it is hard frozen or you will leave blackened prints, which will take a few weeks to disappear.
Petrol-driven lawnmowers should be started up now and then, and run for a few minutes.
Pruning and Training
Why not try 'planting' a mistletoe berry, by making a slit in the bark of an apple, robinia or poplar tree and pressing in the seed at the centre of one of the white berries. It produces moderate success, although it often takes
2-3 years before anything is seen.
Crisp dry days are just the time to deal with wall climbers such as ivy, Virginia creeper or climbing hydrangea, which have got out of hand or clambered up into gutters. Cut them back to a natural-looking profile on the wall, and remove any large forward-leaning swags which might tear away in wind or snow.
Now is a good time, while plants are leafless, to erect training wires on walls and fences, and to make any necessary repairs to walls and fences.
Complete any tree pruning needed. Once the sap starts to rise major wounds can bleed profusely.
Potted bulbs like hyacinths and narcissi will be rooted in their compost now, and can be brought from a cold garage or cold frame into slightly warmer conditions with maximum light indoors, to start them into growth. A sudden transfer to a hot living room will produce weak, gangly stems.
Re-pot bulbs of amaryllis (Hippeastrum) in soil-based compost and water them lightly. Only as they start to produce new leaves and flower buds will they require more water. Keep them in full light.
Order seeds for the spring.
Complete any digging, and leave the soil rough for the birds to get at insect pests and the frosts to break down the soil.
In milder gardens a first crop of broad beans can be started in pots in an unheated greenhouse now, for planting out in a few weeks.
On neutral or acidic soils, a dressing of lime will help prevent club root disease in cabbage family plants.