Frost and snow inevitably appear sometime in January so it is important to make sure that your garden is ready to cope with bad weather.

If you have any plants overwintering in the greenhouse or cold frames, make sure that windows are closed and plants are insulated from the cold. A layer of bubble wrap over the windows will provide quick and simple insulation. Netting on top of fruit frames should be removed to avoid damage when snow begins to fall.

Trees and bushes look pretty covered in snow – but don’t let it stay too long as the weight of frozen snow can cause damage. Brush off the snow at the first opportunity.

Always check the stability of stakes and tree ties on newly planted trees after bad weather. Strong winds and snow can dislodge stakes, making the tree more vulnerable when the next bout of winter weather arrives.

Don’t forget to prune apple and pear trees to ensure good crops in the coming year. Cut away any damaged branches on trees and bushes. Continue pruning and cutting away dead wood and old flower heads of buddleias and roses whenever the weather is suitable.

If you have been harvesting brassicas for use during Christmas and New Year, dig up the stumps, shred and add them to the compost heap.

Take the lawnmower for servicing and check to see if the blades need sharpening. Grass will start growing quickly once spring arrives.

Take the opportunity to wash and disinfect the greenhouse and do any repairs that are necessary. Replace broken glass, ensure that vents work properly and add some lightweight guttering along the roofs so that water can be collected in a nearby water butt for use later in the year. Clean tools and sharpen blades ready for use.?