RHS gives winter gardening tips

The UK may be blanketed in a carpet of snow at the moment, but the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has suggested that garden and greenhouse fans should not rest on their laurels.

It explained that now is a great time to plan ahead for the rest of 2010, with many seed companies having recently released their new catalogues.

Horticulture fans should have a flick through these and begin to decide how they want their garden to look this year.

After this has been done, the seeds ordered and the snow melted, growers should prepare their soil for the year ahead.

They should avoid working on the land when it is soggy, but start digging it over once conditions dry up and spread organic matter and green manure over the earth.

Doing this now will help boost the nutrient levels in the soil ahead of spring time and increase their chances of a bumper crop.

Old plants should also be cleared away, especially those which are decaying. However, they need not go to waste as they make great additions to the compost heap, unless they are diseased, in which case they should be burned or kept away from other specimens.

Meanwhile, the RHS has teamed up with National Savings and Investments to launch a competition that will see the winning design turned into a show garden at this years BBC Gardeners World Live in Birmingham.