RHS winter gardening tips

Its the first week of January and the festive celebrations are becoming a distant memory.

This means that gardeners are once again free to do what they do best and get out into their gardens and greenhouses.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been advising readers of the Daily Telegraph that this week can be the ideal time to deal with old tree stumps to free up some much-needed space for a new vegetable or rose garden.

Stumps should have been cut with enough remaining above ground to act as leverage, allowing the gardener (or some other willing individual) to dig a trench around it about one foot deep.

Larger roots can then be cut away with an axe or pruning saw and the stump can be rocked back and forth to free it up so that it can be pulled out.

Dealing with stumps not only frees up space, but can help avoid root disease such as honey fungus.

Recycling old plant pots is a good way of helping the wallet to recover after the Christmas period too.

Gardeners can retreat to their greenhouse and decide which pots to set aside for which plants.

The BBC advises that any retreat to the greenhouse should be preceded with a good old shake-down of any snow-covered trees, bushes and shrubs to stop them becoming disfigured.