What to do now

Timing is everything in gardening — for best results. But there is some leeway. In this section, Garden.ie offers accurate horticultural advice reminders on the main groups of plants under Irish conditions, week after week.

  • Trees, Shrubs and Roses
  • Flowers
  • Lawn
  • Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
  • Greenhouse and House Plants

Trees, Shrubs and Roses

  • Roses can be tidied up in cold districts, the stems shortened to prevent wind-rocking, and fully pruned in mild areas.
  • Losses of trees and shrubs planted into water-sodden ground will be increased because of the tendency of wet soil to smear and clump together, denying vital oxygen to the roots, so tree planting must be suspended if the ground is very wet.
  • The lower branches of garden trees can be pruned up to allow light to plants underneath.


  • Plant any spring bulbs that were purchased but not planted.
  • Plant new perennials if the ground is not too wet. If the ground is wet, do not undertake division and re-planting. Many flowers react very badly to being moved into cold, wet ground.
  • Remove seedling weeds in any autumn sown hardy annuals.


  • Make sure to take fallen leaves off the grass of lawns as they will shade out the grass.
  • Lawns can be very soft when wet and should not be walked on now. It can be very damaging to the soil structure of a lawn to walk over its surface when it is wet.
  • Mowing can continue in occasional spells of dry weather when the ground will firm up enough to carry out a once-off mowing, even in mid-winter.

Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs

  • Fruit trees and bushes can be planted if the soil is not too wet, otherwise just wait for a drier time.
  • Fruit tree pruning can be carried out, except on plums.
  • Control weeds and grass around fruit trees and bushes.
  • Prune and tie in trained fruit trees, such as espalier and cordon pear and apple trees.

Greenhouse and House Plants

  • Check for pests on greenhouse, conservatory and house plants, especially scale insects.
  • Water just enough to keep plants moist but slightly on the dry side.
  • Tidy the greenhouse and check that snails have not settled in for the winter as they can do severe damage during mild weather in the warmth of a greenhouse.