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Brrrr, It's getting cold out there.

Here on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border the temperatures are dropping, and dropping fast. The first frosts have hit us and the cars need de-icing for the morning commute.

So, what do we gardeners need to be doing? Here are our top five tips :

1. Get the protective wrappings in place. This should be done at the very first sign of frost to prevent damage. For some great advice, check out the RHS overwintering page by clicking here

2. Mulch. Mulching can reduce compaction and erosion of soil. This is particularly relevant now with the amount of heavy rain we are suffering through.

3. Drainage. Another issue with the rain we have had is drainage. Be sure to deal with drainage problems now. Wet soil can lead to the uprooting of shallow rooted trees.

4. Protect roses from windrock by pruning them down to about one-third of their height. Strong winds can loosen the roots of the roses if they are left at full height.

5. Invest in bird baths and feeders. Our feathered friends will appreciate fresh, clean water and a healthy supply of winter food. In return they will provide joy and happiness through the cold, bleak winter.

I know I said that this was a top 5 but...

6. Install EverEdge. I would say that wouldn't I but there is good reason for it. The ground is soft and easy to work. At the height of summer and in the depths of winter the ground is hard. Now is the time to get in the garden and sort those edges out. You will never have an easier time of it than right now.

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