Cool, frost-free, airy and dark rooms provide optimal storage conditions. The best storage temperature for apples and pears is 4 °C. Fruit should preferably be stored as a single layer in racks or boxes. Check regularly for any infestation with storage diseases. Remove any bad fruit immediately.
If you haven’t yet cleaned the nesting boxes for the birds, then now is the time to do it. Empty the nesting box and give it a good scrubbing to prevent diseases in the birds.
You can still plant fruit trees as long as the ground is not frozen. Enrich the soil with good, peat-free planting soil. When choosing what variety of fruit tree to plant, also consider its resistance to diseases as well as the harvesting time and fruit characteristics. It is particularly important to consider diseases that are difficult to control or that cannot be tackled with pesticides. Check with your local nursery for suitable varieties. The “Idared” variety is not considered to be particularly susceptible to apple scab. “Discovery” and “Alkmene” varieties are also relatively less susceptible to powdery mildew. The varieties “Rolanda”, “Rokula” and “Invicta” are resistant to American gooseberry mildew.
Voles prefer young fruit trees. Newly planted trees are particularly vulnerable to severe damage from gnawing. So combating voles is extremely important and a vole trap can be an effective means of doing this.
A particularly convenient method of combating voles is to use granulated bait. Ask at your garden centre for a suitable product.
The Insect Hotel offers fascinating insights into the behaviour of beneficial insects all year round. Beneficial garden helpers such as lacewings, wild bees or ladybirds can take up residence in the garden in the Insect Hotel. Wild bees, for example, are the first to pollinate many of the fruit trees in the garden in spring.
Now is the time that deer and rabbit cause damage to ornamental shrubs and bulbs by feeding on the bark, buds and shoots. Protect vulnerable plants from gnawing and browsing from game by using a repellent in good time. Ask at your garden centre for a suitable product.