January. Not the most inspiring month, is it? Short, cold days and every shade of inclement weather you can think of. But for gardeners, it’s a great time for all sorts of important groundwork, a chance to get ready for the gardening season ahead.
A key job in late winter and early spring is pruning, whether that’s roses (you can read our guide to pruning shrub roses here), late summer (Group 3) clematis, autumn-fruiting raspberries, apple and pear trees, fruit bushes… the list goes on. Winter pruning avoids shrubs outgrowing their space, and keeps edible plants productive.
But it has to be said that the weather in winter isn’t always the most tempting, when it comes to getting outside. To help make tackling your pruning jobs a little more appealing his winter, we have a bundle of pruning tools to give away, together with a cosy new pair of boots from Muck.
Muck, glorious muck
Muck Boots were founded, as the name suggests, to tackle the universal problem of, well, muck. Wet, messy, muddy, dirty muck. The boots are made with premium neoprene and rubber, designed to brave every element, and are totally waterproof, right to the top.
Like us, Muck Boots is an RHS licensee, producing the only gardening footwear endorsed by the RHS. Muck’s RHS Muckster II design is ideal for slipping on and off with ease, and the sole, while giving plenty of grip, isn’t so deeply ridged that it will damage your lawn.
On the tools front, our pruning bundle consists of:
1. RHS-endorsed rose pruner (pic at top of page). This bypass-action secateur has a clever cut-and-hold action. It grips the cut stem after you’ve made the cut, so you can deposit it safely in barrow or bin without having to touch it. It’s also useful for tackling brambles, or for cutting plants with irritant sap, like rue and euphorbia.
2. RHS-endorsed pruning saw. This small-but-mighty saw gives you the cutting power of a bow saw, in your pocket. The patented tooth design has three cutting faces per tooth, which gives incredibly rapid cutting performance. It’s designed to work primarily on the pull stroke, so it’s excellent for overhead work.
3. Corona Max Forged Convertible Branch & Stem Pruner (pic below). This innovative tool is from our US sister company Corona Tools, and it’s a bit of a game-changer when it comes to pruning. Fully forged in high-carbon steel, this bypass-action pruner has handles which easily fold out to convert it from single-handed to two-handed use when needed. It’s a pruner and a mini lopper in one, for that bit of extra cutting power when you need it. Easily cutting stems and small branches up to 3cm in diameter, it has a lifetime warranty.
Together the tools tot up to a value of £102, and of course it depends which boots you pick, but in total it's a prize which could easily be worth over £200!
Wouldn't that tempt you to get outside and get pruning?
How to enter
To win this brilliant bundle of boots and pruning tools, simply leave a comment on this blog. Scroll to the bottom of this page to comment (your email address won't be published). You could tell us what plants you'll be pruning, which boots you'd like - or just tell us your favourite rose! You’ll also need to be a subscriber to our monthly email newsletter to be a winner, so if you're not already signed up, fill in your email address in the grey band right at the bottom of this page. It’s easy to unsubscribe at any time if you don’t enjoy our monthly updates.
The small print
Muck Boots prize draw, 2023