The best gardening Lancashire has to offer won’t be set back by the recent snow and ice, in fact, your garden may be the better for it.

First of all, don’t assume your plants are colder under the snow than out of it. This simply isn’t true. In fact snow provides a kind of blanket layer for your plants that keeps them warmer than the air outside. It is because the area between snowflakes can mean that snow is actually a heavily insulating material. This is why igloos can have an interior temperature several degrees above freezing.

It is also not necessarily bad news to have a bit of cold weather on your plants. Wet, warm winters lead to great increases in the number of pests that are present, and a cold snap can kill them off. If you notice a few fewer slugs this summer, remember to thank the colder weather at this time of year.

Old-timer gardeners will make sure they dig their beds and leave the clods on the surface in the autumn, before the frosts set in. There are a number of good reasons for this. Firstly, any pests and disease in the soil will have nowhere to hide, as mentioned above. Secondly the frost will break up the soil so that it will be much crumblier, and as a result, better draining than the previous year. If you have dug in some compost or manure, all the better.

Protect this with a mulch when the weather warms up, to prevent all the weed seeds you have exposed from growing, and you will be planting into the best possible soil this growing season.