The long dark days of winter can feel endless and frustrating for the avid gardener. All you want to do is get outside and put a spade into the ground.

But even on the most dismal of days, there are productive jobs to be done. For instance, you could always escape into the haven of your shed on dark, wet and dismal days. Give it a good tidying, as one of your essential December gardening jobs.

If everything is in a jumble, with nothing in its right place, now is the perfect time to get organised and come up with some practical shed storage ideas for all those tools, pots and chemicals.

Sharpen and clean your tools and hang them up so they’re easily accessible and the floor is clear. Not only do practical garden tool storage ideas make life easier, they’ll prevent you from buying duplicates of things you thought were ‘lost’, and thereby saving you money.

Check on any stored garden chemicals and make sure they are in their correct containers.  Never decant them into other bottles, and  do store them out of the reach of children and pets.

Also ensure that pesticides and weedkillers are stored well apart. It’s not unknown for gardeners to mistakenly use a weedkiller instead of a pesticide on precious plants, with traumatic results.

It’s also a good idea to go through all those pots that stack up at the back of the shed. Recycle those that are broken and wash any that you can re-use.

Once your shed is looking pristine and in good order, you’ll be free and clear and raring to go, the minute you see the first stirrings of spring.