Gardening Month by Month: Gardening in December

By now you’re probably beginning to wake up to heavy rain and strong winds more often than not. It will also be frosty, so there will be a thin layer of ice lying outside when you look out the window. It’s time to lock your garden football goals into the shed and start preparing for winter.

It lasts longer than normal due to the sun only staying around for a while if at all. If you’re very unlucky it might even be snowing, but gardening in December still has to be done. Here is a list of the top jobs you’ll need to take care of this month (except for buying Christmas gifts for your family and friends).

Gardening calendar: Gardening in December

Flowers and Trees

inspect your winter protection

1 – Inspect Your Winter Protection: You’ll already have carried out a number of jobs to keep your plants and trees secure during winter, but you must check them when gardening in December to make sure they’re still in place.

2 – Don’t Water Your Houseplants As Much: The daylight hours will be getting shorter and it won’t be as warm throughout the day, so you’ll be able to reduce the amount of water you give your houseplants.

3 – Plant And Move Trees: If you have deciduous trees and shrubs in your garden you can still move them to a more appropriate place, plus you will have time to plant new ones.

4 – Birches, Vines, And Acers: You need to remember to prune your birches, vines, and acers before Christmas. If you don’t do this it could result in them bleeding.

5 – Remove Hardwood Cuttings: You can begin to remove hardwood cuttings if you haven’t started to do so already. For the best results you should choose healthy stems about the same width as a pencil.

Fruits and Vegetables

harvest root crops

1 – Prune Apples And Pears: Start pruning the apples and pears in your garden if they’re currently open-grown. Those that are trained against your walls should be left alone.

2 – Harvest Root Crops: You can now begin to harvest your winter cabbages, parsnips, sprouts, leeks, and any other winter root crops you’re currently growing in your garden.

3 – Be Aware Of Mice: Once winter fully sets in you’re going to find mice trying to get their paws on your stored produce. If you plan on eating it you’ll need to prevent them from getting to your food.

4 – Exhibition Onion Seeds: Start to sow your exhibition onion seeds as soon as possible. This will ensure the bulbs have plenty of time to grow so they end up as large as possible.

5 – Plant Rhubarb Crowns: Earlier in the year we talked about splitting rhubarb crowns, but if you don’t have any you can start to grow them. You’ll need to add in lots of organic matter.

Lawns and Structures

check greenhouse heaters

1 – Check Greenhouse Heaters: If your greenhouse heaters are working fine everything inside will be okay. Unfortunately they can sometimes break down, so you must ensure they’re still operational.

2 – Insulate Outdoor Taps: Now is the time to insulate your outdoor taps to prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting. If they burst it could ruin your lawn and flood your home.

3 – Don’t Let Ponds Freeze: If it gets too cold your ponds are going to freeze up. Keep a close eye on them to make sure this doesn’t happen, especially when it’s extra cold outside.

4 – Clean Your Gutters: It’s crucial to remove any twigs and leaves from the guttering around your greenhouse and garden shed. It will let the water drain away and they won’t fall down.

5 – Remove Algae From Paths: You’re going to have a hard enough time walking on your paths if they’re covered in ice. Remove any algae from them or they’ll always be slippery.

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