Gardening Tips For December

Wildlife

  • Continue to feed the birds – they will be depending on you for regular sustenance through the winter months. Fat balls are great for high energy.
  • Remember to keep bird drinkers topped up and frost free.

Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

  • Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding.
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted.
  • Leave the faded flower heads on your hydrangeas until spring as they provide frost protection.
  • If your roses suffered from black spot or rust this summer remove and destroy any infected fallen leaves.
  • Prune climbing roses.
  • Cut back any faded herbaceous perennials.

Lawns

  • Aerate your lawn to help with drainage and look out for waterlogged areas.
  • Try to Keep off the grass when it is very wet or frozen.
  • Continue to remove fallen leaves.

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Cover sensitive crops like carrots in the ground with fleece helping to prevent them from freezing as this would damage the crop.
  • Plan your garden and vegetable plot for next year. Why not aim to try something different such as growing some unusual vegetable varieties or installing a small pond to attract wildlife, As now is the time to sit back and draw up your ideal garden on paper before the new growing season arrives.
  • Prune open grown apples and pears (bit not those trained against walls).
  • Prune fruit trees to maintain an open balanced structure (but not plums, cherries and other stone fruits – leave those until the summer)
  • Lift your last leeks and parsnips before the ground freezes.
  • Apply grease bands to fruit trees to prevent moth damage.

General Maintenance / Structures

  • Place a rubber ball on the surface of ponds to stop them icing up.
  • Clean paths and patios with a patio cleaner to keep them free from slippery algae.
  • Ensure you have grit ready for paths.
  • Check outdoor taps have been insulated.
  • Clean out water butts (if you haven’t done so already).
  • Repair fences.
  • Wash down garden tools and wipe the wood and metal with linseed oil to prevent rusting.
  • Clean pots thoroughly now so you will be ready for spring sowing and planting knowing with the knowledge that the pots are clear of pests that would damage new seedlings etc.
  • Group potted plants together in a sheltered spot to protect them from the harshest weather.
  • Containers prone to frost damage should be covered with frost protection e.g. bubble wrap, hessian or frost fleece.
  • Check tree ties and stakes are in place to prevent wind damage.