By now, we have had a couple of frosts; especially up north. December is all about ensuring plants do not suffer from extreme cold weather, tidying up and pruning the last dormant plants. Granted, smaller gardens will typically have no work to do at all, but you can still enjoy the birds and silent beauty of the outdoors. Here’s what you can do in the garden in December.
In the garden
- Move containers to a sheltered spot such as a south-facing wall.
- Cut back herbaceous perennials. Alternatively, you can leave them throughout the winter an habitats for insects.
- Prune wisteria and and Japanese maple.
- Lift and store dahlia tubers.
- Spread grit around alpine plants to avoid moss and create a clean look.
In the kitchen garden
- Net cabbages and other winter crops to protect from birds.
- Remove faded leaves from winter brassicas.
- Prune grapevine.
- Plant gooseberries, currants, raspberries and tyberries.
- Cut down asparagus foliage and top growth of Jerusalem artichoke.
- Dig over empty beds and add well-rotted manure or organic matter.
- Apples, currants, pears and autumn-fruiting raspberries can be pruned, from leaf drop until March. Do not prune stone fruit in the winter.
- Alpines – the need a period of cold weather to break the seed dormancy. Cover with glass.
- Sow pelargoniums, or what are commonly known as geraniums, for fragrant leaves and intense colours next year.
- Clean greenhouse and shed.
- Clean tools.
- Sweep patios and driveway to get rid of slippery algae.
- Wash pots to get rid of pests and diseases.
- Prevent pond from freezing by putting a ball in the water. Fish and aquatic animals need oxygen!
- Don’t cut the lawn and avoid walking on it.
- Take out your seed catalogues and plan for next year!
We have a month per month breakdown on what to do in your garden. Nothing too fancy, just basic care for the most common plants and veg found on our plots.