Things To Do In December In Your Garden

In the bleak mid-winter, your garden may not be the first thing on your mind. But there is still plenty to do in your garden and plenty to plan for next year. Here are just some of the garden jobs that you might want to get round to this month:

Winter brassicasJobs In The Vegetable Garden

  • Dig up the last of your leeks and parsnips before the ground freezes and place them in a trench close to the house where you can easy go out and get one when needed.
  • Cover winter brassica with netting if birds such as pigeons are a problem.
  • Remove yellow leaves from brassicas as these can harbour disease and cause problems.
  • If you planted Christmas potatoes you can now dig these up for use with Christmas dinner.
  • Protect winter salads etc. with fleece when a bad frost threatens.

Raspberry CaneJobs In The Fruit Garden/Orchard

  • Prune fruit trees (except stone fruit trees like plum and cherry).
  • Protect fig tree branch tips from frost with fleece or straw.
  • Continue to plant bare root canes and berry bushes throughout the dormant season.
  • Prune grape vines.
  • Take the chance to renovate the strawberry patch, replacing ageing plants (those over three years of age) with new strawberry runners.

HollyJobs In the Flower Garden

  • Prune Japanese Maples (Acers) now, before sap starts to flow.
  • Harvest holly and other evergreens with berries for Christmas decoration.
  • Spread fresh grit or gravel around alpine plants.
  • Plant some new shrubs for winter interest.
  • Cluster containers and place them in a sheltered spot to help reduce the risk of frost damage.

Snowy polytunnelJobs Under Cover

  • If it snows, clear it quickly from the top of your greenhouse or polytunnel to prevent damage.
  • Keep checking for pests on overwintering plants placed under cover.
  • Pick your winter salad leaves, chard, Asian greens and brassicas.
  • Clear and tidy under cover spaces thoroughly while you have the time to do so.
  • Keep an eye and water when necessary (as early in the day as possible).

ToolsGeneral Garden Jobs

  • Take the chance to make or improve paths through your garden.
  • Check ties on trees, climbers and shrubs to make sure everything is in good order.
  • Clean and oil garden tools and make sure they are stored properly and safely.
  • Take the chance to clear out sheds or outbuildings before the spring.
  • Plan crop rotations and order seeds for next year.