December in the garden
If you’ve kept on top of your monthly jobs, there shouldn’t be a long list of things to do in your garden during December, but you can still keep busy.
Here’s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs!
In the Vegetable Plot
- Harvest remaining vegetables
- Cover soil
In the Flower Bed
- Winter tidy wisteria
- Don’t deadhead Hydrangeas!
- Dig over and mulch beds
Around the Garden
- Check winter protection
- Greenhouse heating
- Lag garden taps
- Check climbing plants
In the vegetable plot
Harvest remaining veg
Harvest any remaining leeks, winter cabbage, sprouts and root crops.
If your soil is clay heavy, cover it with polythene to keep it drier as this will help to allow winter digging.
In the flower beds
Winter tidy Wisteria
Give your Wisteria a winter tidy by pruning back summer side shoots to 2-3 buds from the main stem.
Don’t deadhead Hydrangeas
Hold off dead heading Hydrangeas until spring the faded flower heads will help to protect the new buds beneath them from frost.
Dig over and mulch beds
Dig over empty beds and mulch with manure, then let the worms work their magic and the frost break up clumps of soil.
Around the garden
Check winter protection
Check your winter protection is still in place around the garden.
Make sure your greenhouse heater is working if you have one.
Lag garden taps
Lag garden taps to prevent them freezing.
Check climbing plants
Ensure climbing plants are securely tethered to their supports to avoid damage in winter winds.
For the wildlife…
Food and water
Keep providing fresh food and water for birds – high protein and fat feed is best this time of year. Ensure your bird baths don’t freeze over by floating a lightweight ball on the surface.
Compost heaps are very attractive to hibernating mammals and other sheltering, its best to wait until the following spring.
Bare root shrubs
Its a great time to plant bare root shrubs that have interest to wildlife and are native to the UK; we recommend hawthorn, rowan, holly and dogwood.
Leaf/ log pile & bug hotel
Create a leaf/ log pile and/ or bug hotel out of old sticks, twigs, fallen leaves, bricks, pallets, garden pots and old debris from the garden. This will encourage wildlife into you garden and create a sheltered habitat.