December Gardening Tips
There are still quite a few jobs to be done in the garden! Get outside, get busy, and then reward yourself with a roaring fire, a mince pie or two, and a generous glass of sherry!
- Take a look back on the results of last year: where there areas that lacked colour? Is there anything you would like to change? Review your garden plan, or look back on any photos that you took of your garden during the summer (it's a good idea to take photos monthly).
- Put your orders in for fresh seeds, flower bulbs and plants for the New Year.
- Larger bush roses can be pruned down, roughly by half. This will prevent the wind from loosening them, which could eventually damage the roots.
- The branches of standard roses should also be pruned.
Fruit & Vegetables
- Give your apple trees a good pruning. Fruit trees, such as gooseberries, red, white and black currants should be done from November through to March.
- Harvest Brussels sprouts.
- Pick any winter vegetables, and check for mould, rot or vermin on those that you have stored.
- Extra Currants can be raised by taking hard-wood cuttings from existing healthy bushes. Cuttings should ideally be about 25-30cm (10-12″) long, and buried to roughly half their depth.
- Dig over empty areas in vegetable plots, ready for sowing and planting next spring.
Winter Bird Care
If you want to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden, try to provide them with everything they need to survive during the winter months.
- Remove any fallen leaves that still remain.
- Try to stay off your lawn, especially when it is wet or frozen.
- If you have not done so yet, have the lawn mower serviced.
- Ice forming over the pond will trap gasses that escape from decaying vegetation. This can harm any fish living there. Consider installing a pond de-icer, or simply float a ball on the surface.
- If ice forms, place a pan of boiling water on the ice; keep hold of the handle until the heat melts a hole through, then cover the hole with a piece of sack-cloth.
- Do not pour boiling water directly onto the ice; the sudden temperature change could harm any fish that might be hiding underneath.