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JOBS FOR

DECEMBER

Whilst one of the quieter months in terms of jobs to do in the garden, it can be busier in the home with preparations for Christmas. With daylight hours limited and risks of icy weather, it is tempting to avoid the garden full stop but now is not the time to rest on your laurels if you want your garden in tip top condition for spring. 

JOBS FOR

DECEMBER

Whilst one of the quieter months in terms of jobs to do in the garden, it can be busier in the home with preparations for Christmas. With daylight hours limited and risks of icy weather, it is tempting to avoid the garden full stop but now is not the time to rest on your laurels if you want your garden in tip top condition for spring. 

– Collect and forage seasonal flowers, foliage and leaves to make a wreath. Bay, conifer, dogwood, holly berries, mistletoe, rosehip berries, rosemary and willow work really well but almost any seasonal foliage you find in your garden can be used with a bit of imagination.

– Give your bird feeders a really good clean and fill up with bird food to help hungry birds over winter. Place the feeders near a rose bush to entice the birds to pick off overwintering pests such as aphids and mites.

– Eaten too much over Christmas? Work it off by digging over then adding worm castings into empty borders ready for next year’s planting. The worms along with frost will break up clumps of soil.

– Wrap terracotta pots in insulation bubble to prevent them from cracking in freezing weather.

– To increase future productivity, winter prune fruit trees and hard prune overgrown shrubs and hedges while they are dormant. This will also help to control size and shape going forward.

– Give your raspberry and blackberry beds a good tidy. Weed around the plants and mulch with compost. Tie any new stems using string or wire now.

– Check the supports and ties of any climbers, climbing shrubs and trees. Replace any supports and ties that are damaged and unlikely to last the winter.

– Ensure you have a good stock of fleece to protect not only hardy salad crops on a cold night but also celery plants and tips of fig tree branches throughout the frosts of winter.

– Do you have a heavy clay soil you need to dig over winter? Try covering it with polythene sheeting to keep it drier ready to be dug in. You can also use some gypsum when you come to dig as that is excellent at helping to recondition your soil, making it easier to dig.

-Protect well trained peaches and nectarines from wet weather and the risk of peach leaf curl fungus by creating a screen made from clear polythene sheeting.

-Keep checking greenhouse plants for overwintering pests such as aphids and red spider mites. Remove by hand or use a pesticide if detected.

-Keep your lawn as free from leaves and debris as you can as this allows light to get to the grass and helps to prevent disease.

-Avoid walking on your lawn when it is covered in frost or snow as this causes damage to the blades.

-Remove any slimy moss, mould and algae patches that have formed on your paths, driveway or patio by using an outdoor surface cleaner before they become too dangerous and slippery.

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