What to plant in December?
December is the time to plant up winter containers with hardy cyclamen, Sarcococca confuse, geraniums, Azaleas, and bare rooted rose bushes. They will add colour and fragrance to your garden this time of year. Ensure flower bulbs that have been potted up are watered if the compost is dry. If you would like to grow your own delicious raspberries, now is the perfect time to plant raspberry canes whilst they are dormant.
Why not encourage wildlife into your garden by planting berry-filled bushes that birds and other wildlife can enjoy during the colder months. Not only will it positively impact the birds, but it is also beneficial for your garden as it helps keep garden pests under control and pollinates plants.
General Gardening Jobs for December:
• Prepare your soil for next year’s planting. Why not create your own compost, you can use waste such as fruit and veg, coffee grounds and teabags, this helps Improve soil quality by helping it to retain moisture and boost plant growth.
• Group potted plants together in a sheltered spot in the garden.
• Water pots when necessary to counteract the dry winter winds.
• Clear out your shed, organise and clean your tools.
• Monitor the temperature of your greenhouse and ensure heaters are working efficiently.
• Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing.
• Bring all equipment indoors to prevent any weather damage.
• Put out fresh water every day during the frosty weather for birds.
• Pick faded leaves and dead flowers regularly to prevent plants overwintering, as well as removing any dead branches from deciduous trees.
• Remove yellowing leaves as they may harbour pests and diseases.
• Protect plants by pruning them, for example roses should be cut by one third of their height. This will stop them swaying in strong winds and stop them from coming loose.
• Avoid walking on your lawn when it is blanketed by heavy frost or snow as this will damage the grass beneath.
• Cover kale and cabbages with netting to protect them from pigeons.
• Use fleece to cover celery and lettuce plants during the cold nights.
• Lift dahlia tubers, begonias, and gladiolus to store dry over the winter months. Ensure you remove any dead foliage before you store them.
• Check your vegetables and remove any rotting bulbs.
• Build a cold frame to protect young plants from extreme winter weather.
• Move houseplants onto a sunny windowsill over the winter to get as much sunlight as possible during the shorter days.
• Vacant areas in the vegetable garden can be dug ready for sowing and planting in spring.
Final tip… Why not spruce up the bare branches in the garden with fairy lights or decorations in spirit of the festive season.?