Garden jobs for December
December can be a busy time of year – decorating the house, wrapping the presents, catching up with family and friends, maybe even visiting Santa – but throughout all of the hustle and bustle, take a moment to do some essential winter garden maintenance. You’ll be pleased you did come spring!
Here’s our top jobs for December:
- Not only can freezing weather damage plant roots but it can also cause some pots to crack. Protect your pots from freezing weather by wrapping them in fleece, or recycled bubble wrap or bring them indoors.
- Use bricks or pot feet to lift containers off the grown to reduce the risk of them becoming waterlogged.
Remove fallen leaves and other debris from borders to reduce the risk of disease and pesky slugs.
- Protect tender and young shrubs from the cold by layering straw around the base of the plant.
- Top up and regularly clean bird feeders and birdbaths. Natural food is in short supply at this time of year for birds and their usual sources of water may be frozen. They might just return the favour by plucking overwintering pests off your plants.
- Now is the time to heavily cut back shrubs while they’re dormant.
- Prune climbing roses, removing damaged growth and tying new healthy growth to its support to keep it growing neat and tidy.
- Leave faded flowers on hydrangeas as they can help protect new buds from frost.
- Deciduous shrubs, bare-root roses and ornamental trees can be planted now.
- If you have proactive structures in place to keep trees and shrubs sturdy over the winter, take a moment to check and improve safety measures by adding further ties to trellises, staking plants or if possible, moving to a more sheltered spot.
- Insulate pond taps. If you have fish, float a ball on top of the water to delay freezing and if it does freeze, use a hot pan on the surface of the ice to melt it. Never smash the ice.
- Harvest parsnips, leeks, winter cabbage, sprouts and any other remaining root crops.
- Reduce watering houseplants whilst they’re not in full growth.