What to do Now / December

Gardening Advice

What to do Now / December

  • Protect terracotta pots from cracking in freezing weather by bringing them indoors or wrapping in bubble polythene
  • Rake up accumulated fallen leaves in borders that could be harbouring slugs and other pests
  • Plant bare-root roses and other deciduous shrubs, plus ornamental trees
  • Hang bird feeders near roses to attract hungry birds that will also pick off any overwintering pests
  • Cut stems of berried winter shrubs, seasonal flowers and evergreen leaves for festive decorations
  • Place straw around the base of parsnips to prevent the soil freezing, which can make harvesting difficult
  • Plant thornless blackberries, such as 'Loch Ness', for easy pickings of large, sweet, juicy fruits
  • Winter prune large fruit trees to control their shape and size, and to increase their productivity
  • Plant fruit trees trained as cordons, fans or espaliers to make good use of limited space
  • Start to plan next year's crops and order seeds
  • Pot up a clump of rhubarb and place under a large bin to force an early crop of sweet stems
  • Pick faded leaves and dead flowers regularly from plants overwintering in the greenhouse, such as pelargoniums
  • Pinch out the tips of autumn-sown sweet peas to encourage bushier growth
  • Deadhead indoor azaleas, water regularly and provide cool conditions, away from radiators, to prolong flowering
  • Monitor greenhouse temperatures with a max-min thermometer to ensure heaters are working efficiently
  • Plant Tulip bulb in pots and bordersPut out fresh water for birds every day during frosty weather
  • Bring all watering equipment indoors, including hoses and sprinklers, so they don't freeze and split
  • Scoop fallen leaves and debris from ponds, leave on the side so pondlife can escape, then add to the compost bin
  • Stand your Christmas tree in a bucket of water in a sheltered spot outdoors until it's time to bring it indoors
  • Clear out your shed, and organise and clean your tools
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