12.2021 - December Gardening Tips
Make the most of any settled days which at this time of year are short lived but very much welcome, by gathering the last of the fallen leaves and tidying up the garden before the inevitable hand over from autumn to winter takes place.
Winter begins this month with the winter solstice which brings us the shortest day and the longest night of the year. If you don't like the short days then it's time to rejoice because although the solstice marks the official start of winter, it also marks the point at which days start to lengthen; which can mean only one thing, spring is just around the corner.
In the Garden This Month
With spring being just around the corner you should be well ahead with the garden. Plants should now be protected from frost conditions, the greenhouse heater turned on, the 'autumn clean up' all but done and spring flowering bulbs including tulips now planted ready for a beautiful early floral display. In fact it's just about time to put your feet up, relax and enjoy the festive period, for it's this month that you can truly let the garden take care of itself.
What to Do Now
The garden may slow down at this time of year but it doesn't mean it has to stop altogether. Some of our favourite winter crops are:
Leeks, kale, parsnips, salad rocket, chicories, brussel sprouts and an old favourite, beetroot.
Basil, dill, chives and parsley indoors on your window sill for winter use.
Winter hardy salad leaves can also be sown under cover.
Currants, blueberries (in acidic soil) and gooseberries can all be planted now. Rhubarb crowns can also be planted but make sure you plant them in well conditioned soil with plenty of organic matter.
Brussel sprouts, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, parsnips and swede.
Gardening Jobs For This Month
- Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and other root crops.
- Don’t step on lawns when frosty or very wet.
- Brush heavy snow (if applicable) from hedges to avoid damage.
- Keep raking leaves (not long now until they'll all be gone).
- Check your winter protection structures are still in place.
- Make sure greenhouses are fully insulated if you're overwintering plants that aren't very hardy.
- Prune Acers, Birches and Vines.
- Prune apple and pear trees if you have not done so already.
- Prune ornamental vines and overgrown deciduous hedges, trees and shrubs (to shape).