Jobs Ė December
can still be a lovely time to work in your garden. Choose a sunny day
and wrap up warm. Give your garden a thorough inspection. If the
ground isnít too hard, there are still a few things that can be
planted. Fruit trees and fruit bushes are best planted whilst they
are dormant during the winter months. Harvest winter veg. as
required. If you planted new potatoes in September then December is
the time to start lifting them.
Vegetable Patch in December
garlic, shallot and onions
can still plant garlic, shallot and onion sets. Planting them now
gives them a head start and ready to leap into full growth as soon as
autumn sowing broad beans
you are going to sow broad beans early then make sure you choose a
variety designed for overwintering, such as Aquadulce or Sutton.
Germination may be slow, so it is worth starting them in pots in a
greenhouse or covering the soil with cloches.
your patch and add plenty of bulky organic matter
that hasnít got any crops can be dug over. Add plenty of manure,
home compost or leaf mould to add structure to the soil. Leave the
earth in big lumps, any frosts will break them down.
your patch tidy
as many weeds as you can, and anything that may provide a hiding
place for slugs and pests such as wood, bricks and plant pots. You
want the ground to be as open and exposed as possible so that the
cold weather and birds can help rid the soil of any pests that might
like to munch through your veg early next year.
are plenty of veg ready around now including winter cabbages,
cauliflowers, parsnip, celeriac, salsify and scorzonera, brussel
sprouts, leek, swede, spinach, turnips, kale and Jerusalem
any stored vegetables
youíre storing any vegetables, check them every couple of weeks to
pick out any that have started to rot.
any tall brassicas, such as sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli,
are staked to prevent damage from wind rock.
the pH of your soil
is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 being neutral, below 7 is
acidic (or ericaceous) and above 7 alkaline (or limey). A level of
6.5 to 7 is good for most plants. If your soil is acidic then you can
raise the pH a little, for example from 5.5 to 6.5 by adding lime.
Fruit Garden in December
rhubarb with forcing pots
the end of December, cover your rhubarb crown with a forcing pot or
tall bucket. This will give you some lovely tender rhubarb shoots
early next year.
fruit trees and soft fruit bushes
long as the ground isnít frozen, you can still plant fruit trees
and fruit bushes. These are best planted whilst they are dormant.
Most will be delivered as bare-root plants.
strawberry runners can be planted in pots or in a strawberry bed,
ready for next year.
down autumn fruiting raspberry canes
autumn fruiting raspberries canes should be cut down to about 3cm
(1in) above soil level.
all support systems
over all your stakes and support systems replacing any that are
damaged. Tighten any wires that are sagging.
and mulch blueberries
down some of the old growth after leaf-fall to encourage new shoots
in the spring
blackcurrants and redcurrants
should take place when the plants are dormant during winter.
hardwood cuttings of blackcurrants, redcurrants and
this years growth, and make a straight cut below a bud at the base,
and an angled cut above a bud at the top. Cuttings should be 20cm
(8in) long for blackcurrants and 30cm (12in) long for redcurrants and
gooseberries. Insert the cuttings directly into soil or into a pot
filled with cuttings compost.
apple and pear trees
while the trees are dormant. Donít leave it too late as pear trees
in particular start growing again very early in the season.
Gardening Jobs in December
the seed catalogues and plan youíre planting
is a great time to browse the seed catalogues and plan your growing
for next year. Buy your seeds now so that youíre ready to get
planting early next year. Some seeds like tomatoes, chillies,
capsicum, aubergine and broad beans can be started as early as
birds will be finding it more and more difficult to find food. Put
out nuts and seeds to help them. Remember to break the ice on birds
baths so that they have access to fresh water.