RHS set to unearth the nations gardening knowledge with its first ever Dig Together Day (1,5 & 6 September)
The festive season is upon us again, and thankfully it's not the busiest time of year in the garden.
What with the poor weather, and Christmas shopping writing off most weekends, we'll be lucky to even step foot into the garden. If you get the chance to get out between the storms, the first job that need tackling is tidying the beds and removing leaves. If the weather is too bad, then take the time to clean and oil your tools and machinery. Other general jobs that need looking into will be cleaning you potting equipment and materials in the Greenhouse.
If you have a pond, keep the leaves out of the pond as they will smother the ecosystem by absorbing all the oxygen.
If you are not currently working from a plan it would be a good time to put one together. Plan out which plants you would like to grow and then the crop rotation system you should use. Take a look at our crop rotation guide
The Vegetable Garden in December
After the Beans and Peas have been harvested, turn the ground and leave it for the winter. Legumes have bacteria around their roots which store Nitrogen and by using the frosts of winter to break up the soil the nitrogen can be absorbed into the surrounding ground. It is also time to lift root vegetables, and store them for later use. Thin Onions and Turnips if required. Plant out late crops such as Cauliflower.
- Plant Garlic cloves either in pots ready to transplant later
- Broad beans should be planted away from Wind
- Plant early varieties of veg in the greenhouse
The Fruit garden in December
Take any hardwood cuttings from fruit bushes
Prune blackberry canes
Plant soft fruit canes
It's catalogue time in the fruit garden. Time to make the selection for next year and get them posted for planting in late Autumn. It is also a good time to start moving fruit trees to new locations. If you still have any Apples and Pears then get them harvested and stored. Cuttings from Apricots, Cherries and Gooseberries should be burnt to prevent any infections.
The Flower garden in December
Pot up tender perennials and bring them under cover over winter
Remove fallen leaves from the borders
Cut down and compost the annuals
If you have some large trees in your garden then this month most of your time will be spent collecting up the leaves for leaf mould. In any spare time you have after that prepare beds for planting by clearing out any dead plants. While removing any plants collect seeds for next years plants.
Lawns and pathways should be prepared now before the frost damages them any more.
Spring bulbs should now be in the ground, so get the last ones in as soon as you can.
Herbaceous plants can be lifted and divided, and shrubs and bushes should be moved now.
If you have not had any frost yet continue to take cuttings
The Greenhouse in December
Clean the greenhouse glass inside and out, then insulate the whole greenhouse using bubble wrap. Check plants weekly to make sure they are not rotting or infected with any diseases. Also keep an eye on the guttering and remove leaves as required.
Hopefully most pests and diseases will be dormant for the winter, however keep an eye out for greenfly, whitefly and red spider mite.
This month frost protection is the main problem. All tender plants should now be indoors, undercover or have frost protection covering them. If you have not done so already then you may already be too late to stop the frost from getting them.