Saturday, February 24, 2018

02 Dec

December Garden – Sowing & Planting

As Christmas approaches, our to-do lists don’t often contain gardening tasks at this time of year.  Luckily, you can take it a little easier this month without any risk to your garden; maintenance is the most important thing until spring. Of course, if you are looking to keep up the pace of your gardening, don’t worry, there are still plenty of smaller jobs we can advise you to do!

Mix Hellebore Christmas Roses with Berries for an interesting winter display

Mix Hellebore Christmas Roses with Berries for an interesting winter display

Sowing and Planting

Enjoy late flowers still in bloom and let us know what out of season flowers are still going in your garden! You can still plant out ferns and grass – they look as lovely covered in frost as they do when in bloom. Grass plants are great for planting under trees, complimenting surrounding plants with their delicate seed heads. Mix ferns up with berries and winter flowering hellebore (Christmas Roses) for an interesting winter display.

Choose plants that produce glossy red berries to create some seasonal interest in your garden, but watch out for the birds! Cover your berries in netting or large sheets of fleece to deter birds and enable you to use them later as Christmas decorations.
Protect your berries from the birds to use as Christmas decorations!

Protect your berries from the birds to use as Christmas decorations!

In keeping with the Christmas theme, why not try to grow your own mistletoe!

If you are lucky enough to have one of the host trees – apple, hawthorn, lime or poplar, growing mistletoe should be fairly easy. Simply collect some berries from a mistletoe plant and rub them into the cracks of the bark – let your mistletoe flourish from your tree’s nutrients.
 Round off the season by sowing plants for next year, sow summer flowering seeds and vegetable seeds to be harvested next autumn. Turn it into a family activity this winter – kids love growing from seed! Peas are perfect because of their quick visible results and they are great fun to pick and shell.

Fruit and Vegetables

It’s time to plant new fruit trees! December is your last chance to plant fruit trees and bushes, secure the tree loosely to its stake to prevent it from being dislodged from the ground and remember to water when the weather is dry.
Pick tomatoes and let them ripen indoors next to a banana

Pick tomatoes and let them ripen indoors next to a banana

Gather up all your beanpoles, canes and other veg supports from your garden so they don’t deteriorate over winter. Clean off any soil and leave them undercover, ready for next spring. 

Net cabbages and other winter crop to stop hungry pigeons and other birds trying to eat them. Protect salads, herbs and other crops from the cold with cloches.

Gather the last harvest, now is the final time to pick the fruit that are left and bring it indoors. Leave parsnips in the ground because they taste much better after the frosts. Tomatoes are unlikely to ripen further, bring them inside and put them next to a banana to ripen them quickly. Another way to use unripe tomatoes is to make green tomato chutney, perfect for eating on Christmas day, and even as presents!


Comments

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!