Tuesday, May 22, 2018

09 Dec

The 12 Tasks of Christmas (for your garden)!

Fill up bird feeders, clean out bird houses, giving them a good scrub as you go

Give your garden a Christmas treat each by keeping up maintenance throughout December. We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your garden clean and maintained, it will lessen the jobs you will need to do in the spring and make you feel relaxed and prepared!

 1. Birds, Birds, Birds!

You may not find a partridge in a pear tree or two turtle doves in your garden but you will find common garden birds that need your help! Birds find it hard to survive now summer’s fruits and berries are a thing of the past, they rely on the food and shelter you give them to last the winter. Fill up bird feeders, clean out bird houses, giving them a good scrub as you go. Top up bird baths with fresh water, it really makes all the difference this time of year.

 2. Gather Garden Foliage for Festive Decorations!

Don’t let your garden berries, pine cones, dried seed heads and flowers go to waste. Look out for next week’s blog post on how to make Christmas decorations from what your garden has to offer! It’s the perfect way to reap the benefits of your garden this time of year and the whole family can get involved!   

 3. Harvest your Vegetables to Add a Home Grown Flavour to your Christmas Feast!

Parsnips taste better after the first frosts and recently we’ve had plenty of frost! Dig them up now and roast them with honey and mustard for Christmas dinner! Tomatoes are unlikely to ripen further, so why not make green tomato chutney, perfect for eating on Christmas day, and even as presents!

4. Make Interesting Winter Displays!

There can’t be anything more appropriate to add to your garden this time of year than the Hellebore Christmas Rose. Hellebore flowers will make a beautiful addition to any garden particularly at this time of year and you only have a few days left to order. Try not to remove any ferns or grass  from your garden, they look as good gleaming with frost as they do when in bloom. Mix these plants with holly for a truly festive display.

 5. Grow Your Own Mistletoe!

If you are lucky enough to have an apple, hawthorn, lime or poplar tree in your garden growing mistletoe should be fairly easy. Mistletoe is usually spread by birds, but it can grow when rubbed into the bark cracks of a host tree. Why not give it a try and enjoy festive Mistletoe for years to come!

Make green chutney from unripe tomatoes

Make green chutney from green tomatoes

 6. Take a Look at those Seed Catalogues!

Time to get planning! Draw out a plan of your flower beds and veg plots and order the right seeds in the right quantity. Have a look at any seeds you may have left over, if you fancy something a little different next year, why not trade seeds with a neighbour- it’s the perfect way to make sure your seeds don’t go to waste.

 7. Protect your Pond Wildlife!

Old plants and icy water can cause problems in your pond this time of year. Float a tennis ball, or similar object on the surface of your pond to ensure it doesn’t completely freeze over. Pond wildlife can be harmed by old plants and garden foliage that’s found it’s way into the water, so grab a net and clean it out!

Enrich your soil with compost, manure or free organic matter

 8. Prepare your Soil!

Enrich your soil with compost, manure or free organic matter. Make sure your bare patches of soil are covered in the winter; mulch is the best option but don’t fret if you don’t have any, black polythene bags will keep the soil warm and kill weeds.

 9. Get out Your Tool Box- There’s Lots to Repair!

Repair any broken fences, gates or arches and put up storage racks in sheds and greenhouses. Gather any canes and poles supporting your plants, clean off left over soil and store them ready to assist your flourishing plants next spring.

10. Clean Inside and Out!

Your greenhouse may be looking bare at this time of year. What a perfect chance to wrap up warm and spend a few hours cleaning. Clear out any dead or dying plants, scrub the glass inside and out and generally give it a good tidying up. Trim those lawn edges, and try and keep back the weeds and ivy- it will make your spring jobs a whole lot easier.

Clean your greenhouse inside and out!

Clean your greenhouse inside and out!

 11. Set Yourself Targets!

Make a to-do list for next spring; you’ll feel a whole lot better knowing that you are prepared and ready to take on your garden next year. Set yourself targets, whether they are simple or drastic, it will make such a big difference to your garden.  

 12. Something New for 2011!

 It’s your chance to get creative! Re-design any parts of your garden that need a bit of a make-over (or the whole thing if you like!) It’s the perfect time to sit next to a roaring fire and sketch out those areas of your garden you feel need a little something extra. Look in magazines or on the internet for especially inspiring gardens!

Once all the jobs are done, sit back and relax this festive season knowing that you are prepared and ready for whatever 2011 may bring to your garden!


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