What to do in the garden in December

Don’t let snow put you off from gardening.
Image source: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

The depths of winter isn’t the best time for flowers and harvesting, but December is the month for garden maintenance. Keep your garden protected from the cold.

Plants and Flower

A real wintery scene, holly is ripe for harvesting!
Image source: Korovina Daria
  • Prune climbing roses now and tie in any new growth. For help with pruning your roses take a look at our ‘How to grow roses’ article.
  • Lift any remaining Dahlia tubers once their foliage has been blackened by frosts and store them somewhere dry, cool but frost-free for the winter.
  • You can harvest holly with berries now for making Christmas garlands and Christmas wreaths. The stems can be kept in a bucket of water in a cool location until needed.

Fruit and Veg

Make sure you heel your leeks into a trench before the soil freezes
Image source: Graham Corney
  • If your strawberry plants are more than 3 years old then its best to replace them as they tend to lose vigour and harbour disease. Order strawberry runners online now for early spring delivery.
  • You can lift any remaining root vegetables and leeks now and heel them into a trench so they are easy to access when the soil freezes.

Garden Maintenance

Make sure you put food out for our feathered friends.
Image source: Fat Balls by Van Meuwen
  • Remember to collect any fallen leaves from your roses as diseases such as blackspot and rust will over-winter in this debris. Don’t compost diseased leaves – add them to normal household waste to prevent the disease spreading.
  • If you’re experiencing snow make sure you brush it off of greenhouse roofs and hedges to prevent damage.
  • Insulate outdoor taps with foam lagging or turn them off at the mains to prevent damage in freezing weather.
  • Winter is a good time to wash garden tools and wipe them with linseed oil to help prevent rusting. Take a moment to re-organise your shed too, before spring arrives!
  • Hang fat balls and bird feeders in your garden to attract birds. Birds eat all sorts of insect pests so are very beneficial to your garden.
  • Cover compost bins with old carpet or plastic sheeting to prevent the compost becoming too wet and frozen to rot down.

What’s your top priority for December? Let us know in the comments below, or share them with us over on our Facebook page.

Van Meuwen

Author: Van Meuwen

Horticultural mail order specialists. Working hard to bring you the best quality well-established plants as well as exciting new varieties.

4 thoughts on “What to do in the garden in December”

  1. What depth should I plant the tree lily bulbs just received. How quickly should I plant them and in what soil conditions. Any tips would be appreciated and is it clear which way up as they are still in the box as posted.

    1. Hello
      You need to plant your Lilies as soon as possible, either in deep pots or borders. Choose a sheltered, sunny position in moist, free draining soil. Plant lily bulbs with the pointed end facing upwards at a depth of approximately 3 times their height and 15cm (6″) apart. When growing lilies, make sure that they are planted deep enough as this will protect the bulb during particularly hot periods. Alternatively, try planting lily bulbs in large patio containers in loam based compost such as John Innes No.2.

      Hope that helps you 🙂

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