December in the Garden
Water the garden well when necessary making sure that the moisture goes deep into the soil and makes the subsoil moist. Do not let the soil dry out as this puts the plants under stress and they will not grow well. Containers in sunny places will dry out very quickly and regular daily watering is required.
Harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden for both Christmas and New Year celebrations really makes the occasion special.
The Vegetable Patch
- Harvest fresh produce for Christmas
- Mound up peas and/or stake them.
- Ensure runner beans are climbing properly and get a good start on the bean fence.
- Mulch around strawberry plants with straw.
- Sow and plant: Peas, lettuces, cabbages and cauliflowers, French beans, radishes, turnips and carrots for succession planting.
- Cease harvesting rhubarb and asparagus in mid December to build up good rootstock for next year.
- Stake and tie outdoor tomatoes - check for pests and diseases.
- Pick gooseberries and red currents.
The Ornamental Garden
- If you grow your own plants from seed now is the time to sow anemone, wall flowers and polyanthus seed and any other plant that takes some time to grow.
- Stoke Delphiniums and other tall growing perennials
- Remove excessive dahlia and chrysanthemum shoots
- Keep garden weed free by hoeing, hand weeding or mulching.
- Remove the dead heads from plants that flower in spring.
- Divide up spring flowering primulas
- Set slug bait near sensitive plants
- Fertilize lawns for good growth
- Annuals will be coming into flower soon, provide some fertilizer and pinch out long shoots to make compact flowering plants.
- Ensure all pot plants are well watered and provided with fertilizer.
- Prune dead heads of roses down to the first 5 segment leaf
- Trim hedges
- Late plantings of summer annuals can be made water well
- Keep Fuchsias well watered
- Prune trees and shrubs to shape by lightly pruning new growth.
The Glasshouse and Conservatory
- Tomatoes should be tied up and lower leaves removed just when they go yellow. Pinch out unwanted lateral growth.
- Regular and even watering of tomatoes is best for growth, fruit production and ripening.
- Apply a general balanced fertiliser especially a slow release product.
- Apply citrus fertiliser to lemons
- Apply an insecticide spray to combat codlin moth.
- Mow the lawn regularly to get an even surface