December Gardening Reminders


1) Plant fruit trees, bushes and trees in fertile soil and stake trees firmly.

2) Apply substantial mulch to borderline hardy herbaceous plants such as Agapanthus,dahlias, Phygelius, and Penstemon.

3) Continue to take hardwood cuttings of a range of shrubby trees and shrubs, e.g. Cornus.

4) Check that wall plants are firmly secured to the wall and evergreens receive sufficient rainfall, or water from time to time/

5) Cut down unsightly grasses but leave enough in the base for overwintering wildlife.

6) Cut back overgrown deciduous hedges.

7) Ensure that outside taps, hoses etc. are insulated against frost.

8) Move permanent container plants such as Camellias to shelter in the lee of walls.

9) Prune Acers and Betula sp. before mid December to prevent wounds from bleeding, do not prune cherries and other stone fruits until May/June to prevent silver-leaf disease.

10 ) Give lawns a final trim to 1½ inches and collect leaves if conditions are mild.

11) Ensure that glasshouses are adequately ventilated, and temperatures are maintained.

12) Replenish birdfeeders as they run out and provide fresh water as required.

13) Thoroughly clean and oil garden tools and sharpen those with cutting edges.

14) Service the lawnmower.

15) Clean serviceable pots, canes and trays and label. Store out of the rain and wind.

16) Check that wind-breaks and their supports are in good order to counter winter gales.

17) Do not prune Hamamelis and Chimonanthus until after flowering.

18) Prune grape vines by mid-December to prevent sap from bleeding.

Let us wish ourselves some dry and sunny winter days with little or no wind in order to get through some of these midwinter tasks!!