With the daylight hours getting shorter and the cold weather setting in, December is the month to catch up, tidy up, plan ahead and help the wildlife out. Here are 5 key jobs you can do in the garden this month.
Now is the time to start pruning back roses, apple and fruit trees, wisterias, birch, vines and any dormant plants. This will help with growth next year.
If you haven’t already, start clearing up all those autumn leaves and pop them in your compost where they will work wonders! Remember to clear leaves and debris out of gutters too.
Food is now becoming scarce for wildlife, so give a helping hand by hanging up bird feeders (high enough, so that cats can’t reach) and topping up the birdbath with water, checking it frequently to make sure it hasn’t frozen over. If you’ve had a good pruning session in the garden, put those twigs and logs into a pile away from your house. This will act as valuable shelter for wildlife. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can now buy food for hedgehogs and badgers at most gardening centres.
Tool health check
Test all your gardening tools to make sure they work and mend/replace anything ready for next year. Repair other areas of the garden, like fences and trellises. Check your seed supply too and top them up as required by ordering online or visiting your local garden centre.
Harvest all those yummy winter vegetables such as leeks, cabbages and sprouts. You also can start planting various foods, ready to eat next year. These include onions and soft fruits such as gooseberries and blackberries. Remember to protect from frost any winter lettuce/salad by popping a garden fleece over them.