Jobs in the Garden in December

As winter settles in and temperatures drop, the garden in December might seem like a quiet month in the UK. However, this is a crucial time to prepare your garden for the colder months and ensure it’s ready to burst into life come spring. Here are some essential jobs in the garden in December.

  1. Pruning and Tidying: December is an excellent time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs while they are dormant. Remove dead or diseased branches to encourage healthy growth in the upcoming season. Also, tidy up perennial plants by cutting back spent stems and clearing away debris to reduce the risk of diseases.
  2. Winter Mulching: Protect your garden’s soil by applying a layer of organic mulch around your plants. This helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and insulate the soil against extreme temperatures. Well-rotted compost or bark chips are excellent choices for mulching in December.
  3. Lawn Care: While the grass growth may slow down, it’s still important to keep an eye on your lawn. Remove fallen leaves to prevent them from smothering the grass, and mow the lawn if the weather permits. A high cut is generally recommended during winter to prevent the grass from becoming too compacted.
  4. Protect Tender Plants: For tender plants that may be susceptible to frost, consider protecting them with fleece or horticultural fleece. Potted plants can be moved to a sheltered spot or grouped together for added insulation.
  5. Wildlife Considerations: December is a challenging time for wildlife, and providing food and water sources can be a lifeline. Keep bird feeders stocked with high-energy foods like suet balls and sunflower seeds. Also, ensure there is a source of unfrozen water for birds to drink.
  6. Tool Maintenance: Take advantage of the quieter gardening season to clean and maintain your gardening tools. Sharpen blades, oil moving parts, and store them in a dry place. This ensures they’ll be in top condition when the gardening season picks up again.
  7. Winter Planting: While December may not be the prime planting season, certain hardy plants and bare-root trees can still be planted during this time. This includes fruit trees, roses, and hedging plants. Ensure the soil is workable and not frozen.
  8. Plan for the Future: Use the winter months to plan for the upcoming year. Browse seed catalogs, create a planting schedule, and envision any changes or additions you’d like to make to your garden. Planning ahead can make the spring planting season more organized and enjoyable.

By dedicating some time to these tasks in December, you’ll be nurturing your garden during its dormant phase, setting the stage for a vibrant and healthy garden in the seasons to come.