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The Garden in December

01 December 2016 by Pennells Garden Centre
The Garden in December

The Garden in December

As we come to the end of the year it’s a good time to take a few minutes to write down the successes and failures you’ve had this season and to note any lessons learned. Use a diary to note not only the actions that are topical, but also the things that have gone and those that haven’t in 2016.

The rather indifferent weather we have had this year has meant that it has been difficult to achieve all the objectives we may have had at the start of the year. However there have been some benefits, with excellent autumn colour and lots of fruit in the garden. Try not to let that put you off planning what you want to achieve in the coming year. Is there a border which lacks colour, or has a gap? Plants make great gifts and will be with you for years to come – so start dropping hints now!

December is a quiet month in the garden though on dry days there is always digging and preparation to be done for next year. It’s a great time providing it’s not too frosty to plant new fruit trees, bushes and cane fruit. The ground is still warm so they will make good root growth to establish them well so they grow away well next year.

The garden is a great source of material to decorate the house this Christmas. Collect decorative seed heads, holly and ivy to create your own distinctive festive decorations. Houseplants too are a traditional part of Christmas. Poinsettias with their deep red bracts will be available through December. Place the plant so it’s not in direct sunlight but in a light position. Avoid temperatures below 13C. Avoid overwatering as this will damage the plant. When the surface of the compost begins to dry out, water thoroughly. Place the pot on a pebble tray, as a humid atmosphere will prolong the bract life.

Other things to do in December
• Sow windowsill crops including herbs and salad leaves.
• Harvest autumn sown winter salads
• Spread a thick layer of organic Farmyard Manure around the base of fruit trees.
• Propagate your favourite fruit, such as currants and gooseberries by taking hardwood cuttings.
• Protect plants and pots from frost damage by placing inside or wrapping in horticultural fleece.
• Plant a winter planter to add colour to your patio
• Water houseplants sparingly.
• Clean house plants regularly to keep the leaves free of dust.
• Continue to tidy the borders removing dead foliage and debris and cutting back overgrown plants.
• After heavy winter rain, top up mulches around the base of your trees.
• Don’t add fertiliser or plant food at this time of year as it could promote early growth that would be affected by frost and freezing winds

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