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Things To Do in Your Garden in December

Here is a list of tasks to keep you busy in the garden in December for your garden to bloom beautifully in the coming spring.

Binita Kumari
Dig over barren borders and spread well-rotted manure on top; then, wait for the worms and freezing temperatures to break up the soil clumps
Dig over barren borders and spread well-rotted manure on top; then, wait for the worms and freezing temperatures to break up the soil clumps

Although December is a quiet month in the garden, there are more tasks to complete than you might expect. As we draw closer to the shortest day of the year, there will be fewer daylight hours, which will make this month's crisp winter weather both stunningly beautiful and cruelly cold.

Here is a list of tasks to keep you busy in the garden in December for your garden to bloom beautifully in the coming spring:

In the flower garden:

Start the winter pruning of the wisteria by reducing the summer side shoots to two or three buds. After a good shaping, favorites like Wisteria Sinensis will appear crisper and flower better.

Climbing roses should be pruned right away to remove any diseased or damaged growth and to secure any new branches to the support. Older flowering side shoots should be pruned by a third of their length.

Deciduous climbing honeysuckle should be planted right away, but avoid planting them on freezing or soggy ground.

If necessary, prune your Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatum), as they will hemorrhage sap if you wait any longer.

The faded flower heads on your hydrangeas should be left on until spring because they shield the developing buds further down the stems from frost.

To lessen the possibility of the infection spreading the next year, gather up and remove any fallen leaves that are still on the ground from any of your rose bushes that experienced blackspot or rust throughout the summer.

Dahlia tubers that have been stored should continue to be checked for decay. Shift shrub planters or bedding planters to sheltered locations; grouping them helps shield the root systems from harm caused by frost.

Verify that climbers and climbing plants are firmly tied to their supports. Holly with berries should be collected to make Christmas wreaths and garlands. Until you're ready to use them, keep the berry-covered twigs submerged in a bucket of water.

Chinese poppies can be grown from root cuttings in cold frames. Cut hardwood branches from appropriate trees and bushes. Alpine and rockery plants should be surrounded by fresh gravel or grit.

In the vegetable garden:

Before the ground freezes, dig up your last leeks and parsnips and place them in a trench next to a useful walkway. They can be easily taken indoors when necessary and will last for several months in this condition.

Winter brassicas with withering leaves should be removed since they are useless to the plant and can harbor pests and diseases.

If you haven't already, remove the Jerusalem artichoke top growth and any dead asparagus leaf. For planting in the spring, order your asparagus crowns right away.

Dig over barren borders and spread well-rotted manure on top; then, wait for the worms and freezing temperatures to break up the soil clumps.

For the beans that will grow the following year, dig a trench, fill it with compostable kitchen trash (not cooked food), and then cover it with dirt.

Winter brassicas should be surrounded with netting to keep pigeons away.

To protect resistant salad plants such as lettuce "Winter Gem," winter land cress, purslane, and maize salad (lambs lettuce) on chilly nights, have fleece on hand.

Cover any surviving celery plants in the soil with fleece or straw to keep them safe.

Polythene should be used to keep heavy clay soil dry so that winter digging is possible.

Take advantage of the opportunity to set up a permanent network of durable paths while a large portion of the garden and allotment are cleared.

In the fruit garden:

Fruit trees should be pruned now to maintain an open, balanced structure and promote the growth of high-quality fruit. The exception is the pruning of stone fruits like plums, cherries, and other fruits that should wait until the summer to avoid silver leaf fungus. To prevent causing harm to your trees, use clean, sharp secateurs.

Cut back grape vines. To shield wall-trained peaches and nectarines from the rainy winter weather that spreads the peach leaf curl fungus, build a screen out of clear polythene.

Rhubarb clumps should be lifted and divided to restore the plant's vigor. Sections taken from the plant's exterior are preferable to those taken from the interior.

Keep fig tree branch tips safe. They are vulnerable to frost and will carry the fruits for the following year. Cover with straw or fleece.

To stop wingless female winter moths from climbing fruit tree trunks and laying their eggs in the branches, wrap glue or grease bands around them.

Order some new types to replace your existing strawberry plants if they are older than three years. Old strawberries often lose their vigor and output and can harbor illnesses.

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