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December gardening

Frost-covered berries in the cold of winter.

As we move into winter, it is worth getting your garden ready for cold weather. Here are our top tips for getting the best from your garden this December:

The December Greenhouse

If you have a greenhouse with any crops inside, it is worth investing in a greenhouse heater. Just remember to ventilate the greenhouse on warmer days so that it reduces the humidity and risk of disease.

If your greenhouse is empty, it’s the perfect time to wash the glass and floor and disinfect to kill off any over-wintering bugs. We suggest capillary matting is replaced each year.

 

The December Flower garden

Insulate any outdoor tap or turn them off at the mains. We sell handy polystyrene tap covers.

We’ve still got some spring flowering bulbs for sale. You can plant these in large pots of compost. Then when it is spring you can identify colour gaps easily and transplant the bulbs into the ground for some instant  colour.

 

Protect any tender plants by covering them with horticultural fleece on cold nights. You can also wrap a sheet of bubble wrap around pots to help insulate roots.

If you have tree ties in your garden, check they are still in place and not too loose. You want them to offer the tree protection but not strangle the tree.

The December Garden Shed

Prevent tools from rusting by washing them down and then wiping linseed oil on the wooden and metal areas.

Have a good clear out, you’ll feel even better in the spring when you can get to everything easily. You may also want to check the security of your shed. We sell solar shed security lights to deter intruders.

As it has been relatively dry, there is still time to clean out your water butts before they fill with fresh rain water.

Save water by installing a water butt to your down pipe.

Save water by installing a water butt to your down pipe.

Prevent slips by getting rid of slimy patches on your paving by scrubbing with a broom and liquid patio cleaner.

The December Wildlife garden

Wash and disinfect bird feeders, tables and baths. Thoroughly rinse the items before you put them out again.

Your garden birds will need extra support through winter when natural food supplies are low. Hang fat balls and keep your feeders topped up.

Great tit sitting on a birdfeeder with peanuts

Great tit sitting on a birdfeeder with peanuts

Collect fallen leaves and add them to leaf bins or compost bins to rot down. With a compost bin, always try to balance the amount of wet and dry items you put in. Putting the twigs from winter pruning is a way of adding dry items. Turn your contents to mix ingredients. If your compost bin has a habit of getting wet, place some plastic sheeting over it.

Plant native plants as hedges to encourage wildlife and create attractive boundaries around your garden. Pick up one of our wildlife garden leaflets when you next pop in to see which species are best.

Many animals will be looking for a place to shelter or hibernate. A pile of old logs at the back of borders is an excellent shelter for toads and other creatures.

December indoors

 

A red Poinsettia brightens the home in winter

Beautiful Red Poinsettia

Protect your Poinsettias from cold draughts and allow them to dry out slightly between waterings to make them last for the whole Christmas period and well into January. Reduce watering of all other houseplants, they don’t need so much in winter.

Add natural decoration to your home, a bunch of mistletoe from the lounge light or some sprigs of holly at the top of picture frames. Don’t forget to add a wreath to your door too, we have handmade real holly ones or artificial wreathes to tempt you.