Garden Jobs in December

Garden jobs December

I hope everyone stays safe the garden has become an important extension to the house as December approaches the festive season and the garden and surrounding hedge rows are our source to get decorations free and they are not made of plastic wonderful. House plants are a good source of foliage and flowers our Christmas cacti is already in flower and my Amaryllis has just started as for the hyacinths daffodils crocus and iris are all showing some movement

Plant some sessional pots and tubs ready for Christmas Hanging baskets should not be left out . Skimmia, pansies with ivy make a wonderful combination in pots outside

 Ideal plants for Christmas are Kalanchoe Collin-co-wee evergreen from Madagascar flowers red yellow and orange the leaves store water as they are a succulent

Schellenberger Christmas cactus flowers Dec and are almost indestructible plant comes from Brazil and prefers a shady spot ideal in kitchens and bathrooms

Cyclamen are really stunning making a good show leaves are patterned and some have a sweet smell

Azaleas pink red and soft white water with rain water as these are acid loving plants keep the compost moist top the pot with sphagnum moss this really helps

Not forgetting the Poinsettia, a modern classic, the flowers are bracts, these are produced to flower with a complex light and darkness regime poinsettias flower when the day length and night are equal lengths in the UK, this is usually at Easter time. beware when buying the plants keep them away from quick drops in temperature you will find they will drop their leaves

Now the time to sow exhibition onions Broad Beans hardy peas spinach outside and Garlic can sow leeks not often done as the main crop leeks are in full production sow swiss chard under cover you can use the stalks and leaves when young

Under protection sow Sweet peas when they come up about 20mm pinch out the tops to make sturdier plants they are very deep rooting toilet roll middles are ideal to sow these into

.Soft fruit if kept to long will start to diminish in fruiting strawberries need replacing after 4 years raspberries currants and gooseberries will keep going for 10 years and the hybrids and blackberries up to 15 years Strawberries like a well-drained soil put into the mix some sharp sand and raspberries like also a free draining soil but grow these on a slight mound don’t overcrowd the canes

Prune apple and pear trees as a priority prune to shape and to give ventilation between the branches and it’s time to add the grease bands around the trunks of the trees and also the tree stake to stop winter moth invading the tree canopy to devastate your fruit.

Mike Ellard