As winter finally descends upon us many of you may be thinking that all gardening activities will now come to a standstill, however, I have news… December is in fact a crucial month for your garden. This is the time to prepare and protect your green spaces for the colder months ahead, and check the health of your plants whilst also thinking ahead to next spring. Here are some December gardening jobs to consider…
Pruning and Trimming
December is the ideal time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs while they are dormant. Remove dead or damaged branches, shape unruly growth, and open up the canopy to allow better light penetration. Be cautious not to prune spring-flowering plants, as you risk removing next season’s buds.
Applying a layer of mulch around your plants helps to insulate the soil, regulate temperature, and prevent weed growth. Use organic materials like (homemade) compost, well-rotted manure, or bark chips to protect the root systems of your plants during the winter chill.
Protecting Tender Plants
For delicate plants that are susceptible to frost, consider providing additional protection. Use horticultural fleece or cloches to shield your most vulnerable plants from the freezing temperatures. Move potted plants to sheltered areas or group them together for added insulation.
Feeding the Birds
December can be tough for wildlife, especially for birds who really struggle to find food in colder weather. Install bird feeders and tables in your garden and offer a good mix of seeds, suet, and nuts. Fresh water is also crucial, so ensure your bird baths are regularly filled and not frozen.
You could consider introducing a splash of colour to your garden by incorporating winter-flowering plants. Pansies, winter-flowering heathers, and Christmas roses (Hellebores) are excellent choices. Plant them in containers or borders to add visual interest during the winter months.
For those of you who enjoy gardening but prefer the warmth of indoors during winter, consider cultivating houseplants. December is an ideal time to repot, prune, and propagate indoor plants. Ensure they receive sufficient light and maintain consistent humidity levels.
You can take advantage of the quieter gardening season to clean and maintain all your gardening tools. Clean and oil metal parts to prevent rust, sharpen blades, and replace any broken or worn-out components. Well-maintained tools will make spring gardening more efficient.
Planning for Spring
Use December as an opportunity to plan for the upcoming spring season. Browse your seed choices, plan your new garden layout, see what other ways you can utilise your outdoor space and research growing methods. You can also plant out your spring bulbs and consider starting some seeds indoors for early spring planting.
While December may seem like a time when the garden is in hibernation, there is still much that can be done to ensure its health and beauty for the coming seasons so don’t down those tools just yet!
*This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission from any items you purchase. This does not affect your shopping experience. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
Pin for later:
If you enjoyed this post you can follow more of our life, opinions and antics over on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Plus feel free to come and join in with my parenting group ‘From One Parent to Another’ on Facebook.
If you’d like to contact me you can either leave me a comment or drop me a line via my contact me page.
For other topics similar to this one check out these suggestions below…