Winter care for your outdoor space: Garden jobs for December
7th December 2021
December is not the gardener’s favourite time of year; the majority of us will hardly venture out when the icy mornings set in. I myself a definitely a fair-weather gardener and often realise I have not set foot into the garden in weeks. But there are still jobs to be done! Here your garden jobs for December, so that you can pick up again in spring!
Garden jobs to do this December
Tidy up your garden tools
It’s a good time to take stock of your garden tools and ensure that none of them are left facing the elements abandoned outside! Sharpen secateurs and wash any gardening gloves ready to be stored away over the winter. Replacing broken tools will also often be cheaper at this time of year as they are not as in demand!
It’s a good opportunity to clean out the greenhouse, potting shed or garden room while not in constant use.
Hang bird feeders
During winter, birds can struggle to find food so make one of your garden jobs for this December making sure they have enough to eat!Attracting wildlife to your garden can be fun to watch, but it’s also a good idea because birds will eat up winter pests.
Protect outdoor pot plants (and the pots)
To be honest this garden job is one for earlier but if you haven’t brought your pot plants inside by December, bring them in or protect them! Hardy plants in pots should be moved to more sheltered spots if possible to overwinter. Any tender shrubs and climbers should have straw placed around the root to protect them from the cold.
If you have terracotta pots then freezing weather can cause them to crack; either bring them in or wrap them.
Bring your Christmas tree indoors
If you are eco-conscious, you might have a live Christmas tree outside in a pot. If so, bring it in a few days early let it sit for 24 hours before you decorate it. Conifers are quite content to be outside in the freezing cold, but don’t fare so well inside with central heating on full blast, so make sure you give it plenty of water and if possible situate it far away from the radiators.
Plant (yes really!)
Some crops can go into the ground during the winter months! Garlic can go into the ground right now, as long as the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.
Rhubarb can be divided, and bare-root fruit trees and bushes can be planted now, as can raspberries and blackberries.
Plant bare-root roses, deciduous shrubs and ornamental trees outside.
Roses in particular should be chopped back while they’re dormant.
Harvest your crops, and store your root veg
Crops harvested in winter that can be stored include;
- apples and pears
- root vegetables.
Make sure that you inspect your harvest thoroughly. It’s vitally important that you discard anything that’s damaged as not only will it rot, it’ll then contaminate the rest of your crop.