December in the Garden
Thursday, 1 December 2016 | Alison
In the twilight zone, otherwise known as December, with its dearth of daylight, means that most of us gardeners only get to spend a precious hour or so in our gardens at the weekend, if we are lucky, so making the best use of our time is always high on the agenda.
Still, if you have been toiling (having fun) in the allotment or vegetable patch over the last few months growing winter Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, Potatoes, Cauliflowers and Carrots to be presented, at their very best, for the Christmas Day table feast, then you are very lucky – you have the perfect excuse to get out of some of the dreaded Christmas shopping expeditions, and instead hotfoot it down to the vegetable patch for an hour or three to ‘tend’ all those precious vegetables!
Here are a few jobs in and around the garden that may also need doing in your own little piece of heaven over the next few weeks.
- Decorative grasses can be looking rather shabby by December so don some thick gardening gloves and some eye protection, especially with pampas grass, and either pull out the plumes from the base or trim over with shears to make a tidy mound.
- Plant up tulip bulbs in pots or in the borders. If your ground is prone to being waterlogged then place grit in the planting area first and place the tulip bulbs onto the gritty layer, pointy side up, and cover with a mixture of spent compost and soil. This will all help with drainage.
- It is worth checking your greenhouse daily if possible especially if you have plants in there that you are hoping to over-winter. Check for pests, like mice, and also remove any decaying leaves which can harbour diseases.
- Check any heaters you have in your greenhouse are working correctly and only coming on when you need them. You don’t want to be paying for electricity if the temperatures are above freezing.
- Ensure that water levels remain low for most plants as they remain dormant, like Dahlias and Pelargoniums.
- Prune beech, birch and hazel trees once their leaves have fallen to keep them in shape. Also now is a good time to tackle a grapevine!
*****Make a festive display in pots or window boxes to put you in celebratory mood. Reds and greens are the obvious colours to use, but maybe try something different and choose a blue, purple, gold or silver theme. **Silver leaved plants like Senicio Cineraria Silver Dust, Lavender and Festuca grass surrounded by white Violas and a white flowering Hellebore in the centre would make an ethereal cool, icy statement.
Take a break amidst all the chaos that is December and have a look at our brand new website and view our new varieties of flowers and vegetables for 2017. Choose your flower planting schemes and colours and decide which vegetables you would like to grow next season. Ordering has been made easier online but remember, we are still at the end of the telephone if you would like to discuss which plants would be best for you.
Until next year, we at Brookside Nursery wish you a very Merry Christmas and the best of New Years.
Have fun and enjoy your garden!