Gardening in December

Gardening in December

Do not despair, the shortest day of the year is nearly upon us!

After the 22nd December the daylight hours will lengthen and lets hope for some bright, clear weather.

Gardening in December is not always our favourite thing to do but there are still many jobs than can be done on a dry day.

There are leaves to collect to use as mulch, which will get the most out of your soil in the Spring.

Mulching will also supress the weeds and give your garden a neat and tidy appearance.


Gardening in December - Hedgehog

Hedgehogs love leaves and they are the Gardeners friend.  They are one of the UK's best loved mammals and spend much of their lives asleep.

During the evenings they rely on hedgerows and gardens, eat beetles, caterpillars and worms, and other invertibrates, so maybe have a corner in the garden with piled up leaves for them to stay safe in.

With hedgehog numbers in decline, it is important we take care of the animals.

There is a campaign in the UK asking people to register where they have seen hedgehogs so they can be recorded and safeguarded.

It is also a good time to check the stakes on your trees, make sure they are secure as we have had some really high winds.

Mature trees should only need staking for a couple of years, but they should be examined regularly and can be removed when the tree is secure.

Unfortunately, due to the extreme temperatures we experienced last year, gardening in December became a rescue operation in many gardens.  No one was expecting minus temperature's for over a week.

This year we should be more prepared and cover delicate plants with a fleece to protect them.  If you have plants in pots you may also want to wrap the rootball in a fleece.

Winter is a great time to plant rootball hedging and trees. Get them in the ground and you will reap the benefits of their new growth in the Spring.

Gardening in December - look after your soil!

and don't forget the worms!

Take a look at our article to see the importance of worms in your soil.

Soil Types:

  • Chalky Soils - very alkaline.  Can be light or heavy
  • Peat Soils - very high in organic matter and moisture
  • Loams - mixtures of clay, sand and silt
  • Silt Soils - Fertile, light and moisture retentive
  • Sandy Soils - light, dry and low in nutrients - often acidic
  • Clay Soils - heavy, high in nutrients. Bake dry in Summer and wet and cold in winter

It is important to improve the quality of soil as this helps give your plants all the nutrients necessary to establish themselves and grow.

If you do have doubts about the quality of the soil here are a few tips:

Sandy Soil:   In order to thicken the consistency of the soil, it is a good idea to dig in some well rotted manure.

If you do not have access to Manure then a good quality multi-purpose compost will also help.

We would suggest doing this in the Autumn/Winter months so your garden is ready for Spring.

High Acidic Soil:   If your soil has an Acidic level below 6 then you can dig through some lime.   This will help neutralise the area but it is worth checking the levels over a period of time.

  • 0-5  - Acidic Soil
  • 6-8  - Neutral - ideal planting
  • 8-9  - Alkaline
  • 9-14 - Highly Alkaline

Heavy Clay soil:   In order to breakdown the thick clay soil we would suggest digging through well-rotten manure.

If you do not have access to manure then a good quality multi-purpose compost will also help.

Adding a well-rotted manure or compost is a great winter job.   This will help get the ground ready for Spring.

Gardens world have a great information page listing jobs for December.  Here is a link in case it is of interest.

If you don't want to venture out on these grey days or simply gardening in December is not for you, put your feet up and browse through our huge selection of plants which will give you some inspiration in planning your garden for the warmer months.

Contact us

We hope our Gardening in December guide has helped.

If you do need further guidance please contact us.