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For many of us December is that time of year when we down our tools, hang up the gardening gear and put our gardens to bed for the winter season. However, there is still a good few jobs that needs to be done this month.

  • This time of year is all about preparing the garden for the cold winter months. Protect tender plants such as dahlias, geraniums and fuschias by storing them in pots over winter. You can plant them out again in spring.
  • If weather turns extremely cold you should move tubs of shrubs or winter bedding to a sheltered spot.
  • Berried and budded plants such as Skimmia Reevesiana, Aucuba, Gaultheria, Callicarpa, Viburnum, Vaccinium, Pyracantha and Pernettyia are perfect for those winter pots that need replanting. They will fill your garden with winter colour and attract wild birds. 
  • Collect and dispose of all fallen rose leaves, especially those that are diseased and infected with Black spot. DO NOT place rose leaves on the compost heap. Bin them! 
  • It’s time to prune Roses back by a third to prevent wind rock over the winter months. 
Fruit & Veg
  • Plant onions and garlic in your vegetable garden now, for harvesting in early spring.
  • Tidy up your strawberry beds by removing unwanted runners, old leaves and developing weeds. Pot up the runners to increase stock plants, and keep in a tunnel or glasshouse. 
Around the Garden
  • Start planting your garden and think about changes you’d like to make next year. At this time of year you should take a good look at you hedges and clean them up.
  • Winter is an excellent time for planting bare-root trees and hedges. They are cheaper than container grown plants and there is a great choice available. Care should be taken not to let the roots dry out when planting. Also add extra compost to the ground so they can root and get established quickly. Protect newly planted hedges with wind break in exposed areas 
  • When storing your lawnmower ensure that you let it run until the petrol is emptied, to prevent it from going stale over winter.
  • Empty any of your pots that are not frost-proof and move them under cover to protect them from the winter weather.
  • Wrap your outside taps with insulation material to prevent them freezing over winter. 
  • Remember to feed the birds and regularly wash and disinfect any bird baths and feeders.