Gardening Tips for December, Ideas, and Techniques

Introduction to Gardening Tips for December: December is a quiet month in the garden, but you’re more to take care of than you think. When we approach the smallest day of the year in December you will need work to keep warm outside, like digging and cutting trees. Check your winter safety and if you have a greenhouse, make sure the heater is working. Hopefully, there are not many jobs left to do this year so you will have time to plan some fireside garden.

December is a great time to revisit your garden structure. December is the perfect time to clean the garden and take stock, thinking about what worked well and what you can change next year. Catch all the small jobs you never get time for during the year, like organizing your shed and cleaning your tools. At this time of year, many gardeners are starting to think about what to grow next year. 

Guide on gardening tips for December, vegetable, flower, fruit, & herbs gardening in December, greenhouse, houseplants and general plant care in December

Gardening Tips for December
Image Source: Pixabay

Vegetable gardening in December 

  • Remove the yellow leaves from your winter Brassicas, they are of no use to the plant and can shelter insects and diseases.
  • If you have not already done it, cut off the top growth of dead Asparagus leaves and Jerusalem Artichoke.
  • Dig a trench for next year’s beans, fill it with compostable kitchen waste and cover it again with soil. It will rot and dramatically improve the growing conditions.
  • Cover the winter Brassicas with a net to protect them from pigeons. 
  • Place fleece in hand to protect hardy salad crops such as Lettuce, Winter land cress, Purslane, and Corn salad on cold nights.
  • Protect any remaining Celery plants left in the soil covered with straw or fleece. 
  • There’s not much you can plant in December but if you haven’t got a round of it, you can plant garlic directly. They actually benefit from the cold period, which encourages later growth.
  • Garlic doesn’t like to sit in water, so if your soil is heavy and has water, try dubbing a hole with an old spade handle or so. Put about an inch of sand in the base and plant cloves on top, fill with fine manure on top. It ensures good drainage and stops rotting.
  • The onions sown at the end of the month will make the best plants and bulbs, which benefit from long growing periods. 
  • Cover heavy soil with polythene to keep dry and allow winter excavation.
  • Although many parts of the garden and allotment have been cleared, use this opportunity to install a permanent network of hard-wearing routes.

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Garlic Plant
Image Source: Pixabay

Flower gardening in December 

  • Hang bird feeders near Roses to attract hungry birds that will pick any insects in winter. 
  • Move plants in vessels to a shelter if conditions get too cold, as they have more roots exposed to the elements. 
  • Plant aromatic winter shrubs in pots on the doorstep, including Chimonanthus, Sarcococca, and Daphne Odora. Check stored bulbs and corms regularly for any sign of rot. 
  • Now prune the climbing roses, remove the disease or bad growth and tie in any new shoots to support them. 
  • Prune your Japanese Maple trees if needed, because if pruned later, they will bleed juice.
  • Leave the faded flower heads to your hydrangeas until spring, as they protect the frost to the swelling buds under the trunks.
  • If any of your Rose shrubs are suffering from black spots or rust during summer, gather and remove any fallen leaves on the ground to reduce the chance of the infection spreading next year.
  • Keep checking the stored Dahlia tubers, keep an eye to rot.
  • Check climbers and climbing shrubs are safely linked to their support with ties.
  • Take cuttings of oriental poppies and grow them in a cool frame.
  • Check out tender plants to ensure winter safety, especially after storms. Lift the Patio containers on feet or bricks to avoid sitting in the wet in winter.
  • Find the Botrytis on spent herb plants, and remove the infected growth. Otherwise, there is a risk that fungal problems can spread to healthy plants.
  • Hellebores may be at risk of diseases like the Hellebore leaf spot.
  • Keep an eye on the Winter Pansies with Downy Mildew and leaf spot.
  • Sometimes Daffodils can come out very quickly even before Christmas. Enjoy them, but be aware that they too may suffer from fungal problems, such as burns to the narcissus leaves.
  • Look for crown rot and brown rot die on perennials, especially if you are on soil or poor drainage soil.

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Rose Plant
Image Source: Pixabay

Fruit gardening in December 

  • Build a screen of clean polythene on wall-trained Peaches and Nectarines to protect them from the wet winter weather, which spreads the curl fungus of Peach leaves.
  • Pick up and distribute the established clumps of Rhubarb to refresh the plant’s excitement. The portions taken from outside the plant are better than the parts of the center.
  • Protect the tips of fig tree branches. They will take fruit for next year and are prone to frost. 
  • Apply glue bands or grace bands to the trunks of fruit trees to prevent the female winter moths from climbing the trunks and laying eggs in branches. 
  • Plant other berry fruits like Blackberry at any time between now and spring.
  • Plant Strawberry plants now for the Sweet Berries crop in summer. 
  • Plant Blueberries this winter month for a gorgeous addition to your fruit garden. With beautiful white flowers, delicious berries, and fiery autumn leaves, these acid-loving plants provide constant interest. If your soil is too alkali, try to grow your Blueberries in containers with compost.
  • Plant bare-root Gooseberry-like heavy crop Invicta with red, white, and black current plants this month.
  • Pruning fruit trees and shrubs can continue until December Always collect the prunings immediately and dispose of or burn them. Leaving them lying on the ground is an open invitation to disease.
  • Continue to check the fruit trees such as Raspberry, Blackberry, Loganberry, Grapevines, to ensure they don’t come away from their wires and support. 
  • Spraying with winter wash is not necessary every winter. If your trees are healthy, well-fed and pruned, and harvested well, then annual spray is not really necessary, and every alternative, or every third, should winter. 
  • After pruning your fruit trees, try to cut into pieces as a useful addition to your compost pile, or leave them in a pile for a year after which they can be used as a mulch under the tree to keep the herbs away and put all the nutrients back into the soil that they have They were drawn. 
  • December is a good time to train fruit trees that are growing along the wall and to perfect their espaliers. Remember that cherry and plum should be trained to look more fanlike while apples and pears can be trained so that their branches grow horizontally and therefore parallel to the earth. Here are videos to help you do this. And of course, until the earth freezes, you can continue planting fruit trees.

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Plum Tree
Image Source: Pixabay

Herbs gardening in December 

  • Sow herb seeds like Basil, Dill, Chives, and Mint on your windows for winter use. Let the strongest seedlings mature for spring plantation.
  • Sow winter-hardy salad leaves under covers, such as the winter gym and Arctic King.
  • Sow onion seeds on sunny windows to give your exhibition able bulbs time to grow as big as possible.

Greenhouse care in December 

  • Bring the Hyacinths that grow in the greenhouse to your home for the flower, place them in a cool, bright spot. 
  • Prune greenhouse grapevines while inactive. 
  • Move houseplants to sunny winter windows, to get as much light as possible during the short days. 
  • Check out winter plants in the greenhouse for red spider mites and other insects, and treat if necessary. 
  • Sow the cacti seeds in moist, loam-based fertilizer and place them on a propagator or hot windows. 
  • Regularly pick dim leaves and dead flowers from plants during winter at the greenhouse, such as pelargoniums. 
  • Brush heavy snow from greenhouses and cold frame peaks to prevent the glass from getting damaged.
  • Insulate the outer taps or close them on the mains. Pack away the hoses no need.
  • Fuel the greenhouse on hot days to reduce the risk of moisture and disease.
  • Work in some fertilizer to prepare the greenhouse borders for next spring. Leave enough space to add fertilizer later.
  • Keep an eye on the Aphids during winter on your plants, hand-remove them or use pesticides.
  • Put insulating materials like bubble wrap inside the greenhouse, if not already done.
  • Make sure there is proper ventilation in the greenhouse or conservatory, perhaps opening vents for an hour or two on light days to encourage wind circulation.
  • Clean leaves and twigs from the greenhouse and shed gutters.

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Greenhouse care
Image Source: Pixabay

Houseplants care in December 

  • Make sure newly purchased indoor plants are well preserved for home trips. Even exposure to icy temperatures for a few moments can cause injury.
  • Poinsettia plants excel with the sun for at least half a day and night temperatures. Keep plants away from drafts, registers, and radiators and let the soil dry only a little between full water. Make sure to hole in the decorative sheet wrap to prevent soggy soil conditions.
  • If you plan a live Christmas tree, dig the planting hole before freezing the ground. Cover the mulch and backfill soil and plant holes to keep them dry and unfrozen. When you get the tree, store it out in the area until the last-minute cold, shady, airless, and mulch the roots to avoid a cold injury. Do not let the roots of the tree dry and spray the needles with anti-transparent to reduce moisture loss.  
  • Make sure the root areas of Azaleas and Rhododendron are well mulched. Anyone will do organic material, but mulch made from Oak leaves, chopped Oak bark, or Pine needles is preferred. 

Trees and shrubs care in December 

  • Many deciduous trees, shrubs, can be pruned and renovated throughout the dormant season from now on. Exceptions are evergreen and soft plants because they suffer from silver leaf disease when sorted in autumn or winter.
  • If your trees are too big to manage a single sorting, you may need a tree surgeon. Or else, be alert not to damage the tree while cutting thick branches.
  • Packing the branches of the tender trees and shrubs with straw or bracken and preserving it with fleece and tie will protect them from frost.
  • Check the tree tie and stakes. Change, tighten, slow or remove as needed. Take away the weeds from around the bases of young trees.
  • If you have snow in your area, you may need to brush it off with conifers, climbers light-limbed bushes, and tree branches. Heavy snowfall can play branches, break limbs and spoil the tree’s appearance.
  • Garden hygiene helps a lot in preventing disease covers from one year to the next. It’s always a good idea to rake up and burn, bury, or throw away the affected leaves.
  • Diseases like black spot-on Roses can be controlled to some extent like this. However, do not compost such materials as these diseases can persist in compost piles and re-infect the mulched plants.
  • Damage from bay sucking may still be evident, although the insects may have been and gone. However, removing infected leaves is a good idea if there are only a few, and nothing to look for damage next spring, this problem should be treated immediately.

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Black spot-on Roses
Image Source: Pixabay

General plant care in December 

  • Check the security of your shed. It is particularly important in winter when you visit it less.
  • Repair the fences and apply a wooden guard to prevent them from rotting.
  • There is still time to clean the water butts before the winter rains are filled with fresh rainwater.
  • Check tree ties and stake after the strong autumn winds to ensure the trees are still safe. 
  • Wash and disinfect bird feeders and bird tables. Also, clean the birdbath.
  • Hang fat balls and top bird feeders with wild bird food to attract birds, which will, in turn, eat insects in your garden.
  • Create or buy a compost bin. Continue collecting the fallen leaves and add them to the leaf cans or compost pile to rot.
  • Use twigs for pea sticks after pruning fruit trees or slice them to pieces for your compost bin.
  • Turn your compost heaps to help mix ingredients and dissolve the contents.
  • Cover the compost boxes with old carpets or some plastic sheeting pieces to prevent the manure from rotting too cold and melting.
  • Build a pile of old wood in an undisturbed corner of the garden to provide shelter for toads and other wildlife.
  • Bring all the water appliances, including the hoses and sprinklers, inside the house, so that they are not frozen and split. 
  • Scoop fallen leaves and debris from the ponds, leave on the side to save the pond life, then add to the compost bin. 
  • Clean your shade, and organize and clean your tools. 
  • Check tree ties and stacks are strong enough to withstand winter storms. 

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