December Gardening Tasks

It may be nearly Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your garden to look after itself. Despite the cold weather and the seasonal festivities, there are still some things to do in the garden, and doing them this month will save you some of the January blues!

Ensure Winter Protection is in Place

Even the more hardy of your garden plants can be vulnerable to damage from the harsh winter weather, which means it is important that you have protection in place where necessary. This may mean tying taller plants to support canes to provide support in stormy weather, or covering with fleece and cloches to protect from any frost.

Clear Leaves from the Garden

You should remove any ponds from the surface of your pond, or from netting across your pond to prevent an accumulation of debris which could reduce oxygen levels for the wildlife in the pond. You should also ensure that drains and drain pipes are kept clear of leaves to prevent any blockages.

Heat Your Pond

If at all possible, you should use a pond heater to keep the water levels at a constant, stable temperature for the fish and wildlife living in it and to prevent it from freezing over. If you can’t use a pond heater, you could also solve the problem of water freezing over by holding a saucepan of warm water over the frozen surface to melt a hole in it- do not crack a hole in the surface as this could harm the fish.

Remove Algae from Surfaces

As a result of the rain and the cold weather, garden surfaces can become slippery, especially if they are covered in algae. Simply use a solution of hot water and detergent and a stiff bristled brush to scrub away the algae from decking and patio surfaces in the garden to prevent the danger of slipping.

Have Garden Tools Serviced

The middle of winter is the best time to have your garden tools and equipment, such as power tools and lawnmowers,  serviced because you will not be using them during this period. This also means that you won’t have any nasty surprises when you go to use them in Spring and find that they have technical faults.

Insulate Your Greenhouse

If you haven’t already done so, it is vital to insulate your greenhouse. This does not have to be expensive: simply lining the walls with bubble wrap will keep the greenhouse sufficiently insulated and will still allow light in for the plants.

Clean Pots and Seed Trays

This is another step to being prepared for Spring. Clean the empty plant pots and seed trays with warm water and mild detergent to ensure they are fresh and free from pests or diseases when you need to use them in the new year.

Follow these gardening tips for December and you will have much less to worry about come January!

Do you have any tips on what to do in the garden this month? Share your ideas in the comments!

[Photo Credit:  j0hncooke]