Gardening Tips for December
Winter is now in full swing, with winter frosts becoming increasingly common during the chilly early mornings. Hopefully, you will already have done your winter garden preparation, so won’t have to spend too much time out in the cold! Still, there are things that you could be doing to in your garden this December.
Prevent garden ponds from freezing
Garden ponds make an attractive garden feature, especially when enhanced with decorative stones. However, during the winter months it can be a chore to keep it operating and preventing it from freezing over.
If you have fish, you should consider installing a pond heater or a water feature to prevent the surface from freezing. Do not crack the ice, because the shockwaves caused can harm the fish! Continue to prune back bushes and plants overhanging the pond so that it can get as much light as possible, which will allow algae and water plants to photosynthesise and improve oxygen levels.
During winter, you should cut down on how much you water your plants and especially avoid watering their leaves. This will prevent water-logging and rotting, so only water your plants if the compost is almost dry.
Prune edible and ornamental vines
Mid-winter is the best time to prune vines to prevent sap bleeding from cut stems. Whilst sap bleeding is not usually harmful and it’s best to just allow the plant to recover, if this happens too often it can lead to a tree or shrub’s death. As the sap in deciduous plants falls in winter as they become dormant, it is the best time to carry out pruning.
Harvest root crops
You may have already started in November, but continue to harvest your winter root vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, leeks, kale, winter cabbages and parsnips. These are all extremely cold-hardy vegetables and will make a great addition to your dinner plate! The taste of kale and Brussels sprouts is said to improve once it has been affected by frost.
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