December Gardening Tasks To Do
Make the most of your garden this winter
With winter fast approaching, there are plenty of garden tasks to do in December to protect your garden from cold weather. While you might be planning to ask for new garden tools or a lawnmower for Christmas, you can still get to work before the big day. Remember that the plants and animals in your garden feel the cold just as much as we do. Making the most of your garden in winter can be difficult, so it’s best to start this work early. That being said, what garden tasks should you be tackling in December?
Secure your winter protection structures
Wet, windy and cold weather can loosen garden structures and damage your trees and shrubs. Before it gets too chilly, you should check all garden structures to make sure they are firmly in place. This includes loose posts, fences and panels. This might not be the most enjoyable task, but it’s better to secure your structures now than risk having to repair them in the middle of January!
You can use a thick, dry mulch to protect your plants from harsh winter weather. Suitable mulching materials include garden compost, chipped bark, straw or well-rotted manure. Be careful not to overdo it though; a two or three-inch layer will suffice. Adding too much will not only waste money but could also smother the root system and possibly kill the plant. And remember – depending on where you use it, you may have to remove the mulch in spring!
Clean up debris
This is an important one as it prevents slugs, snails and other pests from setting up camp in those lovely warm and damp conditions. Getting the rake out and clearing debris will benefit your plants and your garden in general. You can also add the gathered leaves and branches to the compost bin.
Move potted plants under shelter
Potted plants are particularly vulnerable in winter. This is because their roots are more exposed to the elements, so it’s essential you’re ready to take care of them. At the first sign of frost, you should move plants to a sheltered area. This can be inside a garden room, garage or anywhere that they won’t be exposed to that nippy weather.
Feed the birds
We can pop down the road to the supermarket when we need food, but unfortunately, things aren’t so straightforward for birds. The shorter days mean less time for foraging and the colder weather means grub is harder to come by. If birds like to visit your garden, be sure to leave out some fresh water and a few small treats to keep them going. This can be anything from nuts, berries, dried fruits or just some traditional bird feed.
Care for your lawn
We know that British winters can be bitterly cold and a bit of frost is more than likely. When it’s wet or frosty, lawns damage easier than usual, so try to stay off them if possible. You should also avoid mowing the lawn as doing this in icy conditions can damage both your grass and your lawnmower. Fallen leaves can trap moisture and encourage disease and worm activity, so as we mentioned earlier, keep your lawn clear of debris. Finally, keep an eye out for algae in areas where there is poor drainage or limited sunlight.
What are you waiting for?
Winter is a quiet time for gardens, but there is still plenty you can do to keep yours in the best possible condition. Remember, every garden is a unique microclimate that many plants and animals rely on, whether you know about it or not. Getting out there now tackling these December garden tasks is the best way to make sure that your plants and local wildlife make it through the winter in one piece.