What to do in the garden in December

What to do in the garden in December

On a brisk, clear December day there’s nothing nicer than working up a warm glow outside in the garden. Here are the jobs you can get on with this month:

General tasks:

Clear out old seed packets to make sure you aren’t sowing seed that’s past its best next spring. Treat yourself to new replacements from the seed racks in the garden centre.

Avoid walking on the lawn on frosty mornings as you can end up damaging the grass and leaving blackened footprints.

Ornamental gardens

Watch out for mealybugs which love to overwinter on houseplants under a waxy grey coating. Wipe them off with soapy water.

Check stored dahlia tubers and make sure they haven’t turned soft: remove any rotten ones right away.

Trim off tatty hellebore leaves before flowerbuds start to emerge ready for a clean display of flowers and fresh new leaves.

Kitchen garden:

Harvest indoor parsley from windowsill herb gardens: pots of parsley stay green right through winter with regular picking.

Prune autumn-fruiting raspberries by cutting down all stems right to ground level and pulling up any unwanted suckers.

Pick winter goodies including Brussels sprouts (leaving a few for Christmas Day!), celeriac, chicory, parsnips, kale and winter cabbage.