December

General Maintenance

  • Test the soils pH level and apply lime if needed.
    Don’t use it at the same time as manure as it will react against it.
  • Winter dig when conditions are right.
  • Keep clearing debris but leave a few areas for beneficial insects to over winter such as a pile of leaves, stones or logs.
  • Repair sheds and fences and tackle any other DIY jobs that have been left.
  • If not already done clean, sharpen and oil tools.
  • Clean pots and trays to remove any pests and diseases.

Vegetables

  • Earth up spring Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to combat wind rock.
  • Keep removing yellowing leaves as these can harbour disease.
  • Main crop Carrots, Turnip, Swede and Beetroot that is left in the ground may need cloche protection if the weather is really harsh.
  • Celery and Leeks can be covered with layers of garden fleece to protect from severe frosts.
  • Harvest Brussels Sprouts from the bottom up and remove yellowing leaves.

Fruit

  • Check ties, supports and stakes of trained fruit.
  • Winter prune Apples, Pears, Gooseberries and Currants on days without hard frost.
  • Clear away debris from around Strawberry plants.
  • Spread a layer of compost or well rotted manure around fruit bushes and trees.

Greenhouse

  • On warm days open up the greenhouse and frames for a short while to let air circulate.
  • Consider insulating the greenhouse with bubble wrap to add an extra layer of protection over winter.
  • Slabs of polystyrene placed under pots and trays give some level of insulation to the compost.
  • Horticultural fleece draped over plant inside can give a couple of degrees of protection from hard frost.