At the end of October we talked about getting your garden ready for winter, and although most of the actions within that list are still very relevant, there are a few more tasks to take care of in December.
Now is the time to order bulbs for summer time. Some popular summer flowering bulbs are lilies, alliums, begonias, and gladioli. Summer bulbs are best planted in early spring. Check that the bulbs are healthy before buying.
Save and store seeds
Rather than spending time next year buying new seeds, collect seeds from your existing plants. This fairly easy process can provide you with a good quality supply of your favourite plants for years. Read our article on saving and storing seeds.
Maintain wooden structures
Take the time to repair any wooden garden structures like fences, benches, arches, and trellises while they’re not being used regularly. Give everything a clean, a light sanding, and apply any treatments, paint, or preservatives required.
Take care of your equipment
Move equipment like hosepipes and sprinklers in to the shed or garage, draining out any remaining water before you do. Then gather your garden tools for a clean and sharpen before putting them away too. If you’re concerned about rusting, or if your shelter isn’t quite as weatherproof as you’d like, a slick of oil can help protect garden tools from rust.
Cold is not always wet
While a generally cold month, December can often be quite dry. Don’t neglect to water any remaining plants, even trees.
Help the birds get through winter
Leave a selection of foods out for the birds this winter. There are plenty of ways to do it, from hanging wire feeders, fat balls, even a toilet roll tube rolled in peanut butter and dipped in seeds will suffice! Even if you don’t leave a supply of food, a fresh bowl of water every day will be much appreciated by visiting birds. Click here to find out more about feeding birds over winter.
Trim your trees
Prune trees and shrubs – taking care to remove any dead, diseased or crossing limbs.
Add plant cuttings, fallen leaves, and dead organic material to your compost pile. Be sure not to add diseased plants or weeds to compost, as they could transfer to the areas you use the compost in. If you don’t already have your own compost supply, now is the perfect season to start one, with the plentiful trimmings and leaves. Not to mention all the vegetable cuttings from Christmas day... Read our article about starting your own compost bin.
Feed the soil
Add a fresh layer of mulch or compost to keep the soil in a good and healthy condition throughout winter. Avoid walking on soil when it is wet.