What to do in the garden in December?

What to do in the garden in December?

If you’re wondering what to do in your garden in December, here’s the answer! When those clear winter days appear, grab your tools and make a start on our handy list of December gardening jobs. And if the weather’s cold and grey, then snuggle up indoors and make plans for next year’s gardening glories.


What to plant in December 

Witch HazelProvided the soil’s not waterlogged or frozen, December is still a good time to plant, especially deciduous hedging or shrubs. Water them in well once planted, then mulch around the base with compost, taking care not to mulch right up against the trunks of shrubs as this can cause the trunks to rot.

A few plants really stand out at this time of year, with their scented flowers filling the winter air with fragrance. Sarcococca confusa (Christmas box), Viburnum x bodnantense (arrowwood), Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet) and Hamamelis (witch hazel) are some of the best shrubs to plant for winter colour and scent.

And if you haven’t planted your spring bulbs yet, there’s still time. Fill pots and borders with crocuses, daffodils and tulips for a beautiful spring display.

December gardening jobs  

  • December’s a good time to prune Japanese maples and birches. Fig, apple and pear trees can also be pruned in December, as can grapevines and wisteria.
  • In cold areas, dig up your dahlias once the first frost has blackened their leaves. Cut off the stems and rinse the soil off the tubers. After they’ve dried, pack them into pots or trays covered with compost, and leave them in a frost-free place over winter.
  • Rake fallen leaves off your lawn to stop dead patches appearing on the grass, and pile the leaves in a corner or store them in black bags to make leafmould.
  • Harvest your root crops, winter cabbage and sprouts for delicious winter roasts and stews.
  • And don’t forget birds are hungry too at this time of year. Keep your bird-feeders topped up with high-energy seeds, and check that bird baths haven’t frozen over.


 Planning and preparation

Gardening plans for 2019One of the most enjoyable December gardening jobs is planning next year’s gardening. Once all the leaves in your garden have fallen and the perennials have been cut back, it’s easy to see where the gaps are. Grab your notebook, sit back and plan your spring planting for a garden filled with colour next year.

Pick a clear, dry day and clean out your greenhouse.  Move all the plants somewhere warm, then wash the floor and windows with a disinfectant like Jeyes Fluid to kill any lurking bugs and germs. Finally, clean your tools and get your lawnmower serviced. Now you’re ready for another year of gardening!

Visit our garden centre to stock up on everything you need for next year’s gardening. And we’ve got the perfect Christmas presents for the gardener in your life!


You might also be interested in:

Home trend: 4 x stair and hallway decoration

The entrance to your home and the hall is a major part of the home. It’s what you see when you get home from a day’s work, its where visitors enter and the staircase is the entrance to your bedrooms and time to relax. So all of that space should be maximised and can be spruced up with gorgeous plants to make inviting spaces to suit your house style. Have a read of some of our ideas below to see if you are inspired to create something special with your stairs and hallway.

How to reuse and recycle your old garden pots?

Plastic use is a big problem and one that we can all help to minimise by doing our bit. There is a lot of plastic usage in the horticultural industry but just about everything can be reused or recycled in numerous ways both in the garden and at home. It’s a great way to ensure plastic doesn't go to landfill and saves money at the same time.

Guide to starting a herb garden

Having your own herb garden is a great way to not only have an attractive space and help wildlife but also to provide you with herbs for your own cooking and wellbeing. Starting your own herb garden is really easy and can be adapted to suit any size area that you have, from windowsills to patios and larger gardens. Herbs are incredibly adaptive and rewarding plants to work with.

Garden plant of the moment: Bougainvillea

For an instant sensational appeal, few plants can beat Bougainvilleas. Their luminously vibrant flowers are like a window into a warmer place when our summer skies are grey. The vivid blooms are actually brightly coloured bracts surrounding clusters of tiny white flowers, and although they look exotic, you can grow Bougainvilleas in the UK – you just need to protect them from frost.