Jobs Ahead in December and January

In the Garden
At this time of year, birds need a little help so wash and disinfect bird feeders and tables before refilling.

When you are in cleaning mode, sweep any remaining leaves from decks, patios and driveways to avoid winter slips.

Move patio pots against the house, garage or shed wall to offer them protection for stronger winter winds. At the same time, raise pots up on pot feet or bricks to aid drainage and prevent water logging over winter.

Prevent your pond from freezing over completely by floating a rubber ball on the surface which will create a breathing hole.

In the Borders

Foliage can be cut back from hellebores to allow the blooms to be seen.

Check that winter bedding plants and indeed border shrubs have not been lifted out of the ground after a hard frost. If need be, firm them back in to borders or containers.

Bare-roots roses can be planted out now whilst established bush roses can be pruned by about half their height to prevent wind rock damage.

In the Veg Beds

The last remnants of this year’s crops can be lifted and added to the compost heap if past their best so the ground can be tidied and mulched for next year’s crops.

Cover winter cabbages, kale and other crops with fine mesh to protect them from pigeon attack.

Harvest Brussels sprouts, broccoli, parsnips and leeks.

In the Fruit Cage

Soft fruit can be planted at this time of year when they are dormant so it is a great time to order fruits like gooseberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

In the Greenhouse

This is a good time to clean the greenhouse when it is being used less so you can really move things around to get into all the corners. 

Pots and seed trays should be washed thoroughly before being stored to make sure they are not harbouring any diseases or pests.

Come January, many would start sowing onions under glass to get them off to a great start, ready to plant out in April after being hardened off for a few weeks.

Check the backs of all stored seed packets for sowing instructions and begin making sowings from January in seed trays.

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