Jobs to Do in the Garden in December
December is often a month of rain, wind and possibly snow depending on where you are in the UK. It is unlikely you will be able to enjoy dinner or a morning coffee in the garden, but you still need to carry out some gardening tasks which will prime you well for next year.
Preparation now will see you able to get stuck right in once spring arrives. As with every month, you need to keep deadheading your flowers and plants. All pots should have been moved to a sheltered spot by now so move any which are still exposed.
You also need to make any final checks on garden security, which should have been done in November—think checking locks and hinges on gates and sheds, as well as repairing fence panels and replacing the batteries in any lights. The winter months bring higher risks.
Below is what you can do in the garden in December, which will keep everything organised and tidy and ensure it is in full bloom come the height of the next year.
1. Keep on top of fallen leaves
Something which should be done right from the start of autumn as soon as the leaves start to fall is to use a leaf blower to get them a bit more orderly. You don’t want to have fallen leaves all over the garden for three reasons:
- They’re a slip hazard on paths and walkways
- The weight damages the grass and border plants, meaning they become damaged and can’t get air
- Pests such as slugs live in the leaves, which can then damage your plants and are dangerous to pets
Leaves can be good for adding to a compost heap or creating leaf mulch and can also be a good home for hedgehogs and any other hibernating animals. So, you may not want to get rid of them completely but just create an organised pile.
When using a leaf blower, always wear gloves and protective shoes, as well as eye protection. If hiring your leaf blower from Speedy, it will come with instructions, so always read these before using any tools.
2. Hard prune overgrown shrubs
If you have shrubs, fruit trees or hedging in the garden which really need some attention, now is the time to do it if they are dormant.
You probably gave the shrubs a trim post-summer once the birds had finished nesting, but a hard prune will encourage new growth in the new year and can help reshape things. As for fruit trees, large trees will benefit from their shape and size being controlled so they can grow back bigger and better next year.
Use a long-reach hedge trimmer if you have a lot of pruning to do. This will do the job quicker and allow you to reach without the need for ladders, which is safer.
Always wear PPE when using power tools and gardening equipment, which will include eye and ear protection, gloves, and protective clothing.
3. Get your Christmas decorations ready
Berried winter shrubs and sprigs of holly make really nice additions to Christmas décor. Luckily, this comes at the time when you should be giving these plants a trim anyway, which will encourage their growth for next year.
Why not make a door wreath using what you cut back? Or, add the branches to a vase for a festive floral display. If you’ve hard pruned your shrubs, some of these branches could be used as filler to bulk out your display.
Wear gloves if handling branches which may contain thorns, which will also protect your hands from sap.
- SPEEDY TOP TIP: Bring your Christmas tree in ASAP if it wasn’t ready in November, which will allow it to settle before decorating
4. Prune climbing roses
Between now and February, this should be done to get rid of dead wood and improve growth next year. This means you have a few weeks to get the job done, so you can go out into the garden in between showers and storms.
But even if you can’t get out into the garden right now before the end of the year, get everything ready. Pruners should be sharpened and clean so they’re ready to go, and you should identify which branches need to be cut.
5. Add wood chips around established plants
Use wood chips as a mulch around established plants, which will protect their roots from colder temperatures. As well as mature shrubs, also use them around fruit trees and woody bushes.
6. Create wildlife havens
While we may not see as much wildlife around in winter, it is still there. From birds to hedgehogs and foxes, the visitors to our garden in these months really rely on us to help them out a bit. Put some bird feeders out, remembering to regularly clean them when they’re empty to limit the spread of bird flu and other diseases and mould.
Fresh water should be placed out daily, as well as food for any other wildlife you know to be using your garden as a safe place. As above, piles of leaves can be a really great nest or shelter for ground-level animals, and piles of woodchips and branches can keep bugs and other smaller creatures safe.
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Thank you for reading our Speedy Services blog on what to do in the garden in December. Hopefully, it all means your garden will be in the best condition possible next year.
You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here, why not start planning your next DIY project today and open a Speedy account online or instore for all your tool hire needs.
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