Still things to think about in December’s garden!
Posted: 17th December 2020
Jobs for the garden with Martin Fish
If you buy or a given a poinsettia for Christmas, make sure you keep it in a light, warm position. The poinsettia originally comes from Mexico and need a little TLC to keep it healthy and growing. If positioned in a cold, draughty room or unheated conservatory it will very quickly drop its leaves. As for watering, keep the compost moist, but not soggy as it dislikes wet roots! In the right position it will look great into the New Year and many people keep the plants growing for two or three years!
if you’re having a real tree for Christmas this year try and leave it to the last minute before bringing it into the house. Cut off the bottom couple of inches then plunge straight into water. Don’t put it near a direct heat source and keep topping with water over the festive period.
Rake up the last of the wet leaves lurking in corners and add them to the compost heap along with other soft garden waste.
Now is the perfect time to start planting bare root roses, fruit bushes and hedging plants in well prepared ground.
If you’ve got a pond or water feature, check the pump to make sure it doesn’t freeze in cold weather. If not in use, remove the pump for winter.
Stand foliage houseplants in a light position and keep the compost moist, but not wet.
Deciduous hedges such as hornbeam, beech and thorn can be given a winter trim to help develop or maintain a good compact shape.
Check the ties on young trees to make sure they are firm and secure to hold the tree steady during windy weather.
If you still haven’t planted your tulip bulbs, try to get them in pots or the ground as soon as possible, as long as you plant by mid-December, they will still grow and flower well next spring.
Check apples in store and remove any that are bruised or starting to rot. They should be kept in dry, cold conditions.
Make sure outside taps are either turned off at a stopcock or insulated to prevent them freezing in frosty weather.
Leeks, parsnips, cabbage and Brussels can all be lifted or picked from the garden several days before you need them and will be fine if kept in a cool shed.
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Happy gardening and a very happy Christmas!