Gardening Year December flowers vegetables UK



Bindweed, the gardener ©

On this page we hope to keep you up to date with what to do in the garden throughout the year.

Gardening Year




Turning the soil over whether with the spade or the rotavator should be completed when the ground is not wet. Any planting and transferring of plants from one position to another should be continued on mild days. Tidy the garden, and make sure all the leaves are put on the compost heap. When the weather is bad seize the opportunity to do those repair jobs that you have been putting off; after all it is much warmer indoors, where some of these jobs can be done. Do not forget to watch the many television programmes that are now starting to appear during the day; that is those who have time to watch television during the day.



Narcissus Amaryllidaceae mini daffodil "Tête à Tête"

Those lucky enough to have some spare ground should create a reserve garden where spare plants can be planted for those emergencies when fatalities occur. Get plenty of farmyard manure into the ground of the reserve garden. Any annuals or biennials planted in a reserve garden will need protection if anything is to be gained from its creation. Seize the opportunity to visit the garden centre and choose climbers for those noticeable spaces. As the frosts occur walk round the garden and press the plants that have been lifted back into the ground. If you want Christmas Roses at Christmas you should protect them with glass, making sure that the glass does not touch the flowers. Dahlia roots in store should be checked for signs of degeneration and any that are not up to quality should be removed. Choice varieties should be given heat towards the end of the month so that they may flower during May. Michaelmas daisies may be planted for next year. It is getting towards the end of the rose planting season, but there may still be time depending on the weather. Anemones should be protected if you are to have as many flowers as last year.


Run the greenhouse at a minimum temperature of 40F to 45F, while allowing the free flow of air within the house to expel the damp. It's clean up time, something that needs to be done if the plants are to be protected. Those lucky enough to have a conservatory should move plants into it as they come into flower, or place plants in suitable positions about the house, but watch to see if they like their new home and, if they do not, move them quickly. Young plants will need putting into different pots when required for blooming indoors. Any dead or unsightly leaves should be removed. Use moderation with the watering and watch what is happening or you will finish up with pots and no plants. Azaleas, Deutzias and lilac may be forced. Those with cacti should keep them dry. Chrysanthemums and salvias should be cut back as they go out of flower and cuttings taken; destroy the old plants as the cuttings take hold. Force Freesias, hyacinths and narcissi. Lilly of the valley may be potted to get a succession of plants. Keep pelargoniums away from the glass and give them careful treatment with a temperature of 45F. Watch out for greenfly.


If the ground between crops is not too sticky get the hoe working on fine days. Rotate ground that has been used for celery to onions. Examine stored onions and potatoes for any sign of disease and discard second class seed. Any potatoes that are sprouting should be placed apart in dry trays. Now that the frosts are with us plants will need protection. Celery and parsnips should be protected with litter. Endives can have a pot placed over them covered with litter. Lettuces will need cloches. It's time to think about forcing rhubarb and Seakale so find a light proof cover.

Time to think about sowing seed for the new season so start with a few early peas and beans.


Force Asparagus and Seakale. Tomatoes, French beans, peas, radishes and mustard and cress may be sown.


Those who have not finished pruning should get this done on fine, frost free days. Large standard trees will need pruning every second or third year. Newly planted trees may need firming in where the frost has been at work and trunks may be spayed with insecticide. Do not plant any more trees until the Spring, just prepare the ground. Currants and gooseberries should be pruned if they have been forgotten. Now is the time to prune to outdoor vines. Raspberries should have unwanted suckers removed from their stools, but do not prune until March.


Continue with the Peaches. Try some Strawberries in pots.


Most of the work this month is digging to keep warm whilst cleaning the ground and preparing the ground for a top dressing. Pruning of deciduous shrubs and trees should be commenced during spells of fine, frost free weather. You may be using the pruning time to collect holly and ivy for the festive season. Do not forget to give bundles to your friends and neighbours.

Enjoy your days in the garden.

Gardening Year

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