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December Gardening

December Gardening

There is more than Christmas cheer in the air; Jack Frost is now out and about on a regular basis, so if you haven’t already started to protect your plants from him, don’t panic as it’s not too late just yet. If you can’t justify spending precious money on plant protection especially at this time of year then use materials that you already have at home. Old bed sheets, towels and even old clothes could be used as a suitable cover for your more vulnerable plants.

 

Essential Checklist for December

  • Remove rotting fruit
  • General maintenance
  • Holding off on the holly
  • Choosing a Christmas Tree
  • Indoor gardening
  • Feed the birds

Remove rotting fruit

Remove mummified fruit from plants such as apple trees, removing dead, diseased or crossing branches at the same time. Make sure these aren’t accidently added to your compost heap as there is a risk of spreading infection. To prevent insect infestation and damage to your fruit trees try Growing Success Winter Tree Wash as it will help to control most insects and eradicate both the bug and egg.

 

General maintenance

Winter storms are a regular occurrence at this time of year, so ensure you remove any trees or bushes and repair fences which have been damaged or blown down by strong winds.

Prevent slips, trips and falls by keeping paths and driveways clear from leaves and snow. Insulate outside taps to prevent leaks. Do some winter digging in beds, borders and plots if the ground is frost-free. Any large clumps of soil left will break down further when frosts arrive.

TOP TIP – Dig Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure into bare soil to improve nutrient levels.

Holding off on the Holly

If you have put the effort in to growing your own holly, it would be disappointing to find all the berries had been demolished by birds or other garden visitors. Protect the berries by covering the holly with some netting until you are ready to cut the branches for your Christmas decorations.

 

Choosing a Christmas Tree

If you have purchased a cut tree, ensure you pop it in a bucket of water until you are ready to bring it indoors. Typically trees that have been container grown will last the longest. If you are lucky and have maintained your container grown tree then you should be able to plant it in your garden when the Christmas period has passed.

 

Indoor gardening

For many of us, a Poinsettia is the real plant of Christmas, with the attractive festive cherry red colouring.  The plant tends to prefer a well-lit location with lots of warmth. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not saturated, and remember to punch holes in the decorative pot to enable drainage. As it’s not a good idea to let the Poinsettia sit in water, try Westland’s Houseplant Droplet Feeder as a convenient, ready to use feed which lasts for 4 weeks – seeing you through the festive season.

Also, if the weather is exceptionally cold then it would be worth considering moving some of your threatened outdoor plants indoors until the temperature rises again.

Feed the birds

When we are considering buying ourselves a little Christmas treat, we should really think of our flying visitors now too, especially if we have been feeding them for some time. Birds become reliant on the constant supply from your garden, and come to expect and trust it as a reliable source. If we do not continue to feed the birds, then it will have consequential effects for them.

TOP TIP – Peckish Winter Warmer is a great option for garden birds as it contains seeds that have 20% of the oils and fats essential for winter energy.

For many of us, a Poinsettia is the real plant of Christmas, with the attractive festive cherry red colouring.  The plant tends to prefer a well-lit location with lots of warmth. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not saturated, and remember to punch holes in the decorative pot to enable drainage. As it’s not a good idea to let the Poinsettia sit in water, try Westland’s Houseplant Droplet Feeder as a convenient, ready to use feed which lasts for 4 weeks – seeing you through the festive season.

Also, if the weather is exceptionally cold then it would be worth considering moving some of your threatened outdoor plants indoors until the temperature rises again.

 

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