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What to do in the Garden 3rd Week in December

The Flower Garden

 

  • Make last-minute pickings of fresh flowers for the house
  • Spread compost on to flower beds for worms to work in over winter
  • Collect fallen leaves showing signs of blackspot from around roses
  • Fork compost into borders, but take care not to spike emerging bulbs
  • Deadhead pansies regularly
  • Plant lily-of-the-valley
  • Tie string or wire around conifers and yew to prevent heavy snow damaging branches
  • Fill empty containers with winter heathers and trailing ivy
  • Firm soil around roses loosened by storms
  • Replace wobbly tree stakes and worn plant ties

In The Greenhouse

 

  • Water azaleas regularly with rainwater
  • Take the last chance to bring on forced indoor bulbs for festive decorations
  • Water potted fuchsias sparingly to prevent the compost drying out completely
  • Tidy the greenhouse and pick faded leaves from pelargoniums and other plants
  • Bring potted strawberries under cover to encourage earlier fruiting
  • Order seeds and make a sowing plan for greenhouse crops and bedding plants
  • Check heaters are working efficiently and top up paraffin if necessary
  • Pinch out the tips of autumn-sown sweet peas to promote bushier growth
  • Bring pots or glasses of prepared hyacinths indoors to flower
  • Protect potted peach trees from winter rain and peach leaf curl by bringing under cover

 

Fruit and Vegetables

 

 

  • Net crops to protect them from pigeons
  • Earmark your best sprouts for the Christmas table and give them last-minute protection if windy
  • Take hardwood cuttings from fruit bushes
  • Get ready for planting asparagus in spring, removing weeds and digging over the soi, and adding compost
  • Order onion sets and seed potatoes
  • Plant new fruit trees, bushes and cane fruits
  • Start to plan next year's crop rotation
  • Prune large fruit trees to control their shape and size, and to increase productivity
  • Cut out about a quarter of the oldest stems from currant bushes
  • Lift and divide congested clumps of rhubarb, replanting into soil enriched with well-rotted manure

 

Around the Garden

 

  • Work off Christmas excesses by digging over bare areas of ground
  • Place cloches over tender plants to give them extra protection from frost
  • Sharpen blades on hoes, secateurs and other garden tools, and wipe with an oily rag before storing away
  • Do a final collection of any autumn leaves still lying around
  • Search through seed and bulb catalogues for new things to grow this coming season
  • Repair wobbly or damaged fences and treat wooden structures with preservative
  • Put out fresh water for birds every day in frosty weather
  • Wrap pots with sacking or insulating material to protect the roots of plants
  • Make last-minute stocking fillers from collected seedheads saved into pretty envelopes
  • Pick evergreen foliage for indoor decorations, storing in water in a porch or shed before bringing into the house on Christmas Eve


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