Seasonal gardening advice: December

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Increasing rain, frost and wind are the common signs winter is here. With the possibility of snow too you'll want to use any dry days to get those last minute jobs done.

In the greenhouse, check windows for cracks and replace. Make sure the heating is working and that insulation is secure. Clear any leaves or debris from the gutters. Keep an eye on any plants you have in there, make sure they have been watered and seeds also.

Outdoor taps should be insulated to prevent freezing whilst paths and decking should be pressure hosed to prevent them from becoming slippy. Tools should be cleaned and oiled and lawnmowers drained of petrol and their blades sharpened.

Lawns still require care even if you are not mowing them. Check for water logging then aerate and scarify. Don’t walk on your lawn during a frosty morning as this can damage the grass.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

To ensure trees and roses avoid wind damage and root rock make sure they are securely tied and supported. Continue to cut back faded herbaceous perennials and deciduous trees and shrubs can be pruned and moved if required. On dry days perennials can be lifted and divided to revive poorly flowering clumps and whilst doing this any straggly weeds can be removed.

Take time to walk around the garden and think about any alterations you may want to make either to improve the look of the garden or to make life easier for you. 

Sheds, fences and outdoor structures need to be looked at and repaired, moved, painted or stained.

On wet days sit down with a pad and pencil and list changes you wish to make and seeds and plants you want to buy for next year. Also now is a great time to consider paving changes and think about colours and textures you may want to include.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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