We’ve recently been working locally for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, yep we even work in the dark as you can see in the images below…
Handy hints and tips for jobs to do in the garden this month
December is often a time for thinking about what has gone on over the past 12 months and making plans for the year ahead. High winds, rain, frosts and short days are probably not going to entice you out into the garden too much at the moment so take this time of reflection and hope to decide what worked well in the garden this year and make plans for 2016.
There is some basic maintenance work that needs to be done during the winter months and most of them are to do with protection. Check that plants wrapped up to protect against frosts are securely covered – high winds can dislodge your good work. Likewise, if you’ve insulated outside taps and pipes. If you have a pond, protect the fish by ensuring it doesn’t completely freeze over. Don’t smash the ice as it’s harmful to the fish so either throw a rubber ball on to the surface of the water so that an air hole is easily made or hold a saucepan of hot water on the surface of the ice until it melts through.
Finally, safeguard plants in the greenhouse by regularly checking the heater is working and follow the weather report so you can set the thermostat accordingly.
Tasks for a dry spell
If we get a dry day or two there are some jobs that can be done in the garden Apple and pear trees can be pruned at this time of year. If you have Acers, vines or birches that need tidying up, they too can be cut back now, but do so before Christmas to avoid bleeding.
Keep an eye on your lawn. It might periodically need a mow but cut it higher than usual, around 2cm to 4cm, to avoid turf stress. It’s a good time to re-cut lawn edges now and it will save on some work later but don’t walk on the grass on frosty mornings as you will damage it.
Make a note of areas of waterlogging so that you can address the problem in the spring if it’s not possible to do so now.
What to do from your armchair
Now is a great time to do research, look at catalogues and plan your garden for next year.
Learn how to deal with problem areas, such as moss in an area of lawn, and have a think about any additional equipment that you might need to tackle these problems – they could be added to your Christmas list! Start planning your vegetable garden for next year.
Good crop rotation will help to avoid a build up of pests and diseases. If you’ve taken photos of your vegetable garden throughout the growing season it will help remind you what crops worked best and which didn’t do so well. Take time out to browse through seed and plant catalogues, and plan what you would like to include in your garden next year. If you order now you’re more likely to get your wish list before stock runs out in the spring.
- Keep bird feeders topped up and hang fat balls to attract birds to your garden.
- Throw Quality Street wrappers on your compost. They are made from cellulose derived from wood pulp so are compostable.
- Keep warm, relax and have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all of us at JDB!
The JDB yard will be open from 9-12 every Saturday for customers who wish to collect smaller orders, as well as coal/kindling or netted bags or to place an order for delivery. So feel free to drop in at your convenience!
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