5 garden jobs in December

5 garden jobs in December

Here are your list of Garden To-Dos for December :

  1. Outdoor Pots : A cold spell is due this month so protect your potted plants by raising them up off the ground to protect from ground frost.  Bring them close to your house or walls in groups to give them some shelter from the elements and to create a micro climate of pots next to a warn wall.  Anything really tender might need wrapping in breathable fleece or by being moved into a greenhouse or shed.
  2. Leaf clearing : Leaves should be cleared from lawns and from around smaller leafed plants like alpines .. they need some room to breathe and more importantly for air to ventilate their own stems and leaves.  Create leaf piles in the backs of beds or in untidy corners for insects to over winter in.
  3. Planting : Continue planting trees and shrubs throughout the winter avoiding really water logged or frozen soil.  This is the time to plant bare root plants such as Roses, which are really good value for money.  Cold winds and frost can loosen the soil around recently planted trees and shrubs .. so keep an eye on anything you’ve planted and firm down the soil if required.
  4. Pruning and Tying in : Most deciduous trees and shrubs, including Roses can be pruned over the Winter and its easier to see what you’re doing when there are no leaves on.  Make sure any climbers are tied in securely to their supports to avoid any damage over the Winter.
  5. Harvest : Its time to lift any parsnips and root crops you have left in the ground.  After the first frost is the foilk lore for parsnips so their starch turns to sugar and makes them nice and sweet!  Even better roasted in the oven and drizzled in honey for the last 15 minutes!

Let me know how you get on, and if you have any questions email me renee@thegirlwhogardens.co.uk

Or book a Garden Hoedown for an hour of one to one garden therapy and you’ll come away with a personalised action plan to get the most out of your garden!


Poinsettias – top tips on looking after them

Poinsettias – top tips on looking after them

They are hard to resist when you see them piled high in the Supermarket but so many times they have wilted and died before Christmas Day and you’ve been left wondering what you did wrong!  Here’s some tips to keep your Poinsettia blooming until Christmas is over:

  • When you buy choose plants from a loving environment!  They hate the cold and draughts so if you find them in your local supermarket by the automatic doors I would avoid them!  Also make sure the pot is well wrapped in plastic or paper to take it home!
  • Once home place them in a bright position but not in a draught or in direct sunlight, windowsills are often too cold and avoid porches or by doors. Changes in temperature is often a houseplants worst enemy, especially in Winter as we whack the heating up during the day so don’t place your Poinsettia on top of a radiator either.
  • Don’t over-water or let it dry out completely.  Feel the compost and only water when it is beginning to dry out.  They quite like a bit of humidity but avoid spraying or misting the leaves.  You can achieve this by sitting the pot on a tray of pebbles or gravel that is covered in water.

They are beautiful and most people throw them away after Christmas but you can get them to bloom again in their 2nd year with this advice from The RHS:

  1. Prune back the plants hard in April, to about 10cm
  2. Repot them, growing them in a light, cool place over summer
  3. Flowering and bract colouring is initiated by short winter day-length, occurring naturally in December and January. So from November onwards, plants should be put in a dark room after twelve hours of daylight and protected from artificial light sources
  4. Plants need a constant temperature of around 18°C (55°F) to colour up well, so make sure they do not get too cold

Did You know?

  • Poinsettias are from Mexico
  • The red or coloured parts of the plants are often thought to be flowers but are actually bracts or modified leaves
  • The sap of the Poinsettia is toxic but not deadly
  • The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became Poinsettias.