12-December Garden Tasks

It has been an incredibly mild November and with only one frosty moring the weather still seems like remaining mild.  I have taken advantage of this weather and have been collecting fallen leaves that would if remained on my lawn created dead patches over the lawn.

Now we are in December is probably the best time to consider moving evergreens and large shrubs that have outgrown their current positions.  When lifting take your time, and always aim to retain as much root as possible to minimize any stress to the plant.  Prepare the new planting area well adding compost and forking this into the ground ready for backfilling the plant.  To reduce the likely hood of wind rock that will break any roots that attempt to grow cut back some of the plants bulk and using a small stake secure the plant.  This stake is only intended to remain for a season and you should always check it from time to time to ensure the strap is secure preventing it from allowing the shrub from rubbing against the stake.  After a year remove the stake as the plant will have made enough growth to support itself.

Acers, birches and vines should all be pruned before Christmas to avoid excessive bleeding.

Open grown apples and Pear trees can be pruned

Keep an eye out for possible winter hiding spots for slugs and snails – fallen leaves provide a great shelter for slugs so sweep them up.  Snails can be trapped by setting some terracotta pots upside down with a gap to allow the snails access.  They enjoy the dark and sheltered spot and can be harvested and removed easily.

Whilst we are not experiencing any cold weather at the moment we need to remember the cold weather of last year.  Protect pots with bubble wrap.  Lag exposed water pipes need to be protected, I use  foam pipe insulation which works extremely effectively.

Drain pond pumps and hoses to prevent damage.

Hardwood cuttings can be taken buddleia, cornus, deutzia, forsythia, roses and viburnum

Leave food out for the birds

Have a large glass of wine, enjoy the festive fun and make a plan of attack for next year

Clearing paths of moss and lichen can be carried out.

Clean and repair your garden tools and clock the lawn mower in for a service.

Remember, as the weather gets cold to put food out for the birds and ensure a fresh supply of water is available.

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