mtp

10 Jobs for December

In December it’s all about tidying up, getting as much digging done when it’s not frosty and generally preparing for the worst of the Winter weather. You might even think about insulating your cold frame if you have any plants in there. But don’t forget to carry on enjoying the fruits of your summer labour in the shape of jams, jellies, chutneys and fruit syrups.

  1. Test the ph of your soil and apply lime if necessary. Don’t apply manure at the same time
  2. Get on with your winter digging so long as the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged
  3. Get hold of some well-rotted manure. Farms are ideal or buy it in bags if you have to
  4. Earth up Spring Cabbages and winter brassicas
  5. Pack straw around vulnerable perennials like Artichoke
  6. Harvest Brussels Sprouts from the bottom up
  7. Dig up some Leeks and heel them in for easier harvesting
  8. Spread a layer of well-rotted manure around fruit bushes
  9. Prune fruit trees but remember to burn all prunings as they might be infected with disease or aphid eggs
  10. Dig your Runner Bean trench – leave it open to the elements for now

If you have any more suggestions for December jobs, add them to the list.

6 Responses to “10 Jobs for December”

  1. Hannanon 16 Dec 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I’m using egg containers to chit some 40 potatoes that I intend to plant in old rubber tyres this year, I’m wondering what difference would it make with my own potato seeds instead of the ones from the garden center; it’s already late in Pakistan for potato plantation cos temperature will be rising in the first week of march here which proves to be bad for the growth of potatoes.

  2. mtpon 16 Dec 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Wow – chitting potatoes already in Pakistan! That’s exciting.
    In answer to your question I would suggest that you buy seed potatoes from your local garden centre or online rather than use the potatoes you can buy from the grocer.

    The potatoes you buy from seed merchants are guaranteed to be virus free (most have been heat treated). This means no nasty surprises halfway through the season when your crop fails from Blight or another disease. Using virus-free also protects others who are growing potatoes near you.

  3. TNPon 17 Dec 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I’m new to this blog, but I have a feeling I’ll be a frequent visitor if my plans to garden this year go well.

    I have a question. We live in East Tennessee and everywhere I look I see that people have plowed their plots already. Why is that? Why is it that people do this so early in the season? A landscaper told me it was to overturn the roots of whatever weeds might be lying dormant in order to allow the freeze to kill off the seeds.

  4. Weeping Soreon 17 Dec 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Yeah, I’ve got another task for December: sit back and take it easy in front of a cozy fire, reading seed catalogs and dreaming of gardening next Spring ;)
    And cook all that lovely garden produce you carefully harvested and preserved.
    And do holiday things like drink egg nog, wrap presents, and decorate.
    And enjoy!

  5. Wayne Stratzon 22 Dec 2008 at 1:53 pm

    the windchill is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so I go with Weeping Sore’s advice. And I have two weeks off from teaching horticulture to do it.

  6. Kath In Oregonon 22 Jan 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Hey Hannan,

    I’m late on the scene here but I’m a potato fan too. I read in a potato farmer publication that the best bet for seed potatoes is WHOLE potatoes (as in, don’t cut them in pieces). There’s supposed to be some hormone found only in the top ‘eye’ that makes entire potatoes grow more vigorously than pieces.

    I buy ‘fingerling’ potatoes in the store and plant the smallest ones in the bag (and eat the bigger ones…yum). I read that some sellers spray their potatoes to stop them sprouting but I must have been lucky as I never had any problem growing store-bought potatoes.

    If I do buy seed potatoes from the store, I always pick out the smallest ones!

    Are there any other fingerling-fans out there?