For December’s top garden tips, the STIGA team are adding a sprinkling of festive inspiration that will give your garden a lovely Christmassy feel, and we’re going to keep things as natural as possible.
So here goes, with our 12 garden jobs of Christmas, starting with some wonderfully simple seasonal ideas.
Creating a festive look
1 – Make a traditional Christmas wreath. This is dead easy and, if you’re lucky, you might find most of the ‘ingredients’ in your own garden. First off, buy a floral foam ring – 30cm (10-12ins) or so should be fine. You’ll find them at florists, garden centres, major stores or online for £3 to £4. Give it a good soaking in the sink and use some floral preservative if you have some. Then gather up a mixture of foliage such as holly and red berries, ivy, and evergreens. Cut the sprigs down to size and arrange them all around the foam so you can’t see it. Decoratively tie a ribbon around the middle section of the top of your wreath and that’s it! Nothing says ‘welcome to our home’ more than a hand-crafted wreath! Remember to take it down and soak it once a week, to keep the foliage nice a fresh.
2 – Get potting. Trees make for great decorations in their own right. Why not put a Christmas tree in a nice pot in the garden? There’s no need to decorate it. Pine and fir are best as they don’t lose their needles as quickly as spruce. Conifers in pots also look good – you could have one or a cluster, to add to the effect.
3 – Brighten up leafless midwinter trees. Create some Christmas cheer by hanging brightly-coloured baubles on your leafless trees. Use those that are suitable for outdoors. Think twice about lights, however. As well as using up electricity, they also have an impact on light pollution.
4 – If you need to give your lawn a trim, don’t cut it too low. It needs to be 3-4cm long at this time of year.
5 – At the time of writing, the UK was just having its first cold snap of the winter. Did you know that walking on a frost-covered lawn causes damage? So steer clear until it’s thawed out.
6 – Keep vigilant for diseases which can occur when grass is stressed from cold and wet weather
7 – Make sure the lawn is clear of leaves, which can encourage disease and block out light and moisture. This is a constant job during the winter months!
General garden care
8 – Check for and clear out weeds from borders and other areas of the garden, but avoid weed-killers. Troublesome annual weeds can be smothered by organic solutions such as bark.
9 – Check on plants and pots to make sure they’re not being damaged by cold and wet weather. If needs be, bring vulnerable plants inside and put a protective covering around pots. During wet spells, containers might need something to sit on to prevent waterlogging. Bricks on each side or corner should do the trick.
10 – This is a perfect time for pruning certain deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges because you can actually see what you’re doing without leaves and foliage in the way. Apple and pear trees should certainly be pruned now. Check the advice for your particular trees and shrubs before making a start on your pruning, however, as some are better left until Spring.
Plan ahead for 2024
11 – Plant roses in December, always ensuring they’re in a new area. Using the same area where they’ve grown before can cause disease.
12 – Soft fruits such as berries can be planted at this time of year and will get you thinking of warmer times ahead!
And finally, however you spend your time in your garden, enjoy it.
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