As long as the ground hasn’t frozen and no snow has fallen, you should continue to take care of your garden. You don’t need to work in the garden as much but you can still be useful. Even in December. It’s great to be out in the fresh air. Wrap up warm, take a deep breath and enjoy the peace and quiet of winter.
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR LAWN
Your lawn is sensitive in the winter. You should be aware of this and take extra care of your lawn. Walk on it as little as possible. Leave it in peace. You bend the grass unnecessarily. Consequence: it can die. If you’re really unlucky, the footprints will lead to ugly holes and gaps in the lawn. Avoid heaps of snow on the lawn. Snow heaps increase the load on the lawn. This is especially important when the snow melts. The snow stays in heaps like these for longer. In other words, the “spring job” of the sun and warm air is delayed.
CLEAN PLASTIC POTS AND PLANT LABELS
All environmentally conscious gardeners try to use as little plastic as possible. Unfortunately this can’t always be avoided. We get lots of plastic pots when we buy new plants. We can try to reuse them as much as possible so they don’t end up in the bin. Take the opportunity to clean all the pots properly. Then store them, sorted by size, in your garden shed or greenhouse. Then they are immediately ready for spring and can, for example, be used for growing plants. The more we take care of the pots, the longer they last and the less waste there will be. The same applies to plant labels. You can also clean these now. Slate labels last longest. You use wax crayons to write on them so they can be easily cleaned.
WATER EVERGREEN PLANTS
Most plants don’t die from frost in the winter. They die of thirst. That’s why it’s a good idea to water your evergreen plants generously when there isn’t a frost. A medium-sized laurel or rhododendron needs up to forty litres of water. Water evergreen plants in pots and buckets. They’re thirsty too. Remember your new plants from autumn. They haven’t had a chance to grow enough roots to take care of themselves properly.
TAKE PHOTOS AND PLAN
This is the perfect time to take pictures of your garden. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. Take photos critically and analytically. It doesn’t take much to make a garden look nice in the summer. But it’s a hard job in the winter. Your photo shoot will help you improve your garden. Use December to plan changes using your photos. Plan practically so you can finish projects. Don’t plan a rose garden in the shade or a Mediterranean garden in wet, cold and heavy soil. Make a list of your ideas and plans. Put the most important project in prime position. Then you can work through your list methodically in the spring.
Walk around your garden once a week im December and check that all your frost and damp protection is intact. Try to avoid treading on the grass or flowerbeds. Stick to the paths. Check that snow isn’t weighing down your trees and bushes. Branches can break, especially from sleet. Shake the snow off carefully. Then check mats, fabric and bags that are protecting your plants. Have they loosened or opened? If they have you need to tie them up again. How do the leaf piles you put around your hydrangeas as winter protection look? Birds and small animals look in these piles to find food. Sweep the piles together while you’re walking around the garden to provide better protection for your hydrangeas.
CLEAN SLIPPERY PATHS NOW
At this time of year, paths paved with bricks and stone slabs can become slippery and dangerous. This is caused by algae that grows on damp shady areas. The best way to reduce the risk of slipping is to clean thoroughly with a pressure washer. Then put sand on stones and slabs. The sand settles on the porous surface and gives you a good grip. This makes the paths safe – chemical-free!
PLANT MORE TULIPS
If you haven’t already done so, you can still plant tulip bulbs. As long as they are planted in the ground or pots by Christmas, they will bloom in April or May. You can’t plant them in frozen ground. Remember to plant your tulip bulbs as deep as possible – especially if you want them to be in the ground permanently. Then they’ll grow strong and tall. If you want to dig them up again after flowering, the bulbs should be placed a maximum of twice as deep as they are high.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR POTTED PLANTS IN THE WINTER
Potted plants rest throughout the colder seasons. You still need to check them occasionally. They are also thirsty and need to be watered occasionally. Wet, cold roots are the most common reason for potted plants dying. Remove the withered leaves. This prevents fungal diseases. Remove weeds in the pots. Look for pests such as aphids or whitefly. They weaken your plants. You can eliminate them with certified pest killer if you want to. Ventilate regularly. Condensation collects on the windows and walls in rooms with lots of plants. This can cause mould. Fresh air once or twice a week can help.