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Essential gardening tasks in December

There are some essential gardening tasks you will need to complete throughout December to ensure your garden’s in the best state for you to enjoy in the spring.

  • Ensure your tree ties are in place to prevent wind damage.
  • Remove fallen trees from your lawn and place them in your compost heap. Remember that diseased leaves should not be included in your compost heap.
  • Prune your deciduous shrubs and trees.
  • To avoid bleeding in January, prune any acers, vines and birches in your garden.
  • You still have time to plant and transplant deciduous trees and shrubs.
  • Take hardwood cuttings.

December lawn care

  • Grass grows in temperatures above 5oC, so if December is a mild month, you may still have to give your lawn a trim. Despite this, don’t trim it as short as you would in the summer.
  • Fallen leaves will kill your grass if you don’t rake them up regularly.
  • To make your lawn look tidy and reduce the amount of work you need to do in the New Year, take December as an opportunity to repair and re-cut damaged lawn edges. This will immediately make your lawn look tidier.
  • If there’s a lot of rainfall, make sure you inspect your lawn for signs of watterlogging. Aeration, scarifying and a top dressing will all help you to combat it.
  • When you have frosty grass, avoid walking on it as this will damage it.

Trees, hedges and shrubbery

  • It’s easier to see what you’re doing with no leaves, so take this opportunity to prune any deciduous trees, shrubs or hedges.
  • Wall shrubs and climbers need to be tied to their supports to protect them from wind damage.
  • To keep black spot under control, spray roses and the area around them with a winter wash.
  • If you want colour in your garden next winter, this is the time to visit garden centres and consider your options.


  • Alpines need a period of cold weather to break their seed dormancy, so now is the time to sow them.
  • Remove weeds and debris from your tubs and containers, before adding a level of grit or gravel mulch. This will prevent mud from splashing up in wet weather.
  • Put your pots onto bricks so they’re not spending winter sat in wet puddles.
  • To prevent mud splashing onto the bloom of your Christmas roses, place bark chips around the base of the plant.
  • Cover large pots with bubble wrap or some other insulators over the winter, as they’re prone to crack in the frost.

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