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December Chores PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bakker Company & Parag Nawathe   
Nov 03, 2005 at 03:28 AM

December is the winter month in which we can expect the first serious frosts. This is your last chance to take preventive measures against frost damage, like covering sensitive plants.

The garden in general

  • Check your garden tools, clean them and oil moving parts.
  • Have your shears sharpened, or do it yourself using a whetstone.
  • Remove leaves from gutters.
  • In heavy frost, wind or bright sun, protect your conifers with windbreak wire to prevent needles from turning brown.
  • Water newly planted evergreen hedges.
  • Remove heavy layers of snow from overhanging branches or hedges to prevent breaking.
  • Clean the nest boxes in your garden.
  • If you haven't done it yet, empty the garden hose.
  • Disconnect the outside tap.
  • Peanut strings, bird cakes and apples help birds through the winter.

Plants

  • If temperatures are still above freezing, this is your last chance to plant spring bulbs.

Pruning

  • Trees can be pruned as long as it is not freezing.
  • Climbers and shrubs with berries can be pruned into shape.
  • Summer flowering shrubs can be pruned now.

Lawn

  • Remove fallen leaves from your lawn.
  • Do not walk on the lawn when the grass is frozen..

Tub plants

  • Tub plants that spend the winter indoors like Fuchsia and Pelargonium ('geranium') only need an occasional drop of water.
  • Box and privet shapes in pots can stay outside in winter. Do not forget to water them from time to time. The foliage still evaporates moisture, particularly on a bright winter's day. When temperatures turn extremely low you can protect the shrubs with bubble wrap.

Vegetable garden

  • Sprinkle some bonemeal around your grapevine.
  • Cut the grapevine back. This can be done up to mid-January.
  • Climbers like Kiwis can also be pruned now.

Pond

  • Purchase an anti-freeze pod for your pond. This will stop your pond from freezing over.
  • Use some tennis balls or a football to prevent the pond from freezing, and allowing air pockets for the fish.
  • If your pond is less than 30 cm deep you could consider bringing your water plants in for winter.

Indoors

  • Forced flower bulbs like Tulips, Hyacinths and Narcissi have formed new shoots.
  • As soon as the flower heads are clearly visible on these shoots, the bulbs can acclimatize to higher temperatures and be forced into flower in the lounge. Water sparsely.
  • The budding flower bulbs can be used in many creative ways in wreaths and other arrangements.

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