Gardening tips for December!

Gardening tips for December!

Note: those garden tips are based on the climate as in The Netherlands, a relatively cool climate. Most tips are to use for sub tropical and mediate climate.

Garden tip – Christmas trees

Christmas trees sold with roots on it can be plant in the garden after Christmas. Keep in mind following tips: buy a tree which have good roots and is planted in a large container; let the tree acclimatize a week in a cold place before you bring it in the house; do not cut the top of the tree; give the tree water daily on the roots; do not keep the tree to long inside the house; let it acclimatize before going to the garden. After planting the tree in the garden give it water frequently to prevent drying out during winter time.

Garden tip – pruning

Some trees must be pruned before in spring time the regrow starts. Those bleeders will die if you prune them in spring time. Examples of bleeders are: Acer, Betula, Carpinus betulus and nut tree. If you prune too late the tree can die or becomes a lot of damage. Best pruning time is December or January.

Garden tip – winter cutting

Some shrubs or trees can be multiplied in winter time, we call this winter cutting. Examples are: Forsythia, Hydrangea, Salix, Ribes and Deutzia. Take short pieces of the stem, prefer the middle of the wooden branches, take pieces of 20 till 30 cm and make bundles of them. Cut of the branches in the top with a sharp cutter, just above a sleeping eye. Put them in earth or sand and keep them a bit wet. Put the stems upright in the growing direction, you can see this on how the buds grow.

Garden tip – the pond

In December you may not clean the pond because many animals and fish have taken rest now and you will disturb them. It is good to use a special action to keep a part of the pond free of ice. The water can take air and gas can escape. A bundle straw or Fragmitis can be helpful. You  never may open the ice with force because this can kill the fish.

Garden tip – winter protection

To protect plants which can not have any frost in winter time means cover the plants with an airy layer such as leaves or branches. Some plants can be covered with compost. Also plastic with small holes in it can be used. Only cover the plants when it is freezing. Do not cover on a nice sunny day when temperature is above zero. Do not put too much leaves, peat or branches on top of your plants.

Garden tip – general

Do not forget to close the tab outside and open the tab on the wall. Empty the water pipe.
Ceramic pots can frees in winter time when the earth is too wet. Check if the holes underneath are still open.
If it is snowing take away thick layers on the conifers or winter green shrubs, they can break because of the weight.

Tips for flower arrangers

Some shrubs have nice berries in winter time. We can use them in our Christmas arrangements. If it start snowing early the birds will eat them. A net over a shrub prevent you for this. Feed the birds in winter time with suitable food. Nice Christmas materials from the garden are Ilex, Skimmia, Pieris, conifer, Hedera, Sansevieria, bald branches of Salix, Cornus and not to forget Mistletoe.

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