December on Your Plot
There’s a surprising number of crops that can be available to harvest in December. Winter brassicas such as Kale, cabbage and cauliflowers -
Any carrots left should come up to prevent pest damage in the ground for storage in damp sand or peat in the shed. Parsnips and swedes can be lifted and stored the same way although they are very hardy and may be left if the ground if not needed. You can always cover them with fleece or straw to help stop the ground freezing them in.
Sowing and Planting in December on the Vegetable Plot:
There’s not a lot you can plant out in December but if you’ve not got round to it, you can plant out garlic and onion sets direct. Garlic benefit from a period of cold, which prompts growth later. Garlic doesn’t like to sit in water so put about an inch of sand into the base and plant the clove on top, filling above with fine compost. This ensures good drainage and stops rotting.
Onions sown towards the end of the month will make excellent plants and bulbs, benefiting from the longer growing period. Sow them in seed boxes or in the greenhouse.
Jobs to Do
Remove any yellowing leaves from your winter brassicas.
Wildlife will be on the lookout for food, especially the pigeons, so keep vulnerable plants like brassicas netted.
It’s a good time for repairing and renovating. There’s always something to do if you look hard enough!
Take hardwood cuttings of soft fruit. Gooseberries, red, white and black currants.
It’s a good time to split rhubarb , dig up the old crowns and split from the top down with a spade into three or four. Leave on the surface so they get frosted before planting out in early Spring.
Check that ties and staking are secure for young trees.
You can plant bare rooted fruit trees and bushes in December and prune apple and pear trees.
Mulch any bare soil
Check any plants in frames or greenhouses -
Bare rooted plants -
Remove dead foliage under brassicas to discourage disease and slugs
Prune apples, pears, gooseberries, red/white currants
Don’t forget to clear any weeds still growing -
Finish cutting down asparagus to the ground, remove any weeds and then mulch
The traditional treatment of autumn raspberries is to prune out all shoots around this time and wait for the new growth to come in the spring. An alternative is just to tip back the growth now -