Jobs for December

The shortest day is on the 21st December. But if the weather allows you then a couple of hours spent on the plot can be very rewarding. There are plenty of crops to harvest in December, some just in time for Christmas dinner. If its to cold to visit the plot then why not sit by the fire and plan what to sow and grow next year.

You can harvest lots of veg for your Christmas dinner, including parsnips, leeks and winter cabbages, all of which can be left in the ground until you need them. Harvest sprouts when about an inch in diameter and be sure to catch them before they “blow”. . Pick them from the base of the plant up, twisting them away from the plant. If you have grown potatoes for Christmas, they should be ready now.

General jobs
This is also the month to winter prune apple and pear trees, this helps control their shape and size as well as increase their productivity. Keep kale, winter cabbages and other brassicas covered with netting to protect them from pigeons and remove any yellowed leaves so that diseases such as grey mould and downy mildew don’t take hold.
December is a great time to plant bare-root canes, bushes and trees, you can find these at most garden centres or online. It’s not too late to lift and divide large clumps of rhubarb, replanting the outer sections into soil enriched with well-rotted manure or you can select a large clump to force for an early crop next spring.