Days are short and sometimes cold but it's great to get outside at this time of the year. There's some tidying up to do which will save time later but also some planting to do.
The Big Tidy Up
- Check and repair fences. If dry enough you should treat them with plant friendly paint. Better to do it now than in spring when there is just so much to do! Cut a hole at the bottom of a panel to let hedgehogs in and out.
- If you have a garden shed or use a corner of the garage, now might be a good time to have a good tidy up! Clean and sharpen tools ready for use in the New Year. Check any that need replacing but coat all with some oil to stop them rusting.
- Wash pots and seed trays so that they are clean and ready for the sowing to start soon. Diseases- and even pests- can hide away on these.
Planting Trees, Shrubs, Roses, etc.
- Plant roses, conifers, climbing plants and hardy shrubs if the ground is not too wet or frozen. These establish so much better if planted now than if planted in spring.
- Dormant trees and shrubs can be moved at this time of the year. Don't try to move items that have been established for many years as you are not likely to be successful. Minimise root disturbance of these to increase the chance of success and rapid re-establishment.
- You can continue to plant fruit trees and bushes right through until spring. But only do it if the weather and ground conditions are okay - i.e. not frozen or waterlogged.
- Fork over borders and dig some goodness back into the soil. I recommend composted green waste, spent mushroom compost or farmyard manure.
- Get on with digging the veg patch whenever the weather allows you to. Pace yourself if not used to it! If you've got heavy clay soil dig in Vitax Clay Breaker to improve the structure. This product sticks clay particles together to create a crumb structure. Dig in well rotted organic matter to all areas except where you plan to sow root crops.