The work in the garden and vegetable garden in December is characterized by relaxation and things done calmly and with an important vision for the future of the next spring months.
The last month of the year, Christmas, the color red, everything is December. For the garden and vegetable garden this month represents the vegetative rest, the moment of the stop, of the pause, the life that rests. Evergreens are the only ones to give that touch of green and color in outdoor environments.
DECEMBER WORK IN THE GARDEN
The work in the garden in December is almost the opposite of the months just passed. If you think of the September work in the garden, for example, where the main objective was the harvesting of the last summer fruits, it is almost absurd to think that, after just two months, the main occupation in the garden is the preparation for the return of mild temperatures.
The main works to be carried out in December are:
- Pruning: it is recommended in this period the pruning of rimonda which means, in other words, remove stumps of plant, branches broken by the wind, sick parts, rotting and dried up. The cuts made, then, for pruning, should be treated with mastic with protective action to help healing. Climbers and shrubs should not be pruned during this period. For example, pruning hedges will take place in spring.
- Watering: if the rainfall is abundant (as it should be in December) it will be good to suspend the watering of the lawn. If you want to arrange a new lawn in spring, it is advisable to carry out a preparatory tillage of the soil in December with the possible addition of organic matter, sand and clay. When watering potted plants, however, special attention should be paid to the humidity of the soil and the water used for watering should never be poured on the outside of the plants to avoid the formation of icy layers.
- Sowing: sowing is not recommended in this period but, if the temperatures allow, it will be possible to transplant some bulbous species to spring flowering such as snowdrops, buttercups, ixia, crocus, narcissus, iris, hyacinth and tulip. It is possible to use anti-fungal and snail products to avoid that snails and slugs ruin the newly transplanted bulbs.
DECEMBER WORK IN THE GARDEN
The same is true of the garden for the December work in the garden. Not particularly demanding from the point of view of the organization of the garden, during the work in December it will be possible to collect species resistant to cold as:
Cut salads (endive, valerian, lettuce…)
For sowing, however, you can proceed, only in a protected environment, the sowing of vegetables such as:
- broad beans;
Leek, garlic, onion and artichoke can be transplanted into the ground instead.
Those who have vegetables in protected cultivation, in tunnels and/or greenhouses, must remember to provide for the correct recycling of the air inside the protections, especially in the middle hours of the day to avoid the formation of condensation and parasites.
For winter fertilization, use organic fertilizers such as compost and mature manure. Fertilizers should be buried in the ground using a spade to improve the permeability and ventilation of the soil.
ROUTINE MAINTENANCE WORK
I repeat that in December there are no urgent works to be carried out in the garden, you can take advantage of this month to carry out small maintenance and cleaning work.
You can arrange the tools and see if there are any arrangements to be made such as replacing the damaged wooden handles and cleaning the metal parts from the soil.
In December it is also possible to develop plans for changes in the garden and you can take the opportunity to learn about possible sowings to be made in the next spring by deciding, perhaps, to try sowing new products.
DECEMBER WORK IN THE ORCHARD
In areas with warmer temperatures, the harvesting of citrus fruits and table grapes continues. Other fruits that ripen in this period are kiwis and olives of late varieties.
It is important to keep the orchard free of weeds and it is possible to carry out more or less superficial workings according to the conditions of the soil by adding fertiliser. Around the stems of fruit trees is always advisable to create a layer of mulch, to protect against cold and frost.
On all fruit plants it will be possible to carry out anti-fungal treatments in December and, in particular, the apple and the pear can be fertilized using organic and potassium-based fertilizers.
INDOOR PLANTS IN DECEMBER: WHAT TO DO?
Light is the biggest winter problem for indoor plants. For this reason it is advisable to place the plants near windows and balconies and keep them away from any heat sources (such as radiators, heaters and fireplaces).
It is important in the winter months to regulate the humidity in the rooms for the well-being of both plants and humans. The heaters turned on at full capacity in this period contribute to dry the air particularly and, to reduce this discomfort will be possible to dispose of the tubs containing water on the stoves and radiators that, evaporating, humidify the air. Alternatively, electric humidifiers are available on the market.
For most of the apartment bonsai the ideal temperature is between 16 ° and 20 °, standard temperature of the apartments, then. Here are some simple rules to follow for bonsai in the apartment:
- suffer from temperature changes so avoid placing them near the entrance doors and windows;
- should only be watered when the ground has dried out well;
- Spray the leaves with distilled water from time to time;
- suspend fertilisation for the entire month of December;
- wait for spring for transplants.
The work in the garden and vegetable garden in December is a real breath of fresh air, fully represent the time of year that we all live in December: relaxation, tranquility and care.