00 Things to do in the garden this December • Weeley, Clacton on Sea, Essex
  • Draw up your plans for which flowers you want to grow next year and order the seeds, so you don’t miss out in spring.
  • Drain irrigation and fit tap covers to avoid winter damage.
Winter tap cover
  • Cover tender plants with crop protection fleece to avoid frost damage
Winter Fleece Cover
Winter Fleece
  • Plant hardy trees, shrubs, roses, climbers and perennials, providing the soil isn’t frozen solid or waterlogged.
  • Keep off heavy clay soils when they’re wet or frozen as you can damage the soil structure.
  • Deadhead winter-flowering pansies to keep them flowering during mild weather.
  • Continue to tidy up beds and borders, clearing away dead and dying leaves and faded flower stems.
  • It’s not too late to take hardwood cuttings of various deciduous shrubs and soft fruit.
  • Continue feeding wild birds with high-energy bird foods such as suet balls and pellets to help them through the winter.
Feed wild birds with high-energy bird foods
  • Make sure birdbaths and other water sources for wild birds are kept from freezing over.
  • Check that compost in containers doesn’t dry out and water if necessary.
  • Prune established, free-standing apple and pear trees IF they need it.
  • Brush snow off the branches of conifers and other evergreens. Heavy snowfall can damage the branches.
Protect plants with a winter tunnel
  • Prune red, white and blackcurrants, gooseberries and grapevines.
  • Draw up plans for next year’s vegetable garden and order seeds and other planting material.
  • Apply a thick mulch such as chipped bark to protect the roots of borderline hardy plants.
  • Clean decking and patio slabs – which will also help reduce the risk of slipping on them. Water on Patio magic to kill moss and remove green sludge.
  • Keep off the lawn when it’s frozen, as you can damage the grass and leave brown footprint marks.
  • Weeds may still appear in mild weather, so hoe regularly to prevent them from becoming established.