December has finally arrived! Although the weather may be cold, there’s plenty to do in the garden with a lovely cup of something warm to keep you going.

December Gardening Jobs

  1. Check your winter protection structures are still secure
  2. Check that your greenhouse heaters are working sufficiently
  3. Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing by a pond heater or melting the ice (cautiously) with a hot pan placed on the surface.
  4. Prune open-grown apples and pears (but not ones trained against walls)
  5. Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding
  6. Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and remaining root crops
  7. Trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted
  8. Take hardwood cuttings
  9. Keep mice away from stored products
  10. Reduce watering of houseplants

Plants & Flowers

Tidying up the last of Autumn – Finish the clearing of leaves from the beds and borders to prevent plants dying from being covered in damp.

Clear up weedy beds in time for Spring mulching.

Root cuttings can now be taken.

Keep cutting back herbaceous perennials and add them to the compost heap.


Rake any remaining leaves to prevent the grass being starved of light and moisture

Repair bare patches by using turf cut from other areas of the garden (if available).

Re-cut lawn edges with an edging iron to keep up a neat appearance of the garden.


Beware of ice forming on the pond if you have fish as this can be fatal. Either install a air pump or pond heater to prevent this.

You can also make a hole by placing a saucepan of hot water on the surface until is has melted. Do not crack the ice as this can harm the fish.

Place nylon strings across the pond at least 15cm from the ground and edge of the pond to deter birds fishing.

Continue to rake out leaves and shake off any that have fallen on netting.

Trees & Shrubs

Protect new trees, hedges and shrubs from the cold weather, winds and frost. Thick dry mulch will protect the roots and branches can be covered with fleece. For evergreens, keep the light coming through by covering with clear polythene – don’t let it touch the leaves as they could freeze or rot from condensation.

Continue to plant roses but avoid anywhere that roses have been previously planted. This can lead to issues with replant diseases.

Check tree ties and stakes as cold and harsh winds can loosen them.