In The Fruit Garden This December

Now is the perfect time to prune fruit trees to maintain an open, balanced structure and encourage quality fruit production. The exception is plums, cherries and other stone fruits that should not be prunded until the summer to prevent silver leaf fungus. Use clean, sharp secateurs to avoid damaging your trees.

Lift and divide established clumps of rhubarb to renew the plant’s vigour. Sections taken from the outside of the plant are better than those from the centre.

Prune grape vines.

Construct a screen of clear polythene over wall trained peaches and nectarines to protect them from wet winter weather, which speads the peach leaf curl fungus.

Apply glue bands or grease bands to the trunk of fruit trees to prevent wingless felmale moths climbing the trunks and laying their eggs in the branches .

If your strawberry plants are over 3 years old, now is the time to consider replacing them. Old strawberries can harbour diseases and tend to lose vigour and productivity.

Top Tip:

Protect the tips of fig tree branches. They will carry the fruits for next year and are susceptible to frost. Cover with fleece or straw.


This Month's Key Tips
  • Check your winter protection structures are securely in place.
  • Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding.
  • Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and ramaining root crops.
  • Reduce waterung of houseplants.
  • Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing.