In The Vegetable Garden This December

Remove yellowing leaves from your winter brassicas, they’re no use to the plant and may harbour pests and diseases.

If you haven’t already, cut down dead asparagus foliage and the top frowth of Jerusalem artichokes.

Dig a trench for next year’s beans, fill it with compostable kitchen waste and re-cover with soil. This will rot down and dramatically improve the growing conditions.

Lift your last leeks and parsnips before the soil becomes frozen, and heel them into a trench beside a convenient path. They’ll keep for several months like this and can be easily brought indoors when required.

Cover winter brassicas with netting to protect them from pigeons.

Keep fleece to hand to protect hardy salad crops such as Lettuce ‘Winter Gem’, winter land cress, purslane and corn salad on cold nights.

Cover heavy clay soil with polythene to keep it drier and allow winter digging.

While many parts of the garden and allotment are cleared, use this opportunity to install a permanent network of hard-wearing paths.

Protect any remaining celery plants left in the soil by covering with straw or fleece.

Top Tip:

Dig over empty borders and pile well rotted manure on top, let them worms and frost break up the clods of soil.

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 remaining root crops.
  • Reduced watering of houseplants.
  • Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing.