Hi to all my readers, and welcome back to my home and garden blog. Seeing as it’s coming up to the end of the year, all of us gardeners are pretty excited about the next year, and probably focusing ahead to 2017 and what we want to plant. However 2016 is far from over, and with nearly 9% of the year still to come I wanted to talk to you all about what seeds we can still plant this month, and what we can continue growing. After weeding my garden a couple of weeks ago I realised I had some great little areas to plant some winter flowers in. I had a look online for seeds and found some deals on www.easyprices.com/home-garden.
Most pre-existing herb plants will survive a cold winter far better than most other types of plants. For the most pat they are cold hardy and will be fine to leave outdoors, although you shouldn’t expect any new growth unless it’s a mild winter or you’re prepared to bring them indoors and look after them. If you don’t plan on using herb plants during winter then it’s best to place the less hardy, delicate plants into a cold frame for winter. This makes it easier for the plants to readjust in spring, and you’ll get herbs quicker than if you leave them to fend for themselves. I like to cut off some of my herbs before winter, and replant the shoots indoors so that I have a continual supply over winter, but the plant also will readjust quicker in spring.
Basil, Dill, Chives and Oregano all prefer a warmer climate than we can give them during winter, which means that they need to be kept indoors, or in a cold frame, if you want them to survive into spring.
Sage and Thyme are 2 of the hardiest herbs. They will survive with no protection throughout winter, and unless it’s a mild winter, won’t need any cropping as they are unlikely to grow. You don’t want to trim back these bushes before winter, as chopping off all the old growth for cooking will remove all the reserves for the plants and will make it harder for them other winter.
Salad leaves are great seeds to be sown during winter. You can plant many different varieties of salad leaves, and even if you don’t have a greenhouse or an indoor area you mind using there still some you can plant. Lettuces such as ‘Arctic King’ and Winter Gem thrive during the colder months, you can sow them outdoors with a cover on top, or in a greenhouse, and come spring will be ready for some great salads.
Berries are another great plant to be sown over the winter months. They are great for gardeners with a large garden but no greenhouse as they can sown directly outdoors and will require minimum effort over winter.
Strawberry plants that are planted during December mean that by the end of Spring the plant should be in full bloom which leads to an early Strawberry crop. And if you stagger the planting of strawberry plants you can have great strawberries throughout the spring/summer season in 2017.
Blueberry plants are the only berries which need acidic soil. They soil pH they require is about 4.8, and without proper soil preparation are very easy to kill. A great way to lower the pH level of your soil for blueberries is by adding sulphur, although it can be done in many different ways. Buying soil with the perfect pH level can sometimes be easier than improving the soil you already have.
Other great berries to plant in december include raspberries and blackberries as well as gooseberries and currants.
It is also the perfect time to plant Rhubarb crowns. These require a little bit more work than most of the other berry plants, as they require plenty of attention. Rhubarb plants are incredibly hungry and require well prepared soil as well as organic material and continual watering.
Cyclamen is another great winter bulb which works beautifully alongside snowdrops, and can flower as early as january if planted early enough. They look great amongst the crazy paving we looked at last week.
I hope this has helped you work out what to do with your gardens this month. There's some great gardening tips and advice monthly from Wyevale which is great to read through. Until next time folks, keep gardening!