December Gardener’s Diary

December is quite often a cold, wet month with only pale sunshine.

With all the pre-Christmas activity many gardens get neglected, but there are still things to do before the real winter begins.

There is still time to plant trees, shrubs, conifers and roses etc. It’s also an ideal time to plant fruit trees and bushes to provide that “real” tasting fruit in the future.

Bare root and container grown hedging can also be planted now in well-prepared ground.

Monthly Reminders.

Winter Digging. Try to complete this task now to allow frost and rain to break up clumps of rough soil.

Fruit & Vegetables. Continue pruning and don’t forget that plums and damsons should not be pruned during their dormant season as this could allow access for spores of silver leaf fungus. If some cutting of these trees is unavoidable then treat the cuts with a horticultural sealant.

Flower Garden. Herbaceous plants can be planted, especially those grown in containers. Christmas or Lenten roses look really good now. Winter pansies, primrose and polyanthus can still be planted and will provide welcome colour throughout winter and early spring.

Trees & Shrubs. Container-grown plants can be planted at any time of year and you can now select plants to give winter colour. Farnborough Garden Centre always has a wide selection of plants available throughout the winter. Make sure any stakes and ties remain firm, check regularly to ensure supports are maintained against strong winds and gales.For vulnerable plants, ensure adequate protection against the cold and wind.

Garden Birds. Winter feeding should now be underway. Farnborough Garden Centre has a massive range of feeders, roosting boxes, support poles and brackets, together with a wide selection of wild bird food.

Plants Looking Good Now: pyracantha, euonymous, liquidamber, ivy, cotoneasters, berbias, conifers, ilex (holly), hellebores, pansies, violas.

Christmas is fast approaching. We are busy setting out our range of Christmas trees, holly and fir wreaths, door swag and scented fir cones. Our range of Christmas decorations includes some more unusual styles made from natural materials, including some illuminated items. Our plant area will be stocked with plant bowls and table decorations, along with general and seasonal giftware.

For that special gift pay our ‘Treasured Teddies’ a visit. With our collection including special collection bears and loveable cuddly companions, they are ideal Christmas gifts for grown ups too.

All of us here at Farnborough Garden Centre would like to wish you the very best for the festive season and hope you find the time to visit before it is over.

Pete’s Top Tips – Christmas Tree Care.

Thinking of selecting a natural tree for indoor display this Christmas?  There are many available; including the all-time favourite the Norway spruce and Nordmann Firs.

However, whatever tree you choose REMEMBER you are dealing with a natural living plant!

Watering FREQUENTLY is a must during their time indoors so choose a stand or tub that allows for this.

1. For cut trees, cut 1 to 2 inches off the stump when you get it home and insert the stump in a little water for 24 hours before taking the tree indoors.

2. Don’t take the tree indoors too soon as the dry air inside most homes will cause it  to dry out over time.

3. Don’t put the tree close to radiators or other heat sources.

4. If you are wishing to plant the tree outdoors after its time indoors then choose a potted or a container grown tree. ‘Harden it off’ in a frost free spot  for about 10 days.

Written by Pete Toms

Farnborough Garden Centre

On A423 Southam Road, Nr Farnborough, Banbury,

OX17 1EL 01295 690479

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