December is often a time of reflecting and considering the ups and downs of the year that has passed and for gardeners, this is no different. Many gardeners at this time of year are starting to think about what to grow next year, while a fair amount of you are possibly still tending to current crops and flowers. With that being said, it only makes sense for December gardening tips to focus on exactly that! Continue reading for points to keep you on track with gardening now and ahead of the next season and new gardening year…
Current Crops to Sow/Plant
If your soil is well prepared, plant your garlic now to get a head start and potentially bigger bulbs come harvest. Otherwise, after December you will have to wait till February or March to plant this crop out.
Now is also still a good time to sow autumn variety cauliflowers if you haven’t already done so. Check out our tips for sowing autumn cauliflower where we share the best varieties to sow now and how to keep the young plant healthy during this cold season.
Perfect Time for Composting
Autumn/Winter is the perfect time to start or tend to your own compost bin. Add all the dead but disease-free plants and fallen leaves to the compost bin, along with other healthy organic matter so you will have nutrient-rich soil to add to your growing space come spring.
Planning the Next Growing Season
If you want any chance of a successful allotment or garden next year, planning ahead is going to be essential.
We all know growing your own fruits, vegetables and flowers can save you money, but when done effectively, it will also save you time and unnecessarily headaches. Luck and hope aren’t going to give you a great harvest or display…
Here are three important factors to think about when planning for the next gardening season:
1. Plan Your Space
The first thing to ask yourself is what kind of space will you be growing in? If you were to grow in a raised bed rather than a regular vegetable patch bed, you might find that you can sow/plant crops earlier because raised bed soil gets warmer earlier in the spring.
Or maybe you’re opting for a container garden… What kind of containers will you be using and will they be suitable for the plants you hope to grow? If you’re reusing old containers, are they clean and disease-free?
All of this, along with sunlight exposure, soil drainage, plant growth space and pest/disease prevention are crucial beginning steps for planning. The way you grow your plants will have a significant effect on the success of what you produce.
2. What to Grow
Once sure about the gardening space you’re working with, it’s time to decide which plants you want to grow that would suit this space. Make a list of all the fruits, vegetables and flowers and map out your very own personal gardening calendar. Detailing when you should be sowing, when plant out and any other time-specific plant needs.
This personal gardening calendar is especially useful for those of you who rely on self-grown crops as you can plan your produce to last you in time for the next harvest.
Also, when choosing which plants to grow, you might want to consider companion planting. Going back to the idea of efficient gardening, you can maximise your growing space and potential by growing things close together that benefit rather than disrupt each other.
3. Gardening Routine
Now you know what to grow and where you’re growing it, it’s time to set yourself a good gardening care routine to keep on top of caring for your plants.
From sowing and planting out to a weekly or bi-weekly fertilising routine, you should plan on how you hope to help the plants grow and develop. This includes protecting them from potential pests, diseases and other environmental factors.