December December!

                                                                                

I am writing this before the November AGM,  a social afternoon with a smaller show (reflecting our shorter days and less garden produce) but I do hope everyone had a good time, enjoyed the quiz and collected  hyacynths for the spring show.  Congratulations to all the cup and trophy winners and a big thank you to all the participants the club only exists because of you coming to the shows  entering your arts, crafts and produce.

December is sometimes called  onion month as traditionally you planted out onion seeds on boxing day. Likewise traditionally garlic cloves are planted outside in early winter before the shortest day. Garlic is useful to plant around the garden as a companion for roses, peppers, tomatoes, spinache and potatoes as it has deterent properties against aphids and flies.  

Vegetables often take a back seat this time of year as work focuses of trees and fruit bushes picking and planting new items for the garden or pruning the established none-stone fruit trees. Be careful to avoid pruning on a frost as if the sap freezes it can damage the tree or bush. Also if you have a garden pond and freezing weather is coming do leave a small ball or similar floating on top to prevent the pond freezing over (for your fish and wildlife’s health).

 

Brrr December’s here, the year is drawing to a close as we bed down and wait for spring to return, a quiet month. I call it the ‘bit of a month’ as there’s nothing major but there’s a bit of lots to do. A bit of emptying out, cleaning and tidying up the pots and greenhouse. A bit of cleaning the tools ready for next year. A bit of checking for diseases or hibernating bugs on plant leaves in the greenhouse. A bit of checking your harvest store removing any rotten fruits or veg. A bit of cutting back and clearing out the beds A bit of mulching. A bit of seed sorting and planning for next year. A bit of bottling up the fruit gins for Christmas and a bit of cooking fruit chutney and jams. I am overwintering some tomato, chilli and pepper plants for the first time this year to compare with next years new grown plants so a bit of bubble wrapping and fleecing the plants in the greenhouse.

Finally don’t forget winter is the time for the soil to rest, recover and recharge. The same is true for the gardener so have a bit of relaxation and contemplation amidst the frenetic Christmas preparations.  

 

Enjoy all your produce and harvest at your Christmas dinners. 

 

Merry Christmas and good gardening all.  

 

Jacky Smith 

PS Please check the website for information and future show dates   https://www.egclub.co.uk