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Gardening Hints and Tips for December 2022

Care for Festive Houseplants: Providing the right light conditions is the key to success. Poinsettias enjoy warm living rooms with no draughts and good but not harsh light. Normal room temperature is ideal for hippeastrum as long as plants are receiving plenty of light . Hyacinth, cyclamen and paper white narcissus prefer it cooler at 13 - 18 degrees so a porch or conservatory suits them better.

Check plant supports.: Obelisks and arches can become unstable after strong winds so check them and rescue if needed.

Clean old labels: Help the environment and reuse what you’ve got rather than buying new. Wire wool or a scouring pad will clean off old writing.

Mulch: Whatever mulch you use it should be applied in a thick layer to all beds and borders as well as pots where space allows (especially potted roses) and spread evenly around evergreen plants. It will protect any spring bulbs waiting to emerge and provide other plants with a little extra sustenance through the harshest months.

Talking of mulches try to leave a pile of leaves in an undisturbed corner of your garden for our decreasing hedgehog population to overwinter in.

As long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged it is possible to plant shrubs, particularly bare root roses, and trees in December. This will allow for root growth to begin to establish before the light and warmth of spring stimulate the start of the top growth. The moisture in the soil and lack of heat gives the large plants a head start and is less work for you to do in watering them to keep them healthy.

Clean moss and lichen from paths which can become dangerously slippery - you can use one of the proprietary patio cleaners or diluted bleach.

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