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What to do in December
- Prune Birches (Betula) Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) and ornamental and edible grapevines this month as they are prone to bleed from pruning cuts in the months after Christmas.
- Purchase seed potatoes at the end of this month. It may seem early but tubers will store well in a cold frost free place and should be ready for chitting from January.
- Check the see grease bands or barrier glues are still sticky and protecting fruit trees from winter moth.
- Place cut Christmas trees in water to prevent premature needle drop always position trees away from heat and water container grown trees regularly.
- Prune establish blackcurrants. Blackcurrants fruit best on younger wood so remove up to 3rd of older branches at the base.
- For early tender stems force rhubarb by covering with a forcer or a dark coloured bucket.
- Prune freestanding apple and pear trees. Apply winter wash
- Pests such as mealybug, scale insects and glasshouse whitefly remain active on indoor and greenhouse plants. Check regularly and control promptly to reduce damage and spread.
- Garlic can still be planted in deep well-drained soil and in pots.
- In mild dry weather cut lawns if necessary to 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long.