As the days get shorter and colder, gardening can seem like a less attractive prospect. However, there are some tasks that you should consider doing before you cosy up by the fire to plan next year’s garden.

Following advice from the RHS, we have listed a few jobs you should do this December before the winter truly begins.

Check that your greenhouse heaters are working
If you have heaters in your greenhouse, check these are working before the temperatures fall further, and insulate the greenhouse with bubble wrap to prevent any heat escaping. The plants inside will remain warmer throughout the festive period, safe and sound for 2018.

Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing
To prevent the outdoor water supply from freezing, insulate any taps and keep an eye on your pond. A ball floating around on your pond will delay freezing, whilst a more sophisticated pond heater or water feature will prevent freezing altogether. If you have fish and it does freeze over, do not smash the ice as this can harm them.

Keep your plants safe from the cold
With the frost setting in, it is important to move plants into sheltered spots within your garden. Keep them warm by wrapping containers and pots in bubble wrap, and the plant itself with horticultural fleece.

Take hardwood cuttings
This type of cutting is often slow to develop roots and shoots, but is usually successful. Plant your hardwood cuttings now, leave them through winter, and look forward to root and shoot growth next spring.

Harvest your winter vegetables
Brussel sprouts, kales, leeks, winter cabbages, parsnips and sprouting broccoli should all be ready for harvest, just in time for some delicious Christmas meals.

Find out more: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/december