The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Monday, 1 December 2014

This Month in your Garden – December

How is your own journal looking?


When the Gardener’s Journal first started, the suggestion was to use it as a handy reference to building a journal of your own garden. Keeping a planner and reference book on the way the garden has developed will help you progress your individual design and planting.

Equally, if you’re starting afresh, perhaps with a recent move to a new house and you simply haven’t had time with all that DIY or self building you have been doing, December offers a moment to contemplate and start jotting down ideas. Which plants where? Which way does the garden face? Where are the hot spots and the shady corners?

Lawn Care Guide – December

Keeping on and off the grass


There is a chance in a mild December that a last mowing is needed, and while it’s good to wait until March/April time to mow a new lawn sown from seed in autumn, it can be done now on dry, sunny days.

Set the mower or cutting deck on a garden tractor to a high setting. Cutting the grass too short will encourage moss. Brush off earthworm casts which can encourage weeds and moss as well.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q.  Can I still mow the grass in December?

The Vegetable Plot – December

Planning ahead


In keeping with your planning the rest of the garden it’s worth considering crops that have been in season from autumn into December with a view to next year’s planting.

Jerusalem artichoke, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, endive, kale and leeks are all crops in season in December and under glass you can add in chicory, endive, lettuce, radish and rhubarb.

You can continue to prune fruit trees in December; it’s a mistaken notion that they can’t be pruned when the weather is frosty.

The Big Glut Recipe – December

Chargrilled pheasant with Brussels sprouts and chestnut cream 


An intimate dine-in for two. You can get your butcher to prepare the pheasant and there are plenty of prepared chestnuts in the supermarkets if you don’t want to roast them yourself. This is based on a recipe seen on ‘Saturday Kitchen’.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless pheasant breasts
  • 2 boneless pheasant thighs
  • 250g/9oz prepared Brussels sprouts
  • 150ml/5fl oz red wine
  • 200g/7oz smoked bacon lardons
  • 110g/4 oz roasted chestnuts
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper