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 2 December 2019

This Month in Your Garden - December

‘Chill December brings the sleet, blazing fire, and Christmas treat.’ -Sara Coleridge (1802–1852), ‘The Garden Year’

Well, you might indeed be happy to put your feet up by the fire and there’s even more excuse if, in your Christmas stocking, you find the RHS Plant Encyclopedia. But before then there’s work to be done.

The Lawncare Guide - December

The early bird catches the worm

Lawn watching in December can save you work in the summer. When it’s very wet or after snow melts, keep an eye on any areas of the lawn which don’t drain as quickly as the rest. These are places that will need treatment, probably scarifying and aerating at the earliest opportunity.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. I get puddles of water on the lawn that don’t drain after it’s rained, what can I do?

The Vegetable Plot - December

Lost to frost

Late celery can be affected by hard frosts and heavy rain so it’s worth covering the ridges with dry straw and pegged down netting. Crops in season include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, endive, kale and leeks; and if you have a heated greenhouse you’re quid’s in with chicory, endive, lettuce, radish and rhubarb. Salad in December!

The Big Glut Recipe - December

Goose risotto from The Hairy Bikers’ BBC ‘Twelve days of Christmas’

Great for Boxing Day and you can use turkey if that’s what you’ve cooked.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock
  • 400g/14½oz risotto rice (such as arborio or carnaroli)
  • 1 tbsp whole green peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 500g leftover goose meat, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, chives)
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dressed green salad, to serve (optional)