GardenAction Newsletter
December 2008

 
December, 2008

Welcome to the GardenAction newsletter for December 2008 in your garden.


  

VEGETABLE CARE IN DECEMBER 2008
CHRISTMAS GIFTS
EXCLUSIVE TO GARDENACTION

The GardenAction Computer Desktop Calendar
Designed by GardenAction this computer desktop diary fires up every time you start your computer and immediately goes to "today's" entry. All the major vegetables, fruit and herbs are covered with sowing, planting, care, pruning and harvesting dates.

You can add notes yourself and enter reminders, birthdays and other memorable dates. It lasts forever, providing you with a reminder of key dates for years to come and the cost is a one off payment of only 7.49.

Even better, we let you try it for 30 days completely free of charge. If you are not happy with it, then you pay nothing. An exclusive Christmas or birthday present which will last for ever.

Click here to download your free trial diary now.

GardenAction Laminated Action Sheets
Designed by GardenAction, these laminated action sheets feature one vegetable or fruit per page. They can be kept in the garden shed and wipe clean at a stroke. All the important facts, including a calendar of action dates (planting, sowing, care and harvest). The dates are personalised to your home town. All for only 1.99 per plastic sheet. An exclusive, useful and lasting Christmas present for the gardener in your life. Click here to make your selection.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
The first frost has hit most parts of the UK a few weeks ago so Brussels Sprouts are at their most tasty in December. Remove any leaves near the base of the plant which turn yellow to help avoid pest and disease.

When harvesting Brussels Sprouts, use a knife to cut them off, simply pulling the sprouts off may well damage the plants.

December is a good time to prepare the gound for next year's Brussels Sprouts because they like a firm soil which has not recently been dug.
Click here
for full information on Brussels Sprouts.

CABBAGE - WINTER
December is a great month for harvesting Winter Cabbage. If any of the leaves are turning yellow, pick them off to avoid pest and diseases. December is also a good time to prepare the ground for next year's Winter Cabbage. Choose a different plot from that used this year to avoid passing on diseases. If you prepare the ground now, manure and lots of well-rotted compost can be applied to the soil and dug in well.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

CAULIFLOWER - SUMMER
Prepare the ground for next year's Summer Cauliflower. These are hungry feeders so they appreciate lots of manure and well-rotted compost dug in now which will rot down and provide long term food during the growing months next year.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

LEEKS
Leeks will be ready for harvest in December and through to March in many cases. When harvesting leeks, don't pull them up, you may end up with a handful of leaves! Rather, dig around them and then gently ease them from the ground.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

LETTUCE
Prepare the ground for next year's lettuce in December. Unless your soil is poor in nutrients don't dig in much (if any) nitrogen rich fertiliser, just well-rotted organic matter which will provide a slow release of nutrients. Remember that lettuce can't take too much heat so they are very good candidates for planting out early with the protection of a cloche.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

PEAS
Peas are another crop which appreciate soil preparation in December for next year's crop. As with lettuce, dig in plenty of organic material but don't add nitrogen fertilisers. Peas are well able to extract a certain amount of nitrogen from the air and store it in nodes in the roots.

A lover of of most of the UK climate, peas prefer cool moist conditions so they are very suited to being started off early in the season with cloche protection.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

POTATOES - MAINCROP and NEW
If you haven't got round to it yet December is a good time to prepare the ground for next year's potatoes. Also, do a little research on potato varieties because late December onwards is the time to buy your potato seeds.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

RHUBARB
Rhubarb crowns can be planted throughout December. Give them a try - rhubarb produces a crop in late Spring or early summer when other fruit and vegetables are not ready. If you already have rhubarb it will appreciate being divided every five years or so. If you can't use the extra crowns produced by dividing a plant, maybe a friend or neighbour can use them.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions on rhubarb care.

 

FRUIT AND HERB CARE IN DECEMBER 2008
APPLES
December is still a good time to plant your new apple tree. The GardenAction article has over 60 pictures of different apple varieties. It also has extensive coverage of when and how to plant your apple tree. Apple tree rootstocks are also covered in depth.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

PEACHES
December is the time to winter prune your peach trees. Pictures are the best way to describe what to do and there are several clear pictures on the GardenAction site for pruning peach trees.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

FRUIT TREES
If you plan on moving fruit trees such as apples, pears, plums or cherries then middle to late December is a good time. The trees should be dormant (basically "asleep") when moving them for the best results.

PARSLEY AND ROSEMARY
Harvest these herbs in December

Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

GARDEN PLANT CARE IN DECEMBER 2008
 
This month the spotlight is on:
PRUNING WISTERIA

Wisteria should be pruned twice a year, once in summer and once in winter. In December, the shoots should be be further cut back to two healthy buds from the main stem. If August pruning was forgotten, prune to two buds now.

If the wisteria is being trained over a trellis, do not prune those shoots which are to be trained. Tie them in securely to the trellis, remembering to allow for the fact that the stem will thicken significantly over a couple of years.
Click here
for easy to follow instructions.

GARDENACTION ADDRESS:
1 Gaydon Hill Farm Cottage, Gaydon, Warwick CV35 0HQ

This Month's Recipe
Christmas Cake Recipe

Making a Christmas Cake can be a bit daunting but GardenAction have come up with a delicious recipe that is tried and tested. There are step by step pictures to guide you through the process. We also show you how to ice the cake in the traditional way or using ready roll icing. As if that wasn't enough, we have a couple of cooking tasks to keep the kids occupied while you do the baking! It's a great way to spend an afternoon.
Click here
for this delicious recipe illustrated with lots of step by step pictures.