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The festivities have started and snow has already arrived in parts of the UK. It looks so incredibly pretty across the countryside and in gardens everywhere. I wonder if we will have a white Christmas? Whilst the snow does look wonderful, of course there is also the clean up and plant protection to think about, even keeping a check on the rhino greenhouse. So hats and scarves at the ready, because it might be December but there is still gardening to be done.
Top of the list for me is always wildlife. It’s cold, there’s less food available and so ensuring supplementary food and fresh, unfrozen water is always available is so important. Plants that need extra protection should be well wrapped now, or brought undercover, including moved to the greenhouse and in very low temperatures, protection undercover may also be needed. The winter months are also great for planting bare root plants out. Fruit bushes and Roses are top of my list.
One of the best aspects of gardening for me at this time of year is harvesting the brassicas. A dusting of snow is all the better, glistening in the morning sun on some of the most delicious and nutritious vegetables of them all. When so much else has been harvested, stored or eaten by now - the winter harvest seems all the more special. Fresh cabbage, curly kale and the best of the best - Brussel sprouts! The marmite of vegetables is my favourite (I love marmite too)!
I usually sow my Brussel sprout seeds in modules from March into April safe from late frosts in the greenhouse, then harden them off and plant them out in early summer. My allotment is no dig, so the soil has been given a nice layer of well rotted organic matter in plenty of time before planting and netted to keep the cabbage white butterfly away. Depending on the variety they can be harvested from early autumn but I love mine just in time for Christmas. Can’t beat a plate of homegrown veggies for Christmas lunch.
Happy Christmas and happy gardening!
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