Why we celebrate New Year on January 1st has always puzzled me.  The solstice is on (usually) the 21st of  December (and winter does not start till the 21 December anyway) after which the days get longer.  That is all plants are concerned with, longer days and warmth means get ready to grow.  So, why New Year on 1st January?   Never mind, if you grow onions, the old adage is to sow them on Boxing Day, (probably to give the gardener an hour or so of  respite from the family)!

Before then, when weather allows, put compost on flower and vegetable patches, no need to dig it in, do that later.

Start winter pruning of fruit and check ties on trees and cordons etc.  If you have not stocked up on seeds, do so as soon as possible as some garden centres have already empty spaces for popular seeds.  Try the www if your seeds are in short supply.

Also just before Christmas, check tools and equipment, it’s a good time to top up ‘my choices’ for the great day if they are showing signs of wear and tear.

Review the lessons from 2020, the pandemic has made us all re-appraise how we work and play, gardening being no exception.

The weather in 2020, wet winter, hot early summer and cool wet autumn brought some wonderful displays of flowers and fruit but with some problems, generally poor germination of outdoor sown seed.  To avoid this try a bit more of indoor sowing, transplant to pots and then plant out established seedlings and or plants for 2021.

It looks as though we will be in Tier 2 for some time so if  you want to fill dull and wet weather, search the web for Mr Smith’s Garden videos, all available on U Tube and the like, or just put in Mr Smith’s garden in the search box. He covers vegetables, flowers, lawns, greenhouse, fruit, etc.  They are a little old now but really the Holy Grail in simplicity and common sense.


Greenish fingers for December.