What to Plant in December: Winter Gardening Guide

What to Plant in December?

In December, you can plant a variety of vegetables, trees, shrubs, and summer blooms.

Hardy vegetables like garlic, winter salad leaves, and broad beans can be sown outdoors.

Herbs such as basil, dill, chives, and mint can be grown indoors on your windowsill.

Flower seeds like sweet peas and bulbs like tulips can also be planted in December.

Additionally, winter-flowering shrubs and bare root roses can be planted, and raspberry canes and blueberries can be planted while dormant.

Finally, rhubarb can be planted or existing crowns can be lifted and divided.

Key Points:

  • Plant hardy vegetables like garlic, winter salad leaves, and broad beans outdoors
  • Grow herbs like basil, dill, chives, and mint indoors on your windowsill
  • Plant flower seeds like sweet peas and bulbs like tulips
  • Plant winter-flowering shrubs and bare root roses
  • Plant raspberry canes and blueberries while dormant
  • Plant rhubarb or lift and divide existing crowns

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that although December may seem like an unlikely month for planting, it is actually a great time to start growing asparagus? Planting asparagus crowns in December allows them to establish their roots over the winter and be ready for harvest in the following spring.

2. In many regions, December is the ideal month to sow broad beans. These hardy legumes can withstand frost, and planting them now means you’ll have an early crop of delicious beans come spring. Plus, they help enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen, making them excellent companions for other plants.

3. December is an excellent time to plant garlic. By sowing garlic cloves in this month, they will develop strong root systems during the winter, leading to larger bulbs when they are harvested the following summer. So, next time you’re planning your holiday feast, don’t forget to include freshly harvested garlic!

4. Ever heard of the “Christmas rose”? Despite its name, this enchanting flower is not a rose at all. In fact, it’s a winter-blooming perennial called Helleborus niger. These lovely flowers can be planted in December and will bring stunning blooms to your garden during the cold winter months, adding a touch of beauty to the holiday season.

5. If you’re looking to have an early crop of peas, consider planting ‘Feltham First’ peas in December. These peas are specifically bred to be sown during winter and can withstand frost surprisingly well. By getting a head start in December, you’ll enjoy fresh peas before most gardeners have even started sowing their seeds.

Planting Hardy Vegetables, Trees, Shrubs, And Summer Blooms

December may bring cold temperatures and frost in many regions, but that doesn’t mean your gardening activities need to come to a halt. In fact, this is the perfect time to plan and prepare your garden for the upcoming year. While tender plants may not survive the winter, there are still several options for what to plant in December.

Hardy vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and winter lettuce can still be planted during this time. These crops can withstand low temperatures and continue to grow even when other plants are dormant. Additionally, trees and shrubs, such as fruit trees and evergreens, can be planted now to allow them to establish their roots before the arrival of spring.

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Furthermore, if you’re longing for a burst of color next summer, why not start preparing your garden for it now? Planting summer blooms like sweet peas indoors in cardboard loo rolls or in a cold frame will give them a head start. These seedlings can then be transplanted into your garden come springtime, resulting in a beautiful display of vibrant flowers.

Tips For Good Crop Rotation: Take Note Of What You Planted

Crop rotation is an essential factor to consider as you plan your garden for the coming year. It involves changing the location of crops from one year to another to minimize the risk of disease and pests, as well as improve soil fertility. Reviewing and making note of what you planted this year in December is crucial for future reference.

Practicing good crop rotation helps prevent soil depletion and promotes a healthy and productive garden. Keeping a journal or garden planner will allow you to record which plants were in each bed or container. This way, you can effectively track the rotation of crops and avoid the buildup of pests and diseases.

Order Vegetable Seeds Now For A Head Start

To get a head start on your gardening endeavors, now is the time to order vegetable seeds. By planning ahead, you can ensure you have the varieties you want and give yourself the best chance of a successful growing season. With a wide variety of vegetables to choose from, consider your family’s preferences, growing conditions, and available space.

When selecting seeds, take into account the specific needs of each plant and choose varieties that are suitable for your climate. Some seeds can be sown directly into the ground, while others may require starting indoors and transplanting. Research different cultivars, take note of their maturity dates, and consider succession planting to extend your harvest throughout the season.

  • Order vegetable seeds now to get a head start on gardening
  • Consider your family’s preferences, growing conditions, and available space when choosing varieties
  • Take into account the specific needs of each plant and choose suitable varieties for your climate
  • Research different cultivars and their maturity dates
  • Consider succession planting to extend your harvest throughout the season

Sowing Seeds Outside: Conditions And Options

While December may not seem like the ideal time to sow seeds outside, certain conditions and options can still allow for successful outdoor planting.

  • For those in mild climates, winter salad leaves like mustard greens, mizuna, and corn salad can be planted directly in the ground.

  • If you have access to a cold frame or unheated greenhouse, you can grow lettuce varieties like lambs lettuce and ‘Winter Gem.’ December is an opportune time to sow their seeds, as these varieties can thrive in cooler temperatures. To ensure germination, you might want to warm up the soil with polythene before planting.

  • Additionally, broad bean seeds, especially the hardy ‘Longpod’ variety, can be planted directly in the ground in mild areas. To aid germination, consider using polythene to warm up the soil. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful bean harvest in the warmer months.

Note: Keep in mind that providing the necessary warmth and protection to the planted seeds is crucial for successful germination and growth.

Indoor Planting: Sow Herbs And Flowers On Your Windowsill

December is a great time to bring the beauty and aroma of herbs indoors. Several herbs, such as basil, dill, chives, and mint, can be sown indoors on your windowsill. These herbs germinate quickly and, with sufficient sunlight, can provide fresh flavors for your winter cooking.

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In addition to sowing herbs indoors, you can also start flowers from seed. A good example is sweet peas, which can be sown indoors using cardboard loo rolls or in a cold frame. By starting these seeds now, you can later transplant them into your garden in spring, adding a splash of colors and fragrance to your outdoor space.

It is important to give proper care and attention to these indoor plantings, ensuring they receive adequate water, sunlight, and nutrients for optimal growth and development.

Tip: Remember to provide proper care and attention to your indoor plantings, ensuring they receive enough water, sunlight, and nutrients for optimal growth and development.

To make the most of winter gardening in December, consider the following tips:

  • Take note of what you planted this year for crop rotation.
  • Order your vegetable seeds ahead of time for a head start.
  • Consider sowing seeds both outside and indoors.
  • Embrace the cold and get your hands dirty – your garden will thank you come springtime.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure a successful growing season in the months ahead.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is best to plant in December?

December is an ideal time to plant hardy cyclamen, tulips, and Sarcococca confusa. Hardy cyclamen are resilient plants that can withstand cold temperatures, making them a great choice for winter planting. Tulips, on the other hand, thrive in cool climates and can be planted in December to enjoy beautiful blooms in the spring. Sarcococca confusa, also known as sweet box, is a hardy evergreen shrub that produces fragrant white flowers in winter, making it a perfect addition to the garden during this season. These three options will provide a splash of color and delight to your garden even in the colder months.

Alternatively, if you are looking for edible plants, bare root roses, raspberries, blueberries, and rhubarb can also be planted in December. Bare root roses allow you to establish a beautiful rose garden from scratch, while raspberries and blueberries are delicious additions to any home garden. Rhubarb is a popular perennial vegetable that thrives in colder climates and can be enjoyed in pies and other delectable treats. December is an opportune time to plant these edible delights, ensuring a bountiful harvest in the upcoming seasons.

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1. What are some cold-weather vegetables or crops that can be planted in December?

Some cold-weather vegetables that can be planted in December include Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and radishes. These vegetables are hardy and can tolerate cooler temperatures. They can be planted in December and will continue to grow throughout the winter months, providing a harvest during the colder season. These vegetables are also rich in nutrients and can add freshness and variety to winter meals.

Additionally, some crops that can be planted in December are winter wheat, garlic, and onions. These crops are also cold-tolerant and can be sown in December for growth during the winter months. Winter wheat is a grain crop that can be used for flour production or as a cover crop to protect and enrich the soil. Garlic and onions are underground crops that will tolerate the cold and can be harvested in the following summer. Planting these crops in December allows them to establish roots and be ready for growth when the weather warms up.

2. How can I prepare my garden or soil for planting in December?

To prepare your garden or soil for planting in December, there are a few steps you can take. First, clear away any weeds or debris from the garden bed to create a clean space for planting. This will eliminate competition for nutrients and space with your upcoming plants. Additionally, loosening the soil by tilling or using a garden fork will help improve drainage and root growth.

Next, incorporate organic matter into the soil to improve its fertility and structure. You can add compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mulch to provide essential nutrients and enhance water retention. This will create a nutrient-rich environment for your plants to thrive. Finally, consider prepping your garden for planting specific crops by researching their ideal growing conditions, such as sun exposure and soil pH. By following these steps, you can prepare your garden for successful planting even in December.

3. Are there any specific flowers or plants that thrive when planted in December for a colorful winter garden?

Yes, there are several flowers and plants that thrive when planted in December for a colorful winter garden. One popular option is the Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana), which blooms even in colder temperatures, adding vibrant colors to your garden. Another option is the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), an evergreen shrub that produces bright yellow flowers during the winter months. Additionally, the Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger) is a great choice, with its elegant white flowers that bloom from December to March, creating a stunning winter display. These plants can withstand the colder temperatures and provide a splash of color to your garden during the winter season.

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