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DAY 5: Get digging!

Posted: Tuesday 29th December 2015 by Community

(c) Tom Marshall(c) Tom Marshall

Time to get your hands dirty and prepare the vegetable patch for the harvest year ahead. Now is also the perfect time to get ahead of the game and order seeds in preparation for spring.

Winter snow and frost can transform the scruffiest garden into a magical winter wonderland with seed heads and branches dusted white. Bulbs such as snowdrop may start poking their green shoots through the hard ground and hellebores (as known as the Christmas or lenten rose) is in bloom.

The colour in the garden at this time of year is provided by the variety of mosses, fungi and lichens to be seen particularly on logs, beneath trees and in other shady damp places.

If the ground isn't frozen then give the soil a dig over, you'll probably find an eager little robin or blackbird quickly pinching the worms in the freshly turned soil. You could even turn over or empty the compost bin to enrich the beds.

December project – plant native shrubs

Any time in the next few months is ideal for planting native, bare rooted shrubs, either in a hedge, as individual specimens or to create a wildlife habitat in a corner of your garden. As our winters become increasingly mild, December is a good month to carry out this task giving the shrubs ample time to settle into their new home before the spring weather warms the soil and they burst into growth.  Hawthorn, blackthorn, dogwood, field maple, spindle and hazel together make a wonderful hedge, full of flowers in spring and berries and nuts in the autumn. Plant with care, adding organic compost to the hole as well as finishing off with a good mulch. Find a local stockist if you can as these plants will be better adapted to your local weather and soil conditions, and will flourish in your area.

Taken from Wildlife Gardening 

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