From Michael Coulter

December is the real start of Summer and after a very changeable Spring we look forward to a more settled and warmer time. Overall Spring has been a good growing season and as a result there has been a good set of both stone and pip. Because of this there is a need to thin out the developing fruit so that the size and quality of the crop is achieved.

The planting of Summer annuals needs to be completed and with the possibility of water restrictions mulching in as much of the garden areas as possible should be done to help retain soil moisture.

Many plants will have made some vigorous growth which can be a problem, a prune out of this growth while retaining the natural shape of the plant may be done now.

Pest and diseases are starting to appear so some preventive treatments made now will protect the plants from harmful damage.

Berry fruits are ripening now and birds can be a problem if the plants are not covered by netting. It is a busy time in the garden but we also get the satisfaction of eating our own produce and the enjoyment of the flowers the we have grown.


Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Pip fruit may need to be thinned and treat for codling moth and black spot.

  2. Harvest strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and currents as they ripen.

  3. Continue to plant successive green vegetables.

  4. Sow parsnips for the Winter crop, do not allow the ground to dry out to ensure a good germination.

  5. Plant leeks

  6. Wait for the leaves of the garlic to fall over before lifting and drying off.

  7. Tie up tomatoes and look on the underside of the leaves for any sign  of the psyllid.

  8. Plant peppers, chillies, cucumbers and pumpkins

  9. Feed citrus and keep them well watered also mulch around the drip line.




  1. Treat for broad leaf weeds.
  2. Repair any bare areas.
  3. Treat for grass grub if it has been a problem.
  4. Fertilise after you have treated for weeds and pests.
  5. Trim back the edges to keep them even.
  6. Cut regularly but not too low.



Flower Garden

  1. Treat roses as needed for pests and diseases and deadhead spent flowers.

  2. Dahlias and chrysanthemums along with other perennials will need to have their stakes put in place before they get too tall.

  3. Prune and deadhead rhododendrons after flowering and look for thrips later in the month and treat if needed.

  4. Pot up or plant out tuberous begonias once the new shoots are showing plenty of leaves.

  5. Hoe out the weeds when they are very small and use mulches to help suppress.

  6. Prune to shape fuchsias and pinch back new growth to keep the plants more compact.

  7. Daffodil leaves can be cut back once they show signs of drying off.


Happy gardening, Michael Coulter

For any gardening queries refer through the month you can consult our online facebook group