Gardening isn’t one of those hobbies that we can just roll out of bed and do such as running or dancing. It requires a considerable amount of time to carefully plan what to sow and when. Therefore, gardening is a bit of a waiting game, and sometimes our patience is put to the test, but the outcome is so rewarding.
Throughout the year we are always doing something in the garden, whether we are planting, sowing, pruning, watering or feeding. However, we need to make time to sit and plan next year’s garden to ensure we make the most of it and December is the perfect time to do so. Winter has arrived and our plants and crops are tucked up under their cloches or fleeces for winter protection waiting for frosts to pass. It is time to put up our tired and worn feet, plant and seed catalogues in hand and meticulously select our next big order. It simply won’t happen with a click of the finger.
If you want parsnips ready for your Christmas dinner you will need to plant them from mid spring. So note them in your diary and plant them early so you can enjoy home-grown parsnips next year. Parsnips mature in about 16 weeks from sowing, but they will keep in the ground so you can harvest from late autumn right through to January.
Brassicas need sowing from February for a tasty plateful with your Christmas dinner. These crops need commitment – if you don’t have the patience then stick to quick growing crops such as salad leaves, beetroot, radish, beans and peas which will grow in no time!
If you are looking for all year round colour you need to plant a good range of shrubs and perennials, including evergreens. Planning is essential. Choose plants that have more than one season of interest such as the attractive shrub Amelanchier and opt for a few plants which flower during a different season to most such as winter flowering sarcococca or Clematis armandii. There are plenty of perennials that will give a colourful display, but while you are waiting for them to flower why not sow some quick growing annuals.
Gardening takes patience and careful planning if you are to ensure great displays and harvests from your garden. Don’t be fooled when your neighbour has a bountiful crop of parsnips at Christmas, they have planned their crop carefully!
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.