Taking care of the Lawn in December
You may still need to mow the lawn in December if the weather has been mild and not too wet. A very light mowing will leave the garden look tidier and stop grass getting too long. New Lawns, sown from seed in the autumn, can also be lightly mown too on a sunny, dry day.
Earthworms can also be a problem, although they do not damage the grass, the casts they leave on the surface of the lawn are a nuisance and can cause weeds and moss to take hold. Therefore it is best to sweep them off the lawn as soon as they appear.
Leather jackets (the larval stage of crane flies, or daddy-long-legs) can be a real problem on lawns, and December is a good time to deal with them. These grubs feed on grass roots and basal stems just beneath the surface of the soil. The main indications that these pests are at work are brown patches of dying turf as soon as the weather turns dry. You may also see increased bird activity on the lawn, as they search for them. If your lawn is badly infested, then you may find that large tufts of grass will come away in your hand at the slightest pull. Treat the lawn with an approved pesticide, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
If you are planning to put down a new lawn from seed in the spring, start deep digging whenever the soil is in a workable condition so that it has time to settle down before sowing. The more you can walk on it, levelling and raking, between now and sowing, the better.
During the winter, check the lawn after heavy rain to see if there are any low spots where the rain forms puddles. If there are any wait until they dry out, and then spike the areas to correct possible compaction. If this fails to cure the problem, it probably means that the ground needs raising, which should be done in the spring.
Avoid walking on lawns when they are covered in frost, or you will crush the frozen grass and leave dark green patches on the surface.
Keep brushing off fallen leaves regularly and add them to the compost heap.
Next page >> Managing Trees and Shrubs in December >>
Bulbs for December
Bulbs that flower in December include: