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December

Harvest your garlic. 

Traditionally gardeners do this on the longest day of the year – 21st December. However, I like to keep a lookout for the leaves drying and yellowing off to know when to harvest my garlic. Gently dig them up, watching to not yank the leaves or you might tear the stalks off. Then brush off the dirt and string them up to dry, in an airy spot indoors.

Dig up your new potatoes. Not sure if they’re ready? A flowering potato plant is a great sign that they’re ready to be harvested. Depending on varieties, many people leave them to dry off for a few weeks after the flowers appear. Hopefully just in time for Christmas lunch.

Keep up your planting. Grow the summer herbs and vege that thrive this time of the year. Basil, chives, cucumbers, eggplant, chilliespumpkins and watermelon. If it’s already very warm where you are, plant early in the evening and water well.

Stake your tomatoes. When it gets really dry, you can place newspaper on the ground and cover with mulch or compost. This will help keep the moisture levels constant. But avoid watering their leaves, as this encourages disease. The same goes for your capsicums, chilli and climbers like cucumbers and eggplants.

Enjoy your new roses blooming. Remember to deadhead them though, to ensure another round of flowering.

Prune back your hedges that have bushed up, and lost their shape over spring.

Plant summer annuals like petunias and impatiensPetunias love full sun, whereas impatiens cope well in shady spots. Grow some sunflowers in your garden too. Planting them now should have them flowering around mid-February.

Finally, keep on top of your weeding. At this time of the year, you can turn your back for a day and the weeds will know!

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