Author: Martin Blunn.

December usually is a cold, wet and windy month. Daytime temperatures might struggle to get above freezing and the days are so short that there hardly seems time to do anything in the allotment or garden.

If you live an area where you can grow kiwis and grapes December is the time to propagate hardwood cuttings. Alas in my part of the country neither would do very well so the only fruit I will be looking to propagate is a hardwood cutting from a plum tree.

December if weather permits allows you and you have not finished continue your clean up in the allotment and continue to check structures and make repairs.

You should still be able to harvest your brassicas, kale, Brussel sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli should be still producing harvest or just coming into harvest. I was once told the best sprouts are ones that have been exposed to a frost.

With the short days now is the probably the time to think about planning next year lokk at the seeds your going to need and order them from reputable seed merchant or if possible under the current circumstances your local allotment society. Take a look at how you are going to rotate your crops.

One other to try is to plant early potatoes in the polytunnel or greenhouse many have had success with planting this month. However this only really works where a mild winter is the normal but until you try it you won’t know. Nothing much will happen for a few weeks but keep an eye out for the first shoots and always cover emerging leaves with multiple layers of fleece and if the night is really cold cover each of the plants with a cardboard box. Another trick in the daytime where the days are cold is cover the plant with a clear plastic tub.