Usually, it’s pretty chilly in December and most vegetable plants go into a period of dormancy until the Spring brings fresh growth. You can extend the growing season by growing vegetables indoors and by growing vegetables in greenhouses – so here are the basics of what vegetables you can plant in December.
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What Vegetables to Plant in December
You can *possibly* plant garlic in December
We love harvesting fresh garlic in the spring, and it’s true you can plant garlic in December, but if the weather is particularly wet then you’ll need to plant it inside. Garlic doesn’t do well in waterlogged soil or compost especially when it’s just starting out, so if you’re planting garlic in pots or into the ground, some gravel in the base of where you’re planting it, and the ability to stop it getting soggy will definitely help. You’ll want to look for the Vallelado and Flavour varieties of garlic for winter planting and a spring harvest. Buy garlic to plant in December here.
Grow Mushrooms in December
Mushrooms are one of those fabulous fresh vegetables that can be grown year-round. Mushrooms are very easy to grow, especially if you use a mushroom growing kit when you’re getting started and they can provide a great incentive to add vegetables to your dishes. There are heaps of mushroom growing kits available these days, go exotic with shiitake mushrooms or oyster, or keep it simple with white button mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms. These are the easiest mushrooms we’ve found to grow.
Grow Chilli Peppers in December
A colourful chilli pepper plant on a warm windowsill is just the thing to give your home a bit of colour over the winter months. Chilli pepper seeds can be sowed at any time of the year, but they’re a great morale boost in the cold winter months. As chilli peppers need warmth they’re better off inside unless you have the luxury of a heated greenhouse. Pop them into a small pot, find a good sunny warm windowsill for them and watch your chillies grow. When you end up with a fabulous harvest check out our article on how to preserve chillies here.
What Vegetables to Harvest in December
December in the vegetable garden brings the root vegetables that are popular on the Christmas dinner table – Brussel sprouts, parsnips, potatoes and carrots. If you’ve been growing mushrooms you should also have a steady supply – we reckon on a crop every 2-3 weeks once they get going and this definitely keeps up our light fresh vegetable intake.
Harvest Brussel Sprouts In December
Brussels should be ready in decent quantities in December – you can harvest them by taking the whole plant, or by simply snipping them off one by one. They’ll last longer if you just take what you need. If you do take the whole plant out at the root, then cut the root off and store in a cool dark place in a pot of water to make them last longer.
Harvest Carrots in December
While carrots will last a decent amount of time when stored right they also last well in the ground until you’re ready to eat them – so long as they’re not waterlogged! You’ll also want to take them out of the ground or pots you’re growing carrots in if there’s a bit of a freeze.
Harvest Leeks In December
Leeks are one of those vegetables that are hardy enough to survive frosts and even snow if left in the ground. They are best stored in the ground, so leave them until you need them. If you are going to store them once you’ve harvested, then cut the roots off and wash the stems to get rid of any soil and creatures that might be living there.
Harvest Parsnips in December
Parsnips also store best in the ground, so try and leave them there until you need them. Once they’re out of the ground you can store them longer by laying them in boxes and covering with a little sand.
Harvest Mushrooms Through Out December
Once you’ve grown your first lot of mushrooms you’ll be hooked. They’re so easy to grow – and to harvest – simply take them out at the root, clean and use. Our mushroom growing supplies us with a fresh harvest once every 2-3 weeks.
What Jobs to do in the Garden in December
I’ll admit it I’m very much a fairweather gardener so the idea of going and digging the allotment when it’s chucking it down with rain never appeals to me, so I tend to keep things to a minimum when the weather is forecast to be bad. That said when its good weather you’ll find me digging the ground over or layering in some well-rotted manure or compost from our compost bins.
December is, weather depending, a good time to keep digging over the ground. Layer in any well-rotted manure that you have, or compost that you’ve made. I also use the time to clean out any equipment that I’m going to use and haven’t already cleaned. Shovels, spades, trowels all get a good clean – and dry. Pots and containers get washed out, dried and put away. Waterproof gardening gloves are essential, my hands are cold at the best of times!
All our monthly vegetable planting guides
- What vegetables to plant in January
- What vegetables to plant in February
- What vegetables to plant in March
- What vegetables to plant in April
- What vegetables to plant in May
- What vegetables to plant in June
- What vegetables to plant in July
- What vegetables to plant in August
- What vegetables to plant in September
- What vegetables to plant in October
- What vegetables to plant in November
Final words on Vegetables to Plant in December
There isn’t a lot going on in the vegetable garden in December – make the most of sunny window sills for chillis, herbs and possibly salad leaves. Extend your growing season to by using a greenhouse (it doesn’t have to be big – here’s our guide to small greenhouses), and spend the time planning what you’ll be doing in the vegetable garden in the New Year!.
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