With much of the harvested haul safely in and the rest of the vulnerable crops protected, it is worth regularly checking the crates and clamps for damaged fruit and veg that will not last. December is a good time to consider planting fruit trees and shrubs as long as the ground is not sodden or frozen. If it is, wait until the weather breaks, any time during the dormant season, usually between late November and March, is OK. Any new plantings should be staked and tied and protected with a tree guard. Older tree guards and stakes should be duly checked and adjusted to prevent any damage to your precious trees by those howling winter winds.
Autumn raspberries benefit from their annual prune during this month. The spent canes should be cut down to ground level and summer fruiting canes should have their fruited canes removed, leaving this year’s new canes to grow on for next year. It wouldn’t hurt to give both varieties a good mulch to their bases.
Keep an eye on any cabbages, and remove any yellowing leaves as they appear. Don’t forget to keep cropping your vegetables regularly but leave enough for the Christmas table!