What to do in the garden in December

The first day of summer kicks off in December, which means longer days and warmer nights. This month is the perfect time to take advantage of all your garden has to offer and help it survive the heat. 


What to Plant

Now is the best time to plant basil, brunfelsia, jacaranda, lilly pilly and sandpaper vine. Marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers and ageratum make great companion plants too. Not only do they attract beneficial insects and repel the nasty ones, they’re easy to grow and add lovely colour to your garden. 

In tropical regions, you can get into the veggie patch and plant sweet potato, beetroot, eggplant, artichoke, radish, cowpeas and watermelon. It’s too hot for most herbs, but you can still go for chili, chives and lemongrass. 

If you live in a sub-tropical area, pop some beetroot, capsicum, cucumber, squash, sunflower, chili, chives and ginger into your patch. 

Temperate climates are ideal for asparagus, along with beetroot, parsley, pumpkin, radish and sunflower. 

For the colder regions, it’s a good time of year in the veggie patch. Add some favourites like asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, capsicum, pumpkin, potato, rhubarb and tomato along with a range of herbs such as chives, dill, coriander, rosemary, oregano and parsley. 


What to Pick

If you’ve been waiting to enjoy some refreshing watermelon, they should be ready to pick. Your tomatoes and zucchini are also ready to be picked and added to summer salads. 

In temperate areas, capsicum, celery and eggplant are ripe for the picking while cooler states can enjoy their homegrown celery, along with basil, broccoli, cabbage and rockmelon. 

It’s a good idea to pick and freeze some of your fruit so you can continue to enjoy it long after summer has gone. It’s a great way to avoid wastage too.


What to Do

Our Aussie summers can be pretty harsh so it’s important to take a bit of extra time caring for your garden so it survives and thrives during the hotter months.

Make sure you use mulch – it’ll keep the soil moist, give protection from the sun and it’ll also help to keep weeds at bay. Lightly mulch your potted plants and keep them out of the harsh sun as much as possible. 

Water your garden deeply but less frequently to encourage strong and healthy roots. It’s also a good idea to do your watering in the morning before it gets too hot; your garden will stay hydrated for longer and it also helps to reduce the risk of fungal disease. 

It’s important to aerate your lawn with a fork to get more oxygen into the soil and allow water to penetrate the roots. Don’t forget to raise your mower blade too – longer grass means longer roots and cooler soil.

Avoid chemical fertilisers as they could dry and destroy your plants. Environmental impact liquid fertiliser is great for seedlings when they crave water. 

Shade cloth is a great way to protect your seedlings and plants during summer – especially if you’re going away. If you are planning a trip, consider installing a drip irrigation system so your plants still get the water they need.

As a finishing touch, add some colourful flowers to your garden to create the perfect setting for entertaining. 

For more great garden ideas, check out our full garden range


D.I.Y. To Do This Month

How To Grow Vegetables 

How To Maintain Your Lawn 

How To Plan a Garden Irrigation System 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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