This is the DECEMBER installment of Horticulture Week's month-by-month guide to essential maintenance and management tasks for parks, gardens and grounds maintenance staff.

Order seeds, pots, trays and containers
Review tools and equipment, noting those requiring replacement

Clear debris as it arises
Move any plants in the wrong place
Continue winter digging
Check over tools, clean and sharpen where appropriate
Service mowers and other equipment
Feed the birds

Trees, shrubs and hedges
Inspect for wind damage and check ties and stakes
Clear snow off conifers, shrubs and hedges
Prune woody ornamentals as necessary
Continue planting so long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged

Beds and borders
Continue cutting down dead growth
Lift and divide if soil and weather are suitable
Continue taking root cuttings

Wall plants
Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous climbers

Inspects stores regularly

Check regularly

Greenhouses and conservatories
Check for panes loosened by gales
Keep tidy and water plants carefully

*Jobs should only be undertaken when ground and weather conditions are suitable and will vary according to location and may vary significantly from year to year. And remember that while the year nicely divides into 12 months, activities often overlap.

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