December kitchen garden – your guide to perfect patch to plate vegetables

December might be wet and miserable but it’s a perfect period to get some work done on your vegetable garden. Here are some tips of monthly maintenance.
older woman harvesting sprouts - December kitchen garden

What to do during the festive season to ensure your kitchen garden keeps on providing the tastiest produce.

December harvest

Harvest vegetables for Christmas as soon as they are ready, because frosts and so on can damage plants therefore it’s best to pick them, even if you then store before eating. It’s time to harvest Brussels sprouts, celery, cleriac, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, parsnips, carrots, swedes, cabbage, kale, chard, spring onions, winter radish and salad leave.

Chicory - December kitchen garden
December is the perfect time to pay attention to Chicory.


Chicory is a fantastic salad ingredient and is well worthy of your labour through the winter months. Early December is the time to force chicory, making it produce tender and white chicons or shoots. Do this by digging up the roots, cutting back the leaves, and putting into a pot of moist compost. Cover with an upturned pot, blocking the drainage hole in the base to keep out light, and place out of frost.

rhubarb under forcing pots - December kitchen garden
Upturned pots provide excellent protection from frost.


Divide two or three year old rhubarb crowns if you haven’t done so already – you can do this with a sharp spade.

Mid-December, force them by digging up the plants and potting in moist compost. Keep out light with a frame covered in black polythene, or cover with a forcing pot.

fruit tree pruning - December kitchen garden

Fruit trees & bushes

Prune apple and pear trees, grape vines and cane fruits such as blackberries, gooseberries, loganberries, red, black and whitecurrants, but not on a frosty day. Don’t prune stone fruits until May.

You can take cuttings for new plants from black, white and redcurrants, gooseberries and grape vines.

It’s time to plant fruit trees and bushes, you could try growing blueberries. Prepare the ground first, and if you cannot plant straight away place temporarily into moist mulch at a 45 degree angle in a sheltered position. You can put berry cuttings into the ground but vine cuttings must be kept warm and acclimatised to cooler temperatures gradually until spring.

If you found December kitchen garden – your guide to perfect patch to plate vegetables helpful, you’ll find more winter and seasonal vegetable garden tips on our Gardening channel. Or, if you have tips of your own, leave a comment below.

Tags: , Last modified: December 2, 2022

Written by 12:59 pm Gardening • One Comment