Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...
The days are getting shorter and darker and the wet weather is setting in… it’s about this time of year that people start to feel SAD – seasonal affective disorder. That’s the winter blues to you and me.
Studies show that people who garden are more likely to be satisfied with their lives, and less likely to display signs associated with depression or unhappiness. In fact, 93% of gardeners think that gardening improves their mood.
But for those whose unhappiness is related to the seasons, this provides a challenge. What gardening can you do in December?
Well, it turns out quite a lot. And we’re not just talking clearing leaves and mulching. There are lots of fun gardening options for those of us who are less hardy than most of our plants:
- Cloning. What could be a more cheery prospect than pretending that you’re a mad scientist wanting to clone things? Plants like the silver spurflower (plectranthus argentatus) and moses in the cradle (tradescantia spathacea) can be cloned by cutting stems about 5-8cm from the tips and rooting them in water, before potting.
- Dividing – the peace lily (spathiphyllum wallisii), a very common house plant, can be divided into two or three sections and planted into individual pots. Great fun if you live with a control freak, as this is likely to make a huge mess.
- Spice it up – winter is a time for warming spices and yours can be grown at home. Ginger is a good option; it tastes delicious in cake and has a number of medicinal effects that will keep you healthy throughout winter. If you want to grow your own ginger, all you need is a pot of compost and a sunny windowsill (well, as sunny as it gets in December).
- Grow mushrooms - from December to January you can buy mushroom logs that are ready to be planted outdoors . They’ll provide you with a source of delicious food – and make you look like a fun guy.
Photo credit: Michael Behrens