‘Needs doing urgently’: Monty Don shares advice for gardening plants before Christmas

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Monty Don, best known for his role in Gardeners’ World, regularly shares gardening advice with his fans. Sharing advice in his November 2021 blog post, the expert recommended gardeners continue to plant deciduous wood material.

Monty wrote: “Continue to plant deciduous wood material such as trees, hedges and shrubs.

“From the beginning of November nurseries will be selling bare-root plants.

“Buying woody deciduous shrubs, hedging plants to trees ‘bare-root’ – i.e. straight from the ground and not in a container – tends to be much cheaper, better quality and offers a much wider choice.

“But this must be planted when dormant so this is becoming a job that needs doing urgently.”

The expert explained that plants in pots can wait a little longer.

However, he added that this is only “if necessary”.

Monty said: “As soon as you receive the plants, give them a good drink in a bucket of water and keep them moist until ready to plant.

“Prepare your planting hole, remembering that a wide hole is much better than a deep one, and do not let the roots dry out even for a minute as they will die back very quickly.

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“Keep them covered or soaking in a bucket of water until the very last minute.

“Plant firmly, keeping all the stem above soil level, stake if necessary, water well and then always mulch thickly.”

Some experts also recommended protecting plants during the winter months with some insulation.

This can be done by purchasing horticultural fleece or using bubble wrap.

What’s more, this can also help to protect the plant pots from cracking due to the cold temperatures.

Monty added that gardeners can also plant paperwhites now, just in time for Christmas.

He wrote: “Paperwhite daffodils, narcissi papyraceus, will be flowering for Christmas if you plant them now. 

“Unlike most daffodils, it is native to the Mediterranean and do not require a period of vernalisation – or cold – to induce flowering.

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“So plant the bulbs just beneath the surface of your compost in a container (ideally with drainage but a normal bowl can also be used if you add some charcoal to keep the soil sweet), keep them watered but not soggy and place in a warm, light place.

“The bulbs will grow strongly.”

If indoors and in the warmth, Monty explained that they will flower in just four weeks.

He added: “To delay and prolong flowering, keep them cool but frost-free.”

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