Many gardeners see the arrival of Winter as an excuse to step back from gardening duties, while others grasp the opportunity to get ahead.
The appeal of sowing flowering plants and vegetables in December is that it results in earlier harvests. The practice has numerous other strong selling points, however, many of which are overlooked.
December sowing has been recognised by experts as the optimal way to establish resilient root systems, leading to more robust plants in the following months.
Three eye-popping flowers, in particular, are known to add swathes of colour by the Springtime when sown in the correct condition during December.
Geraniums are revered for their unmatched floral scent, which is frequently described as a more citrusy version of the iconic rose.
“Tender geraniums, or pelargoniums, can be sown indoors from late December onwards to provide early displays of colour,” according to Gardening experts a Homes & Gardens.
“It means that these hugely attractive plants, that come in a plethora of [colours] and can have florious scented foliage, can be flowering as early as April onwards from sowing in December.
“Deadhead your geraniums regularly and you can then keep them blooming all summer long.”
For the best results, gardeners recommend sowing the seeds in free-draining compost and ensuring the pot is exposed to a generous amount of sun
Another popular pick for December is the glorious snapdragon, which produces long flowering shoots in several shades.
The plants are robust enough to withstand the harsh temperatures of winter but have the best chance of surviving in a sheltered spot during the winter.
Gardeners who leave the seed heads on their existing snapdragons may find their their plants self-seed for further flowering.
Laurentia also does best when sown under adequate shelter in December, producing star-shaped flowers in beautiful shades of violet.
Laurentia can flower profusely when sown in the right conditions.
Experts at Thompson and Morgan recommend: “Sow on the surface of a three-inch pot of good free draining seed compost and cover with a very light sprinkling of Vermiculite.”