Requested by one of our readers was an article about maintenance works throughout the year.
Because the life of a gardener is tied to the weather and seasons, it is essential to mind the weather during each month described.
Japan is a long island, stretching from the North-East to the South-West and crosses several degrees of latitude. Plus it has a mountain range running from north to south, which will create different weathers in the west and east.
I will start each article with the average weather of that month focussing on Tokyo and Kyoto if possible.
The weather in December:
Early December can still have some very warm days and some autumn foliage to show off.
The temperatures ranging from 12°C (54°F) during the day to 4°C (39°F) during the nights and we have five hours of average sunshine each day.
The average rainfall is 46 mm.
Works, which will be done in December:
New Year Cleaning
When all the deciduous trees have lost their leaves, you can see the whole branch-structure of a tree. It is the best time to remove branches which grow in weird directions, cross with other branches, grow upright etc.
Finishing what couldn’t be finished before.
November is a very busy time for gardeners, so the usual garden-care work in private gardens continue in December as before.
The winter in Tokyo is very sunny but dry. It is a hard time for evergreens, which continue with photosyntesis and need water for this process. Especially evergreens in pots like bamboo need a lot of extra-watering in December and January.
Momiage on pine trees
The old needles of pine trees will be removed. If pine care is carried out only once a year, the shoots from last sping are shortened. Read more about pine care in our article about Momiage and Midoritsumi.
Started in November, the winter protection called yukizuri or fuyugakoi is put on trees and weaker shrubs and plants. The kind of protection varies from place to place. In regions with strong snowfall like Niigata, the protection is much stronger than in warmer regions like Tokyo.
You can read more about yukizuri in our blog post.
The Japanese grass became dormant by now and direct maintenance isn’t necessary anymore. Weeds will use this chance to overgrow the lawn and the weeds should be picked accordingly.
With this post I have provided you with information about the maintenance works in Japanese gardens (gardens in Japan) for one whole year. I hope you enjoyed this series and learned something new about gardening in Japan!