13 Garden Tasks To Accomplish In December
The holiday season is upon us. Our gardens have gone dormant, and in many cases are frozen or covered with snow. What’s a gardener to do during this long dark month?
Here are some recommendations for December garden tasks:
· It’s a good time to lightly prune those hollies in your yard. Added benefit, you can use the trimmings to decorate your home for the holidays!
· Plant your amaryllis and paperwhites bulbs soon so you can enjoy the first part of January when the holiday décor is gone, and you’re pining for some type of plant to cheer up the winter days. Plant a couple of extra pots of these and wrap in burlap and a beautiful ribbon, to share as hostess gifts during the parties you’re sure to attend.
· Catch up on your garden book reading! There are so many wonderful books on a variety of topics, from seed starting, to garden design ideas and tips, to ways to incorporate edibles into your front and back planting areas. Enjoy a warm fire, a hot toddy, and immerse yourself in a garden via the written pages.
· Add new garden hand tools, garden gloves and boots to your holiday wish list. These are always welcome gifts for gardeners, and your relatives will be happy for the suggestions!
· If a Christmas tree is on your list of things to do, consider a live tree. These can be enjoyed for a few week during the holiday, then added to your yard as a beautiful new addition. Some great varieties are: Korean fir, White pine, Norway spruce, or the Colorado blue spruce “Baby Blue.” For great tips on caring for your live tree, check out this link at Sunset Magazine.
· For more temperate areas, you can continue with your cool season vegetables, such as cabbages, broccoli, Bok choi, and kale. These all would have been started in late summer or early fall, but you can keep them in cold frames during this season.
· Order seeds from your favorite seed catalogs. Think about what you enjoyed growing and eating last summer. Order more of those seeds! And think about what new plants and varieties you’d like to try this next year.
· Be sure to water your indoor holiday plants such as poinsettia’s, Christmas cactus, and amaryllis. These all need moist soil, and will tend to dry out quickly in our heated homes. Also be sure and provide them with plenty of natural daylight when possible.
· If you haven’t finished up planting those spring blooming bulbs, if the outdoor temperatures warm up slightly, and especially if your area gets some moisture in the form of rainfall, you can still plant those bulbs. Try to finish this task up so they can still develop some roots before the next hard freeze.
· Feed the birds that visit your yard, and provide fresh unfrozen water for them.
· Continue to add compost to planting beds. This will aide in protecting any tender plants, as well as benefit the soil as temperatures warm up next spring.
· Monitor the upcoming freezes and continue to protect your pots and outdoor plants by covering and shielding them. Water them during warmer stretches to help them stay hydrated if your area doesn’t get needed rain.
· If you have a lawn, stay off while it’s frozen or water logged. Stepping on it during these conditions will inflict damage.
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