December Garden Activities

M

ake sure that your beds (especially ground beds) are properly protected from any erosion with leaves, mulch or other organic materials.

Utilize this time to do any major last-minute cleanup projects around the garden area.

Haul away any debris that is to large or woody for the compost, build paths, turn the compost pile to keep it warm, and generally make the garden space tidy before it is under heavy use again in the spring. 

If you need holiday greenery, grab your shears and head for the back yard. If you are lucky, you will have a variety of boxwoods, yew, fir, or a variety of pine trees to choose from. If you are really lucky, you may even have a holly tree!

Utilize this time to do any major last-minute cleanup projects around the garden area. Haul away any debris that is to large or woody for the compost, build paths, turn the compost pile to keep it warm, and generally make the garden space tidy before it is under heavy use again in the spring.

Now enjoy a rest! The days are becoming too short and getting colder to push to do any more things outdoors.   Turn your gardening attentions to those houseplants (and other plants you have moved inside for the winter). Remember that warmer indoor temperatures can quickly dry out most plants and they will need a bit more than usual.

It is never too soon to start planning for next year. Go to www.smartgardener.com/ for a free online vegetable garden layout tool that will help you to successfully grow healthy and tasty food.

If you need holiday greenery, grab your shears and head for the back yard. If you are lucky, you will have a variety of boxwoods, yew, fir, or a variety of pine trees to choose from. If you are really lucky, you may even have a holly tree!

Amaryllis bulb kits as Christmas gifts provide striking color inside and breathe life into winter. Only moisten the bulb when first planted, keep warm (70-75 degrees), water more as the stalk elongates, and provide enough room and stability for 1 to 1 ½ foot tall leaves as it grows and blooms.

Consider a garden shop gift card, garden tools, or offering to clean or refurbish and sharpen garden equipment for the gardener in your life. Books on their favorite type of plants, or a gift card to a popular gardening catalog also are welcome gifts.

Live Christmas trees are still a tradition in some homes. Check it’s freshness by tapping the branches. Very few needles should fall. Stroke the branches to make sure the needles are resilient and not brittle, have an aromatic fragrance, and good green color for the species. Before bringing the tree indoors, cut 1-inch off the bottom before placing in the water receptacle, and fill it with ½ cup regular 7-up plus 1 quart water or tree preserver.

Use snow-melt as little as possible to eliminate snow and ice on walkways and driveways. Avoid using fertilizer and salt which can damage plant materials in the vicinity.