December Gardening Checklist
Enjoy the season with a new gardening book
The holidays may be taking up all your time, but there are
still a few things you can do for your garden.
- If you haven't planted your spring bulbs, it's still not too late.
Most require at least 60 days of cold temperatures to bloom. If the ground
is frozen, pop them in the fridge now. Put them in the vegetable drawer, then
plant in early February. Depending on your region, it might be too late for
daffodils, but it should be okay for tulips and hyacinths. If the ground isn't
frozen, don't delay; plant them in the ground as soon as possible.
- Prune evergreens and holly to make your own wreaths and
centerpieces. Use good pruning practices to avoid distorting your plants.
- Buy a live tree for Christmas, especially if you live in
a temperate area. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures
the less likely the tree will suffer. This is much harder to manage in extremely
cold areas, of course.
- If you haven't cleaned the gutters, now is the time to do it. You can hang
lights and clean gutters at the same time, or clean the gutters after
the holidays instead. Keep them clear and free running to prevent damage to
wood fascia and siding.
- Plant or transplant trees and shrubs. Bare root stock is
available at many nurseries. If weather is freezing or too wet, pot them for
- Don't miss the rare sunny day to rake up the last of the leaves
and cut back ratty perennials.
Planning for next season
- If you have everything under control, tidy, and put away, you can really
settle down and enjoy planning for next season. Go online
and order seed and plant catalogs now from your favorite vendors. Order new
seeds and plants now for best selection. If you wait too long, you might miss
out on some of the newest and most interesting plants.
- Settle down with a cup of tea and ponder the last growing season.
What did best? What failed? Why? If you spend a little time thinking about
it, you can generate a whole new list of "to do" projects for next
spring. You'll know what to rip out, what to move, and what new varieties
you'll want to try. If you planted vegetables, consider how you used what
you grew. If you found yourself, buying basil to add to your homegrown tomatoes,
plan to add basil next year. (You can never have too much basil, garlic, or
- When planning, consider rotating plantings. Alternate deep
rooted plants with fibrous rooted plants to improve the structure of soil.
- Ponder the merits of growing something you've never considered.
Mushrooms, for example, are interesting, healthy, and could be a very good
thing for the planet, too.
- Buy a new gardening book and enjoy reading it. (It's another
gift giving opportunity!)
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home
While the garden is dormant, turn your attention to a few inside jobs like
reorganizing your storage. If you need a carpenter, find a qualified pro at ContractorNexus