To Do in the Garden – December

2015-11-16 Wreath Fruit_7624 (590x590)Tips below assume that we’ve already had freezing temperatures and hard frosts.  If the ground isn’t frozen yet, you can still plant bulbs or garlic cloves.  Or dig a hole so that you can put your Christmas tree up in the yard after the holiday as a shelter for the birds.





Your Entire Property

  • When using salt to melt ice on walks and driveways, spread it carefully to avoid damage to nearby shrubs.  Consider using sand or sawdust instead.



  • Avoid heavy traffic on the dormant lawn.  Dry grass is easily broken and the crown of the plant may be severely damaged or killed.


Trees and Shrubs

  • After Christmas, move your live tree outside and redecorate it for the birds.  Anchor the tree in a bucket full of damp sand.  Put on strings of popcorn and cranberries.  Apples, oranges, leftover breads, and pine cones covered with peanut butter then dipped in birdseed can also be added.  For best results, push the edible ornaments well into the tree.
  • Remove snow from evergreens as soon as possible after a storm.  Use a broom in an upward, sweeping motion.  Serious damage may be caused by heavy snow or ice accumulating on the branches.


Perennial Beds, Bulb Plants, Roses, etc.

  • The branches that you trim from the bottom of your Christmas tree make great mulch to protect tender perennials from winter wind and the season’s freeze/thaw cycles.


Annuals – Containers and Beds

  • Move ceramic and stoneware garden containers, urns, and jars into the garage or basement to prevent damage during the cold winter season.  If containers are too large to move, cover them or turn them upside down during the winter so water will not collect and freeze in them causing breakage.


Houseplants and Tropicals

  • House plants with large leaves and smooth foliage such as philodendrons, dracaena, and rubber plants benefit if their leaves are washed occasionally with a damp cloth to remove dust.


Vegetables and Fruits