December Garden Calendar

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Plants in flower & plants of interest:

  •  pansies, dogwood berries (red), viburnum berries (dark blue), winter jasmine, hollies with their red berries, winterberry hollies (deciduous), camellias, mahonias, nandinas, winter daphne, pyracantha (berries), hawthorne (berries), & witch hazel

Pansies

Pansies

Winterberry Holly

Winterberry Holly

Winter daphne

winter Daphne

image of a mahonia

Mahonia

Fertilizing

  • Use wood ashes around the vegetable garden, bulb beds, and non-acid loving plants if soil pH is below 6.0
  • Fertilize indoor plants as needed

Planting

  • Bare root season begins late this month, so you can plant cane berries, grapes, roots of perennials such as artichoke, asparagus, rhubarb, astilbe, & peony
  • Repot indoor plants as needed

          * For Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti consider using a similar mix (3 parts miracle grow potting soil, 2 parts peat moss, 2 parts perlite, 1 part sand)

Cactus

  • Finish planting spring-flowering bulbs (as long as the ground is not frozen!)

bulb chart for fall and spring bulbs

Pruning

  • When cutting holiday greenery or berry plants to use as table decorations, use sharp pruners and make cuts above a bud or side branch
  • Prune out any small weedy trees

Lawn Care

Consider leaving your leaves this fall and winter…

** Leaf litter is beneficial to your lawn and garden through the recycling of valuable nutrients, protecting tree roots during the winter, creating needed habitat for beneficial wildlife and protecting the earth by preventing the generation of methane gas! (when kept in an anaerobic environment, like a trash bag in a landfill, leaves produce methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times for harmful than CO2!)

  • If you don’t like a whole bunch of leaves in the yard, consider chopping them up with a mulching blade on your mower, this will help those nutrients break down into the soils more quickly
  • Use any excess of leaves as “natural, free mulch” to put in your garden, around your trees, or, in your flower beds
  • You can also add them to a compost bin/pile, or throw them into the woods to be used by wildlife

leaves are not litter image

Propagation

  • Hardwood cuttings of your landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, holly, and hydrangea can be taken this month
  • Propagate indoor plants like African violet & begonia now! (be sure to keep a humidity tent or something similar over them for a while to help them root)

Specific Chores

  • Put pine needles, wheat/barley straw or row covers over your strawberry plants when temps go below 25°F
  • Keep your living Christmas tree outside until you are ready to decorate
  • Make a list of needed repairs on garden tools and equipment. Repair or have them repaired after the holidays
  • Shop around for garden products for your favorite gardener
  • Keep your cut Christmas tree in water throughout the holiday season
  • Order fruit trees, fruit plants, and grapevines for February or March planting
  • Keep poinsettias in a moist, cool area with full sunlight; protect them from cool drafty areas