December Garden Chores

white poinsettia

December in Ohio is cold, but the ground is not always frozen. There are plenty of garden chores if you aren’t too busy with the holidays. This pages lists some of the more important December garden chores, along with tips for this month.

Shrubs and Trees

Heavy snow can be too much for evergreen branches and cause them to break – brush the snow off with a broom.

5 Choice Living Christmas Trees

Choosing a live Christmas tree this year? Keep it indoors for only a week or two and spray with water mist frequently. The hole dug ahead of time and covered will make planting time easier. Remember to well water the tree at planting, and mulch deeply. More… on planting a live Christmas tree.

Vegetable Garden

Dig a trench in the vegetable garden, fill with kitchen peelings, coffee grounds, old teabags, etc. As long as unfrozen, cover with soil. Easy garden composting, ready for next years plants, such as beans and peas.

Flower Bulbs

Forcing bulbs and planning next years garden are the garden activities during this month, although you have to squeeze those in between celebrating during the holidays. Certain plants are widely available this month to brighten your home.

To bloom in time for Christmas, they needed to be started earlier, so buy budding plants for a Christmas display. Not too late for January or February blooms, though, if you plant now.

Most bulbs are spent after being forced and not worth saving or replanting, although you could try it. Here’s How: Lift from plant medium, keep in a cool dry place (but not so much that they get dessicated). Plant in fall.

Christmas Plants

There are a number of popular choices in plants for the holiday season found on the pages of Christmas plants, these are the most popular plants listed with their growing requirements. Sometimes The Christmas Rose, Hellebore niger, is available as a pot plant. I bought some locally, enjoyed them in the window, and then replanted them in the garden in spring. They are gorgeous every year now.

Christmas Plants

Caring for Christmas trees and greens.

Winter Chores:
* Protect Roses, evergreens
* Mulching
* Turn compost
* Late Winter pruning
* Check on those stored summer tubers and bulbs
* Snow cover is good for plants, mulch next best.
* Check catalogs for future purchases
Remember:
* Salt from sidewalks and roads harm plants
* Protect living Christmas trees from desiccating winds
* Keep your bird feeders well-stocked
* Trees, and bulbs can be planted as long as the soil is unfrozen
* Use branches from cut Christmas trees to shelter garden plants
* Check on your stored summer bulbs: dahlias, caladium, etc.

Have lots of bulbs to store? Consider purchasing a rack like this one.

wooden storage rackThis rack is also handy for keeping apples or other winter stored produce in good condition. Easy way to keep dahlia, gladioli, and other bulbs, too.

Learn more about winter bulb storage

If you store your bulbs in a material that cannot “breath” the bulbs will rot. Use a cardboard box or slatted shallow wooden box for storing bulbs.

Store bulbs in a closet, garage, or basement (any cool, dark, frost-free place).

Check stored bulbs about once a month. Squeeze each one gently and toss any that have become rotted or mushy.

Check out More Winter Tips, details here..

Remember to keep your bird feeders filled – they are depending on you.

Frost action ruins clay pottery- are your pots stored? Your birdbath bowl?
* I found out the hard way that you could damage your resin planters by leaving them out in the winter weather. Be sure they are put away or that they do not hold water (which will freeze and crack the pot).

There fun things about winter, too, Beauty of Winter.

Prune stone fruit trees like cherry and peach, now, or wait until late winter.