December in your Garden
• Bedding Plants – Plant Calendulas, Cyclamen, Dianthus, Pansies, Iceland Poppies, Primrose, Stock and Snapdragon. Some late winter blooming plants to include are Begonia, Columbine, Lobelia,
and Sweet Alyssum. Cut back Impatiens to encourage early spring growth. Divide Acanthus, Agapanthus, Shasta Daisies, Daylilies, Gazanias, and Huechera.
• Lawns – Mow actively growing cool season grasses at least twice a month now. Set mower blades to 1 ½”. Feed with a high nitrogen fertilizer or ammonium nitrate to maintain vigor and avoid rust.
• Roses – Prune floribundas and miniature roses mid-month. Remove weeds and fallen leaves.
• Some Specific Plants – Purchase holiday poinsettias early in the month while selection is best or at the end of the month when the prices are the best and you can brighten up the yard for a few weeks after Christmas. Christmas Cactus are blooming now and make perfect gifts. While you can choose from a variety of bare root berries, rose bushes, fruit and shade trees and grapevines now, we recommend waiting a few months until the plants are leafed out. Bare root plants purchased at traditional and chain store nurseries or other stores can be dried out due to inadequate storing. By purchasing container plants you can be sure to get the variety you are looking for with healthy root and top growth. Many plants are at rest now so cut back watering. Be sure to provide good drainage and adequate windbreaks for new plants.
• Pest Control – A dormant oil spray should be applied now to deciduous fruit trees, rose bushes and berry vines.
• Make Christmas critters from pods and cones collected throughout the year and use them to decorate your tree, Christmas table, or presents. String popcorn and holly berries to decorate your home.
• Sprinkle dried herbs on the fire to add fragrance to a room before guests arrive.
• Flowers and plants make thoughtful, personal and long-lasting gifts.