As winter approaches, gardeners often take a well-deserved break and prepare for the upcoming growing season. However, if you’re one of those plant enthusiasts who can’t bear to sit idly by, there are still plenty of useful tasks to do in the garden during December. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through essential tasks and tips to ensure your garden remains in top shape. Let’s dive into the December checklist for your garden.
Tidying Up the Ornamental Garden
Weed Control in the Winter Wonderland
While many parts of your garden may already be blanketed in snow, those areas that remain snow-free are perfect spots for a final weed-pulling session. By addressing this now, you’ll reduce the workload come spring, ensuring a pristine garden for the new season.
Winterizing Vulnerable Plants
If you have potted or garden plants that are sensitive to frost but are destined to brave the winter outdoors, take a moment to inspect their protection. Sometimes, protective materials can shift in windy or rainy weather, leaving your plants exposed. Make sure they are well-covered to safeguard against the cold.
Even in the colder months, it’s crucial to remember to water your evergreen plants during frost-free days. Neglecting this can lead to completely dry soil, potentially harming your precious garden greenery. A little attention now can help your plants thrive come spring.
Snow Load on Trees and Shrubs
While the snowy landscape is enchanting, it can also be quite heavy on your shrubs and trees. Be mindful of the snow load, especially on thinner branches. Shake off excess snow to prevent breakage and ensure your garden remains pristine.
Inspecting the Vegetable Beds
Harvesting Cold-Weather Vegetables
Many cold-hardy vegetables, such as cabbages, can be harvested throughout the year. If heavy snowfall is predicted, consider harvesting your vegetables sooner, as they tend to be tastier and more tender when they’re not overly mature.
Winter Soil Preparation
As winter sets in, your vegetable beds may be mostly empty after a successful harvest. This is a great time to work the soil, allowing frost to break it down into crumbly texture. However, avoid excessive digging, especially if your soil is loose or teeming with beneficial soil organisms.
Carrots, potatoes, apples and hazelnuts often have a place in our winter pantries or cool basements. Regularly check stored produce for any signs of mold or rot, as one spoiled item can affect the entire batch.
Caring for Garden Tools
Now is the perfect time to inspect and maintain your garden tools. Ensure that rakes, pruning shears, hoes and spades are neatly stored. Clean, sharpen or replace them as needed, preventing rust and ensuring they’re in top condition for the upcoming spring gardening season.
December in the garden may seem like a time for rest, but diligent gardeners can always find ways to stay productive. From weeding and winterizing plants to winter watering and protecting your garden tools, this checklist will help you keep your garden in excellent shape. So, as you cozy up indoors, remember that your garden can still use a little TLC during the winter months.