December Gardening Tasks
A thorough lawn clean up is very important.. Rake up any remaining leaves in between snows if necessary. Heavy layers of decomposing leaves can cause disease problems and kill the lawn underneath them.
Stay off frozen lawns to avoid winter damage.
Sodium chloride or rock salt used to melt snow near lawns or landscape plants will cause damage! Calcium chloride (a component of conventional fertilizer), kitty litter, or sand is more environmentally friendly.
Avoid trying to remove heavy snow and ice from shrubs and trees. A coating of ice will make branches very brittle and you’ll do more damage than good. It’s best to let your landscape plants thaw out naturally. Shrubs that ‘flop’ over because of snow should be protected with a tent of burlap before heavy snows and ice hits. Place wooden stakes around the shrub and staple burlap in place. Leave some space for side movement, the top can be left partially open.
Remove and save the boughs from your Christmas trees, they make excellent mulch for perennials. Spread the boughs evenly across the planting beds even if there is snow cover. The needles can be added to your compost pile in the spring. The needles also make great mulch for acid loving plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas.
Houseplants should be inspected at least once a week for insects and disease. Early detection is the key to avoid incurable and costly troubles.
If you have any type of plant problem place a sample in a sealed plastic bag and bring it to our garden center for a diagnosis and cure. Our staff is here to help!