10 Tips for the December Gardener

tricolor poinsettias in a greenhouse
Photo: Leanne Pundt

1.      Replace the plants in hanging baskets, containers, and window boxes with evergreen boughs, berries and pinecones.

2.      Disinfect, oil, and sharpen lawn and garden tools. Keep them in a dry storage area.

3.      Don’t use fertilizer to melt ice. This creates nitrogen runoff issues that could damage local bodies of water.

4.         Recycle your fresh Christmas tree by using cut branches as insulation over perennials.

5.         Gently clean the leaves of large-leaved houseplants like dracaena, philodendron and ficus. Check for insect pests and treat accordingly.

6.      Drain the fuel tanks of the lawn mower and any other gas-powered lawn tools. Check the belt and spark plugs, change the oil and sharpen the blades.

7.      Remove snow and ice from tree and shrub branches by tapping them gently. It’s best to let the ice melt naturally.

8.      Continue to harvest Brussels sprouts. They’ll typically keep even when buried in snowdrifts

9.      Buy a few holiday plants to decorate your home such as poinsettias or try something a bit more unusual like a cyclamen or kalanchoe.

10.    Use garden notes, photos and sketches to plan out your garden for the upcoming season.