December is a very slow month in the garden. Basically I use December as a month to tie up loose ends, and complete crafts for the garden and Christmas gifts. Here are a few things I do in my Zone 6/7 garden here in Tennessee.
1. Finish planting bulbs. It is not too late contrary to popular belief. The bulbs will be okay if planted now. So go buy those markdown bulbs and plant away. Good luck if the ground is frozen!
2. Do a final clean up of the leaves if you did not get them all in November.
3. Heat your birdbaths. I have noticed the birds are still patronizing the birdbaths not to bathe, but to drink.
4. Feed the birds. Sunflower seeds are very expensive this year, so I have stuck with suet cakes here in my garden. They are much cheaper and provide the birds much needed protein to stay warm.
5. Trim trees. This is a labor intensive job, but one that is necessary to the health of the tree, and enjoyment of the garden. I generally limb my trees up, but also spend time correcting crossing branches and doing a bit of thinning.
6. Decorate for the holidays.
7. Check gourds frequently for drying. Mine have always been dried by December of each year. Once dried, I get to decide on the scheme for the next year-then paint them. The fun part.
8. Make Christmas gifts such as: marker stones, hypertufa pots, plant markers, etc.
9. Prepare seedling trays for use in the spring. Set up your location after the holidays so you'll be all set. Seed starting time comes pretty quickly.
10. Weed the lawn. Someone asked me just what kind of gardening to I do in the winter. I realized weeding the lawn takes the most amount of time. I hate plantains, sorrel, dandelions and wild garlic. I spend a good amount of time, fishhook in hand, pulling these pesky weeds.
11. Aerate your lawn. After the lawn is cleaned of leaves, aeration is a good thing. I also use winterizer and weed kill on my lawn about every other year. You can do this in November and January as well.
12. Enjoy the holidays this month.
Okay, the last to do chore is not really for doing in the garden....but do it anyhow.
Thanks Frances for my sheffies. They did quite well and I am looking forward to them spreading themselves around. I especially like them because even though the beautyberry kind of over grew them (an understatement I am sure), they still did well! Gotta love those kinds of plants in the garden....