Monday, December 1, 2008

To Do List for December

December, it is so hard to believe the end of the year is nearly upon us. Where has the time gone?

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....


  1. Hi Tina, thanks for this list, I am not as organized as you to have a list, but need to work on that. And thanks for the link love too, and good luck with those sheffies, they are the best, aren't they? The yellow buttons are STILL blooming, but they are calling for snow for us and even more colder temps! What happened to our weather?????

  2. Hi Tina--thanks for the great list. I can't believe it's December either! On your list, #9 is my favorite! :)

  3. Great list for December Tina. I've been known to plant bulbs in December since our ground usually isn't frozen yet. Those Sheffies look great with the Beautyberry!

  4. Good Morning All,
    Tina, those two plants look really good together. I must see if they will survive here.
    A great list to follow. Even down here it is helpful.
    I hope all have a lovely day.

  5. You forgot to add bundling up and drinking hot chocolate out in the garden, while you watch the birds and dream about next year's garden...

  6. I think I'll just be bird watching and staying warm this December. Although we still need a warm, ok, semi-warm, ok, just non rain or snow day, to get our hedges trimmed up.

  7. Tina,

    Good morning...a thorough list and a good reminder to me! I have lists scattered all over, I write them on scraps of paper then misplace them! Maybe Lowes and HD have a few bulbs left, our ground hardly freezes until january, but it does get sticky from the wet clay!

    Have a wonderful day, maybe it won't snow!


  8. How about clean out the garage? At least then I could say I did something! I got the leaves taken care of on Saturday and just have a few more things to do.

  9. Happy first of December! Sure looks like it up here!

  10. I got all my chores done. Good thing too since it's snowing today with no sign of letting up. I'm happy all my bulbs got planted and all the gardens mulched. Now I can take a breather from the garden and turn to some other hobbies.

  11. Crumbs Tina I feel tired just reading your list. But actually I should have a similarly long one too! I think some of them might slip into January's...

  12. Tina,

    Great list!

    I continue to work in the garden on sunny days, but your list reminds me of a few things that I'd forgotten.

    Have a great Monday!

  13. Good morning all. Busy day planned for the garden. Planted 300 bulbs yesterday and now I have blisters-but have to finish it all today as we are expecting more rain. Guess I should follow my own list; which I see I need to add to with all the good suggestions!

    Frances, My buttons are passing but still yellow. Stay warm! Love those sheffies and you are welcomed!

    Linda, You are on it to be working on #9. Great! December passes so quickly, maybe because of the holidays? I put out these lists then get behind:) Ah, such is life.

    Racquel, Thanks! Those sheffies are troopers as the beautyberry decided to over grow it all. I have this crazy problem of planting too close. Bulb planting in December? Heck yeah! That is a good time as all the bulbs are now marked down.

    Lola, Good morning! I looked up the beautyberry and it WILL survive way down there. Not sure on the sheffies. But you really need a beautyberry, quite a stunner and easy.

    Susan, I'll add it right away. Today is a day I need a warm cup while planting:)

    Cindy, Here's hoping for a fairly warmish day to trim up those hedges. What a job in the winter. Don't even want to think about it. Stay warm!

    Gail, These soils do get SO sticky. Especially with aeration of the lawn. My shoes are piled an inch thick. It is good I have a porch to scrape it all off. Kind of rewarding doing bulbs this time of year though. I kind of like to think I am saving all those leftover bulbs. I couldn't find a good selection at Lowes or HD, but Rural King has a GREAT selection and 50% off too. Saw all the snow you are getting-none here. Just chilly and dreary.

    Dave, Got the garage thing to do today, funny you should mention it. Right after the bulbs and leaves. But I may run out of steam. I need some of yours!

    Dawn, You must have snow.....

    Marnie, Don't you feel great now that all chores are done? It is so satisfying for me. And yup, other hobbies are calling. How to prioritize? I want to do them all!

    VP, You are like me. I put the lists out then sometimes let it get ahead of me. It is that prioritizing thing again...

    Cameron, Lists are helpful-and satisfying when all checked off-the best part. You all have a great Monday too!

  14. Those flowers are very pretty, framed with the berries. I really like the look.

    No snow here on the Maine coast but rain. My gooness we got none hardly all spring and summer and now the water is nearly on the road on Mill Street. Also the pond by the town line. I think we have had 10 inches in the last 2 weeks and more coming.

  15. I came back to GA with a ton of leaves on the driveway and ground! Arggg, so you know what I will be doing today as laundry washes....

    Love that cute Beautyberry and Sheffies pic....

  16. Good advice! Those pesky leaves just keep falling. I love the pretty colors, but I'm really tired of cleaning them up! So I continue to have that chore.

  17. Hi Tina. Great list. I have done a few things on it but not all. I did notice the price on the black oil sunflower seed went way up this year ~ I wonder why?? Suet cakes are a great replacement. I'll have to stock up.

  18. Mom, I am glad you like the picture. It came out rather nice I think. Stay dry up there.

    Skeeter, Been raking myself, and planting bulbs-with blisters. It is neverending sometimes. Glad you made it home safe.

    Brenda, Don't you wish all the leaves would fall at once so you could be done with it? It is an ongoing battle, but a nice one when it is done:)

    Kathleen, I think the sunflower seeds went up when gas prices went up. Maybe the cost of production? Like everything else they got expensive. Our sunflower seeds actually doubled in price so I had to switch. The suet does work well and did not go up, go figure.

  19. What an afternoon in the yard! Went out at noon and did not finish until it turned dark around 5:00... I got up all the leaves by myself as the Saint was at work. What a chore that was then I went up into the woods and took down the Fall Display. My arms are so sore after all that blowing, push mower and raking. ARggg, the ground is super wet and soggy from all the rain we had while out of town. What a mess I had to deal with, but all looking good once again...

    The Saint took all my storage boxes down stairs so tomorrow, the Christmas music comes on and the decorations out of the box and in place... Yeah, I love seeing all the shiny fun things I have collected over the years!

    Now time for my Doctor Recommended glass of Red Wine.... :)

  20. Sounds like you are going to be busy for a while. I love your elephant ears in the last post!

  21. Love your list.

    You asked how I kept up with my many blogs? It's like having a large family, they were added one at a time. I don't blog daily on any of them.

    Gardening and Writing are my primary activities. We've simplified cooking and cleaning and eliminated most everything else.

    Shopping? We're sending a generous check, no shopping.

  22. Tina, Your energy always amazes me! You saw my yard in my last post--we got even more snow the next day. I don't think I will be doing much outside for awhile:)

  23. That explains it Jean. I have this habit of blogging each day here, but I now have some cobloggers who take the onus off from me. I could see multiple blogs, one for each day of the week:)

    Rose, Enjoy that snow-should I add shovel snow to my list??☻

  24. Hi, Tina. Oh, if only I could do my final raking in December! Our oaks still haven't let go of their leaves. The upside of that is I can plant bulbs even into January--I often get them for Christmas.

    And I have to ask--how do you heat a birdbath?

    Great list as always!

  25. Hi Cosmo! I do hope your holiday was fantastic. That raking is a pain this year, so late! And still doing it here too. Bulbs for Christmas-pretty good gift. How do you heat a birdbath. Hmmmm, I purchased a birdbath heater at Rural King, (you may have a Tractor Supply or any pet supply company) for about $10. It is flat like a bar of soap, but twice as long. It has a few vents and is plastic. Inside of it must be a coil, but I just plug it in and leave it on and the area near it will always stay liquid. NOT the whole birdbath. One particularly cold year the whole birdbath but about 6" near the heater froze. The birds loved it! They just walked on the ice and drank the water. It was the only place for them to get water. I only heat one birdbath, but it is well worth it. You knew I'd write a book huh?:) Hope it helps, let me know. Heated baths attract as many birds as the feeders.

  26. A great list for December tasks. I might get through about a quarter! I hope it's not too late to plant tulips here in Scotland, as I have some very special ones which still aren't in the ground. But you've inspired me to find time among all this weekend's busy-ness!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm intrigued to discover your particular garden.

  27. Lindab, Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed visiting your Scottish blog. My family has roots in Scotland to it is even nicer. Wish I could help you with planting tulips in Scotland-I've no idea if it is too late but it is almost too late here and I am still planting:( Have a great day!