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Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips Regions

This is a good time to start pruning dead and dangerous limbs from trees. These should be burned in case they harbor insects and disease. Apply tree paint to the wounds made in sawing off limbs.

Most plants and shrubs winter-kill because of alternate freezing and thawing, so it is a good idea to bank them up with snow.

Look over the stored vegetables frequently and remove decaying specimens.

To protect tender perennials from harsh winter weather, build a wooden box with no top or bottom. Place it over the plants after the ground has frozen and fill with leaves.

Cover your compost pile to prevent rains and snows from leaching out nutrients.

If iris foliage is hit with heavy frost, remove and destroy it to eliminate borer eggs.

Check the "bones" of your garden or landscape for visual appeal. Hedges, stone walls, and pathways all contribute to the underlying structure. Make a note of what you will change in the spring.

If you're in an area with snow, go out and gently shake the snow from evergreens after heavy snowfalls; frozen wood is brittle. Remove any broken limbs with a sharp saw.

Make holiday wreaths from grapevines, greens, and dry seedpods.

As houseplants are growing more slowly in December light, cut down on watering by half until active growth resumes. Hold off on fertilizing as well.

Group houseplants near each other to form a support group to cope with the low humidity of most winter homes.

After a heavy snowfall, go out and gently shake the snow from evergreens. Work carefully because the frozen wood is brittle. Remove any broken limbs with a sharp saw.

Save and inventory leftover seeds.

When watering your houseplants, avoid using cold water because it may shock the plants; use tepid water.

Move your houseplants away from icy windows to prevent any chilling.

Check your houseplants for any insects or diseases, and treat when necessary.

Remove the snow from evergreen shrubs to prevent them from breaking.

To help reduce winter damage to your lawn, minimize traffic on the frozen grass.

Houseplants with large leaves benefit from being washed with a damp cloth to remove the dust.

Check your fruits and vegetables in storage; throw away any that are damaged or diseased.

Bring in the evergreens for holiday decorations!

Relax and dream about next year's garden.

Prepare the soil for any new shrub, flower, or rose bed for next spring. Dig up the soil, remove any weeds, and add compost.

Toward the middle of the month, new bareroot roses are available to purchase at garden centers.

Avoid major pruning over the winter. However, be sure to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches from trees and shrubs.

If the weather is dry, occasionally water your lawn, shrubs, and small trees.

Apply a layer of winter mulch to protect your perennials after the first few freezes.

Remember to remove any leaves from your lawn and gardens, as the leaves can block sunlight or encourage disease among your plants.

Plant cool-weather vegetables such as beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, leeks, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

Plant transplants such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, and lettuce.

Keep an eye out for pest problems and control before they get out of hand.

Order your vegetable and flower seeds now so you will be ready to plant them in the early spring.

If you want to upgrade your garden, now is a great time to design a new landscape or make any structural improvements to your garden.

Check to make sure indoor plants are getting enough sunlight and water.

Fertilize your winter lawn after the first mowing.

Set out bird feeders with food and water to attract birds to your garden during the winter.

Be prepared for early winter frosts; protect fruit trees.

Prune any dead or weak branches now, so that they do not break under the snow or ice.

Check your fruit and vegetables in storage; throw away any that are damaged or diseased.

Group houseplants near each other to form a support group to cope with the low humidity of most winter homes.

Apply a layer of winter mulch to protect your perennials after the first few freezes.

Remember to remove any new fallen leaves from your lawn and gardens, as the leaves can block sunlight or encourage disease among your plants.

If the weather is dry, occasionally water your lawn, shrubs, and small trees.

To help reduce winter damage to your lawn, minimize traffic on the frozen grass.

Make sure that mulch is pulled back from tree trunks so that mice don't hide and destroy the bark.

Stop fertilizing and reduce your watering by half for houseplants until active growth resumes.

Check your houseplants for any insects, especially spider mites. Wash off mites by setting in the shower to wash off.

If your houseplants have a sticky substance on the leaves and aphids underneath, spray with soapy water or insecticidal soap.

Use sand on icy walks instead of salt to avoid plant and grass damage.

Move your houseplants away from icy windows to prevent any chilling.

When watering your houseplants, avoid using cold water because it may shock the plants; use tepid water instead.

Houseplants with large leaves benefit from being washed with a damp cloth to remove the dust.

Save and inventory leftover seeds from your favorite plants for next spring; store them in airtight containers and keep them in a dry place.

Bring in the evergreens for holiday decorations!

Relax and dream about next year's garden!

Don't forget gardening when you make out your holiday gift list! Find ideas at Almanac.com/Store.

Keep up with yard maintenance. Remove any leaves, withered stalks, and winter weeds, and mulch your flower beds. Take the time now to save a lot of work later.

Check perennials again and cut back overgrowth to encourage new growth.

Check your stored fruit, vegetables, and flower bulbs; remove any rotting ones.

Keep watering your plants throughout the winter to prevent them from drying out.

Check your lawn and plants for any problems and treat them when necessary.

Avoid heavy mulching around the bases of trees and shrubs, as the mulch provides cover for small rodents.

Check for rodent damage around bases of trees and shrubs. Use traps and bait as needed.

Monitor your houseplants to make sure that they are getting adequate water and nutrients.

To avoid damage, do not let snow pile up on your shrubs and tree branches.

Be careful when using salt to remove ice on driveways and walkways; the salt can damage lawns and perennial beds. Sand is a better substitute for salt.

Protect new landscape plants from the wind; use stakes or windbreaks as needed.

During heavy rain, check your yard for any drainage problems. Consider any upgrades to your water systems, such as drip irrigation.

Do you have a woodstove or keep a fire? You can use wood ashes to raise your soil’s pH if you need it. (Don’t use if pH is greater than 7.0.)

Buying a Christmas tree? Keep it fresh by sawing off the bottom 2 inches and check the water often, as it consumes a tremendous amount in the first 48 hours!

If you have poinsettias, keep them away from cold windows and place in sunlight. Fertilize with a houseplant fertilizer. See our Poinsettia page.

Start thinking about your lessons learned from the past gardening season as you think about next year!

In some southern areas, you can still plant cool-season vegetables, such as beets, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and carrots.

In some areas, you can still plant cool-season herbs such as parsley, thyme, sage, dill, fennel, cilantro, comfrey, and garlic.

Take root cuttings from your cold-sensitive perennials. Plant them in pots and keep them indoors; you can use these to replace any plants that are killed during the winter.

You can still transplant trees and shrubs.

Check the soil moisture of your lawn throughout the winter and water when necessary.

Don’t prune cold-damaged plants yet.

Continue planting hardy annual seeds to add color to your winter garden: petunia, pansy, snapdragon lobelia, alyssum, and viola.

Remember to clean the rows in your garden to help prevent insects and diseases.

Test your soil. Now is a good time to add lime if it is necessary.

Start inspecting houseplants regularly for pests.

Start planning next year’s garden. Think about which crops did well and which didn’t fare well so that you can order better varieties next time. Think about the quantity of each crop and whether it was enough or too much. Assess learning before ordering seeds for next year.

Before sending your seed order, draw a map of the garden area. This way, you’ll order the right amount of seeds.

In empty garden beds, spread manure and compost over the garden and plow under to prepare your soil for next year.

Add fallen leaves to your compost pile or use for mulch.

Bring a poinsettia into your home. See Almanac.com for tips on how to keep poinsettias going strong.

Look around for garden tools and supplies that you’re missing—and add them to your holiday gift list! Find gifts for others!


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