December Gardens

December Gardens

Hard to believe that the year is almost over! December is such a busy time for everyone and a great way to relieve stress is to take some time out in the yard. It might not seem like there would be a lot for you to do but you'd be surprised. Maintaining your garden during this time of the year will not only help you get growing earlier next season but it will also help the trees, foliage and your yard to be healthier next Spring. Applying compost and organic materials that break down over time, will encourage worms to move in to your yard, move through your soil leaving spaces for air and water to filter through. This creates a more optimal environment for your plants.

 

Check out our tips and recommendations below, divided up by zones, for your gardens this December. As always, if you are new to zones, please visit http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ to find your zone. Knowing your zone is one of the best tools you can have to create the best garden and yard in the neighborhood. Successful planting and planning can be determined by knowing what will grow and thrive in your area of the country. It is a money saving tool as well!

 

Zone 3-5

  • Clean up any debris in the yard / garden that can be mulched
  • Place blankets or tarps on bushes and smaller trees before snow arrives
  • Place mulch or hay on garden beds
  • If you can continue to grow in your area, use greenhouses to protect against frost
  • Move containers indoors near sunny windows to continue growing, or grow in the garage or basement under lamps if necessary
  • Check any bulbs that you have indoors for decomposition; if decaying, discard
  • Clean and maintain all tools and equipment before storing for the Winter
  • Discard broken tools / equipment; keep a list of what you need to replace in the Spring

 

Zone 6-7

  • If wind is an issue for you, use a greenhouse or bales of hay for protection for your plants
  • Clean any debris from beds when necessary
  • Place Compost and then Mulch in beds
  • Continue growing cool weather crops under greenhouses
  • Weed beds
  • Remember to keep bird feeders full in winter
  • Ventilate greenhouses on sunnier warmer days
  • Remember to continue to water your plants in Winter
  • Maintain gardening tools and equipment as long as you are active in the yard / garden

hungry great tit ( parus major ) foraging on  fat feeder in a winter day Keep bird feeders full during winter months.

 

Zone 8-10

  • Use Greenhouses for cooler temps / frost if necessary
  • Place sheets over crops if Greenhouse is not available
  • Keep gardens/raised beds clean and free of debris after storms
  • Place compost and mulch around plants encourage strong roots and keep warmth in the beds
  • Cut lettuces instead of pulling the plant. This will encourage additional growth
  • Water plants on dry days, especially in drought areas
  • Reposition containers to allow for sufficient light during the Winter months
  • Protect crops from unwanted visitors with animal barriers or covers

 

 

Remember that if you see a tip or suggestion in another zone that you think would help in your yard or garden, please feel free to go ahead and use that tip, head back outside and go to town!

 

Keep your garden and yard a priority throughout the year and when it comes time to plant, grow and harvest, you will receive the optimal bounty from all of your plants and flowers. From all of us here at Frame It All, we wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season!

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