December is always the month I totally diss the garden. Its kind of like a break up. We both had our ups and downs and our spats and we both just need some time apart. We pass by each other when I make my way out to the chicken yard, but we quietly ignore one another. Alas, just like all great love affairs we will be back in each others good graces soon enough. Until then I will dream of what might be, and could be next year…..and eat Christmas Cookies!
December Gardening To Do List
- Restock bird feeders your feathered friends are depending on you.
- Birdbaths can freeze and take damage if made of clay or stone plus the birds will depend on the water source you are supplying. Install a Solar Water Wiggler to help fight water from freezing or another bird bath heater.
- If you have pottery that you won’t be using for winter, it is usually a good idea to empty them and store them where they will either be dry or free of frost. Terra cotta is especially prone to breaking when frozen.
- Check stored vegetables, tubers, and bulbs; remove any spoiled ones immediately.
- Begin planning next year’s garden, or at least start thinking about it. The seed catalogs will be out soon….
- Cut back asparagus fronds.
- Debris from all squash relative plants should be removed (some people burn it if there was a bad infestation). This will help in managing (I hope) the squash bugs next year.
- Remove heavy snow from evergreen shrubs to prevent the branches from breaking. Especially pay attention to arborvitae that can literally snap in two with the weight of snow. That being said, ice is a different matter. When ice forms on tree and shrub branches, don’t try to break it off — you’ll risk breaking branches. It’s best to let the ice melt naturally.
- WARNING: Poinsettias are poisonous to dogs and cats
- If you are thinking about becoming a beekeeper now is the time to order bees. They start taking orders December 1st and sell out quickly. Contact your local bee keeping association to see if you can order from them or in the past I ordered from Kelly Bee’s
- Chickens need to be high and dry. If your run gets muddy, add a few bags of sand, or put down wood chips, to give the hens a place to roam above the muck.
- I placed several stumps in the run for them to hop on when needed.
- Chickens have scaly, bare feet. They don’t like walking on snow or ice. They’ll do it, but they won’t be happy. So, take a moment and shovel a clear area for them in their run. Or, if the snow is too deep and icy, put down some hay. They’ll appreciate it.
- Buy Amaryllis bulbs potted and ready to bloom, or buy bulbs to grow. Bloom colors include reds, whites, pinks, and even greens. Check out how to grow these beauties on Southern Living