December Gardening – These Are the Tasks to Complete Before the Frosts

by Kremy

December is a month when a gardener can take some rest. It is believed that at this time there is no work, but there are some tasks that you should include in your December gardening checklist. Let’s look at the most important things that you need to do in the garden in December.

December Gardening – What Work to Plan for This Month?

december gardening the task to complete

In winter, the garden is buried under snow, but before the onset of frost, you have time to complete some work like plant care, preparation of seeds for next year, etc.

What to Prune in December?

what to prune in december

Pruning is an important job for any gardener. When done properly and timely, pruning encourages more productive growth, so you can enjoy high-quality fruits and blooms. Many hobby gardeners are afraid of winter pruning because the plants and trees are dormant and there is a risk of damaging them. So, what can you prune in December? Wisteria, peach, pear and apple trees, roses, Japanese maple, grape vines, etc. can be pruned in winter. Do not prune evergreen shrubs during the winter, as this makes them susceptible to cold and frost.

Also read: Overwinter Strawberries Outdoors and in Containers: Tips and Care Measures for the Cold Months

Provide Frost Protection for Your Trees and Shrubs

provide frost protection for your trees and shrubs

Before the first frosts, you need to protect the low frost-resistant trees and shrubs so that they can survive the winter. Cover your plants with protective material like fleece, burlap, etc.

Remove Snow

remove snow from trees and shrubs

In regions with heavy snowfall, you need to take care of the trees. Heavy snow can deform and break plant branches. Sticky snow is one of the main factors causing damage to the shoots of young trees and shrubs. Make sure to shake the snow off to prevent any problems.

Move Potted Plants to a Sheltered Place

move potted plants to a sheltered place in winter

All plants in containers and pots that beautify your patio should be removed to a sheltered spot. Their roots are more susceptible to frost damage, so it is a good idea to cluster them together for better protection.

Feed the Birds

feed the birds in winter

If you don’t feed birds in the winter, feathered helpers won’t stay on the property in the summer. Installation of bird feeders in safe places is one of the most pleasant December gardening tasks. Regularly refill the feeders, taking into account the preferences of the bird species in your area. Do you want to make a bird feeder yourself? In this article, you will find many ideas for DIY bird feeders made from recycled materials.

Clean and Store Your Garden Tools

clean and store your garden tools

Before storing your garden tools for the winter, check their condition and repair or replace broken ones. Clean all the tools thoroughly. Wash them in a soapy solution to remove dirt, and then allow them to dry well. To prevent rust, you could wipe the wooden and metal parts of the garden tools with linseed oil.

Check Your Plant Care Products

check your plant care products

If you use any fertilizers or other products, check the packages, as well as their expiration dates and find out at what temperature they should be stored. If you store them in a shed where the temperatures drop significantly, you may need to store some of them in the basement or attic.

Take Care of Watering Equipment

take care of watering equipment

Make sure that you brought indoors any watering equipment like hoses, sprinklers, etc. This will protect them from freezing and eventually splitting. Check and insulate outdoor taps as well.

Prepare the Pool and Water Features for Winter

prepare the pool and water features for winter

Clean the pool from leaves and debris, clean the filter, and check all equipment. If you have a pool cover, it’s time to use it!

If you have water features in your garden, make sure to drain them so that water does not freeze and damage your fountain, for example. Remove the pump and cover your water feature to protect it from snow and frosts.

Compost Care

compost care in winter

If you haven’t got a compost bin, add this to your December gardening tasks. You can build or buy one and use it to collect leaves, twigs from the trees that you pruned, etc. If you have a compost bin, turn the heap to aerate it, which helps the contents mix and decompose.

Start Planning What You Will Be Growing Next Season

start planning what you will be growing next season

You can start planning what you will grow next season, how you will rotate crops, where and what to plant, etc. Check the bulbs that you should plant in spring and make a list of any seeds that you’ll need.

garden in winter what to do in december

Of course, last but not least, get ready for the Christmas holidays and have the most wonderful time with your friends and family!

Also read: How to Prepare Fruit Trees for Winter? How to Protect Them?


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