Garden chores for the month of December including the fruit and vegetable garden, flower garden, and basic lawn and yard care.
It’s a short month for most of us in the way of garden chores, though in the south there’s some preparation for planting already, isn’t there? With the holidays taking most of my energy, I’m actually happy for the break from most of the garden’s major chores, aren’t you?
This month is mainly about checking to make sure everything is okay, cleaning up from any wind storms – and clipping evergreens to decorate with! This is actually a good thing, as it gives the evergreens a bit of a pruning (nothing hard, though) of longer branches that might suffer snow damage later on. Both boxwood and arborvitae really benefit from winter pruning and they tend to stay greener inside longer than fir or pine branches.
Different parts of the country have different evergreens to use for the holidays – what are the shrubs and trees you like to clip to use for decorating?
Garden Chores by Month: December
Vegetable & Fruit Garden
- Turn compost pile with new additions of leaves, decorative pumpkins, and frost-bitten plant stems.
- Check for harvestable produce like kale, cabbage, and any greens grown under cover.
- Monitor vegetable coverings, making sure before any deep freezes that they are secure.
- Spread wood ashes (no more than 1.5 lbs/100 sq. ft. a year, though).
- Use organic dormant sprays on fruit trees.
- If using leaves as a mulch, run through a lawn mower first to shred a bit, then apply to dormant vegetable beds.
- Keep deadheading frost-killed perennials and shrubs as needed.
- Monitor leaves and/or mulch around the base of trees and shrubs – they might harbor rodents who can damage the trunks.
- Protect any new landscape plants from wind and snow (wrap with burlap).
- Check plants under eaves for dryness and water if needed.
- Make holiday decorations from trees and shrubs.
- Pot up paperwhites.
- Stay off grass whenever it’s frozen.
- Service the lawnmower, if needed.
- Check any vegetables and bulbs that are in storage, use or dispose of those starting to rot.
- Water and fertilize house plants less in the winter.
- Seed catalogs begin arriving this month. Set aside until after the holidays, then start making your wish lists!
Note: These garden to-so lists are not comprehensive by any means, but meant to provide a jumping-off point to organizing your garden chores. Feel free to print the lists and add any of your own specific chores to the sections.
Also, remember, this is simply a checklist to help remind you of a what can be done – you don’t need to do them all (I don’t!) – just what fits your yard & garden AND your schedules. Happy Gardening!