Frosty mornings and clear skies are some of my favorite things about December, and Christmas of course. Because December is such a busy month with family and holiday prep, garden chores are usually about the last thing folks are thinking about. However, when you need a little garden therapy its good to know there are still some things to be done outside. I’ve made a list of things I usually aim for this month.
In the Kitchen Garden:
Continue cutting fresh greens for smoothies, salads or a quick sauté side dish for dinner.
Keep the row covers on for protection on these chilly nights. My covers will add about 4 degrees per layer…I always double or triple up on cool clear nights.
Coldframes may need a quilt over the top for nighttime when it gets below freezing.
Pull any weeds while they are little– it’s amazing that weeds still like to sneak into the garden even in the winter.
Stored Veggies – check on the produce in storage and throw out any thing that is getting soft or showing signs of rot.
In the Perennial and Herb Garden:
On warmer days collect seeds, cut back, trim and mulch plants – Right after Christmas is a great time to hire college kids to mulch your garden.
Continue harvesting cool season herbs. Rosemary, sage, thyme, cilantro, parsley are some that are a tasty edition to holiday recipes and soups.
Trim back old hellebore growth so the new blooms that start coming up will really stand out.
If you haven’t planted any bulbs yet, now is a great time and many bulbs are on sale.
For the Birds:
Keep the birdfeeders full for our feathered friends.
Have some fresh water in a freeze proof bird bath.
If you have a fresh cut Christmas tree – set it out in the yard after Christmas, with popcorn and cranberry strings to provide food and shelter for the birds.
Keep the water fresh and unfrozen for the chickens.
Oh by the way…
As long as the ground is unfrozen it is a good time to plant trees.
Order seeds for you and some extra for stocking stuffers.
After Christmas plant your live Christmas tree outside and water well.