Winter in the Southwest varies greatly. Snowfall is common in the higher elevations, while low desert dwellers enjoy warm, sunny afternoons after cold mornings.
Either way, there’s plenty of gardening you can do in December to keep you occupied. Your December gardening to-do list should include plenty of time. Your garden falls into winter and so do you.
Here are some ideas for Southwest gardening in December.
December Gardening To-Do List: Tips on Southwest Gardening in December
If the weather is comfortable and the ground does not freeze, keep planting spring bulbs until the end of the year. Look for late-season deals at garden centers.
Now add succulents including yucca and agave. This allows all new overwintering plants to become established within a few short months before warm weather arrives. If you’ve already had a hard freeze, put off planting succulents until early spring.
Remember the birds during the winter in the southwest. Keep feeders stocked with nutritious food and replace empty suit holders. If the water is too high, add fresh water regularly.
If the ground is not frozen, continue to regularly water evergreen shrubs and trees through December. Watering during dry winters will yield fruit with healthy greenery in the spring.
On the other hand, be careful not to be too watery, especially if the winter was rainy.
If you live at high altitudes, protect the plants with a healthy layer of mulch.
Gardening tasks in December should include planting herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives, chamomile, lemon verbena, and rosemary. If you live in a cooler climate in the Southwest, protect the plants with mulch.
Create new plant or flower beds, or expand existing ones. If you are replacing a large area of lawn, rent a sod cutter.
Give your indoor plants a little extra TLC this December. Keep it away from very hot, cold windows. Water them lightly, but not too much. Most indoor plants go into a dormant state during the winter months and are more likely to rot in soggy soil.