Come December, some people want to take a break from the garden, but the truly fanatics know there are plenty of December jobs to be had when gardening in the Northeast.
Gardening tasks in the Northeast continue until the ground is solid and even then, there are things like planning next season’s garden that can be worked on. The following Northeast regional to-do list will help you accomplish December garden tasks that will make your growing season a more successful one.
Northeast Gardening for the Holidays
The Northeast soon plunges into frigid temperatures and snow, but before the weather catches up to you, there’s plenty of December gardening chores to do.
If you’ve been gardening and more prepared for the holidays, many of you will be looking for a Christmas tree. If you are cutting down or purchasing a succulent tree, keep it in a cool place as possible and shake the tree well before purchasing to see how many needles have fallen. The fresher the tree, the less needles will fall.
Some people prefer to have live trees. Choose a tree that is in a large pot or wrapped in burlap and has good roots.
Brighten the house by adding festive houseplants, not just poinsettias, but also amaryllis, kalanchoes, cyclamen, orchids or other colorful options.
Regional To-Do List for Northeast Gardening
Gardening in December isn’t just about the holidays. If you haven’t already, now is the time to cover perennials with mulch and turn the soil in the vegetable garden to root out overwintering pests and reduce their numbers next year. Also, if you haven’t already, now is the time to amend the soil with compost and/or lime.
December is a great time to take hardwood cuttings from deciduous trees and shrubs. For an early spring planting, bury the cuttings in a cool frame or in the sand outside in the garden. Check shrubs and junipers for bagworms and remove them manually.
Additional December Garden Tasks
When gardening in the Northeast, you’ll want to remember your feathered friends in December. Clean and fill their bird feeders. If you are keeping deer out of the fence, check the fence for any holes and repair them.
Once you’re done, wash the leaves of your large-leaf houseplant with a mild solution of soap and water to clean out the pores of dust and dirt. Consider installing a humidifier in areas of the home that are infested with houseplants. Dry winter air is hard on them and you’ll breathe better, too.
Store on compost, litter, or sand. Use salt on icy trails and trails rather than damaging them.