Timely Tips: December 1 – 31
WALK AROUND WITH A PAD & PEN AND WRITE STUFF DOWN – What worked? What didn’t work? What do you need more of next year? Less? What repairs are needed before spring planting? Write it ALL down now, before you forget! Those notes will come in handy when you start planning next year’s garden. (HINT: it’s only two months until February, so you’d better start planning soon!)
ASSESS YOUR VEGETABLE GARDEN – Anything that is still alive will probably hold outdoors til that deep frost week when the temperature doesn’t get above freezing. Until then, keep harvesting as needed, and set up some kind of protection against the weight of any snow that might appear in the next month. If you have built cold frames, make sure to vent them on sunny days; we forget sometimes that although it’s 35 outside, it could be 100 degrees under the covers.
STILL PLENTY OF TIME TO PLANT BULBS – Get them in the ground before New Years, though. The ground may not be frozen by that point, but you’ll be creeping up on the bulbs’ required time in the ground needed to develop properly before spring. Plant them later, and you run the risk of stunted growth if we get a crazy early spring thaw. Cause that’s never happened!
BRING IN THE LAST OF YOUR HOUSEPLANTS – I was surprised last week to realize I had missed a bunch of them in the yard, and they were still hanging on! So before we all start spending our time drinking hot chocolate by the heater, let’s make sure we don’t leave any stragglers out there in the cold.
CONVINCE YOUR FRIENDS WITH EVERGREENS THAT THE FIRST WEEK OF DECEMBER REALLY IS THE BEST TIME TO PRUNE – Shape shrubs to better fit their space while you collect scraps to make wreaths, centerpieces, flower arrangements and other stuff to brighten what’s otherwise the darkest time of the year.
Sally McCabe is Assoc. Director of Community Education at PHS, and grows stuff at two community gardens and in her backyard. She has been a faithful Primex customer since all the way back when Pops (David’s grandfather) was still around.