If you live in a cold climate, your garden may have already been put to bed for the winter. However, if you live in a warmer climate, you’ll often continue performing garden tasks throughout the winter months. For those of you with year-round growing seasons, there’s plenty to do and plant in the garden this month. If occasional freezes impact your region there are a few key things you’ll want to add to your garden to-do list to keep your plants healthy.
Prep for a freeze: If you get cold or freeze snaps in your area, be prepared for the quick onset of frost by keeping frost cloth on hand. Frost cloth can be used to protect tender plants, new color plantings, container plants, and young seedlings for a short period of time. Simply remove the frost cloth once warmer temperatures return. Frost cloth “bags” can be used to cover larger shrubs or container plants. Never use plastic to cover plants as it can burn them in the cold.
Plant bare root trees, shrubs, roses, fruit trees & cool season color. In areas where soils don’t freeze, winter is the best time to plant bare root plant material, especially fruit trees. Even when dormant, plants will put down new root growth during winter months that will help them thrive when summer heat returns.
Plant evergreen shrubs and groundcovers such as Fruitland Silverberry, Eleagnus pungens ‘Fruitlandii’ and hardy Liriope muscari ‘Silver Sunproof’.
Plant camellias. The best time to choose the perfect camellia variety is when they are in bloom. Many types are in bloom in December, including one of our favorites, Camellia ‘Yuletide’. Yuletide’ has a beautiful deep red bloom with yellow stamen that is perfect for the holidays.
Compost: Now, while tree leaves are dropping, is a great time to get a new compost pile started. Be sure to mix in fresh weeds or grass clippings each time you add dry leaves to the pile.
Prune: If your grape vines have dropped their leaves it’s time to prune them. Avoid pruning grape vines while leaves are still actively growing. Also, you can now cut back any perennials that have died back since garden clean up in November. Remember though that many ornamental grasses both look lovely and provide wildlife habitat if left as is until late-winter.
Mulch: If you haven’t yet mulched your winter garden, do so now. Mulch will help insulate soil from temperature fluctuations and retain moisture. As a bonus, mulch also helps suppress weeds.
December at T-Y Nursery
- Lilyturf, Liriope muscari ‘Silver Sunproof’
- Fruitland Silverberry, Eleagnus pungens ‘Fruitlandii’
- Azalea ‘Red Bird’
- Asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’
- Yuletide Camellia, Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’
- Yucca Gloriosa
- Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’
- Mystery Gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides ‘Mystery’
- Fatsia japonica