Happy December! It’s about to become “officially” winter, even though we’ve had quite a bit of snow and cold temperatures already! Here are your December Garden Tips!
December Garden Tips
Yes, there are plenty of things you can do in December…even if it is cold and snowy outside.
“Dream a Little Dream”…..(Of Your Garden)
I- Begin dreaming of your garden this upcoming spring. Jot notes as you think of ideas.
Ways to get started:
-Start with color. For flowers, think about your existing perennials and what would look lovely beside them. If you have a lot of pinks, for example, consider some white and yellow to go with them.
-For your vegetables, make your general plan first, meaning – pick the spots where each crop “family” will grow. For example, your Brassica(cabbage family) area, your tomato area, your “Three Sisters” area, etc. Jot ideas for new plants you may want to try in those areas. If you grew too much kale for your household this year, consider cutting that amount and filling in with a few purple cauliflower plants. Do you plant in rows? Or do you use a Square Foot Gardening™ method? Maybe you use containers in a more compact-style area? Or perhaps you use a combination of some or all of these methods? Keep your planting space in mind as you chart out your planting areas.
-Are there areas in your landscape that might work well as new garden areas? Begin making those plans now as well. As you do this, plan for the amount of compost and/or mulch that you will need. To calculate this, you can use this mulch calculator for free: MULCH CALCULATOR
-How about a potting bench, potting shed, or greenhouse? Where should these go? Bundle up and go outside with a tape measure. Begin making plans for the levelling and building of a foundation. Do your research to see if you want to DIY, or hire someone to do the building. There are so many options. Greenhouse kits are great if you want to save money. We are planning for a greenhouse, as well as an outdoor sink.
II- Grow things indoors, such as sprouts or micro-greens. Or a citrus fruit tree, avocado, or olive. Maybe a windowsill herb garden is more your speed? Check out, “Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening,” by Peter Burke.
Also, check out this post, “How to Grow Sprouts” for a step-by-step guide to growing many types of sprouts.
A potted citrus tree is a lovely wish list item for a holiday gift!
Below is my Meyer lemon, which one of my children gave me a couple of years ago. This year it is bearing fruit. (The branches are very slim, which is why I have the fruit in a little “hammock” tied to a support.)
It’s a wonderful feeling to have something green with a bright, cheery flower to enjoy on a cold morning. These also make fantastic gifts.
Spruce Things Up
IV- Look around and bring in anything from the garden that needs to be brushed off, washed, or re-painted. This year, I’m re-painting my gnomes.
Eat What You’ve Preserved
V- If you haven’t already, start eating your stored harvest from the past summer. There is nothing like homegrown and preserved produce. We enjoy all of our jams, jellies, relishes, pickles, sauces, salsas, herbs, fruits and vegetables for months after the growing season. We also have a freezer full of things like blueberries and tomatoes that help us create warm comfort food this time of year. Blueberry pancakes are perfect on a cold winter morning. A marinara sauce simmering throughout the day warms the whole house and smells delicious, making for a welcome, simple pasta supper.
December Garden Tips – Nature’s Decor
VI- Create pretty decorations with evergreen and holly branches, as well as pine cones. If you are creative, add some pretty red ribbon and make wreaths or garlands. I like to put pine branches in milk bottle vases instead of flowers.
Pretty, bare branches, such as birch, make a lovely winter display as well. Gather and either place in a large tin or vase. Or tie together with a ribbon and place on the mantel.
A cinnamon stick inserted in a basket of pinecones makes an entire room smell delicious.
Dream a Little More
VII- Relax and thumb through seed catalogs, garden magazines, and books. If you haven’t been inspired yet, this is a great way to start. Oftentimes, seeing illustrations will spark ideas you didn’t know you could have. If you are trying to limit the amount of paper in your home, you can always search on the internet. Check out Pinterest for an endless plethora of gardens in any Zone or climate.
A Few More December Garden Tips
Finally, learn to appreciate the changing seasons. Even though we won’t be actively gardening outdoors in December, I’m grateful for the rest. As the trees and perennials are dormant, and the wildlife hibernates or heads south, so, too, must we enter into a quieter, slower-paced existence. It’s ok to allow yourself to recharge a bit.
A few people have asked, so here are a few of my favorite seed companies:
*Note – This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Any suggested places to purchase from are simply companies from which I’ve ordered many times with very good results. There are so many awesome seed companies out there. I encourage you to look locally as well for seed exchanges and suppliers in your area.
What are your December Gardening Tips? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at: Wendy@themountainfarmhouse.com