The calm of the winter has truly set it. There’s not a whole lot going on in the garden these days, but we still have a few December garden chores to knock out. While the weather has been unseasonably warm in stretches, colder temps have quickly rolled in in the past week. We have had it easy not having to worry about any sort of frost for a while now. There’s still much to do inside and out as the temperatures inevitably plunge. December garden chores are more like the calm before the storm. Everything starts picking back up next month, so set your garden up for a great season by taking care of the last chores of the current year.
Let your indoor garden thrive
Mist more water less.
This time of year, our house is filled with plants. We are growing more and more plants that live their winters inside with us. As the heat cranks up, indoor air dries out. Keep your indoor plants misted frequently so they don’t suffer. Be mindful about how much you water indoor plants. Since most plants slow their growth and use less water during the winter, always check how moist the soil is before watering.
Start seedlings for a cold frame.
It’s not too late or too early to start seeds of hardier greens inside under lights for transplanting into a cold frame. To give our gardens a little jump start, we are starting an assortment of greens on our DIY seed starting rack. The seedlings can be transplanted during the late winter into cold frames. The greens will need the protection but will be thriving by springtime.
Don’t let winter slow you down.
Stay prepared for a freeze.
Cold weather can sneak in quick. We keep our frost cloths close to let us quickly cover the beds before the cold sets in. Don’t forget about potted plants too as they can be more prone to frost damage if they are left in an exposed location. Most of our figs can survive most of the lighter frosts. When temperatures dip well below freezing, it’s time to protect the more sensitive ones. Frost cloth goes a long way in keeping our gardens thriving year round. Bringing plants into a more sheltered location helps too. Our sensitive figs will be getting wrapped in cloth and put on our screened porch when a deep freeze hits our neck of the woods.
Harvest hardy vegetables.
There are a handful of vegetables that are still producing a little bit, so don’t forget to harvest once in a while. Kale, collards, and spinach are constant givers almost year round in our gardens especially with a little frost protection. In a cold frame, slightly more sensitive greens like lettuce will even continue to grow. Harvest them regularly especially before a deeper freeze.
Plant bare root trees, shrubs and perennials.
As long as the ground stays unfrozen, it’s still a great time to plant dormant trees, shrubs, and perennials. Plants that are dormant transplant easier and more successfully. Be sure to keep transplants watered as they get established. I have a long list of berries and flowers I am planning on picking up this month. I foresee a blackberry filled summer in my near future.