December Checklist

  • Select a live or cut Christmas tree while the selection is good. Keep the tree outdoors until it is time to decorate it.
  • Keep poinsettias out of cold drafts and away from heat sources. Place them where they will get as much light as possible.
  • Cover or move indoors any stone statuary to prevent frost cracks.
  • Protect furniture from the sap of fresh, needled evergreen boughs when decorating for the holidays.
  • Don’t let dried evergreen decorations become a fire hazard.
  • Trim an outdoor evergreen tree with treats for wildlife.
  • Salt used to melt ice on paths and driveways can damage plants and lawns.
  • Begin planning your garden for next year as the seed catalogs arrive in the mail. Try a few new plants next year.
  • Evaluate your landscape. Plan to fill in gaps with appropriate plants in the spring.
  • After the ground freezes, mulch shrubs and perennials with straw, pine needles, or branches of the discarded Christmas tree to prevent heaving of the plants during periods of freezing and thawing.
  • Rake up any leaves remaining on the lawn.
  • Avoid walking on the lawn once the ground has frozen.
  • Begin bringing in some bulbs potted for forcing. Put them in a cool location with bright light.
  • Plant your live Christmas tree as soon as possible after Christmas.
  • Feed the birds.
  • Rotate houseplants to achieve even growth.
  • Keep succulents and cacti on the dry side.
  • Do not feed houseplants during the winter months and reduce the watering.
  • Raise the humidity for your houseplants by grouping them together.
  • Water houseplants with warm water.
  • Keep your Christmas tree stand filled with water.
  • Relax with a good gardening book.

Adapted from “Seeds of Hope… Harvest of Pride!” – Gardener’s Checklist, www.bright.net/~gardens/index.html