• Gardening Activity Slows in December, But Still Plenty to Do
    Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at

  • Gardeners do not have much daylight in December to work in their yards so they can easily take the month off from garden duties. For those who can't imagine a day without planting and pruning, there is plenty to keep them busy throughout the month.

    Plant azaleas in December.

    Plant California Natives: December is growing season for California natives. Since the microclimates are so varied in Southern California, check with your local nursery for the natives that do best in your area.

    Plant Bulbs, Flowers And California Wildflowers: Plant bulbs in 5" to 6" of soil. Plant azaleas and camellias this month. They are best planted while in bloom which is helpful because you can see what colors you are adding to your garden. California wildflower seeds can also be sown now for next year's blooms. These include traditional California wildflowers such as desert bluebells, California poppies and mariposa lilies.

    Maintain A Healthy Lawn: If you plan to keep all or a portion of your lawn, you might as well ensure it looks its best. If projected heavy rains this winter materialize, takes steps to keep your lawn looking healthy through spring. Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is in need of repair, sow in annual rye seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of top dressing and water thoroughly (or let rain saturate the ground for you).

    Pull Weeds: Remove weeds throughout your landscape so weeds won’t grow once winter rains begin. Place a layer of mulch over the weeded area to prevent weeds from popping up as soon as the soil moistens.

    Prune and Clip: Prune deciduous fruit trees after their leaves have dropped and the trees have gone dormant. Clip off dead brown branches underneath healthy green growth on shrubs and smaller plants.

    Still Time to Plant Cool Weather Vegetables:  Cool-season vegetables such as beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce, radishes, and turnips can be planted in December. Winter offerings can be a nice change of pace from traditional summer vegetables.

    Buy a Cut Christmas Tree: Farm produced Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases while producing oxygen. Once the holidays are over, the trees are 100 percent recycled into mulch that is then used by growers and landscapers. An artificial tree is made of non-biodegradable plastic and metal. Once thrown away, they end up in landfills.
    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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