In many regions of the United States, the arrival of December marks a time of tranquility in the garden. While most plants have been tucked away for winter, there may still be quite a few December gardening tasks for those living in the South-Central region.
Closer examination of the regional to-do list shows that December is the ideal time to prune, plant, and even plan for the next growing season.
December Gardening Tasks for the South-Central Region
Temperatures in the month of December can vary greatly in this region from one season to the next. Even still, freezing temperatures are not uncommon. It is for this reason that South-Central gardening involves many tasks related to protection from cold. This includes the continued use of mulch around perennial plants, as well as special care for potted specimens.
For those who would rather stay warm indoors, winter planning is a great way to begin preparing for the next season’s garden. This can include sketching new garden layouts, browsing through catalogs or online seed sites, and analyzing the results of soil tests. Early completion of tasks related to garden planning will help to ensure that growers are ready when the weather eventually begins to shift.
December in the South-Central region is also a good time to complete routine pruning tasks, such as the removal of dead branches from trees. At this time, most herbaceous perennials have died back to the ground. Make certain to remove brown leaves and plant debris in order to reduce likelihood of issues involving plant disease in the future.
Other garden sanitation tasks which can be completed at this time include the removal of fallen leaves, compost pile maintenance, and the amendment of growing beds.
Lastly, December gardening tasks may involve planting. Though much of the vegetable garden may be at rest during this portion of the growing season, now is an excellent time to develop landscape plantings. Trees, shrubs, and bushes can all be planted at this time.
Additionally, many gardeners find that flowering spring bulbs can also be planted after an initial period of cold treatment or refrigeration. Cold tolerant hardy annual flowers like pansies and snapdragons are ideal for bringing early season color to the landscape.