Plant growth comes to a near halt in December, so it is a good time to spruce up flowerbeds and gardens and plant spring-flowering bulbs.
Plant Bulbs and Flowers: Plant bulbs including hyacinths, daffodils and tulips in 5" to 6" of soil. Plant hardy plants such as camellias and azaleas. Consider adding natural California wildflowers (desert bluebells, California poppies, mariposa lilies) to your flower garden for early spring blooms.
Clean Up Debris: Collect fallen leaves, clean up dead portions of perennials and vegetable plants and pinch back winter-blooming annuals so they produce more blooms. Place fallen leaves in flowerbeds as mulch to keep soil in place and prevent erosion during rain.
Be Water Aware: December can bring Southern California much rain or the month can be bone dry. Trees and plants need water, even when the weather cools. Warm, dry winds can still occur in December and will suck moisture from plants in as little as one day. Be ready to water your plants if the winds and heat come and rainstorms stay away.
Winterize Your Lawn: Rake leaves, grass clippings or other debris from the lawn. This allows winter sunlight and nutrients into the soil. Raking will result in better aeration, resulting in greener grass when spring arrives. Remove weeds. Weeds allowed to produce seeds in fall and winter are guaranteed to flourish and wreak havoc in spring. Lay down compost over the lawn that is specifically formulated for winterizing. This compost should be fortified with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and penetrate into the roots for a quick start for spring growth.
Buy a Living Christmas Tree: Before buying a living Christmas tree, decide where you want the tree planted in your yard once the holidays are over. Talk with an expert at your local nursery to help select the best tree for the location. Keep the tree outside until Christmas week. The tree can stay indoors for no more than 10 days. Any longer and it will begin to drop its needles. Consider giving your tree a natural look--decorate with berries, popcorn, seeds and cookies. After the holidays, take the still-decorated tree outside and let birds have their own holiday feast.
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.
Labels: Agromin, what to plant in winter, winter garden, winter gardening in Southern California, winter vegetables