December in the Garden

Please come visit us at The Natural Gardener for the most comprehensive advice, plants, and organic gardening supplies appropriate to our area and the current season.

Below are some examples of flowers which can be planted this month. See our Flower Planting Guide.

Protect tender plants from freezes

All new transplants will need protection from their first frost.

Prune deciduous trees and shrubs

This is a great month to prune crepe myrtles and other deciduous landscape plants. Now that the branches are bare, the overall form of the plant is much easier to see and shape. You have from now until February, before the trees start to leaf out.

Spray fruit trees with fungicide

To keep apple, pear, peach, and plums healthy, these fruit trees need to be put on a spray schedule. (Figs, pomegranates, persimmons, and do not need this treatment.) See our fruits, nuts, & berries guide.

Look out for plum curculio

Plum curculio is a pest that calls for treatment in late winter.

A greener option than cut or artificial trees

Consider purchasing a living Christmas tree for the holidays. Arizona cypress, Aleppo, and Italian stone pines are all attractive options that can be planted in the landscape after. Avoid keeping these trees indoors for any longer than two weeks. Our homes feel very different from the outdoors, so it’s important to both gradually introduce your tree into your home for Christmas, and to also reintroduce it to the outdoors after the holiday.

Maintain tools

Well kept tools work better and last longer.  Take advantage of the winter rest period to sharpen, clean, and oil your tools.