What to Do in the Garden in December

What to Do in the Garden in December
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What to Do in the Garden in December

December is the Thick of the Holiday Season

December is a great month to get some planning done for the upcoming gardening season. If you live in a warmer climate, December is also a good time to start planting your winter garden.Here are some tips on what to do in the garden in December based on your gardening zone.

If you live in zone 7 or above, December is a great month to start planting your winter garden. Some vegetables that do well in winter gardens are kale, lettuce, carrots, and spinach. You can also plant bare-root fruit trees and shrubs this month.

If you live in a colder climate, December is the time to start planning your garden for the upcoming growing season. Now is the time to order seeds and catalogs so you can start dreaming about your perfect garden. You can also start planning where you want to plant each vegetable and flower. This is also a good time to clean and sharpen your garden tools so they're ready to go for the spring.

No matter what Zone you live in, December is a great month to get some planning done for the upcoming gardening season. So pull out your phone, open the From Seed to Spoon app and start dreaming about your perfect garden today!

If you aren't sure what to plant or what your options even are, start by browsing what's available from Park Seed and use the From Seed to Spoon premium app features for an at-a-glance calendar of what to plant when.

Here's What You Can Work On this Month In the Garden Based on Your Growing Zone:

Zones 3 and 4

There likely isn't much to plant or do in the garden this month as it might be covered in snow, but don't let that keep you from doing other gardening-related things. If you haven't yet, take the time this month to reflect on your garden from this year. Think about what worked well and what didn't. Did you have good luck with a particular tomato variety? Record it in the app so that you can plant more of it next year.

Start planning for next year's garden. Decide what you want to grow and where you want to plant it. Take time researching what you can improve or try differently next year.

If you have a Compost bin, make sure that you are turning it regularly so that the compost has enough oxygen. You can also continue to add to your compost bin even though you might not see it break down as fast during the cold months.

You'll likely get snow this time of year, but that doesn't always translate to moisture for your plants. Continue to water your trees and shrubs if the ground is not frozen.

Zones 5 and 6

Check your Brussels sprouts and harvest them when they are about the size of a large marble.

If you have any kale, chard, or collards that are still growing, you can continue to harvest them this month. Harvest any remaining root vegetables like carrots, beets, and turnips.

You can still plant a few things this month, including trees, shrubs, and bare-root roses.Depending on the forecast and shortly after planting “bed” these items in for winter. Smaller plants can be completely covered over with straw or hay. Larger plants such as trees, shrubs, and roses can be wrapped and covered with burlap or fabric 2-3 times and secured.If you want to get a jump on your spring garden, consider planting garlic cloves. You can also still sow wildflower seeds.

If you haven't yet, now is the time to start cleaning up your garden beds. Remove any dead leaves or plant material. You can also start pruning shrubs and roses. Start planning for next year's garden. Decide what you want to grow and where you want to plant it. Take time researching what you can improve or try differently next year.

Zone 7

Continue to harvest any of your cold-hardy vegetables or root vegetables that haven't been harvested yet. Keep your garden clean and free of debris. Make use of cold frames, hoop houses or row covers to help keep your garden growing.

Add any spent plants to the composter or till them into the garden soil. You can also test the soil in your garden and flowerbeds this month and add any soil amendments to fix nutrient deficiencies. Adding a thick layer or manure and/or compost this month will give it time to break down before you can plant in the spring. To prevent runoff, add a thick layer of mulch.

Zones 8-9

If you have any greens growing, like kale, chard, or collards, you can continue to harvest them.

Other vegetables that can be harvested in December include carrots, beets, turnips, and potatoes. Herbs like parsley, sage, and thyme can also be harvested this month.

Canning and pickling are also great options for preserving your harvest. You can also spend some time playing around and experimenting with fermented vegetables. Fermented dilly beans and homemade sauerkraut are easy recipes that will create delicious foods for you.

This is a good time of year to plant trees and shrubs as they will have time to get established before it gets too hot in the spring. You can also still sow wildflower seeds this month.

Start planning for next year's garden. Decide what you want to grow and where you want to plant it. Take time researching what you can improve or try differently next year.

Zone 10

Continue to harvest any of your cold-hardy vegetables or root vegetables that haven't been harvested yet. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

Start planning for next year's garden. Decide what you want to grow and where you want to plant it. Take time researching what you can improve or try differently next year. Downloading the From Seed to Spoon app is a great way to keep up with this during the year. It’s portable, customizable, and easy to refer to anytime.

Water any new trees and shrubs that you have planted in the last few months. Add a thick layer of mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and protect the roots from the heat in the spring. Mulch will also help to suppress weeds as your new plants become established.

You can still plant a few things this month, including annual flowers and vegetables. If you want to get a jump on your spring garden, consider planting garlic cloves. You can also still sow wildflower seeds this month.

Zone 11

One of the benefits of living in Zone 11 is that your growing season is basically all year long. When most other gardeners are waiting for the snow to melt, you can keep on harvesting. This is the time of year when you can start harvesting many of your fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, beans, and cucumbers are all still in season. You can also harvest herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, and dill.

If you have any citrus trees, they will likely be bearing fruit this time of year. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits can all be harvested in December.

Final Thoughts on Gardening in December:

No matter what Zone you are in, December is a good time to reflect on the past year's gardening successes and failures. Use this month to start planning for next year's garden by deciding what you want to grow and where you want to plant it. Take time researching what you can improve or try differently next year. This is also a good month to record your notes and thoughts in the app.

December is a great month for planning your garden, giving gardening gifts, and even some cold season harvesting.

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