December Yard and Garden Tips

Things to do:

Flowers

  • Bulbs - it's time to plant those spring-flowering bulbs you purchased in September, such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus.  See Spring-Flowering Bulbs for more information.

Fruits

  • Fruit sanitation - begin inspecting your fruit trees.  Be sure to remove any mummified remaining fruits, and rake up and dispose of old leaves and branches that may harbor diseases over the winter.

Lawns

  • Fertilizer - You may choose to add some nitrogen to Bermuda lawns this month that have been overseeded.  DO NOT fertilize non-overseeded, warm-season grass lawns late in the fall!  See Fertilizing Lawns for more information.
  • Annual bluegrass - this is a soft little grass weed (also called po annua) the comes up in the yard.  Treat this month to keep it under control.  See Grassy Weeds for more information.

Ponds

  • Pond Stocking - September through January are good months to stock bream in a fishing pond.  See Stocking & Harvesting Recreational Fish Ponds for more information.
  • Pond Liming - September through January are also good times to lime the pond bottom if necessary.  See Liming Recreational Ponds for information on sampling the bottom and applying lime if needed.

Trees

  • Tree Planting - the winter months when trees are dormant are excellent times to plant.  Be careful that you do not plant them too deep or with too much soil amendment.  See Planting Trees Correctly for information on the proper way to plant a tree.

Miscellaneous

  • String Trimmers - Drain the fuel from your string trimmers and run the engine until the amount left in the carburetor is depleted (the engine will shut off).  This will help prevent “gumming” in the carburetor and will make your first start next spring a much more pleasant job.  This is a good idea for any small engine tool that will not be used over the winter.

For more information for December, see This Month in Your Garden's December installment.