Take care of your winter vegetable garden and begin to plan for the new year.
Update your garden journal with photos or sketches of your December beds.
Pruning and Cleaning Up
Put those pruners down - leave spent flower stalks standing to support pollinators.
You can look carefully at your trees and shrubs to see how healthy they are and lightly prune out deadwood removing the lower canes from shrubs
Don't overclear your plants and gardens, the old growth provides protection for plants and habitat for birds and others
Houseplants like clean foliage during the winter and watering when dry.
Keep poinsettias moist but not waterlogged.
Fertilize and Mulch
Pine needles, rotted sawdust, straw, and leaves make great mulch.
Mulch poppies with oak or sycamore leaves.
Mulching flowerbeds improves soil texture.
Tip - if you want earthworms, mulch deeply
Take care of your hoses and protect them from freezing
Remember to water your Xmas tree if you have a fresh tree.
After the holidays, use your Xmas tree as a suet and peanut butter feeder for birds. Decorate the tree with suet and with peanut-butter covered pinecones. Later, the branches can be cut and used by setting them over perennial beds to protect the plants from heaving.
As always, keep your tools clean and clean your tools as you move from plant to plant.
Wear gloves for all of your gardening and yard chores; protect your skin from sun, dirt, bugs, and poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.