Here are the things to do for your garden in December! Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. Please contact John for more information, or to purchase a copy of the calendar of the full year’s tips.
Here are the things that you should have done before we had all the snow! Just in case we get a mild spell and some rain to wash away the snow, here are a few things you still can do.
- I usually recommend a little last-minute deep watering, but with all the rain this year we should be OK until spring.
- Loosely wrap evergreens and especially rhododendrons with burlap. It is better to use 3 tomato stakes and make a triangle of burlap 6” away from the plant. The objective is to break the wind and shield it from the winter sun.
- Protect young trees and shrubs from rodents with spiral plastic wraps. I know they are ugly, but they are white to reflect the sun and minimize sun scalding.
- Wash all your garden tools. Wipe the metal parts with a cloth soaked in 3-in-1oil. If you really want to be fancy, wipe the wooden handles with boiled linseed oil.
- Make sure you have stocked up on firewood for the winter.
- With all the snow cover that just arrived, the ground will not be frozen yet. That means, if we get a break in the weather, you can still plant those spring bulbs that you forgot in your garage or basement.
- I’ve planted tulips on Christmas Day in my garden by the sidewalk in downtown Toronto. An elderly gentleman passed by and asked me, “Whatever are you doing?” I told him “It’s an old Hethrington tradition. I always plant tulips and daffs on Christmas Day”. He shuffled off shaking his head, but there were blooms in April. So, stick them in the ground before it freezes.
- Inside, check to see that your house humidifier is maintaining the humidity at over 40% to benefit both house plants and people.
- Put lots of garden tools and garden books on your Christmas list!
- Order seed catalogues and start dreaming about SPRING!
John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario