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December Gardening To-Do's


During December, it's easy to get caught up in holiday festivities and forget all about the garden. Keeping your winter landscape looking it's best requires more than just hanging a few Christmas lights, however. Your lawn and landscape need ongoing care to look their best, and December is the perfect time to perform specific outdoor tasks.


Pruning


The winter months are the best for pruning your trees and shrubs. You can prune evergreens any time of the year except for fall, but these trees and shrubs look best when pruned in the winter. This way the spring's new growth will quickly cover your pruning cuts. Deciduous trees, too, do best when pruned in December. These trees lose their leaves and go dormant in the winter, allowing you to prune them with minimal disruption to the plant.


Watering


Although growth slows in the winter, it's essential that you don't neglect your lawn care completely. Even in winter, your lawn needs about an inch of water every three weeks. If Mother Nature fails to provide adequate rainfall, keep your lawn healthy with supplemental watering. Sufficient water also keeps plants and trees robust, healthy and better able to resist freezes. When the weatherman predicts a hard freeze, give your lawn and plants a healthy watering to prepare them.


Planting and Moving


Most people think about planting in the spring, but December is an excellent time to add some plants to your landscape. Moving and planting deciduous trees when they are dormant cause them less stress. They can use the energy they have to establish themselves without dividing their time between leafing, flowering and trying to get established in their new home. You can also plant your bulbs in December if you chill them first and then look forward to colorful blooms early in the spring.


Preparing


December is the perfect time to get your gardening tools ready for a rigorous spring season. When winter weather forces you inside, you can still daydream about the outdoors while sharpening your mower blade and cleaning your gardening tools. If you still crave hands-on time with plants, check your houseplants for whiteflies, spider mites, and scale, treating them as necessary if you discover problems.


If you enjoy landscape work, set your December to-do list and roll up your sleeves, make sure you do so safely, however. Some aspects of landscaping, such as pruning large trees, are dangerous when done without the proper equipment and training. When faced with these tasks, consider getting the help of a professional landscaper like Cut-N-Edge Lawn & Landscape. If you prefer indoor living, a landscaper can make life easier by taking over mundane tasks like watering and trimming, allowing you to spend your time on activities you find more enjoyable. Whether you do the work yourself or hire some help, don't forget your December gardening tasks.

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