Top 5 Must-Do’s for December!

gillnurseryTimely Tips12 Comments

How is it December already?! Time flies when you’re having fun in the garden. Here are our top to-do’s this month:  what to plant, gift ideas, Winter watering advice and more.  

Check out our December Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!

1. Plant These Now

There’s always the BEST time to get plants growing and here’s a few that LOVE this season as much as we do!

Strawberries…who could resist picking these sweet jewels in the Spring?

Onions…we grow short-day onion varieties here in South Texas. Lucky for us the 1015 Texas Supersweet is one of those along with tasty Texas Early White & Southern Belle Red.

Roses…. our mild winters are perfect for big, beautiful roses & the cooler temps will only make them prettier and the flower color richer. Need we say more?

Trees…shade, flowering, small, big, they all benefit from planting now. Good root development during the cooler months of winter gives them better growth in spring and a fighting chance next summer.

2. Think Gifts That Grow

With a few simple components you can create heartfelt gifts that will last and grow. Collectible houseplants, succulents in natural clay pots, colorful flowers in a hanging basket, winter bulbs like Paperwhites and Amaryllis…the possibilities are endless! Adorn your wrappings with fresh herbs from the garden for those special touches that mean so much! Need ideas? We’ve got plenty!

3. Alternative Trees for Holidays and Beyond!

If you want a Christmas-y tree to enjoy in your landscape after the holidays, Junipers, Norfolk Pines, Loblolly Pines, Magnolias and Ficus trees work beautifully. We even had a customer this season who decided on a large Queen Palm to decorate! If you bring these in for decorating, be sure they have good bright natural light. Keep watered but not too much, and as soon as the holidays are done…take them outdoors for a breath of fresh air and plant.

4. Plant, Feed, Water Winter Flowers

Winter flowers are AMAZING right now! Violas and Pansies are breathtaking and Geraniums are full of buds and blooms. All that blooming makes them hungry, so take a moment and fertilize your beauties. We love Plant Tone and or Hasta Gro. Both are organic and give you big results. Have that “one more empty pot” to fill?

5. Check Irrigation and Reduce Watering

Established lawns and landscapes (those more than 2 years old) can do with less water during winter. Even potted plants will stay moist longer this time of year. Check your irrigation systems to run less time and/or less often. Water lawns every 2 weeks if no rain. Water your landscape and potted plants when the soil feels dry. YOU WILL NEED TO WATER when we have cold fronts with low humidity and high winds and/or freezing temps.

12 Comments on “Top 5 Must-Do’s for December!”

    1. Various things suggested: netting to exclude them. shiny cds or the curly shiny ribbon to scare them. hanging christmas balls or fake fruit to discourage them (no fun to peck).

  1. Tiny yellow dots on the underside of my Plumerias. I’ve removed the affected leaves, anything else I can do?

    1. Chances are you are seeing the beginning of a rust (fungus) infection which will likely get worse, before all the leaves drop for winter. Just collect and dispose of them, so you limit the quantity of fungal spores.

    2. You could spray with neem oil to limit fungus, but I would not bother since outdoor plumerias will lose most or all leaves. But if you are taking infected leaves off the plant, it is recommended that you clip them off with sharp shears or scissors, leaving just a small stub of petiole, rather than break them off.

    1. Slow your watering way down, and if you see signs of TakeAll root rot and have’nt treated yet, apply Disease Ex now.

    1. Hi Rich – all roses (except climbing roses) should be cut back the 1st 2 weeks of February (around Valentine’s Day). Climbers get pruned after the Spring bloom.

  2. When is it too late to plant wildflowers (blanket flower)? I have made 2 different successions this fall with no germination of a blend of native flowers. Possibly the seeds were too old. I just collected a lot of blanket flower seeds from a highly successful plant in my summer garden and am wondering if I can plant these seeds now.

  3. Hi James,
    I have some rose climbers that were transplanted 2 years ago and they haven’t bloomed yet!
    I haven’t trimmed them back. I have been feeding and watering as usual. Any suggestions or advice would greatly be appreciated! Thanks!

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