December Garden Tips:
Continue to water evergreen plants until ground freezes to prevent winter sun-scald.
Provide a water source for thirsty birds throughout the winter by installing a heater in your birdbath. Or change out the water when it freezes.
Fill birdfeeders throughout winter months. Suet is a great source of protein.
Wrap tall arborvitae, junipers, yews, and other evergreen shrubs with burlap or twine to prevent snow damage and breakage.
Start paperwhite bulbs in gravel, marbles or soil every other week for flowers throughout the winter months
Plant amaryllis bulbs now for January bloom.
Check house plants for insects. Examine them carefully by looking under leaves and in leaf axils. Early detection makes control much easier. Simple pruning or washing with mild dish-washing liquid and water may remedy problem.
Tips for buying a fresh-cut Christmas tree and how to care for it:
Choose a fresh tree. A fresh tree will have a healthy green appearance with few browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off if you run a branch through your hand. When a tree becomes dry it is time to take it out of the house.
Locate the tree at least three feet away from any kind of heat source, like fireplaces, heat vents and even candles to prevent a house fire.
Check the water level daily and be sure to keep it well above the base of the tree. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water.
Make a fresh green wreath with the boughs removed from the bottom of your tree.
Tips for buying a live Christmas tree and how to care for it:
Identify where your live tree will be planted in the yard after Christmas and dig the hole before the ground freezes.
Before bringing the tree inside it should be conditioned by putting in an unheated garage for a few days. The same should be done when moving it back outside to be planted.
Live trees are fairly sensitive and should not be kept inside for more than 10 days.
Prior to moving the tree inside, the root ball should be moistened and kept in a moist condition while the tree is displayed. The root ball should be placed in a bucket or a large pan to prevent soil and water from staining the floor. The rootball should remain moist but not stand in water.
Make sure to locate living trees away from heat sources. Living Christmas trees will also need water, although not nearly as much as cut trees.