I know much of our attention this month is on the holidays, not necessarily out in the garden. The days are shorter, and our time seems to be even shorter yet. While we enjoy the holidays and everything it brings, we can still keep our gardening muscles flexed.
After all, we’re gardeners — a little cold weather and blustery winds won’t keep us down, right? Here’s your December garden checklist to stay the course, but remember, your local extension office or trusted garden center will likely have more specific information for your particular area of the country.
Remember the garden journal you started last month? Now’s the time to start writing in it! Record first freezes or any significant weather event, create your goals for the coming garden year, and order seeds for sowing. Because I live in an area of periodic drought, I like to also record monthly rainfall levels.
Prepare and Maintain
Continue to monitor your stored onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers for spoilage. Plant cover crops after the final harvest or plantings, collect leaves for your compost pile, and keep your frost blankets at the ready to protect tender plants. Gardeners in mild climates can begin creating new beds for spring planting.
Sow and Plant Indoors
- Zones 4-8 can start seeds of salad greens and herbs indoors under grow lights. A windowsill can also work as long as there is bright enough light.
- Zones 9-11 you can continue starting winter garden vegetables indoors to be transplanted out into the garden.
Sow and Plant Outdoors
- Zones 9-11 can continue planting most garden vegetables outdoors. However, some regions in these zones do experience occasional nighttime frosts, therefore we recommend keeping row covers or cotton blankets on hand so that you can protect your crops in a pinch.