In order to protect from the cold weather and to reduce heaving, replenish or replace mulch around your trees, shrubs & in bed areas at least 3” to 4” deep.
Continue to remove leaves from turf & bed areas and because leaves make great mulch, you can chop leaves up with a mulching mower and leave it on the lawn or in the beds.
You do want to gather and dispose of any remaining fruits or nuts on trees or the ground beneath them and remove the leaves that remain at the base of trees and shrubs as this invites unwanted insects and disease.
In your Vegetable Garden: Continue to harvest Brussels sprouts as hey'll typically keep even when buried in snow drifts.
You can plant vegetable plants such as Arugula, Cabbage, Chard and other greens like Lettuce and Spinach.
Also plant Strawberries, as Spinach is a great companion plant for Strawberries.
Plant herbs. All hardy perennial herbs such as Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, and Thyme; other cold-hardy annual or biennial herbs like Parsley, Cilantro, Dill, and Fennel (Dill and Fennel may need some protection during freezes).
Plant annual flower/ornamental plants like Sweet Alyssum, Bluebonnet plants, ornamental Cabbage and Kale, Dianthus, Johnny jump-up, Pansy and Snapdragons.
Spring Bulbs: Get any remaining bulbs into the ground as soon as possible before the ground freezes.
Plant some shrubs for winter interest. Sarcococca confusa adds color and fragrance to your garden at this time of year.
Start to winter-prune your Wisteria, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds.
Prune climbing roses now; cutting away diseased or damaged growth and tying in any new shoots to their support. Prune older flowered side shoots back by two thirds of their length.
Leave the faded flower heads on your hydrangeas until the spring, as they will provide frost protection to the swelling buds further down the stems.
Your last application of lawn winter fertilizer should happen towards the later half of December, preferably around Christmas time.
Protect your tender plants during freezes. Use sheets, blankets, or specially-designed row covers and protect shrubs under roof line from snow damage.
Once it gets icy, use sand or kitty litter instead of salt that will runoff and affect your planting areas.
As a side note, Evergreen cuttings (like Holly, Nandina, Boxwood, Magnolia, etc.) make fantastic mantel & table displays and Dwarf Alberta Spruces make lovely ‘mini’ Christmas trees on porches. Fir branches & grapevines can be designed into wreaths & decorated with Holly & Nandina berries, Pinecones, Seed Pods, etc.
Keep plenty of seed & fresh water available for our local birds and squirrels.
A great holiday project for the kids could be building feeders with peanut butter & birdseed pine cones and since the holidays are also a time to relax, it’s a great time to think about your gardening plans for the next year!
Happy New Year from your Everything Green Designs family!