Gardening This Weekend: December 2, 2021
When you have an hour or two, here are the activities that are tops on the list for early December.
• Daffodils and grape hyacinths before the end of the month.
• Pansies, pinks, ornamental cabbage and kale and other winter color to spruce up your beds and patio pots.
• Living Christmas tree into the yard, but ask a Texas Certified Nursery Professional if the tree that you’re buying is one that would be highly recommended for your area 12 months a year. Too many types are brought in just for short-term enjoyment at Christmas. They may not be well suited to Texas at all. You’re more likely to see those at the big national chain stores.
• Damaged and dead branches from trees, especially if they might break and fall in wind or ice storms.
• Mow lawn one more time to remove last of the fallen leaves. Mowing also eliminates many rank-growing weeds.
• Remove all winter-killed stubble from perennials, annuals, bananas and vegetable plantings. Grind it and use it in the compost.
• Pansies, pinks and other cool-season color to keep them growing vigorously during warm spells. Use a high-nitrogen, water-soluble product. Feed them each time that you water them. Obviously, that will be less often as it turns really cold.
• Houseplants sparingly during the dark days of mid-winter. Your goal should probably be to maintain them status quo, not to encourage them to grow until better lighting returns in the spring.
• Poinsettias and other Christmas color pots will not need supplemental fertilizers. Growers have given them adequate supplies to carry them through.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Houseplants for signs of population explosions of scale, mealy bugs and white flies. These pests have no natural predators when we move our plants indoors.
• Be ahead of the game – prepared to cover tender vegetation with lightweight frost cloth when extreme cold is expected. Buy it now, cut it to fit loosely over the beds. Fold it and store it in plastic bags until you need it. It can remain in place for weeks, and it can even be reused from one year to the next. I prefer the gauze-like white materials to the heavier green products. Plastic film is not good, as plants heat up too quickly in the morning sunlight.