December and it is looking like winter.
The leaves are all falling and the dark comes early, but on the solstice the light returns.
Meaning every day it gets bright earlier and the light stays longer in the day. And me and the chickens are going to bed at 6 o’clock! Some of us are seriously effected by loss of sun light. So here’s the winter time chore list. You can still plant trees, and roses. Prune oak trees. Do not top! Remove the mistletoe when the leaves are gone so you can see it. Rake and mulch all those leaves. Side dress with slow release fertilizer or compost tea the greens in the garden, they will be hungry by now. Check for snails, then drown them in beer. Put a plastic cup buried level with the ground so they crawl in and die happy! Or do the pick and crunch ugh! There will a lot of them in the shallow soil and feeding heavily in the mustard and collard greens. Best time to find them is early morning when they are out. If you have grapes and berries they may need a little tending also.
It is also time for going thru your stored seeds. I take everything out to organize and see how much I have and need. Make a List! Do a sprout test on seeds you may think are old or not looking too good. Soak in water for 2 hours then lay them out on a damp paper towel, write on each whats what so you know what is viable and what is not. They should sprout in a few days. I organize what is going in the garden next spring and what didn’t do well. So I can maybe try a different variety or grower.
While all this is going on I tend to my garden tools. Clean and oil with motor oil all my shovels and hoes, sharpen if needed. I keep them in a box or bucket of sand or hang in my garden shed. Also time to sharpen and clean my pruners, loppers and saw’s. WD40 works great on pruners and loppers. Then there is the mower and weed whacker. I clean the garden shed and make a list of any items I will need for fertilizing and feeding.
Wow the list is getting long!
Gardening is a full time job, and doing things ahead of time make that spring planting so much more enjoyable.
Now on to one of my favorite things Seed Catalogs!!!
I have a display at the library if your are interested to have a look. Here are some of many you can get sent to you free. Just go on line and fill out their catalog application. Some are not doing this any more, but most will happily send you one. Texas Gardner on line is the texas go to and get the best information, always my first to check in on. Then there are Seed Savers usda organic, Territorial Seed Company, Johnny’s Select Seeds, Gurney’s Seed and Nursery, Burpee, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Sow True Seed, The Thyme Garden Herb seed company (excellent). Pinetree Garden Seed and accessories. Kitazawa Seed Co. Asian vegetables. Brown’s Omaha Plant Farm‘s onions are the best order, you need to early by jan so you can get the starts and sweet potato starts and Beauregard sweet potatoes. Totally Tomatoes, they are exclusive tomatoes and cucumbers. Home Garden Catalog for scarlet runner beans. and this is the short list, but the prettiest catalog is R H Shumway’s illustrated Garden Guide this looks like it was printed 50 years ago.
So it is off to the Races in garden preparation getting ready for when the light will be returning and the garden will be eagerly waiting for your happy return.
Growing green with Jannie