A small list of things to do plus some pics to inspire you!


One of the common reasons (excuses!) people use for not gardening in the winter months is that it is cold outside.  I put on a fleece jacket, gloves and a beanie and am plenty toasty, especially once I start moving. Plus it’s good to work off holiday anxiety and those extra cookies and fudge we’ll be chowing on this month! 

Here are a few tasks and things to keep in mind for this holiday month: 

-         No weeding – yes, you read that right.  It’s not a good idea to step on soggy soil to remove weeds…it will compact the soil, especially if you have clay soil.  If you must weed, make sure you are on hardscape or use a hoe to scrape off weeds.

-         Holiday cheer – put out some fresh plants in pots on your porch or entrance area if you haven’t already.  You can stick to the tried and true Poinsettia but how about adding a pretty green fern next to it?  Or add some Black Mondo Grass to add contrast and interest.

-         Rake or blow leaves from your lawn and groundcover plants – leaves can smother your grass and open it up to weedy invaders.  Also continue to remove leaves that have fallen inside or under your plants.

-         Frost protection – there are a number of spray applications you can put on frost-tender plants at your local nursery.  You can also add light-weight fabric (with wood or bamboo stakes)…but place the fabric so that it doesn’t touch the plant.  Plants that have a moist root zone are less likely to sustain serious damage.

-         Snail patrol – low light and foggy days are a good time to investigate your garden beds and find snails.  What you choose to do with the snails is your own business!  If you do this every few weeks you will have significantly less snails come spring.


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Karen Paolini December 06, 2011 at 05:50 PM
I understand that chickens LOVE snails, so if you have a friend with chickens, they'll take them dead or alive!
Angele Sweet December 09, 2011 at 02:29 PM
That's a good idea!
Tom Abate (Editor) December 09, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Of course if you have chickens in San Leandro we need to keep quiet about them :)
Marga Lacabe December 09, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Can we borrow chickens? We have lots of snails! I guess the other possibility is making escargot.
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