Costa Farms

 

Passionate about plants? So are we! Costa Farms is a wholesale grower that discovers, develops, and grows plants for your home and life -- indoors and out. We’re your online gardening resource for plant info and inspiration. Our articles, blogs, tips, and photos help you use plants to beautify your living spaces and enhance your life.

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December Gardening Tips

Houseplants
Give Them a Bath:
If you notice a layer of dust on your houseplant leaves, wash small plants in the sink and wash larger ones in the shower. Use room-temperature water to avoid damaging the leaves. 
Note: Regularly washing leaves can help prevent some insect pests such as spider mites. 

In the South
Water Garden Beds:
If you live in a frost-free climate, don't forget to water garden and landscape beds during dry spells. December often marks the start of the dry season. 

Protect Tender Plants from Frost: If frost threatens tender or tropical plants, move them indoors or cover them with a sheet or blanket overnight. Don't use plastic; the plastic may get cold enough to cause cold damage where it touches plant leaves.
Note: Cool-season, frost-hardy plants such as dianthus, snapdragon, kale,and pansies easily survive dips below frost. You don't need to worry about covering tough beauties like these! 

Attack Cool-Season Weeds: While summer weeds may be done, there's a new crop of winter weeds ready to sprout. Hand pull weeds before they get large enough to set seeds and apply a thick layer of mulch to keep weed seeds from sprouting. 
Get more tips for attacking weeds.

In the North
Deal with Ice:
Once winter snows arrive (if they haven't already), use sand or plant-/pet-friendly ice-melting products to keep walkways safe for you and your garden plants. Avoid using products that contain salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride; over time, these chemicals can build up in the soil and harm your plants. 

Mulch Garden Beds: If you want to apply a winter mulch and the soil is frozen in your area, it's safe to apply several inches of winter mulch. It's best to wait until the soil is frozen; the real value of mulch is that it keeps the soil consistently cold all winter long so your plants don't start to wake up (or heave up) on warm-winter days. 

Plant Bulbs: If the soil hasn't frozen in your area, you can still get spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips and daffodils planted in your garden. As long as you can dig a hole, it's all right to plant bulbs. If the soil has frozen, plant bulbs in pots and keep them in a cold place, such as an unheated garage or attic, for the winter. In February, you can bring them to warmer temperatures and force the bulbs to bring a little cheer in late winter. 

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