Topic: Outdoor Living Ideas

Date Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Make your list, check it twice

Make your list, check it twice


December begins Monday, so it’s time to make yourselves a list — not for Santa — but for your own outdoor winter “to do” projects.

Surprisingly, there are many things to accomplish during this last month of the year. And hopefully, our Texas winter will give us some mild temperatures and sunny days.


Below, I list several of the more common tasks for December, understanding not everyone will be doing the same projects. And just maybe some of you will see something you would like to try.

  • Reduce the amount of watering of turf grass, changing the schedule programmed in on your sprinkler systems to maybe twice a month, depending on how much rain we receive.
  • Plant bulbs such as cannas, irises and daffodils, making sure your soil has sufficient drainage.
  • Spray fruit trees for disease prevention.
  • Plant seeds for winter-hardy flowers such as poppies and larkspur and bluebonnet seeds for spring color.
  • Plant any new trees or shrubs, watering well to establish.
  • Plant strawberries, making sure they will have good sunlight.
  • Plant vegetables such as kale, cabbage and spinach.
  • Plant hardy herbs such as oregano, cilantro, rosemary, parsley, lavender, dill and sage.
  • Clean out flower and landscape beds, removing broken branches, frost-damaged flowers, weeds and other fall-spreading ground covers and clovers.
  • Plant pansies, dianthus or snapdragons for a pop of winter color.
  • Amend soil to add nutrients used up during the growing season; add compost and mulch around plants.
  • Note which plants need to be pruned back, but put this activity off until the end of the month or even in January, so as not to stimulate new growth.
  • Find some old sheets and blankets to have at the ready for forecasted frosts and freezes; consider making “cold frames” similar to greenhouse walls to place over favorite tropical plants for protection from cold damage.
  • Work on any broken edging, trellises and weed block fabric, or replace if cost-effective.
  • Clean off outdoor furniture and store if it won’t be used until spring.
  • Maintain your drip and mist systems, even removing the tubes and sprayers until spring.
  • Transplant any plant that looked out of place or was too large for an area; cut these plants back by at least one-third and be sure to water well to encourage re-rooting.
  • Re-establish a good, clean edge around beds and feature areas, since grass is going dormant and easier to remove.

Make your list and check it twice.

Once spring comes, your yard will look nice.

Winter time is coming to town.

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