What to do in December


  • None needed on plants outside.
  • Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and lightly on your lawns if soil pH is below 6.0.
  • Fertilize house plants as needed.


  • After Christmas, plant live Christmas trees in the landscape. Keep these trees indoors no more than 14 days.
  • Plant trees and shrubs.


  • Prune berry producing plants if berries are desired in table arrangements over the holidays.
  • Remove “weed” or undesirable trees from your landscape.


  • None

Lawn Care

  • Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.


  • Take leaf cuttings of your favorite house plants like African violets and begonia.
  • Hardwood cuttings of your landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, holly and hydrangea can be taken this month.

Specific Chores

  • Put pine needles or wheat/barley straw over your strawberry plants.
  • Keep your living Christmas tree outside until you are ready to decorate. White pine is a type of living tree that will do well in much of North Carolina.
  • Make a list of needed repairs on garden tools and equipment. Repair or have them repaired after the holidays.
  • Shop around for garden products for your favorite gardener.
  • Greenery will last longer if sprayed with an antitranspirant.
  • Keep your cut Christmas tree in water throughout the holiday season.
  • Order fruit trees and grape vines for February or March planting, if not already done.
  • Visit the Extension office for information on the holiday house plants like poinsettia and amaryllis.

From http://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu/Garden%20Calendar%20December/

Don’t forget that there is still plenty of time to get a soil test!