December garden tips
Plant trees and shrubs so they can get a good root system started before the stress of summer’s heat.It's a particularly good time to plant camellias and sasanquas because they are likely in bloom.
Keep Christmas trees well watered.
Continue planting cool-season color, such as pansies, violas, dianthus, cyclamen, stock, candytuft, ornamental cabbage and kale and snapdragons. Refresh your beds first with Vital Earth compost and Fertilome Bedding Plant Food.
Deadhead bedding plants to keep them tidy and prolong blooming.
Protect or bring indoors less-hardy cool-season plants, such as cyclamen, if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. Hardy plants, such as pansies, violas and dianthus, may be burned by a hard freeze, but should recover.
Fertilize cool-season bedding plants you set out in early fall.
Get your soil tested now so you’ll be ready to go for spring planting. Akin’s has the kits available to be completed and mailed to LSU AgCenter.
Sow seeds of larkspur, sweet pea and poppy for spring blooms.
Finish planting daffodils this month. Plant the tulip and hyacinth bulbs you’ve been chilling in your refrigerator toward the end of the month.
Don’t let fallen leaves stay on your lawn all winter to avoid disease problems. Either mow over them to add organic matter to the lawn or turn them into nutrient-rich compost by building/buying a compost bin or setting aside an area for a compost pile.
Spray trees affected by scale insects, such as camellias, sasanquas, Burford hollies and magnolias, with Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray or horticultural oil.
Watch the lawn for signs of brown patch, which often shows up during cool, wet weather. If it occurs, treat with Fertilome F-Stop.
Prepare beds you plan to plant in spring by removing weeds, working in chopped leaves and compost and covering with mulch. No homemade compost? We recommend Vital Earth compost.