Well, it is almost the end of the year. The holiday season is upon us! As Christmas approaches, the month of December is busy: Christmas trees covered with brightly colored decorations, last minute shoppers looking for that perfect gift, parties, and friends and family stopping by to visit. the city is ablaze with festive lights. Vividly colored decorations dominate the stores and brightly glowing displays help illuminate the chilly nights leading into winter. In the midst of the "Holiday Madness:, here are some garden-related things to consider:
- This is a good time to check out the sales racks at your local garden center for spring bulbs as they are often on sale at reduced prices. Make sure the bulbs are firm and not moldy. It is a good idea to plant them as soon as possible so they can get the "winter chilling" they need to thrive.
- Before the weather turns brutally cold, winterize your irrigation system. Please do this as soon as you can to avoid broken pipes and costly repairs.
- It is not too late to spruce up your outside containers. Think about adding small hollies, conifers, twisted willow and red-twig dogwoods to winter pots. This is a good way to brighten up your winter landscape. These plants can then be planted in the ground in the springtime.
- Let's talk dirt! I am an advocate of the soil test. December is an optimum time to test and amend your soil. If you need to add lime to your soil, winter is a good time to do so. It takes a few months for lime to react with the soil, so applying now will be beneficial to spring plantings. The Shelby County Extension Office can provide you with the soil testing kit needed and instructions on how to take a good soil sample for analysis. Prepared samples are then sent to the UT Soil, Plant and Pest Center for testing.
- Don't forget about a gift for the gardener in your family. Whether it is a coveted garden tool, gloves, subscription to a garden magazine or a gift card to their favorite nursery, these gifts will definitely be appreciated!
Thank you for taking the time to read Chris' Corner this year! I will be back next year with more gardening insights and tips.
Now that my garden is dormant for the year, it is time to work on my son's Christmas list! Until next time, have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year!