General Garden Care

December

snow lanternMulch perennial beds once the ground has frozen hard. Apply 2 to 4 inches of shredded bark, composted manure or garden compost, if not done already. Evergreen boughs from seasonal wreaths or small sections of Christmas tree branches may also be used as winter protection on garden beds.

If ice forms on surface of aquatic garden pond, pour warm water over it. Banging ice with heavy object can injure fish.

Try to avoid salt-based de-icing products in or around garden areas. Sodium chloride products are more damaging to plants than potassium- or calcium-based products. Always shovel before spreading de-icing material.

When shoveling snow, try to distribute snow equally on garden plants instead of piling it up against foundation plantings or in the root zone of one tree.

If possible, maintain a supply of water for birds over winter. Small heating coils can be used in stone birdbaths to prevent water from freezing.

Clean and refill feeders. Regular cleaning and rinsing is essential to prevent spread of disease to visiting birds.