December Lawn & Garden To-Do List

Planting seeds in miniature pots indoors
Go ahead and plant seeds indoors for a head start this spring. (DepositPhotos)

Perennials and Bulbs

  • If you’ve been chilling bulbs for winter forcing, they can be brought out once they have plenty of roots and have been chilled for 2-4 months.
  • Plant gift bulbs—such as amaryllis and paperwhites—in containers.
  • Inspect your stored tender bulbs, and remove any rotten or diseased ones. If they are looking dry or wrinkled, mist the storage medium with a little water.
  • Start seeds indoors in a warm window or under a grow light.

Annuals and Containers

  • Watch out for pot breakage due to freezing! Keep container plants in protected areas, and move empty pots into storage.
  • Add some color and cheer to your containers by tucking in evergreen cuttings or berries.
  • Don’t forget to water your containers.

Winter lawn with morning frost and some leaves
Keep lawns clear of leaves (or mulch them into the lawn). (DepositPhotos)


  • Even cool-season grasses are going dormant by now. Keep leaves picked up, or mulch some into the lawn. Minimize the stress on your lawn by raking gently.
  • Avoid walking or driving on frozen grass.

Grapevine cuttings taken during the fall
Grapevine cuttings are great for making wreaths. (DepositPhotos)

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Prune grapevines.
  • In cold climates, winterize blackberry and raspberry canes by bundling the canes, bending them over to the ground, and covering with soil or mulch.
  • Zones 8 and warmer can enjoy planting and tending to winter vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce.
  • Prepare beds for planting in the spring.


  1. Bad problem with moles tearing up lawn. Thought about hiring an exterminator but wont the moles just migrate over from neighbor’s yard?

    • Treat the lawn for grubs. Moles will go elsewhere if they find no grubs in your lawn to enjoy, Use BT two years in a row. After that, it shouldn’t be necessary.


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