December 2012 Gardening Calendar
November 27, 2012 | 1289 views | Post a comment
This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
It is not too late to plant cyclamen, primula and petunias for winter color. Primula and cyclamen do best in the shade. Plant pansies and their cousins, the violas and johnny jump-ups, in the sun.
If you receive a dish of forced paperwhites as a holiday gift, move them to the flower garden or shrub border after you are finished with them in the house. If you don’t like the fragrance, that may mean you transplant them to the garden immediately!
Paperwhites naturalize in the South Texas landscape. Select a spot where they will get full or partial sun and plant them so the bulbs are covered. Do not remove the leaves until they brown naturally. As long as they are green, they are producing nutrients for the bulbs so that they can regrow next winter.
Paperwhites can even be planted in the lawn under deciduous trees if you are willing to let the foliage brown each year before mowing. Paperwhites provide green foliage and bloom in December or January each year. They are also deer-proof!
In the vegetable garden, plant onions (look for the new Texas Legend variety) and spinach transplants. If the tomatoes have made it through November, be ready to remove all full-sized fruit before the next freeze forecast. They will ripen in the house.
Consider a live holiday tree in a container. After you use it for the holidays, it can be planted in the landscape in full sun. Among those varieties that are sheared for use in the house and that can be planted outside, deodar cedar, Aleppo pine, Italian stone pine and Japanese black pine are most likely to prosper. Arizona cypress is usually not sheared, but it sometimes has an attractive enough natural shape to serve as a holiday tree and then can be planted outside.
The Virginia pine and loblolly pine are acid-loving trees that won’t last in the landscape. Afghan pine (P. eldarcia) likes alkaline soil but is susceptible to a killing fungal dieback.
Sheared rosemary makes a good holiday tree for apartments or other locations requiring a small plant. They can then be placed outside in a container or in the ground in full sun.
December is a good month for planting other trees and shrubs, as well. Do not give specific trees and shrubs for holiday gifts unless you know for sure what the recipients want and need for their landscape. A better gift is a gift certificate from your gardener’s favorite nursery. With a gift certificate, they can select their own plants and pick up the gift when they have time to plant it.
If tulips are one of your favorite flowers, locate some pre-chilled bulbs at the nursery or buy them on the internet. They should be planted on or about January 1. Plant them in a sheltered location to protect them from the wind. They can be planted in morning sun.
You may also still be able to find bluebonnet transplants. Plant them in full sun for April blooms. Watch for caterpillars, and do not overwater them.
The American goldfinches should arrive this month. Attract them with thistle seed. Cardinals like safflower seed or sunflower seed. Suet blocks will attract the insect eaters including wrens, woodpeckers, blue jays, starlings and even some warblers.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
|Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
|Other Agriculture Today
| Antique tractor pull to benefit youth of county (May 22, 2013)
Calling all watermelon growers (May 22, 2013)
Central Texas trees at risk for deadly oak... (May 22, 2013)
Conservation stewardship applications due (May 22, 2013)
Correct diagnosis crucial before treatment (May 22, 2013)
Countries unite to form ‘MAIZALL’ (May 22, 2013)
East Central FFA teams excel at state (May 22, 2013)
Falls City FFA claims a second-place win at state (May 22, 2013)
Farm Bureau urges Congress to keep current tax tools (May 22, 2013)
Government predicts record corn crop (May 22, 2013)
Hay & Forage report for May 17 (May 22, 2013)
Horticulturist tells how to have a berry good farm (May 22, 2013)
Local livestock market reports (May 22, 2013)
New polls show support for COOL (May 22, 2013)
Not much freeze-damaged wheat to be replanted... (May 22, 2013)
Officials request Mexico to live up to 1944... (May 22, 2013)
Osborne Stables Equine fund-raiser (May 22, 2013)
Planting report forecasts slightly bigger corn crop (May 22, 2013)
RODEO & AG VENTURES (May 22, 2013)
Rural leadership conference June 10 (May 22, 2013)
Texas Cash Market recap, May 11 (May 22, 2013)
Texas Water Smart celebrates one-year anniversary (May 22, 2013)
April report forecasts tight corn, soybean supply (May 15, 2013)
Bee swarms, some low insect populations may... (May 15, 2013)
Deer gear more toward nursery plants (May 15, 2013)
Farmall receives new life, despite difficulties (May 15, 2013)
Floresville FFA Team Roping (May 15, 2013)
Gray, Marble to meet ‘Down on the Farm’ (May 15, 2013)
Groups ‘COOL’ off about Canadian tariffs threat (May 15, 2013)
Hay & Forage report for May 10 (May 15, 2013)
Local livestock market reports (May 15, 2013)
RODEO & AG VENTURES (May 15, 2013)
Roundup of EC FFA’s winning ways (May 15, 2013)
Texas Cash Market recap, May 4 (May 15, 2013)
Annual Luling Foundation Field Day (May 8, 2013)
Beef cattle field day May 24 (May 8, 2013)
Cattlemen unite to remove remnants of former... (May 8, 2013)
East Central’s ag student teachers (May 8, 2013)
Farm Bureau addresses Capitol Hill (May 8, 2013)
Feral hog workshop in Floresville (May 8, 2013)
Grass-fed beef conference (May 8, 2013)
Hay & Forage report for May 3 (May 8, 2013)
Jack Frost continues to take bites out of... (May 8, 2013)
La Vernia CDE teams head to state (May 8, 2013)
Local livestock market reports (May 8, 2013)
Much of state’s warm-season grass pastures... (May 8, 2013)
Posse playday May 18 (May 8, 2013)
Rainwater harvesting May 18 (May 8, 2013)
Rodeo & AgVentures (May 8, 2013)
Save the monarchs — plant more blooms (May 8, 2013)
Social media training May 15 (May 8, 2013)
Texas Cash Market recap, April 27 (May 8, 2013)
Texas ranchers meet in Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2013)
Wanted: riders (May 8, 2013)
Wilson County … home of the ‘closed range’ (May 8, 2013)
Worm-composting event May 11 (May 8, 2013)
Busy Beavers win big in San Antonio, Houston (May 1, 2013)
Comment period nears for food safety rules (May 1, 2013)
Freeze may crop bounty for peaches (May 1, 2013)
Hay & Forage report for April 26 (May 1, 2013)
Local livestock market reports (May 1, 2013)
May 2013 Gardening Calendar (May 1, 2013)
RODEO & AG VENTURES (May 1, 2013)
Texas Cash Market recap, April 20 (May 1, 2013)
The best time to harvest root crops (May 1, 2013)
Water Quality field day May 9 (May 1, 2013)
Water-well owner training set for May 9 (May 1, 2013)
‘Where does your water shed?’ (May 1, 2013)