Southwest Gardener's December Checklist

Southwest Gardener's December Checklist

Southwest Gardener's December Checklist

The diversity within the desert Southwest region reveals in December. While elevation or time of day may determine one’s clothing or specific tasks, garden possibilities are great anywhere here. Desert dwellers can celebrate unsettled periods of rain — with intermittent snow showers at higher locales — spaced far enough apart to make warmer, gentler periods that permit being outside.

While the holidays often bring on busy activities, there is no reason these times cannot consist of downtime to enjoy your own environment. Any size garden can make a hospitable welcome and become a memorable entertainment area for guests and homeowners alike.

Light it up. Luminarias have been gaining popularity in areas outside New Mexico, to
add a touch of regional ambience to the vacation scene. Initially luminarias were temporary, with candles resting in a stabilizing coating of sand at the base of a brown paper bag. They are often placed out especially for Christmas Eve. Used along a sidewalk or onto a patio for a particular night get-together, they can line the way for guests to walk or accent shirts of lower courtyard or seat partitions.

More contemporary luminarias have thick plastic totes with lights strung between them and are attached to a power outlet. They also need secure adhesion, for example exterior-grade caulk or even a glue gun. In areas prone to stronger winds, it’s ideal not to put out such luminarias, because they seldom stay connected.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons consumer camerafiend

Rick O’Donnell Architect

In lower zones, fire pits are a great way to illuminate and warm a romantic space under the stars. In higher zones, they can provide warmth during the day as well.

Obviously low-voltage landscape lighting can be employed to great advantage. Keep it subtle and avoid adding unnecessary light pollution, which could impact the views of the nighttime skies for you and your neighbors.

The Plant Man Nursery

Garden actions by region.

Low Length: It is time when many can start harvesting citrus, such as grapefruit. Appearances are sometimes deceiving, so taste test a few fruits from different pieces of every tree.

Living Christmas tree options include Afghan pine (Pinus eldarica), aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea).

This is an ideal month to put in new ornamental plants as well as cool-season edibles, including lettuce, peas and onions.

Moderate zone: Some citrus is becoming ready to crop, but it is a fantastic idea to taste the fruit prior to spending much time choosing it. Some citrus, such as grapefruit, is often not ripe until next month.

Living Christmas tree options are similar to those from the low zone, also Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica and Carya glabra). Hardier plants, such as those native to your area (except most palms), are still safe for planting this season, such as Parry’s agave (Agave parryi), shown.

High zone: Living Christmas tree options are similar to those in the medium zone, though Aleppo pine can be tender to colder winters in colder portions of the large zone, so discover just how reliable that species of pine is on your area long duration prior to planting. Obviously hardier plants, except several cacti or broadleaf evergreens, such as live oaks and India Hawthorn, are safe to plant right now.

Linda Merrill

Living Christmas trees. Whilst decorating using a living Christmas tree is an ecologically centered option, all species need being used in rooms kept cooler than for cut trees.

Additionally, it is important they are selected for the scale of the final planting area. There’s nothing as disappointing as a tree that overgrows its space and loses its own form to better conform. All species recorded with the former photo quickly grow to dimensions that will overpower most smaller or typical possessions, so consider whether a living Christmas tree is practical before purchasing one.

Finally, live trees need to be planted outside and cared for ideally within a day or two after Christmas.

D-CRAIN Design and Construction

First resort. Winter visitors are coming in lower elevation communities and passing through the higher places; visitors reveals this. So, how do you create your own garden feel like
a favourite resort?

Create potted plantings that impress throughout the chilly season. Hardier accent plants, for example yucca, Hesperaloe, Nolina plus a few cacti can take planting in larger containers if kept on the drier side.

One can underplant the aforementioned using sturdy winter annuals, including dianthus, pansies, lettuce or petunias. Or add color with year-round foliage to contrast containers. In colder locales be ready to cover plants during harder freezes.

D-CRAIN Design and Construction

Another trick of the trade is to utilize matching containers and plants in one area, to draw attention and make a sense of elegance or even formality.

Groupings or masses of the exact species of plants in containers or in the ground farther add a sense of energy from the otherwise drab wintertime.

Prideaux Design

Where is the water? Unless your area is getting regular precipitation, track plant root zones to whether the soil is drying out. While winter is cooler, the humidity is usually lower, and windy periods
with sunshine can function to dry out dirt outside what’s excellent for healthy plants.

The reverse can also be true. During wetter winters, be careful not to add to any possible difficulties with too much soil moisture, which can cause rotting. Accent plants such as cacti and agaves are especially sensitive to overwatering.

Either extreme of watering — too small or too much — generates a plant that’s unnecessarily stressed and vulnerable to premature death, thus adding to the expense of your garden.

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