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      Well, here we are, already into our second week of December. And we’re really not getting a lot of cold weather just yet. We’re having a few days in the 50s but the rainy weather certainly makes it feel like late fall or early winter. While a lot of the trees are losing their leaves and things are looking drab and dull, there are some maintenance and landscaping tasks to complete this month. And remember… Anytime you don’t want to do it yourself, contact us for a free quote on handling all landscape and gardening tasks for you. But, let’s jump right into it with 10 essential December landscaping and gardening tasks.

      #1. Inspect all your fences and gates for any damage.

      While we really haven’t gotten any major winter storms just yet, now is the time to look for any broken slats, squeaky gates, or areas that could be damaged when the wind blows. It’s time to repair or replace those now.

      #2. Inspect trees and large shrubs for bark damage.

      Now that a lot of the leaves and deciduous trees have become bear, it’s a good time to take a look at the tree trunks and branches or trunk of large shrubs. Any major damage to the trunk may require wrapping the trunk over the winter.

      #3. Apply additional mulch.

      Now is the time to apply additional mulch to any bulbs, perennials, or other small plants and trees before the ground freezes. It’s also a good time to plant those spring growing bulbs and tubers such as lilies, daffodils, and tulips. While you’re at it, make sure that none of your bulbs have rotted or dried out if you’ve kept them over the summer.

      #4. Winterize any equipment.

      Change the oil and lubricate moving parts on lawnmowers and any other outdoor gardening equipment. Eliminate the gas from equipment that you won’t be using for 4 to 6 months and clean and oil all garden hand tools before storing for the winter.

      #5. Prune and trim.

      Pruning and trimming should actually be done by a professional but, it can be done by your average homeowner as long as you know exactly what to trim. You don’t want to spur on new growth so you’ll want to make sure that your pruning trees and plants properly. Prune any suckers that grows straight up off of the main branch and be sure to clip as close to the trunk as possible.

      #6. Winter fruit tree protection

      Consider spraying any winter treatments on fruit trees and eliminate dead branches to get rid of any diseases they might be carrying.

      #7. Rake and clean.

      By now, most trees will have given up the last of their leaves so it’s a good time to either mulch them into the grass or rake them up and compost them.

      #8. Protect potted plants.

      Container plants and potted plants should be put in a sheltered spot either in the house, in the garage as long as they can get enough light, or anywhere you can protect them from harsh winter weather.

      #9. Garden care.

      Any remaining vegetables in the garden should either be mulched over if you’re planning on carrying them over to the winter or dug up. Garlic, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, rutabagas, and turnips can actually be carried over and use throughout the winter but they do need to be mulched so that they don’t rot or start sprouting.

      #10. Clean out the greenhouse.

      Clean out the greenhouse from any leftover tomatoes or other things that may have sprouted within the last couple of months. Seal up any potting soil or chemicals that will be used until next year to prevent any small little varmints from getting in and poisoning themselves or making a home in areas you don’t want them to.

      Remember, we can do all of this for you. Whether it’s a cleanup of old limbs, trees, and shrubs, winterizing your garden or landscape, or simply setting up a maintenance schedule, First Fruits Landscaping can help with all of your landscaping and gardening needs. For more December tips, contact us at any time. Would love to help you with all of your December gardening and landscaping needs.

      Call First Fruits Landscaping for all of your Pacific Northwest landscaping, gardening, and yard maintenance needs. Would love to help you design and prepare your garden or landscape for the entire year.

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