December Plantwise: To-Do This Month

Leaves to rake and books to read for December gardening

By Kate Bryant November 21, 2012

Don your galoshes and rake up those wet, heavy leaves from your lawn and perennial beds; either add them to your compost or spread them around shrubs and trees to break down into mulch. Forgot to plant bulbs? Do it now! They will probably still bloom—just a bit later than usual. And as long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can plant cold-hardy trees and shrubs, which can grow healthy roots in the rain. 

When you’re done mucking around, there’s no substitute for in-depth reading, especially on topics hard to find in one place online. Recommendations:


Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden (Timber Press, $20) Handy advice on growing edibles year-round

American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training (DK Publishing, $23) 
Helpful pruning descriptions and illustrations for a wide array of trees, shrubs, and vines

The New Western Garden Book: The Ultimate Gardening Guide (Oxmoor, $45)
This updated edition covers more locally grown and relevant plants than ever. 

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques (Timber Press, $35) Maintaining a perennial garden over the long term

Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture (Chelsea Green, $30)
Healthy soil and compost; the best use of existing light and moisture

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