December: Gardening To-Do List


Start a New Christmas Tradition

  • Start a new tradition with a Living Christmas Tree that you can plant for years of Christmas memories. 
  • Don’t forget to check out Marcum’s Christmas fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias, LED lights, and all Christmas décor to have yourself a Merry Christmas.

It’s Time to Plant 

  • Plant shrubs and container and Ball & Burlap (B & B) trees.
  • Continue planting spring flowering bulbs. See Bulb Planting Guide for details.

Lawn Care

  • Continue mowing cool-season lawns regularly or when grass is 3-4” tall. Do not cut off more than a third on each mowing.
  • Remove leaves from cool-season grasses or mow with a mulching lawn mower.
  • Control broadleaf weeds in well-established warm or cool-season lawns with ferti-lome Weed Free Zone post-emergent broadleaf weed killer.

Maintenance Tasks 

  • Keep pansies moist, especially when the air is cold and dry.
  • Mulch around the base of perennials to protect roots from frost, and add a layer of mulch around trees as well to help with moisture retention and freeze protection, too.
  • Trim any dead or diseased foliage on perennials, shrubs, and trees to promote a healthier garden in spring.
  • Apply Redbud Compost to gardens and flowerbeds to improve soil structure. 

Wildlife Care

  • Provide food and water for birds during the colder months; clean bird feeders regularly.

Quick Tips

  • Plants require water in the winter.  See our Watering Guidelines to learn more about winter irrigation.
  • If soil is dry, irrigate all plantings, especially broadleaf evergreens and conifers, at least 24 hours before hard-freezing weather.
  • Winter is a great time to do a soil test; this is essential when you are planning a new flowerbed or garden area, but it is also important to do it periodically in all areas of your garden.  A soil test can show you nutrients your soil and plants are lacking and help you choose amendments accordingly.  We stock SoilKit because it is easy to use, you get the results electronically and quickly, and it is easy to read.
  • If you are attempting to overwinter cold-sensitive plants or plants that are borderline for our USDA Zone, pick up some frost blankets to have on hand.

Plan Ahead

  • Review the year’s schedule and make plans for next year’s improvements.
  • Research new plants you want to try, buy garden seeds now, and plan your spring garden layout.


Note: Thanks to Oklahoma Coop Extension Service for providing some of the suggested maintenance guidelines.

For questions regarding December maintenance guidelines, please call Goldsby 405 288-2368, Oklahoma City 405 691-9100,  Norman 405 447-3100 or Ardmore 580 223-1846.