December 1 to December 11

1. For spring fragrance, plant roses and daphne, and for fresh tasting fruits consider fruit trees, strawberries, blackberries and more.
2. Remember to water plants under wide overhangs because they may not get enough moisture from winter rains.
3. Apply three inches of mulch to flower beds, around shrubs and trees, and the winter vegetable garden to enrich the soil and keep it from compacting in the winter rains.
4. Brighten your spring garden by planting perennials: asters, chrysanthemums, foxglove and gaillardia among many choices.

December 12 to December 18

1. Decorate your home with flowering plants like the Christmas cactus or cherry, the cymbidium orchid, potted chrysanthemums and cattleya orchids; not to mention the Christmas flower, Poinsettias. They also make nice gifts.
2. Christmas shopping can be made easy with a trip to the local garden center. Pick up flowering plants, bulbs, seed packets, gardening books and more.
3. Plant bulbs in a decorative container this week to give as a gift at Christmas.
4. Delphinium and columbine can be planted now so they can establish their root system over the next couple of months.

December 19 to December 25

1. Give a cheerful Poinsettia for a hostess gift this year when you attend holiday parties.
2. Early-blooming shrubs, such as flowering quince, daphnes, and acacia, are perfect to plant now for a show of color in the early spring.
3. It’s too early to prune roses in California. Wait at least until after Christmas.
4. Consider a dwarf tree as a Christmas present. Plant it in a tub and add a big, bright bow. It will be appreciated now and in the years to come.

December 26 to January 1

1. If your garden has holly, cotoneaster, pyracantha or other berried shrubs or trees be sure to incorporate them into your holiday decorating. A few well-planned snips will also help shape the shrub.
2. RED ALERT:  If you haven’t yet sprayed your peaches or nectarines to prevent peach leaf curl, do so without delay.  Follow up with another spraying when the buds swell to ‘popcorn’ stage (that’s when the buds just show color).
3. Container gardening can be colorful and rewarding in the winter as well as spring.  Choose primrose, snapdragons, cyclamen, pansies or violas to create a mini version of blooming beauty.
4. Continue feeding annuals and pinching off their faded blooms so they will produce more flowers in the months to come.