Let’s Get Gardening: December 2017

Gardening season seems to keep going and going around here this year (I know – I said last month that it had pretty much come to an end, but who knew it was going to stay so warm for so long?!) – which is a good thing for me, since I only just got my garlic planted on Monday! I’m also planning to get some more daffodils, allium, crocus, and snowdrops planted this coming weekend. And why not? With the weather predicted to still be in the mid-40’s all weekend, it’s perfect for planting them, and they’ll give me lots to look forward to in the spring. It does look like the cold stuff is going to make a real appearance next week though, so maybe the party really is about to end.


December’s Featured Garden Product: Poinsettia

Poinsettia – Tis the season for poinsettias! I love how beautiful they make the store – and the house – look right now, with all the color combinations that our growers do. They are a simple way to add some bright holiday color to your home right now, and you can keep them for next year, with just a bit of TLC.

Check out the newsletter for some interesting poinsettia facts from Michigan State Extension.

The ideal conditions for poinsettias in your house are bright but indirect sunlight for at least 5 hours, watering when the soil is dry to the touch, and warm, – but not hot – temperatures (60° to 70°F).

In this month’s issue of Let’s Get Gardening

Along with my bulb planting, I still have lots to get done in my yard and gardens, so I’m counting on the weather holding out for at least the next few days. Here’s what we can be doing this month:

Flower Garden:

  • It’s still possible to get bulbs planted. Take advantage of the fact that the ground is still not frozen to get this done. Also, take advantage of our sale on bulbs – tulip and daffodil bulbs are 3 for $1!
  • If you’ve had issues with creatures digging up your tulip bulbs in the past, there are a few things that you can do to prevent it. Find a link to tips in the newsletter!
  • You can also force bulbs indoors over the winter. You’ll need to provide your bulbs with a chilling period first – for as long as 12 weeks – so now’s the time to start.
  • If weeds have been showing up again in your flower beds, pull them now, while the ground is still soft.
  • Once the ground has frozen, pile mulch on top of your perennials to help protect them from changing temperatures throughout the winter.

Trees and shrubs:

  • Consider spraying evergreens with an anti-desiccant to help keep them from drying out in the cold winter winds.
  • In case I haven’t mentioned it before, the other option for helping to keep your evergreens from drying out is to give them a wind screen. Burlap is a great choice, because it allows some air flow, but provides protection from the worst drying effects of the wind.
  • Heavy snow can weigh down and potentially break branches, but be careful about removing it, as it’s easy to do more harm than good.
  • Keep fresh greens fresh longer by spraying with water when the temperatures are above freezing. If you are bringing greens inside, including a Christmas tree, you can spray them with an anti-desiccant before bringing them in to help prevent drying.


  • With the cold temperatures that winter brings, birds can use all the help they can get in the form of food, water, and shelter.
  • Leave birdhouses out all winter, if they are not susceptible to breakage from freezing temps, and clean them out.
  • Put a de-icer in your birdbath, so that your birds have a source of fresh water all winter.

Store News & Specials

  • Hometown Holiday- Join us this weekend, December 1 through December 3 for Chelsea’s 31st Annual Hometown Holiday Celebration.
  • $10 off $50 coupon

Read the December 2017 issue of Let’s Get Gardening

Remember to regularly visit The Garden Mill’s website and follow us on Facebook (fb.com/TheGardenMillChelsea) for our latest gardening and birding tips, as well as seasonal specials and fun stuff going on at the store.