December In The Garden

Martha Stewart
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Assembling a bamboo frame.

So much is going on around the farm in preparation for winter. My main focus has been on building the framework for all the burlap coverings that will help protect the larger broadleaf evergreen shrubs, such as the boxwoods, from drying winter winds and heavy snow that could snap their limbs. In addition, burlap coverings keep out deer and other hungry animals.

Boxwoods wrapped in burlap.An icey stream.

The smaller evergreen shrubs will be sprayed with Wilt-Pruf, an anti-desiccant, which helps prevent dehydration. Any trees that were planted this year are being staked and supported with guy wire. The weight of ice combined with the force of strong winds can literally uproot newly planted trees.

Spraying evergreens with Wilt-Pruf.

The last of the autumn leaves have been raked from the terraces, paths, and roads and laid over the dormant shade garden beds. The remains of the old crops in the vegetable garden have been cleared away and a thick layer of compost has been spread over the entire garden.

A burlap wind screen.

The garden shed is getting a well deserved tidy-up, and all the empty pots and trays have been washed and dried so they’ll be ready for spring sowing. The garden tools will be cleaned, repaired, and oiled, then stored in a dry place until spring.

A field of Christmas trees.

The seeds saved from this year’s crops that have been drying are now ready to be cleaned and packaged. I saved so many heirloom pumpkin seeds this year; I might include a personalized packet of seeds with my Christmas cards. It’s also a good time to sort through old seed packets and do a viability test on any that are now out of date.

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