December Garden Activities:

Christmas Tree

  • Need help choosing the type of evergreen tree to purchase for Christmas this year?  Learn more about evergreen tree types.  
  • Cut your own Christmas tree.  Choose a Nebraska-grown Christmas tree from a grower near you through Nebraska's Christmas Tree Grower Directory, provided by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  Either pick and cut your own tree, or choose a pre-cut tree. Select a tree with fresh, green needles that stay attached when you run your hand down the branches.  After getting the tree home, make a fresh cut to the base of the trunk, removing approximately 1 inch, then place it immediately in water.
  • Water your Christmas tree daily throughout the holiday season and never allow it to dry out.
  • If you're planning to purchase a living containerized, or balled & burlapped Christmas tree this year, keep it inside the house for as short a time as possible- one week maximum.  Low indoor humidity and warm temperatures can dry the tree out.  Dig the planting hole in fall while the ground is not frozen, covering the hole and backfill soil until you are ready to plant.  Plant the tree outside as soon as possible after the holidays.  Click here for more information on living tree care. 


  • To flower a bromeliad enclose the entire plant with a red apple in a plastic bag for ten days.


  • Give a present appropriate for a gardener, such as a gardening magazine subscription, a gardening book, plant containers, a pH kit, a home weather station, bird feeder, or a new houseplant.  Be sure the gift is appropriate to the gardeners expertise leve.

Image of Pruners Peach

  • Lightly prune evergreens and berry plants for holiday decorations.
  • Resist the urge to prune fruit trees.  Late February through March is the ideal time for gardeners to prune fruit trees.


  • Inspect stored products for presence of kitchen and pantry pests. Discard infected products.
  • Spiders in the home can be eliminated by removing webs with a broom or by spraying with an aerosol insecticide.


  • Select a flowering plant for the holiday season.  Christmas cherry, Christmas cactus, amaryllis and poinsettias are an excellent indoor plants.  But don't use water from a softener to water your indoor plants.

Onion Image

  • Enjoyed your preserved fruits & vegetables from last summer's garden.  Check on stored fruits & vegetables, and discard any that are beginning to rot.

Hose Image

  • Monitor weekly precipitation, whether snow or rain, and water during dry periods when the soil is not frozen.  Winter droughts need treatment with water just as summer droughts do.  Deeply water trees with a slowly running sprinkler left in place long enough to moisten the top 12 inches of soil.  Do not use 'root feeders' or deep root watering devices. Apply the water slowly enough that it can soak in and does not run off.

Icon for Evergreen Trees

  • After winter storms, check trees and shrubs for snow and ice damage.  If necessary, gently remove excess snow from heavily weighted branches.
Calendar Symbol Key
Apple Apple
Birds Birds
Broadleaf plants Tree
Bulbs Bulbs
Cherry Cherry
Evergreen plants Evergreen Tree
Garden cleanup Rake
Garden prep & Harvest Shovel
Grape Grapes
Herbs Herb
Household issues House
Houseplants Violet
Insect control Beetle
Iris Iris
Lawn care Grass
Lawn applications Fertilizer bags
Melons Melon
Mowing Mower
Onions Onion
Peach Peach
Pear Pear
Perennials Lily
Pesticide applications Sprayer
Pets Pet
Planting Trowel
Plum Plum
Poinsettia Poinsettia
Pruning Pruners
Raspberry Raspberry
Records, Orders & Education Pencil
Roses Rose
Strawberry Strawberry
Vegetables Tomato
Watering Hose
Weed control Dandelion
Wildlife Rabbit