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Southwest Regional Reports

Southwest: December Garden To-Do List

Give some attention to your containers. Photo: Deana Tierney May

This is a great time to spruce up your containers. Add some seasonal annuals or dried elements to bring some life to your pots.

December is a time to avoid planting cold-sensitive trees and palms, but bare-root, deciduous trees are fine to plant and typically can be found at great prices this time of year.

There’s no need to fertilize perennials this month, although your indoor plants would benefit from a little plant food and a good shower to rinse off any built-up dust on the leaves.

To protect your columnar cacti (Cereus spp., Zones 9–11) during winter freezes, use Styrofoam cups. As silly as it looks, it works like a dream. You can save the stack of cups for the next freeze.

protecting cacti from frost
Protect the tips of cacti from frost. Photo: Laurel Startzel

—Shelia Schultz and Laurel Startzel are a mother-daughter duo who founded Denver Dirty Girls Container Gardening while living in Denver and have continued their business since moving to Tucson, Arizona.

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