Weekend gardening outlook: great for December

We've seen a really nice trend through even our soggy November-- that three our of four weekends have had at least one dry day. We often call those "split weekends". And it looks like that will continue that into the first weekend of December. In fact, we've seen a totally dry month so far around Puget Sound, albeit we're only a handful of days into it. We'll see increasing clouds on Saturday afternoon with some evening rain possible. Sunday looks like we'll see some stubborn clouds-- but generally a dry day. 

It is enough of a dry streak to have dried out the soil that you could put in some more spring bulbs over the weekend or transplant trees and shrubs. A couple enthusiastic gardeners have messaged me about projects to grow new outdoor shrubs and plants from cuttings. I've always been terrible at that kind of propagation-- so I'm very excited that others have the patience and wherewithall to get it done successfully. Putting up holiday lights or gutter cleanup is a solid backup plan if you find your ground too wet. 

December is often a month of garden cleanup in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Summer-growing fruits and vegetables-- many of which are more suited for warmer climates than our own anyhow are definitely succeptible to a whole host of fungal diseases in our wet weather. But, the debris from your tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc can affect plant material next year-- so it is a good idea to make sure it's in the compost bin. The Seattle Tilth's (now Tilth Alliance) Northwest Maritime Garden Guide makes a pretty good recommendation on top of that, "be ruthless with any other crops that show signs of disease, such as basal rot in garlic, clubroot in brassicas, or Botrytis stem rot on any number of crops. These plants should not be banished to the curbside waste bin." 

Their book also provides a good reminder that setting seeds is vital to a plant's hardening off process for winter, "if perennials are deadheaded to early; the plant does not go properly dormant." Besides some of those seeds on the fennel and thistle can be a feast for our feathered friends in the garden when elsewhere the food supply can be pretty lean for them. Have a great weekend!