This week, we will talk about December garden chores. Yes, you do need to do some garden chores during the holiday season, especially if you live in a warm climate. I understand there is really nothing to do if you are way up north and snow is covering your yard right now.
Good morning! It is foggy and 57°. The fog is actually pretty thick, not just hazy like yesterday.
Surprisingly, everyone made it to work on time, including Nacho, who is hanging more lights today, and Michelle, who is continuing to clean the business.
Michelle left before 12:30pm. Nacho left at 4pm. The place looks pretty good. Some decorations are up.
The orders are still not all out from the weekend but we did have our full team here today to help.
The fog dissipated this morning but it has been overcast all day long but warm at 76°.
We had no customers come in today. Nacho put up some more lights. He said there is no power to put anything else up.
Before the brunt of winter gets here, one of the first December garden chores you should accomplish is to mulch your garden beds, especially if you have root crops or garlic growing in them. Here in Texas, we have things growing pretty much year round. It is good to put a nice layer of mulch or hay on top of the garlic, carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, onions, and whatever other winter crops you may be growing underground. Giving them a little extra insulation from freezing temperatures, ice, and snow is a smart thing to do.
Brendon was back from vacation today and he spent a great deal of time in between mailing out orders doing one of the most important garden chores, watering everything.
Plan for your spring garden now and order your seeds if you are smart.
After work, we got a tree for 50% off from Tractor Supply as it was the last one they had. I wanted something a little smaller than our big, beautiful tree this year. I am going to flock it as soon as my canned snow gets here. I ordered some from Amazon.
I will start decorating more tomorrow for Christmas. My heart is envious of those who are already finished decorating and I have barely started. We won't be having company or kids this year so I will decorate how I want to instead of for the children. So sad but that is reality.
Good morning! It is 67°, not a bad temperature for December. I got to experience it while taking Ethel outside this morning. I am finally going to get our home decorated some. I will be flocking the new tree but the snow needs to arrive first.
The air is hazy and a bit wet. I fed the fish and there is no fog like there was yesterday.
Time to go pull and fill orders.
Orders are done and I tried pulling 38 varieties of seeds for 100 Spring Seed Sets but we do not have everything in that we need. They will go like hotcakes in the spring. I gathered up all I could and David will have to order 19 varieties.
This next one is not really considered a task but if you live in a warmer area and you are growing plants during the cooler months, this should be one of your December garden chores. What is it? Buy and have garden row covers ready in case you get a freeze in your area. Here, it is pretty warm throughout the winter months but for the past two years, we have had actual freezes and snow and ice. We protected some things with row covers and at the end of the week when it warmed back up, we removed the covers and most things were just fine.
Today, Brendon is pulling up all of our corn as one of his December garden chores. Unfortunately, it did not get big enough and it does not taste sweet. He is giving it to the guineas and chickens.
Good Wednesday morning. It is very hazy outside again but 70°. I need to decorate for Christmas today. I should have done it yesterday but I was busy with orders and putting more of our spring seed set collections together. I am still waiting on the canned snow to flock the Christmas tree.
Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Thank you to all who gave their lives and those who gave service that day.
This afternoon, the three cans of snow came. I moved the tree out to the middle of the floor and put an old towel under it and one above the stand and I began to spray. Apparently, three cans are not enough! It looks pretty good but I wanted some thick flocking. About 30 minutes later, I touched it and it was still wet. I looked it up online and it said it has to dry overnight. Who knew?
I went out to my greenhouse and watered all of my trees and plants. Let me tell you that it got hot today. By the time I was done, I was all hot and sweaty so I had to change. Then I put together my new light up Barred Rock chicken and put that on my front porch. I found a whole bunch of outdoor decorations that did not get pulled out to be put up for Christmas.
I cannot find a bunch of the indoor stuff for the house. And the buckets that were marked "Store Christmas" were filled with my personal stuff. David assigned a moron to take down my decorations and he just shoved them all into bins, not caring how we would put them up this year. So it is a waste of my time and there is not one decoration in the store yet because I cannot find them.
David has been working on reorganizing seeds hanging in the store, making them easier to find. He has been doing a good job.
Hughes Electric came to fix some circuits again in the greenhouse. Hopefully, they got them fixed this time.
So this evening, we had frozen dinners because I forgot to take anything out of the freezer. After that, I made David sugar-free strawberry ice cream in the ice cream maker and it was really good! I Googled it and found out that Xylitol is the best sugar substitute to make ice cream. Last time I made it, I used Stevia and the sweetness did not last long and really did not taste all that great.
This ice cream was quite tasty and David really liked it. We used some of our fresh frozen strawberries. Want to grow strawberries? The seeds take about 30 days to germinate and they are best started in little pots indoors.
So this evening, I walked past the flocked Christmas tree and Kitty was laying under on the snow flocked towels, in the middle of the living room floor. It was hilarious.
This evening, before I made dinner, I cleaned out the pond and then put in some algae killer and de-chlorinator. Then I stayed out there to fill it up so I don't kill anymore fish. It was quite dark, around 6:30pm when I finally went back to the house.
Do you have an asparagus patch? If so, one of the December garden chores you need to perform involves asparagus. We have a lot of asparagus growing out in our garden. If you take good care of your asparagus patch, it will last between 15 and 20 years. Did you know that? In the hot summer, when the asparagus that you eat stops coming up, you get these fern like shoots. Do not cut them down until the first frost. After that first frost, you want to cut them off to about one inch above the ground. Then add a layer of mulch or hay. I mention hay a lot because we are out in the country now and hay is used for a lot of things out here.
If you have farm animals, it is time to winterize their pens. You will need to put up plastic sheeting around the open walls to keep the wind out as it turns cold. If you live in a colder climate, you probably did this in October or November, but here in Texas, it is turning cold now and the temperatures will be frigid by the end of the week, in the 20s and even into the teens. The chickens, rabbits, and guineas need to be kept out of the icy wind and they need to stay dry if it rains. Lots of ventilation in our summer months is very important but we have to protect them in winter.
Good Thursday morning! The Christmas tree is dry so I will be moving it back by the fireplace and decorating it today. I will also be vacuuming as there is a lot of snow on the carpet. I moved the tree out away from the wall because the fireplace has dark beams around it that I did not want to spray white. I think I could use another three cans of snow. Maybe I will get more for next year.
I printed out today's orders. I have some bills to write and some pricing to do at the store. I also need to find a bunch of Christmas decorations.
I got all of the stuff in the store repriced and fixed.
I moved and decorated the tree and vacuumed up the fake snow. That stuff makes a mess. I never had time to make it out to the shed with all of the Christmas gear in it today. Every time I tried to do something, someone came that I had to help.
David reorganized the Fulfillment building seeds. Now it will be a lot easier and quicker to pull a seed order. I am pleased.
The orders got filled and mailed out. Michelle came and finished cleaning the Farm Store and cleaned the Fulfillment building. While she was here, we had four customers. It got up to 81°. I got 11 eggs today from my chickens. I have not had that many since September.
Remember the generator we bought in the hot summer of 2019 that powered us for three months until the electric company decided to favor us with electricity? The company that installed it for us back then decided to send someone to give the generator its once a year service call. Ha! They have not serviced it in over two years!
We got an insurance check from Christian Healthcare Ministries and a doctor bill today in the mail. So now I can use that money to pay for the new inpatient doctor bill that I got today and I need to file that bill to them as a new claim. The work never ends...
The cat is loving the new tree skirt. She is napping on it now. She does this every Christmas. She thinks that is her bed for the month of December.
It was a beautiful sunset tonight. There was a lot of pink in the sky. Our people stayed late last night and again tonight, trying to get things done in the Production building.
Another one of the December garden chores if you live in a warm place is to stop fertilizing your plants for now. Why? Because if you get a cold snap, the new growth on your plants will become damaged if you are fertilizing. So give the fertilizer a winter rest. Spring will be here before you know it and then you can start using it again.
Speaking of December garden chores, several of the people who came into the farm store today bought some fall/winter seeds that they can plant right now and overwinter like carrots, onions, garlic, and beets. So in Texas and other warm places, plant root crops now while it is still warm and grow them throughout the winter. They will be fine in mild weather. Even through the last two years of freezing and snow, ours were fine.
Good Friday morning. It is 66° and slightly foggy this morning. I have to go stuff envelopes today so we can make Spring Seed Sets as we are almost out.
I got the orders out and then started stuffing and sealing envelopes for the seeds needed for our Spring Seed Set Collections. Angelica counted a lot of them but there is no one to close them. David has the varieties that we did have all laid out on a table to make it easier to put the sets together. They will be a bit different because we cannot get some of the seeds we had this past spring. But I think you will like the collection. It was after 5pm and I was still stuffing. I stopped and went in the house to make dinner and feed animals.
Comfort Commander stopped by to fix the air conditioner unit in Production as it was leaking inside. There were some clogged lines.
I have been moving all around this week. I start at my desk in the house. Then I move out to mail and pull orders from the website. After that, I either go to the store or to Production to help out. I still need to finish decorating for Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, all of my holiday decorations were moved from the green shed where we once lived to one of the seed storage sheds because it is climate controlled in there so now I have a new place to try and find my decorations.
Also, David had the guys bring up canned goods so now there is a mess in the store that needs to be fixed and priced. I just finished fixing it on Wednesday in there. This mess is sprawled all over the floor. So that will be the bulk of tomorrow morning.
We had one customer in the store today but yesterday, we had five. How does that work?
Matthew will be coming in to help tomorrow but our regular workers said they could not. It always ends up being us on the weekend. But that is how it is when you own a business.
I got eight eggs this evening but it got up to 81°. The chickens like it warm.
If you have been in a drought and you are still not getting sufficient rains, you will need to keep on watering the plants you are growing in your garden. Don't forget that. We are now getting some decent amounts of rain so we are no longer watering as much as we were this past spring and summer.
Good Saturday morning. Unfortunately, one of my Barred Rock chickens is dead. Fortunately for me, Matt came over and went out to feed them so I did not find it. So sad.
I went over to Fulfillment and started filling orders. At 10am, a couple arrived and said they had been driving four hours from the College Station area to get here. They nearly bought the store out! Made our whole week. Very nice people. Then I finished sending out orders. Good thing the mailman is running a bit late today.
On Saturdays, during the winter, we close the store at 1pm. I was busy over in Fulfillment so at 1:15pm, I went to close the store up. As soon as I put up the closed sign, a truck drove up. So I let the come into the store and asked how I could help him. He wanted passion vine seeds. We do not carry them. He left. I mentioned it to David and he said they are considered a noxious weed in the state of Texas and they are not allowed to be sold here. I looked it up and according to the 2022 State Noxious-Weed Seed Requirements Recognized in the Administration of the Federal Seed Act, Passionflower aka
is on the noxious weed list and cannot be sold in the state of Texas. Interesting, huh?
I have a lot of seeds to add to the website. Matt is here doing various things. David is in Fulfillment reorganizing seeds to make it easier to pull orders.
Our Help Wanted add came out today in the Pleasanton online newspaper saying to email one page resumes to our business email address. Apparently it has been out in print since Wednesday. So far, we have gotten a whopping zero resumes to sift through. Why don't people want to work anymore?
Your December garden chores should include harvesting what you have growing. If you are growing root crops that you planted back in September, check to see if they are ready to be harvested by pulling one up. If so, harvest them and then replant before the ground freezes. Then you can harvest again in late February or early March, depending on what you plant.
Happy Sunday. We got up early this morning and headed for Walmart to do some grocery shopping. We never have time until afternoon or evening and who feels like dealing with crowds then? So we got in at a good time with very few people awake at Walmart then. We were home by 8:30am.
David put the stuff away while I fed the outdoor animals and fish. Then I cleaned up the kitchen from last night and this morning, changed sheets, got some laundry going and filled up all of the dog/cat waterers in the house.
It is time to go to church. Two weeks from today is Christmas Day. It is going by quickly and I still have not found a lot of my decorations for the house and none for our retail store.
Church was nice and now it is already warm at 68°. I have a lot to do this afternoon so will sign off for the week. Get your December garden chores done now so you can enjoy the last few weeks of the year.
The final of our December garden chores is simple. Add compost to all of your garden beds or garden areas where you will plant in the spring. Mixing it into the soil, along with fall leaves will be good for the soil, providing it with much needed nutrients for the spring seeds.
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