Precision Lawn Care, Inc. December 2012
Well, it's December 2012 and while NASA and others in the know tell us that the world as we know it will not end on December 21. Fall will and the Winter solstice will occur as normal. The Maya calendar is made up of cycles of 144,000 days and one cycle ends while another begins. So while the world may not end there are some things that just make sense to do in December to get ready for the cold!
You may wish the world had ended if you wake up to a frozen driveway because a hose burst or you find the neighborhood Cardinals ice skating in you favorite fountain or cracked bird bath. So plan on taking care of those things now. Winterize your irrigation, drain hoses and water features and put up pots and other items that may fill and freeze. Be sure to cover outside water faucets. Don't forget that our fine feathered friends still need water. Plastic buckets are good for helping them through the winter.
Cold-sensitive container plants need to be moved to cover when frost threatens. Place them on a covered porch, beneath a deck, or in a garage or shed. Bed sheets, burlap and agricultural fabrics make great protective covering for plants in a cold snap. Make sure covers extend to the ground. The covers trap radiant heat in soil and hold it around the plant, preventing frost from forming.
Plant any spring bulbs (Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, and Crocuses) not yet in the ground. This a good time of the year to plant bare root shrubs and trees, while the ground is warm. If your garden is short on color check out the garden centre and buy some plants. Pansies, ornamental kale and cabbages, dusty miller, and some evergreen perennials and grasses can all help to brighten up containers on the porch or entryway.
Buy Christmas tree shaped rosemary and after the holidays plant it outside. If you are putting up a tree, you may want to consider a rooted tree that you can plant in your landscape after the season as well.
If you have nice evergreen trees or holly, you might be tempted to take some clippings for holiday decorating. That is fine, but pay some attention to how the plants will look after you make the cuts. And take care when using fresh evergreens indoors; the sap can take the finish off wood. Display greens on colorful cloth or parchment paper to protect your surfaces.
Winter is not a good time to fertilize, seed, dethatch, or aerate. Sodding can be done any time of year and winter is a good time. Even Zoysia or Bermuda grass it can be placed while dormant. The grass isn't dead, it's just dormant and it will green right up when late spring gets here. The roots will grow throughout the winter and get the sod rooted down to the ground.
Most of the leaves have fallen off of deciduous trees by mid-December, so it might be a good time for gutter cleaning. It's also a good time to prune most trees and shrubs. Just don't prune spring flowering shrubs such as azalea, spirea, or flowering quince. They have already set their flowers for next spring.
If there's frost predicted in the weather forecast, water your plants thoroughly. Well-watered plants withstand frost better.
And, have a Merry Christmas!
If you like our Newsletter you can sign up to get your copy every month. Go to our site at http://www.precisionlawncareinc.com. and enter your name and email in the subscription box.
Friday, December 7, 2012, is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The President of the United States is requested to issue a yearly proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities; and all departments and agencies of the United States Government, and other interested organizations, groups, and individuals, to fly the flag of the United States at half staff each December 7 in honor of the individuals who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor. Let us also honor the generation of Americans who lived through this event and remember to fly the flag at half staff - lest we forget.
Sunday, December 9, 2012, Jewish Year 5773, is Hanukkah which actually begins the evening before on Dec. 8. This is an eight day Jewish holiday celebrating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil. According to tradition, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left which was needed for the menorah (candelabra) inside the Temple. The lights were supposed to burn throughout the night every night, but, there was only enough oil to burn for one day. Miraculously, it burned for eight days which was the exact number of days needed to make a new supply of oil. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle.
Friday, December 21, 2012, is Forefather's Day or a remembrance of the stormy day that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. They arrived late in the year due to having to return and transfer from the Speedwell, which needed to be repaired, to the Mayflower. The hazardous voyage, the 1620 landing, the fearful first winter, the First Thanksgiving at Plymouth - is the founding story of America. This dramatic saga of courage and perseverance has inspired the American people throughout the nation's history. This landing was celebrated in the following poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans in 1808 which is often referred to as "The Breaking Waves Dash'd High":
"The breaking waves dash'd high On a stern and rock-bound coast, And the woods against a stormy sky their giant branches toss'd. And the heavy night hung dark the hills and waters o'er, When a band of exiles moor'd their bark On the wild New England shore.
"Not as the conqueror comes, they, the true-hearted, came; Not with the roll of the stirring drums, And the trumpet that sings of fame; Not as the flying come, In silence and in fear: They shook the depths of the desert gloom With their hymns of lofty cheer.
"Amidst the storm they sang, And the stars heard, and the sea: And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang to the anthem of the free. The ocean eagle soared From his nest by the white wave's foam, And the rocking pines of the forest roared, This was their welcome home.
"What sought they thus afar? Bright jewels from the mine? The wealth of seas, the spoils of war? They sought a faith's pure shrine. Ay, call it holy ground, The soil which first they trod: They have left un-stained what there they found, Freedom to worship God."
Tuesday, December 25, 2012, is Christmas Day which is a Christian celebration of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas is celebrated by millions of people all over the world and is observed on December 25th or among Eastern Orthodox people on January 6th. In 1870, the U.S. Congress made December 25th a federal holiday creating a celebration that many non-practicing Christians celebrate as a festival for the family. It is a holiday based on traditions. For Christians many of these traditions are faith based, while others have created their own traditions. Christmas is a holiday with many universal traditions that bring people and families together in the spirit of joy, giving, and spending time with the ones they love. We wish you a very merry Christmas, indeed!!