Who gardens in December – in the middle of the Holiday season – in the winter? You do, if you are lucky enough to live in the Arizona desert! This is the time of year that we all want to be outside enjoying the season; hiking, exploring, BBQing, and gardening.

Creating a vibrant, colorful, and alive environment on your patio is definitely a reality using various pottery and container gardens and protecting your delicate plants during frost warnings in the Valley.

With increasing trends of creating beautiful, functional living spaces outside, more and more families are preparing their entire Holiday meals outside on their BBQ Grills – even desserts and side dishes come out spectacularly when done on a wood-fired Traeger Grill or on a natural lump-charcoal ceramic cooker like Big Green Egg.
Creating that perfect outdoor living space is easy to do with a little bit of imagination and maybe a bit of a green thumb.

Container gardening is a great way to bring color and lushness close to your living spaces, softening the hardness of the concrete patio and stucco walls. Start with some glazed pottery in your favorite colors, in different sizes and shapes. Create good drainage using small rocks or gravel at the bottom of the planter and use rich organic soils and amendments. Finish it off with lush plants of varying heights.

Fall and winter are also a great time to have a backyard vegetable garden. By now, you probably have your gardens in, but if not, you can still start now by using more mature plants and mulching your soils to keep it warm as temperatures cool down.

Whether you are gardening in containers, in your yard or in raised garden beds, you will want to be aware of frost warnings across the Valley. Don’t be dissuaded from patio gardening because of cool weather and the potential for frost – there are many helpful products on the market to help protect your tender plants from the harsh frost.

Some tips for winter frost protection:
• Convenient frost cloth is available in multiple sizes; they fold up nicely when not in use, and are lightweight and effective ($8.99 to $21.99)
• Plant covers; these tent-like covers provide a bag style barrier ($8.99 to $15.99)
• In extreme frost, laying a string of traditional Christmas lights under the frost cloths helps to provide warmth – and it looks pretty too!
• Covering citrus trees during frost warnings is a must as well. Flooding the water well around the tree at night is another good idea to reduce the risk of frost damage

So, why not garden in December? For your own patio or as a great gift for someone special, this month is a great time to save on some great new pottery, planters, trellis and outdoor décor at Karsten’s Ace Hardware. Come join us on December 14 and 15 for our WRAP IT IN RED GARDEN PARTY, and receive 20 percent OFF all pots, planters, trellis, décor and 10 percent OFF all live goods, soils and amendments. We’ll be grilling, playing music, hosting product demos…and maybe Santa will show up!