Flowering trees continue to put on a show in December. The winter hummingbirds are all around us taking advantage of the blooms. Brown Thrashers are making short work of any ground caterpillars that may make it into our gardens. Kestrels and other hawks are very visible now, especially in Redland and other open space areas.
We may get a cold snap this month but usually after the mid-point. January and February are more likely to have the coldest temperatures.
Check Cold-protection Supplies. Keep tabs on old sheets or blankets, soda bottles or milk jugs for hot water, hay or other insulating mulch, row covers, etc. Better to know where they are now than when you're rushing to protect tender plants.
Blooming Mangoes! If you see large black beetles on the bloom spikes, leave them alone. They're pollinators! They won't hurt the tree, just give you more fruit.
Temperature Tip. When the daytime temperatures have dropped into the 70s, sow seeds of Peas, Spinach and other cool-weather crops.
Go Easy on the Fertilizer. Don't fertilize tropical fruit trees this month. You may cause tender new growth that will not survive the next cold spell.
Poinsettia Pointer. If you have a poinsettia bush outside and wish to cut some blooms for holiday decorations, the flowers will last longer if you singe the stems' ends and then place them in water.