Your Regional Garden News - Zone 6

December 1 to December 31


Discover what you should be doing right now.  Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.  

Here's what's happening in your gardening region:


    Learn about seed starting

    Before you know it, you’ll be starting seeds for next year’s garden! Beginning in late January, you can start growing seeds for broccoli, leeks, lettuce, cabbage, and other cold-weather vegetables. Get your plants off to the best start by learning how to start seeds for these delicious and nutritious vegetables indoors.


    Decorate for the birds

    Do you enjoy watching the birds throughout the winter? Make your garden an even more enticing place for them to visit by decorating outdoor trees and shrubs with birdseed ornaments. These ornaments are fun and festive until the birds find them, at which point the bright and colorful birds stand in for the decorations!

  • What you need to start seeds

    Be prepared when it’s time to start seeds in the new year. Sprouting seeds need a few things to grow into strong transplants: heat, water, and light. Gather your materials now so that you can turn your attention to shopping for seeds in January.


    Holiday gifts for gardeners

    What are you planning to give the gardeners on your holiday gift list? Here are some suggestions.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • There’s nothing like going into the garden in the middle of December to pull large, luscious parsnips for your holiday dinner. Wash and gently scrub the roots, then briefly steam them to make paring easier. With larger roots, remove the woody core and use only the tender outer flesh.

    To retain the parsnip's delightful, sweet flavor, don’t boil them as the sugar in the roots dissolves in water. Many people ruin the taste of parsnips by cooking them until they’re mushy and bland. The best way to prepare parsnips is to brown the slices in butter or sauté them in a little oil, keeping the heat low to lock in the flavors and avoid scorching the sugar in the flesh. Or simply bake them. If you want a simple side dish for Christmas dinner, steam parsnip slices with fresh peas until tender and serve drenched in melted butter. It’s so delicious, it’s almost decadent!