Remember the hummingbirds. Anna’s hummingbird rarely migrates and can be seen around Puget Sound all winter long. If you already have hummingbird feeders out, keep them clean and filled with fresh sugar water. Don’t forget to bring the feeders indoors when the night-time temperature would cause the sugar water to freeze. Hummingbirds get their protein from eating insects. Having them around will help control mosquitos, leaf hoppers, spider mites and other insects caught in tree sap in the holes made by sap sucker birds. We have a great selection of hummingbird feeders and cleaning accessories in the garden shop. They make great Christmas gifts. 

Keep fallen leaves and fruit picked up from under the trees and shrubs. Decaying leaves and fruit are sources of fungal and bacterial disease and they harbor insects that may not be desirable when the warmer weather comes. 

The ground should be cold enough now to mulch your tender perennials to prevent freeze damage to the roots. Probably the best material to mulch your plants with is Bumper Crop Soil Conditioner. It is best because the chicken manure, bat guano, worm castings and kelp meal (all plant nutrients) will leach into the plant’s root zone over winter. Other materials suitable for use as mulch include: tree leaves, straw, shredded newspaper, cardboard, pine needles, tree boughs and peat moss. Whichever you use, it should be cleared away from the crown come spring.  Many people are discovering they can have both a Christmas tree in their home and then use the tree in their landscape afterwards. Refer to our handout on living Christmas trees for more information.