Brevard gardening in December: What to plant, what to prune, when to mow

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Fall weather has arrived, and if you can find the time during this busy month, the weather should be great for working outside. Here are some ideas of things to do in your yard while enjoying the comfortable temperatures.

Pop-up plant sale: Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Dec. 7, for a Pop-Up Plant Sale in the Brevard Discovery Garden.

The BDG Greenhouse is undergoing renovation, which has affected our ability to propagate a large supply of plants. By popular demand, our BDG nursery volunteers have begun propagating some pollinator plants, herbs and vegetables at home, which you can purchase in the garden.

We will also have a nice supply of succulents in decorative pots for sale, which could be great Christmas gifts.

Since Dec. 7 is also the first Wednesday of the month, the garden will be open to the public, and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening and landscape questions.

The plant sale will be from 9 to 11 a.m., and only cash or checks will be accepted. The Brevard Discovery Garden is at 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa.

Mow less, enjoy more. Lawn care will be easier through the winter with the shorter days and cooler temperatures, so enjoy. Just mow every other week (if for no other reason than to keep the weeds from setting seeds) and water, at the most, once a week.

Don’t fertilize now, because the grass is not actively growing, and don’t be alarmed if your grass turns a lighter green (or yellowish) and brown is visible near the soil. This is typical in the winter.

Prune deciduous trees and shrubs. If needed, deciduous trees and shrubs can be pruned after they have shed all their leaves.  For more information on pruning trees and shrubs, check out our bulletin at this link (Search for “Pruning landscape trees.”)

If you are growing temperate fruit crops such as grapes, peaches, apples, blueberries, or figs, refer to our Fruitscapes website at (search “temperate fruitscapes.”) for detailed information on their specific pruning requirements.

Flowers to plant now. Flowers that can be planted in December include alyssum, calendula, dianthus, pansy, petunias, snapdragon, viola, stock, petunia, sweet peas (these vines are very fragrant), delphinium and ornamental kale.

Looking to add color to your winter landscape? Plant petunias.

Looking to add color to your winter landscape? Plant petunias.

Herbs to plant now. Herbs that can be planted this month include garlic chives, chives, lemon grass (plant this in a large container), parsley, rosemary, Mexican tarragon, fennel, mint, thyme, Greek oregano, lavenders, chervil (a winter annual with an anise flavor) and sage.

Feed your vegetables. Don’t forget to foliar “feed” your vegetable plants, citrus, mango, avocado, other fruit trees, shrubs and vines with a liquid seaweed solution every week, if possible. If there are numerous leaves that have both green and yellow tissue, use a citrus nutritional spray to supply a higher concentration of trace elements to correct the nutritional deficiency more quickly.

Vegetables to plant now. Vegetables that can be planted in December include arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, endive/escarole, Irish potatoes, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions (green and shallots), English or snow peas, radish, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.

Vegetables to sow now. Vegetable seeds that can be sown in December for transplanting in January include arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupes, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, endive/escarole, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, English or snow peas, peppers, spinach, squash, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips and watermelon.

Inoculate your peas. When planting peas in the garden, be sure to inoculate them with the beneficial bacteria Rhizobium spp.  (i.e., Guard-N, Nature’s Aid, Bean & Pea Booster, etc.) The bacteria form a symbiotic relationship with the plants and live-in nodules in the roots. They fix atmospheric nitrogen for the plant, so inoculated legumes don’t require nitrogen fertilizer.

Shop the farmers market. Are you interested in finding some fresh produce at a farmer’s market or a local produce stand? Check out some of the fresh produce and delicious edibles that will be available at our Brevard County Farmers Market in December including fresh herbs, microgreens, shoots, wheatgrass and microgreen growing kits.

Vegetables that will be available are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and potatoes. In addition, there will be honey, beef jerky, fresh salsas, candied jalapenos, sweet relish, cupcakes and other sweets, homemade jams, apple butter, and jellies and a variety of homemade nut butter.

For pasta lovers, there will be freshly made pasta, sauces, cheese, and other delicious Italian items available.

On the second Thursday of every month, Deep Roots Meat comes with their Florida-grown, grass-fed Angus beef straight from their farm.

The Brevard County Farmers Market is held in the Wickham Park Pavilion from 3-6 p.m. every Thursday. To stay up to date with the most current information, follow the Facebook page at

Florida-Friendly Landscaping class. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Class Series will begin Tuesday, April 4.

This $75 class series will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on eight consecutive Tuesdays. Participants will learn how to grow healthy plants and nutritious food, all while protecting water quality. Topics to be covered are:

  • April 4. All About Botany & Our Dirt Needs Life.

  • April 11. FFL Principles and Attracting Wildlife.

  • April 18. Hands-on Gardening (learn how to start seeds, transplant seeds, start plants from cuttings and dividing plants)  and Intro to Landscape Design.

  • April 25. All About Palms and Lawn Care.

  • May 2. All About Trees and Native Plant Walk.

  • May 9. Edible Gardening (vegetables, herbs and fruit crops, including citrus) and Growing Plants in Containers.

  • May 16. Integrated Pest Management and Plant Diseases.

  • May 23. Pesticide Safety and Synthesis (putting it all together).

Registration can be found at, and there are tickets for both in-person learning and via Zoom.

Sally Scalera is an urban horticulture agent and master gardener coordinator for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences. Email her at [email protected].

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Space Coast gardening: What to plant, what to prune, when to mow

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