Here are some things Treasure Valley gardeners can do in December to finish up 2013 and get ready for 2014.
Harvest parsnips, kale, beets, turnips, leeks and carrots after a moderate frost or light snow. Flavor will be sweeter then.
Check trees and shrubs for weak or broken branches that may be felled by snow later. You can remove these now, sparing your tree or shrub damage that might admit disease.
Once the ground freezes, mulch perennials, taking care not to pull mulch tightly around the main stem or trunk. Leave an inch or two ring open around stem or trunk, lest you create ideal conditions for crown rot.
Rake leaves from flower beds to keep them from matting and directing moisture away from plants.
Cover strawberries with pine needle straw or other straw not contaminated by herbicides.
Make holiday wreaths or holiday decorations of conifers or other evergreens.