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December’s Rosie-do list: It’s time to get ready for the Arizona winter

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Without a doubt, December is here and there is a chill in the air.

With the seasons changing, this month’s Rosie-do list suggests ways to prepare your home for winter possibilities.

Protect your plants

Starting this month and perhaps lasting until March, protect tender plants from severe frost damage in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Watch the weather forecast. On super-cold nights, cover tender plants — such as lantanas, bougainvilleas, vegetables and ficus trees. Orange and yellow bells can also be a problem.

Visit a local nursery or hardware store to buy frost cloth and similar coverings for your plants. Cotton sheets can be used, but not plastic sheets.

Put Styrofoam cups on the tips of special cactuses to prevent damage. Saguaros and prickly pears don’t need protection.

Protect your pipes

During cold spells, wrap exposed plumbing on the outside of your house to prevent pipes from freezing as well. You can use old towels and rags and secure them with masking tape.

Plant for spring

If you’re a vegetable gardener, however, this is also the season to plant spring peas, parsley, head lettuce and leeks.

Throw away old lights

Use lights on your Christmas tree that are labeled by a recognized testing laboratory. Replace lights that have worn cords or loose bulb connections.

Always turn off those tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Keep the tree hydrated

Keep your tree well-watered, but get rid of it when it starts dropping needles.

Find a community-recycling program where you can take the tree. Many garbage services pick up old trees on specific dates, so check with your city.

Do not store the tree in your garage and don’t try to burn it in an outdoor or indoor fireplace.

This is the last in our series of Rosie-do lists — offering monthly tips and guides for common household maintenance and upkeep — that have been intended to help Arizona homeowners maintain their home.

You’ll find on this page links to the previous month’s maintenance tips, and we hope you’ll bookmark them for reference in 2017 and beyond!

For more DIY tips and information for all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at www.Rosieonthehouse.com.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com –- Arizona’s most trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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