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okiedawn1

April 2018, Week 2 Better Weather....and Friday the Thirteenth

Hopefully this is the week that Spring weather returns.

Keep your eyes on Friday.....not because there's any foreshadowing of any sort of weather thing that day (it looks like it will be a hot day) but because it is Friday the Thirteenth. With the way April weather started out, I'm keeping a wary eye on that day. I'm hoping April has used up her bag of cruel weather tricks already although I'm probably wrong about that.

Is everyone ready to return to a frost-free garden and start planting? I know that I am. The part of the garden that is planted, well-weeded and well-mulched looks just gorgeous, but the problem is how much unplanted and not so gorgeous space remains to be filled.

I need to reorient my thinking and get my brain reset on planting instead of being so focused on the overnight lows and if/what to cover up and when to uncover. We have had worst Aprils than this---the 2007 April cold spell was a lot longer in my county and followed what had been a really warm March (just like my weather this year, which is food for thought).

I'm still hoping for a long, cool Spring season (not a cold one) like we had in 2002 where we stayed so cool that we had occasional nights in the 40s even in May. It was a great year for a prolonged cool-season harvest well into June, which rarely happens around here.

What's everyone's plans for this new week? Oh, and has anyone heard from Amy lately?


Dawn

Comments (100)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I spent the day wrapping tomato cages in plastic for wind protection. It wasn't really the day I had hoped to have, but the wind was crazy and the plants needed the protection. I actually am more concerned about the Thursday and Friday wind than today's, which only gusted to 30 mph, so now the plants have extra wind protection and I'm happy about that. I put the cages around the original 7 plants last as they are pretty big and sturdy and have tons of tomatoes and blossoms on them. The plants I had just transplanted yesterday are considerably smaller and thinner, so the wind was beating the heck out of them. I think the 7 bigger plants could tolerate the wind we are forecast to have, but know I'll likely be gone to fires at least one day this week and not here to keep an eye on them so went ahead and put plastic-wrapped cages around those 7 too.

    Jennifer, I agree with Rebecca. I have a couple of friends with autoimmune disorders and they felt like something 'invisible' was wrong with their health for a long time (years) before they finally were diagnosed. Sometimes you really have to be persistent to get answers.

    Stress and tiredness hitting in April and May makes sense when you think about the fact that you have kids and their activities can ramp up then, plus you work with kids. Plus, there's the push to get gardening done at that same time too.

    Poor Finbar. Life just isn't fair sometimes.

    I'm not going to tell Tom a think about your change in plans for the shed/coop. You sound like me---always a long list of big projects to do and too little time to do them.

    Greenhouses aren't that hard. Remember these things: (1) the greenhouse effect makes a greenhouse heat up ridiculously hot even in winter as long as the sun is shining (shadecloth helps mitigate the heat); (2) they do not hold in heat well at night so if you want to keep plants in them overnight in winter, you'll need a heater; (3) good air flow is important for cooling and for disease prevention and this can be managed with fans, a swamp cooler and vents (we have all of those); and (4) no matter how big of a greenhouse you build, it won't be big enough. Oh, and something Robert (Busyone) taught me when we were building ours---screen your vents and doors for good air flow and to keep the insects out. Otherwise, your greenhouse will be full of pesky insects like flies and mosquitoes.

    Nancy, I think I earned bacon for dinner too, but was too tired to cook it, so didn't have it.

    I did cook down a gallon zip-lock bag of frozen tomatoes in the crockpot today to use in cooking tomorrow, so the house smelled deliciously of fresh tomatoes all day. I was happy just with the aroma.

    Rebecca, I'm glad you declared it is Spring. At our house, we seem to have a different season every day lately.. Monday morning was Winter for sure, Tuesday and Wednesday have been Spring, and I think we're having Summer on Thursday and Friday. Then, with temperatures falling, I guess Saturday could be Autumn, and Sunday morning will be winter again. See, we have all 4 seasons in Oklahoma, don't we?

    Jacob, It sounds like y'all had a marvelous day, and that's an awesome view!

    Jen, If there was a way to make Mother Nature shape up, wouldn't we have found it by now? We're simply at her mercy.

    Megan, Sometimes I wonder how we make it through the Oklahoma springs without losing our minds. It does help that Lee warns us in plenty of time when bad stuff is coming, so we can prepare for it mentally as well as physically.

    I would have been mad at my mom too, and isn't it funny how one's perspective changes over the years?

    Fire season is supposed to be over by now and I'm supposed to have resumed my normal life without having to worry about how many cases of water and Gatorade are piled up at the station and what sort of snacks we have. However, that just hasn't happened.

    Tim ran up to the station after dinner to change the danger arrow on the Fire Danger sign to "Extreme" as a reminder to anyone driving by that the next two (or more) days will be dicey. He would have like to crank it up one level higher than Extreme since Friday has gone to "Historic" (the only level I've ever seen that is higher than Extreme) but we don't have "Historic" on our sign, so "Extreme" has to do.

    I don't worry too much about Tim at fires---he's been a professional, state-certified firefighter in Texas for 35 years. This is because once upon a time his department triple-trained everyone in law enforcement, EMS and firefighting and you were certified in all three so you could work anywhere--they don't do that anymore, but a lot of the old guys complete the continuing education hours every year to keep their certification in the different areas. He is ultra careful and not prone to taking unnecessary chances. I'm careful because I'm just the person who brings the food and the drinks, so I'm at the rear.....in the safest place with the Incident Commander, etc. and never directly in the line of fire. In fact, if an Incident Commander tries to put us in a place we do not feel is safe for us, we refuse to set up there and find our own spot. (Yes, it has happened---when dealing with volunteers, sometimes you get an Incident Commander who is not exactly a rocket scientist. The last guy who tried to set us up IN FRONT OF an advancing fire with the wind blowing 40 mph quickly learned you cannot put Fire Rehab personnel in a place they feel is unsafe. It was an idiotic move on his part. There was no drama, we simply said that it was an unacceptable location and that we'd be parked up the road a mile or so where we could quickly flee if the fire kept coming. That is what we did, and when they got hungry and thirsty, they came up to the road and found us. We aren't stupid.)

    Amy, I would have been s o mad if they'd lost control of their brush piles. Everyone in this county burned stuff yesterday because they had been warned that it would be too dangerous to burn on Wed., Thurs. and Friday. I worked in smokey air, but at least I got to garden.

    Sasquatch is going to be a great dog when older and more settled. I just don't know how many years it will take to arrive at that point.

    I am tired. I need to go to sleep. Tim's alarm will wake me up super early so I have to sleep while I can.

    I am not looking forward to tomorrow or Friday. Tomorrow I intend to try to garden, but knowing the fire outlook, I already cooked tomorrow's dinner today. On Friday? I don't think I'll even attempt to garden. I think I'll just get up and start baking the firefighters' favorite cookies and other snacks. Maybe I'll be able to finish before all hell breaks loose.

    Some counties in Texas have issued a "Particularly Dangerous Situation" Fire Weather Watch for Thursday and Friday. I've never seen a PDS used for fires, though it is sometimes (though rarely) used with Tornado Watches on days when the chances of an especially bad tornado are especially, especially high. The NWS is extremely careful to not use the "Particularly Dangerous Situation" terminology too often because they don't want for it to lose its effectiveness.

    And that reminds me, 40 years ago (April 10, 1979) yesterday, my brother survived the big Wichita Falls, TX, tornado, part of an outbreak that hit SW OK too. Forty years! I cannot believe it has been that long. Now see, tornadoes in April? That's our normal weather. All this late fire weather and late winter type freezes and frosts? That's our bizarre weather this year....not that I am wishing for tornadoes, but normalcy would be kinda nice.

    Dawn

  • Megan Huntley
    6 years ago
    HJ, I’m going to side with Rebecca and advocate for a second opinion. Even if it’s not lupus, something is going on. My college roommate had the ANA test several times while in an obvious lupus flair but was told she didn’t have it because her ANA wasn’t high enough. Myself - I went thru a big ordeal starting about 2-3 years ago where they thought I had ulcerative colitis, another auto immune disease, in fact I may actually have it but it took three doctors before I found one that thought logically - your blood count for x is elevated and you’re responding to the medication we typically use to treat that so therefore you have it. Unfortunately, he’s semi-retired so I have to see a doctor who doesn’t believe me. I was later diagnosed with Endometriosis, which as a “female condition” gets blamed for everything - even the common cold. Anywho. I sympathize with the fatigue caused by the idea of being your own advocate, especially when battling people who think they know your body better than you because of some letters after their name. Ultimately though, remember YOU ARE worth the fight.
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  • Rebecca (7a)
    6 years ago

    I went through 3 rheumatologists before the 4th one made the diagnosis. The others were 'your ANA isn't high enough', to which my current one said 'any elevated ANA is high enough'. Normally mine stays low-ish unless I'm in a big flare. I also respond to Plaquenil, AND my eye doctor made the final diagnosis of Secondary Sjogrens. So, all the other rheums were wrong. I also carry more than one gene responsible for autoimmune disease, which made it all the more worse for me that it took so many years to get a diagnosis. I have always been someone who doesn't present in the normal way for most illnesses, which never ends up working in my favor.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sigh. . . . I don't have insight or input into these sorts of autoimmune issues to date. I guess that would be a happy sigh, eh! But I do hope you feel better soon, HJ. I don't like going to doctors, so try not to. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm phobic about it, but definitely not something I like to do.

    I'm enjoying seeing your comings and goings, and I've been enjoying my own today. THE first day in over 4 months the doors were open with breezes coming through the screen doors all day long--the doors to this room and the diningroom are still wide open. Feels so good. I jumped up this morning ready to go, with a big list that including organizing all the plants, planting some more (indoors and out), watering, moving some to bigger pots, some WS totes to be cleared to I can use them as mini-greenhouses for others. AND it was my mission to vacuum and dust in the house.

    I got derailed, first, by deciding it was a good day for the cats to go outside, so I propped open the screen door (neither will even think about going out if I don't leave or hold the screen door open.) Their little training session took a bit over an hour. Jerry will be acclimated in a matter of days, I'm sure. Tom may take a bit longer. For a long time he was content to just lie in the doorway and at any sudden sound, backed into the house. He did come out 3-4 times for a few minutes, but again, at unexpected sounds, zipped into the house. This amuses me so much, so different than the persona he projects. Kind of endearing.

    Then my brugmansia and annabelle hydrangeas arrived from Almost Eden--the ones I ordered clear back at the beginning of January. They look awesome, and I really like that online nursery. Nearly impossible to work my way through their list of plants.

    I was going to put tomatoes in tomorrow. GDW thinks I should wait until Monday, And by the looks of the crazy winds, first from one direction, then the other, I think I'll do that. Not to mention the low temps. They're in good-sized pots and have been hanging out on the deck, so they'll be fine. So I decided to wait, Megan! LOL What's five more days, since they are technically "outdoors" anyway.

    Chaos on the deck and in the house. Unhappy overwintered plants that needed to be trimmed; unhappy plants in the WS containers that needed to be moved out to beds, to make more room for ones moving out of here (mini greenhouses); Some just out to be hardened off. . . and some newly planted ones that should be direct sown, but so I don't lose track of them all, just planted in styrofoam cups to start them off and will leave them on the deck until I carefully plant em. AND all this with an eye to moving them back into the house on Friday evening.

    I need alternative tomato supports this year. Don't think cages will work; I'll have 3 12' rows (don't think cattle panels will work), each row with 4-tomatoes or so. That's the plan, anyway. I've been looking at numerous idea. . . I'll have to decide on one and get with it.

    Dawn's probably already in bed; I'm near there myself. I do hope her precautions for fires tomorrow and Friday come to naught.

    I never did get the vacuuming done. It was very windy today, but I had to change into a T-shirt! Whoopee--my first day this year in short sleeves! The house is really kind of a disaster. Need to get rid of these plants so I can pay attention to it. . . and clean up the deck and outdoors.

    Jacob, what I wouldn't give for a view like that just down the road! Absolutely beautiful! And how awesome that you all like hiking!

    Sweet dreams, all.

    Oh--HJ--feline herpes--I had no idea. Tom and Jerry both had "colds," when they came to live with us and I was a bit unnerved by them. But both are fine now, so if they're fine, I'm fine. Good luck.

  • Rebecca (7a)
    6 years ago

    Just noticed I'm a bit sunburnt. Nice little farmer tan going here. Which means, autoimmune wise, by the weekend I'll feel like trash. Way to pay attention, Rebecca.

  • luvncannin
    6 years ago

    The only things I know about auto immune disease is it is difficult getting diagnoses and the auto immune protocol helps a lot. It is challenging to stay on such a strict dietary protocol but so worth it. I can't tell the pain fatigue and other symptoms that have returned since I have been cheating. I have not been to a real Dr in 4 years but I do know what to do and how. I need to get back on the wagon.

    My Sophie is so depressed. I took the last 2 pups away on Monday and she will hardly come out of the dog house. I have been giving her lots of extra attention which is easy now that the 2 beasts are gone. I even filled her pool for her first swim of the year. Spent hours tidying watering and organizing greenhouse yesterday. I finally took out the heat mat. It was the size of a twin mattress and I need that space for other stuff now. They fixed the broken door so it's much easier getting in and out of greenhouse. A garden friend came by to pick up a rain barrel and I have her a tour and she was in shock I was doing this mostly solo. I just do what I can and hope for the best. We have 95 tomatoes in now and they look great. I can't wait till we get a good rain. It will make all the difference. On my to do list, seed more beets and carrots. Thin the ones that came up and weed the onions. Also fertilize onions. That is not my favorite chore 1600 or so feet of hand fertilizing.

    Oh just an FYI we came across many soils and fertilizers that say good for organic gardening and the famous all natural when in reality they were chemical junk and not anywhere near approved organic. Mr boss is very particular and we disposed of several boxes of fertilizer that was half used from last year. Now we have espoma.

    I have decided that one of my ingredients in my soil mix was contaminated. 50 plus plants are suffering terrible leaf curl. They are some of my celebrity and Roma which were potted up on same day. I hope to repot with fresh soil but I have other stuff to do first. We already took our best to the field so these are backups and sale plants but they look terrible. It was probably the purchased compost.

  • Megan Huntley
    6 years ago

    Nancy, I guess we're balancing each other's gutsiness. I might not have topped my plants but I did put three tomatoes in the ground yesterday and didn't put wrapped cages around them. <<shocked face>> They're in a pretty wind protected corner of my yard with a south and east privacy fence and a large maple on the northwest corner. It sounds like they would get a lot of shade there, but it's full sun. I buried them up to their necks because they were leggy and need that anyway, but I don't have to worry about them being snapped this way either. I did lose one I was hardening to being snapped yesterday, but it was a backup. For the ones I planted, I put large pots on their southwest side so that they should only get sun until about noon and that should also help some with wind. We'll see how that turns out. I have carrots in the same bed, spaced a distance from the tomatoes but I still don't want to be pulling cages in and out to swap for hoops and disturb the carrots repeatedly. I'll cover the tomatoes with large nursery pots and frost blanket this weekend. I'm excited and actually feeling a little relieved. My kitchen felt so dark last night without the need for undercabinet lights doubling as grow lights. Everything but a few starts is outside now and my one real grow light is sufficient for the starts.


    Kim, as gardeners we really shouldn't be shocked at what an impact our diet has on how we feel, but I still am every day. I'm not familiar with the autoimmune protocol but have identified some of my trigger foods as well as a gluten intolerance and avoiding all that makes life a lot less painful. But sometimes, a person just wants to carb load and it can be depressing to know you're choosing between something your body is craving and days or weeks of pain.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    haha, Megan--we'll have to compare notes on the gutsy decisions.

    Not a fan of windy. We got windy, as do the rest of you, most likely. I remember Wyoming days long ago when the only sound was the wind howling out in the country. It's a despairing kind of howl that can make a person feel despondent. (They Call the Wind Maria. . .)

    Tom will go a foot out the door, IF we leave the door open for him. GDW says, "Must have been pretty traumatic, being a little kitten lost outdoors for a day and a half, long ago." I guess!


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I've been out playing in the dirt today, despite the wind. It is kinda warm out there. The combination of warm temperatures and wind probably aren't the best for the plants, but maybe at all the sunshine will warm up soil temperatures a lot, which could help on the cold weekend nights. The strong south wind is bringing us a lot of humidity, and that helps keep fire danger down, so our county's fire danger is not overly high today. I feel kinda bad transplanting plants into the ground in this heat and wind, but not enough to stop doing it. By the end of today, everything in flats that I want to put in the ground should be there, except for the peppers, and the zinnias and other warm season flowers I started from seeds just a couple of weeks ago. I won't plant them, probably, until it feels like April's late cold nights are done with us. Oh, and the ornamental cotton. It still is too cold for them.

    Megan, I always feel relieved when I get everything in the ground too. I don't get rid of all the plants though, as I always have a few flats of plants I'm holding on to for the Spring Fling. Still, that's not the same as staring at flats I need to plant.

    Kim, I'm sorry to hear about the contaminated soil. When this started happening about 15 years ago, I never dreamed the herbicide carryover problem would continue and grow. I thought they'd restrict the use of those herbicides and everyone would move on. Nope. It is still here, still a problem, and seems more and more widespread every year. I have become so incredibly picky about what I'll buy and bring home to use in our garden and landscape beds--I purchase no manure, no compost, etc nor do I accept the neighbors' kind offers to give me all the manure and old spoiled hay I want. I don't want any of it. I will buy bark mulch some time, but that's about it. I do see all kinds of bags of soil amendments labeled organic or natural and don't even trust them. Organic mixes, manure or compost still can have unknown herbicide residue and I just don't trust them.

    Poor Sophie! Hopefully she'll snap out of her depression.

    Nancy, Hopefully you'll be able to plant soon and that will help with all the plant chaos on the deck and elsewhere.

    This heat this week is starting to make me feel concerned we're going to suddenly go from too cold to too hot overnight, which happens fairly regularly and never is a good thing. It does not seem "right" (ha ha, is OK weather ever right?) that some parts of OK will be in the 90s (Altus is forecast to hit 100) for a day or two and then there will be freezing and near-freezing temperatures over the weekend. This just seems even more crazy than our usual weather craziness.

    Well, my little lunch break is over and I'm about to head back out to the garden. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.



  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago

    Wow Dawn, that's nuts. Only mid 70's today and tomorrow back to the 60's and freezing this weekend. 100 in April!!

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    6 years ago

    I watered yesterday. It is SUPPOSED to rain tomorrow. Little boy wanted to help water, but I was freaking out because the power was out and I thought the flickering killed my fridge. As it turned out, fridge was ok. Apparently the wind blew a line down across the street. All I can say is wow.. then it made horrible noises till PSO got there. DH said the news carried a story of another outage south of 76th Street (I am north).

    Rebecca, I will have a garden, but my cool season stuff is way behind. I will have to protect things from being dug at or stepped on, and figure out how to harden things off. DH KNOWS we need to do something, but he's been feeling "slow" lately. I think its the 4 10s schedule he's been on. I think 10 hours takes too much out of him and it means we don't go to the pool at the Y and get all the kinks out. So by the time he's rested up yard work is not on his mind. He doesn't want to mow around another fence. I've considered an electric shock collar fence, but that has to be buried. He didn't like that idea. Personally, I'd cover the garden paths with wood chips, so they don't have to be mowed, but he doesn't like THAT idea either. What he WANTS is to be 10 years younger so he can do it all.

    Megan, our dog, Honey, was a cute little puppy that captured my heart. She always had big feet, and I wish I had renamed her Sasquatch (Sassy for short) as it is SOOO much more fitting for her. She is 70 pounds, tall enough to counter surf (ate a steak DH was preparing to cook) and very smart. She needs training, and she walks on a leash very well for DH, she knows sit, if she chooses to obey. She knows "no" as well, if she chooses to listen. Down, Off and drop it are ones she mostly ignores. She digs for critters, but not just to be digging. I have this picture in my mind of my dog standing up in the wonder woman stance just to mock me. She is like a naughty toddler most of the time.

    I think I'll bring some chicken wire to SF for Rebecca to keep tree rats at bay.

    Kim, I'm sorry Sophie is sad, and that your soil mix is/was bad! Do you all have a worm farm? I think you need one. (You don't have enough to do.)

    Oh, Nancy, I love They call the wind Maria!!! For those of you youngsters, that is pronounced like Mariah Carey, not Ma ree a (I just met a girl named Maria...).

  • luvncannin
    6 years ago

    Amy I was just thinking the same thing i need more to do as I signed up to volunteer for 2 different events around here. I figure I am going to be lonely at work this year but I don't have to sit here the rest of the time by myself. So Moni as my inspiration I am getting up and out. Now I haven't gotten a bike yet but it's not completely unrealistic.

    Worm farm is in the future plan. It will not be for this farm probably but for my own place someday.

    Sophie is feeling better since she went swimming on Tuesday. When I first put her in the pool she glared at me dropped her head and stepped out. I just kept at her until she got in by herself she loves to swim under water so I am going to get her a bigger pool. I am sure the people driving by on the highway got a kick out of my antics since I was very acrobatic in gesturing how to do it like she didn't know.

    Honey is a beautiful girl. She will calm down eventually. And you will be so glad you toughed it out.and it's the perfect name if you want her to be sweet and mellow.

  • Megan Huntley
    6 years ago
    Amy, her is my pup. He also ignores down and drop it, though one day he came out of the kid’s room with something in his mouth. I said what do you have and he let it fall out of his mouth, sat down and gave me one of those sideways head cocked “what” looks. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself.
  • baabaamilker
    6 years ago

    Megan I read your post and I just wanted to pop in and say that I've given my sourdough bread to three gluten sensitive friends. One friend is so sensitive that she knows the moment she puts something in her mouth that contains gluten, and it will start bothering her. She's even known to have a reaction to flour dust floating in the air. I was so excited that all three of them can eat my bread without any issues.

    One thing to note is that sourdough in the store is not usually a true sourdough and probably would not work as well.

    I know what you mean about wanting to eat carbs. I've lost nearly 40# over the last six months by cutting carbs way back. I've loosened up now as I'm more or less goal weight, but sourdough hits the spot for me.

    On a gardening note, I'm tired of the wind already. I don't think any of the plants are all that happy about it either.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    That's a beautiful photo of Honey. Amy, I like Sassy. . . . Maybe she could have two names.

    I watered yesterday, too, and should have watered today. It was just so WINDY. I really didn't do much outside, but focused on the house, which was starting to drive me crazy. Attention to details with the vacuum cleaner. Like I do maybe once every 3 years. Darn, that thing gets heavy. Big time dust cleansing. I couldn't quit there, so had to work on the dining room and kitchen, too. I wanted to share THIS. . . I know most of you haven't seen my potting table. This is the potting table all dressed up, with MY grandmother's table runner. Thought GDW was going to pass out when he walked in and saw the table without the black plastic garbage bags and dirt and pots and seeds and paraphernalia. He thinks I'm done. heh heh. No, the kitties' room/everything room gets tackled tomorrow with the nice 3x6 foot collapsible table set up with potting supplies. . .

    And that's all I did today besides tending plants,


    and I am SO tired.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    Back after showering. Kim--did you all mix your own soil mix or was this stuff already made up? Might be hard to pinpoint a culprit, eh? I hope everything otherwise is going well. Do you have sprinklers or irrigation alternatives for no rain? Well, surely you must.

    Cute picture of your pooch, Megan. That post slid by me the first time.

    Although some of you have talked about the blankety-blank wind, we don't have it as an everyday thing. But these few days this week, the warm-to-hot weather yesterday and today, moving to cold, for the weekend--all will be very windy, it looks like. And I really didn't feel like fighting the wind in the yard today, as there was nothing that HAD to be done (other than more spinach and cilantro--if it moves from cold to hot. . . bye, cilantro and spinach.)

    I do like good sourdough, but since I'm not much of a bread eater in general, I have decided it's not something I really need to do. Fascinating that gluten-allergic folks can eat it.

    I'm super glad your fridge survived, Amy!! What a major pain THAT would have been.

    Hoping you had no fires Dawn. . .

    checking out for this evening. Nite, all.

  • hazelinok
    6 years ago

    I have a lot to catch up on.

    First, thanks, Dawn, for the greenhouse info. Someday.

    Also, thanks everyone for all your support and suggestions on the autoimmune stuff. For some reason, I think I don't have one. Or if I do, it's lying quietly inside of me and hasn't flared up yet. I honestly don't feel bad most of the time, other than when I have one of these dumb sinus infections. Of course, it's possible I'm in denial. I can't think of any particular food that makes me feel sick other than "fake" food.

    Nancy, I sorta wish Finn would stay an indoor cat, but I'm sure he will want to be outdoors. He's too new and young yet, though.

    Oh, Kim! I'm sorry about the contaminated soil and about poor Sophie.

    Megan and Amy--cute pups!! Adorable.

    Nancy, that looks nice! So tidy. My house is not tidy. It's making me crazy.

    I was gutsy today too! I can join that club. I planted the first 5 tomatoes (The shade cloth was only long enough to cover 5). I chose the tallest ones--they were all SunGold, Nancy! These things haven't been hardened off. I did the "trench" thing. They are surrounded by the food containers for wind protection and covered with the shade cloth. So...will a sheet work as well as row cover to protect from the frost? Wait. How about a bucket turned upside down?

    The bed won't be big enough for the 19 that I still want to plant. I actually have 40 tomatoes, plus the 8 that I just started.

    The garden looked nice today despite the wind. The strawberries are full of blossoms, the asparagus has rebounded since the frost last week and the potatoes have just emerged from the soil. I wish I had a full day to spend outdoors.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Jacob, Several OK Mesonet stations in western OK hit 100 today...and then they just kept going. At least a couple of them hit 102 and a few more hit 101. I was watching the numbers and it was mind-blowing. It felt hot here only in the upper 80s today but nothing like the places further west of us who actually were hot, hot, hot

    As a weird side effect of the heat, perhaps, I am sitting here in the living room listening to bugs bouncing off our windows. Guess what kind of bugs? June bugs. Yep. June bugs in April because.....we are a weird state. That's why. If we can have freezing temperatures over the weekend, then hit the 100s during the week, and then drop back down to freezing temperatures on the following weekend, then I guess we can have June bugs any time at all. Apparently the heat awakened them and they're trying to bust through the windows probably to get to the light inside the house. We hadn't seen any until tonight. I turned off the porch light to discourage them, but I don't think it helped. Tomorrow I'll mix up a batch of compost tea in a 5-gallon bucket and place it on the ground beneath our outdoor security light. Then, each morning, I'll go outside and scoop out the dozens of dead June bugs floating in it. For some reason, they cannot resists compost tea (or manure tea or liquid seaweed or liquid fish emulsion or anything stinky) and drown in it at night. It is the easiest method I have found for controlling them.

    Because we feel like summertime is already here (until Saturday night arrives, at least), the bumblebees were in the garden with me today, mostly feeding on the comfrey flowers and black wasps and red wasps were flying in and out of the new tool shed. Ticks are out too. Jet brought one indoors on him after he had wandered around in tall grass for a while. It is sort of hilarious to see the seasons change in front of our eyes....weekly. I did notice that, while the cultivated plum trees appear to have lost their fruit to one of the freezes, the wild sand plums did not. Or, at least not yet.

    Amy, It is supposed to rain here overnight or tomorrow, so I didn't water, and the soil moisture actually is good, but the high temps and strong winds made everything wilty. I did at least go out with a watering can and give a little drink of water to all the recently planted tomatoes that have been in the ground only one week or two. I expect all the cool season crops that looked wilty late in the day will have perked up by morning. If not, I might give them a quick spritz with the water hose. I really think the heat and wind are making them unhappy, not dry roots because our soil is plenty moist from the last rainfall.

    I don't care if it rains or not. The amount of rain we're expected to get (unless we were to luck out and get a big thunderstorm) is only 0.10-0.25" so it really wouldn't do much more than wet the soil surface and mulch. If it is going to rain, I wish it would really rain and put down some real moisture.

    Honey has gotten so big! No wonder you call her Sasquatch.

    Kim, I'm not sure where you're going to find the time to work on volunteer stuff. I would think the farm will consume every minute if you let it (hint: don't let it!). My volunteer stuff consumes too much of my time and in recent years I've pushed back a bit and not gone to every single fire or every single community activity, and that helps.....it reminds me that I'm a volunteer and I have a choice, and sometimes I can choose to say "No, I can't do this today....."

    Megan, Your dog is so adorable. Those sideways cocked heads always get to me too.

    Denise, I cannot even imagine how hot and windy y'all were out west today. I was trying to watch fire weather conditions on the maps and seeing the 100s breaking out in parts of western OK was shocking, even though it had been forecast. I'm not ready for that kind of heat in April. I know y'all didn't hit 100 today, but some of the places they did are not that far from y'all. I bet your plants are as tired of the wind (or even more so) as mine---they just look like they've had it by late afternoon each day. Only a couple more days and we'll get cooler weather, like it or not, and maybe then the plants can catch their breath and recover a bit (as can we gardeners).

    Nancy, The wind was crazy and it is supposed to blow here all night. I assume it is blowing all night everywhere else in OK as well. I hope you enjoyed your cleaning binge. It probably was preferable to being out in the crazy wind. I noticed out in the garden that everything (the shed, the wheelbarrow, the table and chairs, etc.) had a light coat of pollen on it this afternoon. Really? The wind is blowing near 40 mph and it cannot blow away the pollen? You'd think that if the wind carries in the pollen and deposits it on everything that it also would blow it away. I refuse to go out to the garden and wipe the pollen off everything. It is bad enough to have to dust indoors---I'm not going to attempt it outdoors.

    I assume y'all have heard some of the fire news, but for those who live outside our state and might not hear it: numerous very large and very fast-moving wildfires in western and northwestern OK have burned huge areas today and are still burning actively with 0% containment tonight. Some portions of some towns and some counties, and in some cases entire towns, have been evacuated. We know that in some areas some structures have burned and there's been reports of cattle burning. It is unbearable to think about that part of it. In Dewey County, near Leedey (where Jay's fiancee' lives) they are searching for a missing hunter and the fear is that he got caught up in one of the wildfires. I hope they find him safe and unharmed. I could go on and on, but y'all get the point...it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and it will continue tonight and into tomorrow. The Fire Danger from the NWS has been pegged as "Historic" for tomorrow, so we potentially could see wildfires worse than any we've ever seen here before. That is hard to imagine because there's certainly been some bad ones in the past. More than half the state is under a Red Flag Fire Warning tomorrow. If you're in an area like that, please be prepared to evacuate yourself, your family and your animals at a moment's notice. The rate of fire spread tomorrow will be incredibly fast--if you get told to evacuate you may not have time to do anything except grab your keys and run for your car. It could be that bad. If you have an All-Hazards radio, at times the NWS will issue Fire Warnings (with Evacuation notices) at the request of local county emergency management officials. It is pretty cool as it is a great way to get the word out, in additional to the automatic phone/social media notifications that many municipalities now use. Let's all cross our fingers and hope for the best, although with many wildfires raging overnight, we already know tomorrow will be horrible even if no new fires start (and they will).

    Obviously no gardening for me tomorrow. Even if I thought it were possible that nothing will happen here and I could stay home all day, what's the point of trying to do anything in all this wind? I probably won't even carry out the flats of plants to get sunlight. They'll just have to stay indoors and suffer, and stretch and get leggy while stranded on the breakfast room table.

    It is hard to believe we'll be so hot, windy and miserable tomorrow and then, on Saturday, the cold comes back. I am sure the plants are tired of all these wild swings from one temperature extreme to another, and I think the April winds are worse than the ones we had in March.

    Maybe next week, after we get past all the fires and the cold weekend, maybe them we can have some calm, normal weather and we can go out into our gardens and garden like calm, happy gardeners who aren't fighting one weather demon or another. Well, except that Fire Danger will remain at various higher levels for at least the next six days. Usually by April, we're green enough that the risk drops, but the green-up is so slow and so far behind this year, and how can western and particularly northwestern OK green-up while in drought and hurting for rain? That's the bad thing. For those of us along or east of the I-35 corridor, at least there has been rain. Maybe not enough of it, or too much at the wrong time, but rain has fallen. Out in the OK panhandle, some places have gone without meaningful rain since October. No wonder they are burning like mad out there----there's no green.

    I am mentally preparing for us to go from too cold to too hot overnight. Every day it feels more and more like that may be the fate that the weather has in store for us. I hope I'm wrong about that.

    Dawn

  • luvncannin
    6 years ago

    Oh dear I hate fires and I the devastation of it all. I hope that hunter got out and is safe somewhere. This is one reason my dad trained me always keep at least half of a tank of gas, cash and MRE. Of course it's hard with food allergies. We just have to be prepared.

  • jlhart76
    6 years ago

    I found a lot of june bug larvae while digging weeds this week, which doesn't bode well. I'll have to try the water trick, see if it helps with ours.

  • Rebecca (7a)
    6 years ago

    The hunter was found, a few burns but safe, by some oil field workers.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    So distressing, this HISTORIC fire warning, I was NOT aware of it all, until you mentioned it Dawn! It's hard to wrap my mind about the threats and fires facing our neighbors to the west, the hardships and disastrous consequences.

    I also saw June bugs on the screen door last night. Couldn't really digest THAT, either! This morning FB brought "year ago on this date" photos, and I was amazed at that, too. Although yesterday and the day before were very warm, the 10-day forecast doesn't indicate a big warm-up. All in all, really, this spring HAS been a gradual warming, with very occasional unseasonably warm days as well as freezes. It has been very interesting to me, for sure.

    Garry is baking cinnamon rolls right now, bless his heart! So impressed that he's trying this for a second time. Me, trying to work up the energy to tackle this cat's living quarters room. What to do with all this JUNK! (Good junk, unfortunately. . . not easy junk to toss.)

    I never did order soaker hoses. The jury is still out. What I realized in contemplating all this is that if I got soaker hoses for all the beds, GDW would give me a bad time about watering the "lawn." And I confess I am a sucker for the "lawn" looking green. So........ I love having the drip lines and alternatives in the raised beds, but in the rest of the yard. . .

    Oddly, it is NOT windy today, and 72 degrees. A cooling off today would be nice, with the cold weather hitting later. Does this set us up for storms. . . I suppose. I'd better quit thinking, quit lollygagging, and get this everything room in order so I can move plants in here this evening.

    It's an odd day, weather-wise, and with me. Went to bed early last night, got up at 6 am. At 6:30 went back to bed and slept until 9!! Wow. And since, I've been, well. . . uncharacteristically pensive.

    Our dogs are such an important part of our daily lives, aren't they? Since Titan is now an adult, I don't have much to say about him and yet he is the third senior member in our family and we interact with him all day every day. Really, I don't know what we'd do without him right now.

    Jennifer, I really DON'T want T&J to be indoor cats. My first cat was, for all but the last 2 yrs of her nearly 23 years; Daff was for her first 10 years, for the most part. Poor little Daff just wanted to be outdoors so bad, but I couldn't let her, in the city. When we got here, I was so thrilled for her, that she finally got to be in the yard, and she loved it so. My hope is that these 2 will be like her--loving to be out, but staying safe by staying near. With the trouble I'm having getting them out, I think we'll be good.

    LOL my house isn't tidy either--just the dining room table and the central area floors. THIS room is an unmitigated disaster! AND, HJ--what're you gonna do with 40 tomatoes! I guess I'm not the only freak. Got a bunch of freaks for company. Comforting. :)

    Speaking of freaks, if you remember how long my flower and herb list was a couple-3 months ago. Was just checking it off, and though I have 3-4 no-shows, have another 6-8 that weren't on the list. I have plenty for some casualties along the way, and no doubt will have problems figuring out where to put some. My plan, which is no plan at all, really, is to jam them in wherever I can. I've never been good at "planning" out a bed--looks like I'm still on that path.

    GDW's cinnamon rolls get a 10 out of 10 points. Thanks, Rebecca for the "BREAD" flour tip; they also had a longer rising time, and they also were taken out when they were just golden. Oh yummy. I had a little tiny corner one--I hope it doesn't send me into a coma.

    Off to tending plants, then the great everything room overhaul. Hope you all are well and stay safe this weekend!



  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I give up. I'll never understand the Oklahoma weather, not if I live here another 100 years. Our county has a Red Flag Fire Warning through 10 p.m. We now are under a Tornado Watch also through 10 p.m. We have no clue if we'll be running to fires or running from tornadoes. Everyone is going to lose their minds here---they've been geared up to go fight fires, and now we have a whole different hazard. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The western part of our county just went under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. Hopefully they'll get rain that might lower the chance of having fire.

    While part of OK are having historically bad Fire Weather Conditions, we are having the odd congruence of amFire Warning and Tornado Watch at the same time. That is historic for us. Shouldn't the thunderstorm type weather cancel out the fire danger? We can only hope.

    I have my six little flats of summer annual flowers outside so they can get light, but kept the big stuff indoors on the breakfast room table. Now I am afraid I'll have to go out and bring those flats in if a thunderstorm approaches since they're expected to have hail. So far the thunderstorms are passing well to our west.

    I made tons of cookies--three different kinds, and I have 2 more in the freezer, for our firefighters so spent the morning in the kitchen instead of the garden, as expected. On my phone, our GroupMe and fire apps are going nuts with fire talk. Wonder if it will switch to tornado or thunderstorm talk?

    Kim, The hunter was found. He will have quite a story to share about surviving being trapped by fire in an area with a wildfire that is 85,000 acres and constantly growing. Most people feared he had perished in the fire. You just cannot outrun a fast-moving wildfire on foot. My best guess is he found a green area, a creek, a pond or something, and saved himself from the fire that way. Many evacuations are ongoing right now in that county.

    While watching the weather, I noticed some parts of OK are dangerously close to freezing conditions tonight. Keep an eye on your weather if you're north of me (and I think everyone here is north of me....except Kim is probably southwest.....). I shouldn't have to cover up plants tonight as our forecast low is 44 unless it changes, and it won't even matter if fire or tornadoes/thunderstorms get to the plants first.

    Okay, the local TV met cut into local programming to show us the whereabouts of the dryline where storms will fire up. It is right at our western county line. That's my notification to go carry in those plants right now.




  • luvncannin
    6 years ago

    I am so glad to hear the hunter is okay.

    I am almost due west of love Oklahoma.

    The wind today is ridiculous. Temp is dropping and I ran out of pots. I went and bought Styrofoam. Can't wait on amazon. Basil is begging to be potted up as well as 90% of the other stuff. I got 180 cups at $tree. They have some cute springy stuff. I know step away from the stuff.

    I am so ready for the 28th. 2 weeks will fly by so quickly.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    This is my day: bake a ton of cookies for fires that probably won't happen while wishing I was out in the garden.

    Weather changes, carry flats of warm season annuals inside to avoid the severe thunderstorm and the hail it is bringing. We have hail-filled storms to our north and our south, and I'd rather be out in the garden.

    Storms pass through, little rain, no hail, just lots of wind, thunder and lightning as I sit here twiddling my thumbs, wishing I was out in the garden.

    Weather changes, storms move on, dryline sits to our west. Hot and sunny now, so carry flats of warm season annuals back outside to enjoy the weather again, and start thinking about sneaking out to the garden to work.

    Walk down to mailbox, passing by the garden, and make promise to garden that I'll return to it ASAP if weather allows.

    While walking back from mailbox to house, watch big clouds popping up to our SW after the NWS has already said we've gotten all the storms we are going to get and then they cancel our Tornado Watch. Eye clouds warily from mudroom and promise flats of plants I'll bring them in again if the weather changes. Start watching weather on radar again in case more storms are going to pop up and surprise us.

    Get notification on phone that Freeze Warning issued for Sat nite/Sun morning. (sigh) This reinforces previous plan to cover up the plants on Sat and Sun nights.

    Watch the weather to see if we're going to get rain or fire. It is a toss-up at this point as we are sitting along the dry line. To our west, the nearest Mesonet station outside our county has an RH of 13% and high fire danger because of that--the dry line has passed over them already. In our county, the dryline is creeping into the westernmost part of the county but the RH at our station is 67% (down from 73% a few minutes ago). If it doesn't fall too far, our fire risk will stay a lot lower. The Red Flag Fire Warning is in effect until 10 pm so it is far too early to declare us 'safe' from the fire risk. Give up the dream of visiting the garden today.

    I've been in, out, up, down and twisted all around by today's weather. No garden time, but the plants are unharmed, there's a ton of cookies to freeze for the next fire if we don't use them today or tomorrow, and the kitchen is clean. Since I was stuck indoors, I ran some extra row cover fabric through the washer and dryer to clean it up before putting it into storage (I hope) for another year. The row covers I'm using are in the garden shed, so the ones I've cleaned today won't be needed unless I plant more stuff next week and then we get more freezing weather after that.

    Tim got out of a much-dreaded budget meeting about 90 minutes early and is delighted to be headed home....except he's headed for I-35 from down south, and hail-filled storms are headed towards I-35 from the west. He's trying to come home as quickly as possible without driving through one of those storms. It seems like he always is dodging hail and tornadoes on his drive home in April and May.

    I was just thinking how differently my whole day could have been if only we had normal weather here. We don't even know what normal weather is. We seem to have an unfortunate habit of having the weather of all seasons in one week or sometimes one weekend or one day. All the fire news today is just dreadful and I feel lucky we have so far, knock on wood, not had any of those kinds of fires today in our county. Now I have to go look at the Mesonet maps to see if the dryline is moving closer to us, and look out the window to see if those pop up clouds to our southwest are going to create any surprise storms. Then I'll look at the flats of plants to see if they're excited about sunshine and heat (they are zinnias and other similar flowers) and perhaps growing today. That's as close as I'll get to gardening. Tomorrow could be a garden day, even though it is Saturday. That would make up for today not being one.

    Oh, and since it didn't really rain anything but a couple of raindrops, I turned on the water hose and filled up Augustus' favorite pond spot, may he rest in peace, making a big gigantic puddle for all the wild birds, who now are drinking and bathing happily. I hope Augustus is up in turkey heaven, smiling down as he sees his puddle enjoyed by many other birds.

    I can hear thunder. I kinda don't want to try to figure out why. I think it is to our south/southeast moving away from us. Aaack! I just looked at the Mesonet and our RH has dropped to 22%, so the dryline must be close to my house. There goes our lower fire risk, right out the window. Ask myself important questions like 'are the clothes I'm wearing clean enough to wear to a fire?'

    Don't y'all love Oklahoma weather?


  • enstanfield
    6 years ago

    Just drove through a downpour in Pott county. Now, does anyone recognize this weed that’s all over my asparagus?

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    That's pretty much how my day has gone, Dawn. THUNDER, a little rain. Worried about it being too warm; more thunder, a little rain. Just finished our third little rainstorm. Tom freaked and is under the deck. I'm trying not to even care. Been down this road before, Tom. YOU know where the back door is now. Plants are out; the big room is barely started. Keep finding things I can't get rid of but don't want. . . AAGHH.

  • hazelinok
    6 years ago

    Fires are horrible. The entire metro smells of smoke. Then those poor animals. They don't have a choice. They can't drive away. It upsets me SO much.

    Okay...I'm not going to think about it anymore because I won't be able to sleep.

    In good news, the tomatoes made it through the night.

    Yes, I didn't mean to get 40 tomato plants, Nancy, but several peat pellets had two seeds that germinated...so I separated them and kept them. One plant broke completely---so 39. Two others broke but still have leaves. Then there's the 8 new ones...so 47? IF they make it, I'll share at the SF. I might take a few to the community garden as well. My goal was to have 24 tomato plants--6 of each variety. I'm afraid I only have room for 15 in that bed though. I scoped out some areas where I can dig holes to plant them directly in the ground--areas of future raised beds. BUT, that's if all these plants make it. I'm glad you have some back up SunGold. :)

    I like having a cat outside too, Nancy, but I'm so overprotective of Finbar for some reasons that I can guess. It has something to do with Charlotte dying and my baby, who is working and rarely home and will be a senior next year. He is at the point of his life where he really could survive without me. And that is good...but my job is nearly done. And there are no babies at home. And I like having a baby. So, Finn is my baby, which is why he already has more toys after two weeks of adoption than all my other cats had together for their entire lives. I do want him to be my garden companion and then I hear stories of how a hawk carried off a kitten. I'm sure we'll get there.

    So...all of y'all who remember weather years. Can you compare this year to any other spring and how the summer played out. We have had so little rain. What if we have a wet summer? What if no rain continues and we have a very dry summer? Does anyone have a gut feeling? Like I've mentioned before, I only really remember (paid attention to) 2011 before moving out here 4 years ago.

    I got my Mountain Rose Herbs! So excited to get started with my teas and tinctures. It's really been 3 years since I've worked with herbs consistently.


  • Megan Huntley
    6 years ago
    The smoke from the Dewey Co fires is no joke. When the cold front came thru it brought the smoke with it. I cannot imagine what it is like there because I’m 80 miles away and it’s too bad to be outside. It came in just as I was getting off work, after a quick stop at home I went to run 2 errands and the sky got darker as I got as I approached home and was getting worried there was a fire headed toward us. I must not have been the only one. A tweet from Edmond FD said 911 lines were bombarded! I had to cover plants in the thickening smoke because we’re supposed to get into the mid/low 30s tonight. My eyes and throat are still burning from being out there even after a shower. It’s unbelievable. Historic seems like the right word. DD is upset by the smoke and worried about those in the paths of the fire so I’ve promised to take her next weekend to help clean up. I love her companionate heart so much!

    My picture of smoke as it just moved into Edmond (orange) and my friends picture of it about an hour later (red). As the sun lowered the smoke was completely blocking the sun. You could see a ring where it was, but otherwise, nothing but gray.
  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    6 years ago

    NO RAIN today. Clouds, wind, humidity, heat, but no rain. We hit walmart early. Then DH went to Reasors AND neighborhood market and Home Depot. He bought screen that is supposed to be pet resistant because Honey has destroyed all screens on the south side of the house.

    I spent the day reading

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ILZTNBC/ref=pe_385040_118058080_TE_M1DP

    It is interesting. I don't usually read cookbooks, but I read all the way through this one.

    Kim, it WOULD be nice if the dog was sweet and mellow, ha ha. Glad Sophie is happier.

    Megan, cute pup. Is he a beagle? I get a lot of the cocked head looks. Today I thought she had eaten a full package of hotdogs. As it turned out, DH had put them in bag and frozen them and she found the original package.

    Nancy, her personality is so much more Sassy than Honey. The only reason I haven't changed her name is my MIL's dog was named sassy.

    Your table looks good, BTW.

    Dawn, fires, tornados, hail, heat, freezes. It is just amazing. Woodward was 101* yesterday and was 46 this morning.

  • jlhart76
    6 years ago

    Let's see...I have room for 6 tomatoes. I currently have about 15 varieties sprouted. And then I'll find some at the fling that I just have to get. So yeah, sounds about par for me. A couple are supposed to be good in containers, so that'll give me another 2 or 3.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    enstanfield, I do not recognize your weed, and I'm jealous of your rainfall.

    Nancy, Even though I stayed busy all day, it feels like a wasted day because I wasn't out in the garden planting as I wished to be. Oh well, it is just one of those years. I hope Tom came inside.

    Jennifer, I don't know where our smoke is coming from but it was horrendously smokey here too. There was smoke and pollen in the air, so nobody can breathe. I am starting to wish April would just hurry up and get over with and we can get a fresh start with May.

    I'm glad the tomatoes made it through the night.

    This April, in terms of the late return of the cold, is most like 2007, which ended up being a pretty wet year and not overly hot in the summer months. I don't think that we can expect the same this year just because in both years there was a cold spell in April. Every year is its own beast, in terms of the weather, and so many climate variables go into creating the weather that I find it hard to find correlations. I want for it to be like 2002, when we kept having recurring cold nights (in the 40s) well into June, but I'll probably spend the rest of my life hoping for another year like that and never see it happen. April 2002 was not like April 2018 either, as we turned back colder again in May of 2002, not in April. Still, I can hope!

    If the rain doesn't fall, we have options: (a) irrigate and spend a ton of money doing so, (b) irrigate for a while and then at some point realize you're spending more on water than you're going to get in produce, so shut off the watering and let the garden die, or (c) go through (a) above and then do (b) and then realize that if you don't water, you'll lose all the perennials, so go back to watering while swearing you'll never spend this much money on irrigation water ever again. I've done all the above, sometimes only one of them in a given year, and other times 2 or all 3. It depends on how dry we get, but I do have a point where I cut back the watering to a minimum---only watering the perennials and nothing else. I usually don't hit that point until July or August depending on how long we have gone without rain. If it is a rainy year? There will be tons and tons of insects, and plants will tend to have more bacterial and fungal issues. Perhaps more viral issues in poorly drained soil. We just deal with such things as they arise.

    Megan, I just hate it when the smoke rolls in like that, and sometimes it covers the whole state. When I was younger and we'd drive through Oklahoma, there used to be signs along some of the highways that said something like DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH SMOKE, and I was totally clueless about why those signs even existed. Well, I understand it now. I cannot imagine what it is like for people who have breathing difficulty like COPD or other similar things. This sort of polluted air must be very difficult for them to endure.

    I saw a ton of "Do Not Call 9-1-1 To Report Smoke, Only Flames" type stuff on FB this afternoon and evening. I feel sorry for the Dispatchers and cannot even imagine how many calls they were receiving about all the smoke in the air.

    Your daughter truly does have such a sweet and compassionate heart. I just love that!

    Jen, It is never enough, I think, no matter how many tomatoes you grow. I have struggled so hard to cut back on how many tomato plants I grow, and I feel almost panicked at the thought of all our many 'favorite' varieties that we aren't growing this year. I keep reminding myself that cutting back is okay and exists for a reason---so I won't have to can hundreds of jars of tomatoes this summer just to use them up. You know that if I could, I'd have 100 tomato plants in the ground instead of 28. I'm not saying I'll stop at 28, but I'm going to try hard to not plant too many more. Maybe. I read a story once in a book about avid gardeners that described a guy who grew 1500 tomato plants every year even though he readily admitted he let most of the tomatoes rot in the field because he didn't have time to harvest them. He just loved growing tomatoes. So do I, but I don't want to turn into that guy....and I bet you don't either.

    Our weather still is oddly warm at this very late hour even though it is supposed to be in the low 40s by sunrise. Tim's running in a race down in Fort Worth tomorrow and I'm not going with him. I used to always go and cheer him on, but I need garden time, so I'm staying home and will be out in the garden.

    My routine and schedule are thrown off by all this weird weather. I know that everybody else's is too. I'm trying to get back into some semblance of a normal gardening routine, but it is hard. I start looking at the calendar and trying to plan out different things and then Tim will say, well that weekend we are doing this...or that....or the other...or have to be here or there or somewhere else other than the garden. If I could, I'd boycott all weekend activities (except, of course, the Spring Fling) that pull me out of the garden. It sure is a lot easier for me to plan my time for weekdays when he is not home because to a large extent I only have to please myself and can set my own schedule, though of course sometimes family obligations of fire department stuff can get in the way of me just doing my own thing too. This year I feel starved for actual time spent in the garden. There's been too much time spent waiting for the rain to come because it is too dry, then waiting for the rain to stop, then waiting for the soil to dry out, waiting for the weather to straighten out, or just time spent covering and uncovering plants instead of planting or weeding or whatever. When does it end? Next week looks good so far, but I'm holding my breath and hoping there won't be another weekend of freezing nights after this weekend. Cause, you know, last weekend we thought maybe that was the end of it, but here we are back this weekend with the same issue. The crazy thing is that in between two sub-freezing weekends, we had places in OK hit high temps in the 80s, 90s and even the low 100s.

    Because the green-up is late, I think the insects are late to wake up too. I haven't seen nearly as many as usual. I can't help thinking they'll all wake up at once and then we'll have too many of the bad guys. We do have a lot of birds, so at least we'll have them around to eat the insects.

    Dawn


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    We used to see those sorts of photos in Wyoming on occasion, with mountain fires, less often in Minnesota. The smoke hasn't drifted to here, yet, that is noticeable. However, here, we don't see sunsets, so have a limited view. I expect there is detectable pollution here, too, though I'm not aware of it.

    I was relieved to have the cold front push out the warm front peaceably. I guess that would be the weather highlight of the last 24 hours in my mind.

    Decided I need a cat psychologist re Tom. Been growing and around them all my life. I thought my previous two had issues, but they don't hold a candle to him. Is it FEAR that drives him, outside, fear of everyone and everything. . . or is it unconscious feral instincts He answered plaintively from under the deck when I called for him last night, coaxed him to an opening; I petted him and he came out. So I gently picked him up to lift him to the deck, whereupon he stiffened and struggled and growled. I spoke soothingly, got him lifted up; then he zoomed to the end of the deck and back underneath. That's when I did a "Titan" on him. Said, "Good luck to you, buddy, have a nice life if that's what you want," and came in. I knew Garry wondered about my lack of concern this morning, so explained to him what had happened. We agreed. . .

    I told Jerry to go find his brother this morning, so he and I did, behind the lattice meowing plaintively I showed him the dish of tuna but didn't give it to him, and an hour later, I opened the back door, there sat Tom. I asked him if it was time to eat, and he trotted in, full of purrs and snuggles. I gave him food, he scarfed it down and then ran to his litter box. Cracked me up. I told GDW apparently the cat didn't know he could use dirt as a litter box. After that, I opened the door and asked him if he wanted to go out and he ran as fast as he could, away from it. But is loving us up bigtime. Sigh.

    Stupid cat. Or stupid me. Yes, HJ, don't rush Finn into the great outdoors! LOL Enough cat drama.

    What good herbs did you get? I need to find more tea stuff, a reminder to do that today.

    Today I am doing a plant inventory. My brain hurts. It's like a really hard Sudoku. Trying to track down kids in Mpls to see if they're tired of winter. One was on her way out to brush snow off the car and take the GD to work because of wintry conditions; the other was in Columbus MO with GS for baseball. Waiting for call back from DIL. Those two are like herding cats to get in touch with.

    I'm also feeling starved for time in the garden, Dawn. Garden? There is a garden out there? It is a darned cold 40 degrees, and with the wind blowing, a lot of unhappy seedlings and plants out there on the deck. I just finished most of the ones not in mini greenhouse totes back inside. Some in the garage, some in the dining room, some in here, pre-freezing. Somehow that doesn't really feel like gardening. Feels like running a daycare. So much for the inventory. :)

    Yes, Megan, love the kids with the hearts of compassion. Kudos to her. It reminded me of my GD in Mpls, who has been working as an aid, her last two years of HS, with special needs students (and she loves it; now wants to go into special ed.)

    Jen, room for 6 tomatoes. I can relate. I think I can comfortably fit in about 14. So why do I have 40, HJ? LOL

    I started this email about 4 hours ago! lol nothing to get in a rush about, can't garden. LOL




  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    6 years ago

    Nancy, maybe the cat felt an earth quake.

  • Rebecca (7a)
    6 years ago

    I'm trying to force spring by watching a P. Allen Smith marathon on one of the public television cable stations.


    Channel 6 went out on a limb and said they think this weekend will be the last freeze. Not that we won't have cold waves, but no more hard freezes. I hope they're right. Things will be covered the next 2 nights anyway.


    I feel like I'm living with the prototype of the cat in the Swiffer commercial.

  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll catch up on here later on. Got a long car ride tonight and then when we get back I'm gonna hill up my recently sprouted potatoes before the freeze the next few nights. People think I'm crazy when I go out at 3 in the morning to do stuff like that, but I have a real trouble sleeping some nights and it helps me get a better sleep. I have no idea why.

    Just thought I'd share some interesting stories I got from my grandma today. We got into the topic of winters and snow. She said back when she was a kid that there would be 7-8 ft. Snow drifts and snow would almost always be at a depth of 3-4 ft. At least once a winter. She said on the farm her grandmother had to dig trenches to different building after a snow to be able to do chores, because it was waste deep. And she said it would be cold enough to last a month or two at a time each winter. She said ponds and lakes would all freeze for ice fishing at least a month or two each winter. And if it was a mild winter there was lots of ice, rather than no precipitation like nowadays. Boy, isn't it crazy how much that has changed?! It's said this solar minimum could bring it back, getting out of this solar maximum we've had. I like snow and cold weather so I'd like that, but that's a potentially hazardous event for most of the US, especially these parts. People just aren't prepared for it. It would cause a lot of problems. Just thoughts I've had.

  • Lynn Dollar
    6 years ago

    Jacob, where did your Grandma live ? I'm 66 yo and don't remember anything like that in central Oklahoma. And during the 1930's, there was no snow in most of Oklahoma, cuz of drought, more severe than we have now.


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    I was just chuckling, Jacob, thinking that your grandma is probably my age or younger! Wow, does that put things in perspective. She's in Missouri, right?

  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Central southern Missouri is where she lives. She's turning 76 this year. Maybe it was more localized events? Interesting. She's said her parents made mention of the 30's being like that Icdollar. The dust bowl! It does seem central OK is a good 10 degrees warmer than here most of the time nowadays. I wonder if it was like that then as well, maybe playing a role?

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    She's not MUCH older than I am. I grew up and lived in Wyoming my first 38 years, so experience there was hardly relative to here. (We had drifts much higher than my head many times, plowing 1 1/2 miles out to the highway.)

  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago

    Nancy, those Wyoming prairie winters I've read about are rough. The blizzards are absolutely crazy. I like snow and cold, and I've said that before, but I wouldn't like that much!!

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    Actually, bet you'd LOVE it, Jacob. No people in places for miles and miles. . . sparkling diamond snow untouched for acres. . . against a brilliant big deep cobalt blue sky on a clear day. . . mountains minutes from town where I lived.

  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago

    You sound like a poet, a rather convincing poet actually :-)

  • baabaamilker
    6 years ago

    I'm looking at my forecast this morning in anticipation of being able to plant this week. Lo and behold I spot two over night lows in the 30s coming up. So I'm thinking of getting some row cover. I think this may have been a discussion somewhere on here not too long ago but I'm too lazy to go back through and find it. What is recommended for weight of the fabric when used in temporary situations?

    What do you all use to hold yours down in this wind?

  • jacoblockcuff (z5b/6a CNTRL Missouri
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Rocks, logs, anything heavy! Drape it over top your frame and line it with rocks and logs.

    If it's a cool weather crop sometimes I just lay the cover directly on top of them. Of course, if it got way colder, this may not be a fantastic idea.

    28 here last night. I'm sure everything is fine though. I didn't cover anything but some newly emerging potatoes!! My grandpa has some very nice asparagus plants growing in their front yard, and next time we're up he's going to divide some and give me some crowns. That will be great. He also has rhubarb growing in full sun! I've seen many other doing that around here as well, so I'm honestly pretty sure it wasn't full sun that killed mine. I think it was due to putting it down in the lower part of our garden, where it is dug out to drop down on all sides, making it inside of a bit. The pathways are gravel. I always notice that heat really settles in this area and makes it a good 10-15 degrees warmer than anywhere else. I think it was too much for my rhubarb, so I'm going to try and place it in full sun up top, but I'm going to plant it in the autumn instead so that it can get acclimated before the heat comes on next year. Hopefully that'll work.

  • Lynn Dollar
    6 years ago

    baabaamilker , All 15 of my tomatoes made it through the night with 5 gallon buckets, paver stone on top to keep from blowing away. My temp gauge in garden , at ground level, got down to 28.6 * . I bought some Agribon 19, but could not figure a way to use it in these high winds.


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    Laughed at that Denise. My cover was held down by a half bag potting soil, a closed container of compost scraps, the fireplace ashes bucket (sans ashes), and a bucket full of handheld gardening tools. I still have to get some rhubarb. Thx for the reminder, Jacob.

  • jlhart76
    6 years ago

    I got out yesterday and turned the compost bin, then spread what was ready on the front bed. Then trimmed back my sage and decided to try rooting some of the cuttings. Does sage root like that? Oh well, it was an empty pot so I'm not out anything. And if it takes, I'll have lots to share.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    6 years ago

    I know it will root from young shoots. I tried rooting some rosemary from shoots that weren't "young," but they were green. . . it didn't work. I hope your sage will. Did you see Dawn's new thread, Jen?

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Denise, I'd get the kind of row cover that gives 6-8 degrees of cold protection. Something heavier probably isn't needed this late in the season, but something lighter might not be enough, especially if your temperature happens to drop down lower than forecast, as mine often does. I use anything and everything heavy to hold it down (rocks, bricks, heavy lumber, heavy metal fence posts, etc.), but also use metal U-shaped landscape fabric pins to hold the fabric down tightly to the ground to hold in the heat. On really windy days, I use zip-ties to attach the heavier fabrics (the ones I have that give 8 degrees and 10 degrees of protection) to the low tunnel hoops because really strong wind can pull the fabric out from under the weights and can pull the landscape fabric pins right out of the ground.

    lcdollar, With Agribon-19, it is fairly lightweight and probably would have ripped in these winds, but I have used it on some fairly windy days and when I did, I just used anything heavy I could find (I hoard rocks, bricks, lumber and fence posts for this purpose---even pieces of rebar can work if it is only moderately windy) to hold it down. Since the Agribon-19 is light enough to float on top of the plants without hoops, it seems easier to hold it in place than the heavier fabrics that have to be placed atop hoops. I've even used cans of dog food or 20-oz bottles of water to hold down row covers in a pinch.

    Jen, Sage generally does root well from cuttings. Just keep the soil moist and it ought to work just fine.

    Dawn

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