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February 2019, Week 4.....Here Comes March!

Somehow we've almost made it through the slowest, most boring month of the year. I don't understand how a month with only 28 days in it can drag on forever but February 2019 certainly has. I'm relieved we've made it almost to the end of the month and will be welcoming March by this coming weekend. When I think of February 2019, I'll remember it for the constant gray clouds, drizzle, rain, cold, mud, cold, rain, mud, cold, gray clouds, fog, etc. This seems like the foggiest month we've had in ages.

The sun is shining today. Yay. It still is cold but at least we have sunshine and blue skies instead of another gray, drizzly, foggy, cold day.

We are expecting sunshine at least today and tomorrow, and then it looks like the weather will revert back to gray, cloudy, drizzly, etc. I'm longing got a little warmth.

My plan for this week involves carrying the tomato plants outside for maybe an hour a day for a few days, just to get them some real sunshine.. I hope to have them in the greenhouse to stay by mid-March. We'll see, because I don't like running a heater out there, so the nights would need to be staying warm enough inside the greenhouse to keep them happy. Usually by mid-March in an average year, the greenhouse is staying above freezing at night even if the outdoor temperature still is dropping below freezing.

If yesterday was a taste of what we can expect from March winds, then I'm not ready for that either, but we'll get what we get. March usually roars in like a lion here and cranks up fire danger. We could live without that---it has been a nice winter fire season so far and I'd hate for the wind to start ruining that for us.

The rosemary is deliriously happy and is blooming its head off in the garden, so at least something in the garden looks happy. Everything else just looks tired of winter, and I understand how those plants feel. I'm tired of winter too.

I might look at plants in the local stores today to see what they have. I've been too busy to even think about that the last couple of weeks. The kids/grandkids are now completely moved out of their rental and they and all their stuff are here. I know they feel discombobulated by the changes, but close on the new house this week and they plan to start painting it on the days they aren't working, so I really don't think they'll be here for more than 2 or 3 weeks. It depends on how long it takes to get the painting done while also working and living their normal lives too. I love having them here. So far, we've all been so busy running in opposite directions that we're all together, really, only for dinner and then the rest of the evening. It is nice to spend that time together.

I might plant brassicas and greens in the ground this week. I still haven't ordered onions yet. I wonder if they sell onions that can swim through mud? Swamp onions? I may just cancel most of my onion planting plans and grab one bundle of whatever I find in the local stores and call it good. I really think it isn't going to be a good onion year in our garden because of the perepetually wet soil. Our soil remains 100% saturated with any new rain that falls just sitting in puddles on the surface of the ground, so it seems foolish to invest too much time or money in root crops at this point. This isn't how I want it to be, but we have to work with the weather we've got.....

What's everybody up to this week? I hope the sun is shining everywhere today. We deserve some sunshine.


Comments (50)

  • 5 years ago

    Well, we (maybe) have a new dog and the phrase "what have I gotten us into," keeps running through my head. In December, my friend's uncle brought her a mutt, she didn't know much about it but we suspect he knew someone whose dog was mysteriously impregnated. He said her kids needed a dog. SMH. Who decides that for someone else? She said then that she didn't think she could handle it and would get rid of it, and DH and I agreed that if she decided not to keep her that we'd take the dog. Well, fast forward 2 months and I got a text Thursday afternoon... "Would you really take the dog?" Yesterday, I brought the dog home to see how she does with Jack and how Jack does with her, so far it's rocky at best. Jack just turned 2 so it's been a little while since we dealt with the 3 mo old puppy challenges. When we got Jack, Ben wasn't working so he also had round-the-clock training. With my mom staying with us right now the new dog will have close to that, but not quite. Jack is not excited to have another dog in his space and has nipped at her a few times. But then they'll get to running and playing in the backyard and I'll think, "Awww, they're gonna be friends," and no sooner than I think that does Jack decide he's done and get nippy. I'm also afraid she might be a plant puller. She was walking by a container with a dried stem of last year's plant sticking maybe an inch out of the soil. Without giving away what she was about to do, she walked by, grabbed it and yanked it. No warning, but there it and the roots went. <Facepalm> What have I gotten us into? We agreed to keep her for a couple weeks to see how it goes, but if Jack doesn't warm up to her soon we won't be able to keep her anyway.

    I'm continuing to work on plans for a rain garden. This morning I was streaming some gardening programs and Keegan pipes up that she wants hidden retreat within a garden. There won't be much room but in the back corner of the rain garden I can give her enough space for a chair and footstool where she can read a book, which is all she wants. That does help me make some plant decisions though. I know I'll need to plant some tall grasses to create the privacy wall. I'll probably also have to lean on some sort of screening to create as much privacy as she's after, because it's part shade.

    Indoors, I have lettuce, kale, snow peas and the early varieties of tomatoes sprouted. I'm excited just like the rest of you with sprouts! I still need to start tomatillos and some flowers, but I have housework, meal planning and grocery shopping (okay, ordering) to get done first.

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    Jennifer, It is crazy what the wind can do! I hate our windy March weather and always look forward to the calmer weather of April. Let's hope that we get calmer weather in April this year. Jen, There's a dog like that in every crowd, isn't there! I am laughing so hard, and I bet the doggy parents were too. We have had an occasional mud-loving dog too. Larry, I've lost my light shelf in the garage before, so it can be done. Luckily it was just behind and underneath a lot of junk and I dug it out. I hope you can find yours and don't have to build a new one. Nancy, I find zone 7 a bit harder than zone 8 even though we only moved 80 miles is the way the cold nights just keep coming back after a relatively long period of warmer nights. I can look at our temperatures for this week and feel like I could put tomato plants in the ground by the end of the week, and it might work, but then April could arrive and bring back cold nights like it did last year. 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Their house was redone in the 2005-06 time frame, and I'm not sure what all that involved but suspect it did involved total modernization that include putting up new drywall everywhere, which wouldn't have been easy in a house with 11' ceilings. I know it included a kitchen remodel with a sincere attempt to keep the old charm (successfully too) and new double-paned custom windows in the old Victorian style (very tall windows---about 7'-8' tall and thinner than modern day windows), and this probably also is when the central HVAC system was installed. However, there remains a huge attic fan that I cannot even describe (I'll try to on some boring rainy day) that likely dates back to the early days. While most of the house somewhat makes sense, the closet in the master bedroom has been a odd looking thing all along that I had believed was not always a closet. It does have drywall but had carpet whereas the rest of the house had hardwood except for tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. It also has an oddly-placed strip of border type wallpaper at about chair-rail height but nothing but painted drywall above and below, and the stupid border was a MLB one. In a closet. A closet with a mini-closet built in at the north end. So, with questions about the weird closet (honestly, big enough to have been nursery or a toddler's bedroom) in his mind, Chris went exploring. He pulled up the carpet intending to buy and lay hardwood if he could find a close match to the color of their existing flooring. Instead, he found the home's original hardwood from 1932, albeit covered in what looks like a gray paint. It sands off easily though, so he's going to restore the closet floors. I'm guessing that closet is maybe 5' wide and 12 to 14' long. Intrigued by the hardwood, he began peeling off the wallpaper border, but only drywall was beneath it. 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In the north wall of that tiny closet, a large section of shiplap didn't match the other shiplap exactly and had been pieced in to fill what probably was an exterior window back in the day. that they have found the hidden history of that room buried there in the closet, they want to take down the rest of the drywall in the closet, stain it a walnut color, refinish the floors, turn 1/3 of it into a nice, neat closet for them with built-in shelving and clothing racks (they are minimalists and don't hang on to huge amounts of clothing that they don't wear....) and then turn the other half of the closet into a nice little office type nook with a desk and space for a computer and all that. I think this project will only take a week or so extra, but you know I'm laughing....because now they're already talking about 'someday' doing something in the other rooms, maybe exposing the beadboard ceilings or something. Oh, and the closet always had very old, very nice trim around the interior of the closet door, but it was flush with the now we know why....they added the drywall and cut it to fit around the old, existing trim around the door. We had puzzled over why there was trim around the door on the interior of the closet. This is like being a house detective--figuring out what was done and when and how and why. That sort of project to uncover more of their home's hidden history will have to wait though because they don't intend to do it before they move in. The longer they work on the house, the more they fall in love with with its history. They had intended to remove and replace an old side door that leads out to the driveway at the back of the house, but when they discovered it was the original front door with the original hardware and huge, thick locks, they decided to keep it. It also has one of those old crystal doorknobs. 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They wanted to know if they have enough sunshine to grow bermuda grass there, and I think they do, so we discussed the timing of planting it, seed vs. sod, etc. They have liriope on either side of their front walkway, a couple of sweetgum trees in the front yard, and maybe one in the back (but lots of shade from trees on adjacent properties), and one rose bush, so the yard does need some work and some shrubs planted and such. The ten year old spent much of her day raking up tons of autumn leaves, and I intend to go up there today and bring home those leaves for my compost pile if Tim and I finish up all our outdoor projects on time to do so today. Now, I need to go start the new week's garden talk..... Dawn
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  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Honestly, Dawn, you must be an entire month ahead of us! And with seeds, I'm just getting ready to plant peppers and tomatoes this week. Any seedlings I've begun are still in their original little cups. Maybe I will be potting up a few this week. Out of the 3 dozen or so jonquils around the yard, exactly TWO are blooming a bit. All the garlic is up about 3" high. The first shrub to burst into bloom, the bridal wreath spirea and the other spirea (Jen? You brought that for me, didn't you, or was it Lisa. Think it was you.) are just thinking about getting ready to put out leaves. Daylilies are up a couple inches; even the iris are slow. Ho hum. However! Since we don't have clay soil, but fast-draining soil, I should be able to get onions in on Tuesday.

    And I will be starting a bunch more seeds in the next two weeks, also. I was hoping not to be doing any winter sowing but need to resort to that after all. Which is fine, it'll be fun.

    Our pet tale for today is that Jerry, the most curious cat, and the one who has never seen an open door he didn't like. . . I was getting dressed this morning about 7. Tiny and he were both being naughty, and I had to kick Jerry out of our closet. He disappeared. I walked into the kitchen and GDW had the pantry door open and the light in there on. I looked at him, puzzled. Seems Jerry went to the kitchen since he got in trouble with me, and he thought, "Yay, the pantry door is open." And before Garry spotted him, he dashed in. Well, there is a small hole in the drywall between there and the bathroom; GDW puts a little heat lamp bulb in there to keep water lines from freezing in the winter. He hadn't gotten around to removing it yet, and Jerry jumped into the hole. But he got tangled up in the cord, and GDW reached down to get him. He couldn't get him PULLED out, so had to push him further in to get him untangled. Garry said Jerry was freaking OUT so as soon as Garry got him untangled, he went further back in that opening and wouldn't come out. So we shut the door and left for church. (Didn't want to leave it open and have two more cats in there.) When we got home at 1 pm after church and after a big of shopping, Jerry still wasn't out. So I put the other two cats outside, then opened a can of tuna and left a plate of it in the pantry, left the door open and light on. Finally just 45 minutes ago, Jerry came in and jumped up next to the computer, licking his chops. I told Garry he'd come out; Garry had been SO worried. He figured he'd hurt J when he pushed him back in and untangled him. He was worried, first, that he'd really hurt the cat, and second he felt SO bad, because Jerry is kind of Garry's best buddy cat. He was SO happy I'd thought to do that. Stupid cat. :)

    I have actually had fun experimenting with planting seeds. This latest batch I planted were all soaked for about 14 hours. I found that ones I soaked first from the previous batch seemed to germinate pretty quickly. So soaked about 5 different ones that previously seemed to take a long time to germinate, or had a very small percentage of germination.

    AND yes, Dawn, am stratifying a whole new round of stuff in the fridge--IN coffee filters. Except! I'm damp cold stratifying some verbena in potting mix, with the baggies standing up and the potting mix in the bottom of the baggies. Have you all stratified things that way? I think it is all so much fun, and so fascinating!

    Okay. . . back I go, Round 2 today. WS.

  • 5 years ago

    Y’all...there are tiny little buds on the pecan trees...

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Cow! The wind yesterday! We have a power pole that has an OG&E light which comes on at dark. It was swaying. The chicken yard gate kept opening (and chicken's getting out). We attached the gate to that wooden power pole when we built this temporary yard...and the pole was swaying so much that it caused the gate to open. The chickens had to go into their pen once we figured that out.

    Today. TODAY. What a nice treat. We all needed a day like today. And, although I had to work and had an event tonight, I was able to walk the dogs and spend a glorious hour in the garden. The area where I'll plant the peas is now weeded and ready.

    Things of note: I killed one of those yellow bugs that look like ladybugs.

    The rhubarb is emerging. All sorts of things like daylilies and other bulbs are coming up.

    It would be nice to have the week off. Might as well not dwell on that though. It's not going to happen. I did talk to Tom about a few projects that I want to be at the top of our list. And I think he was actually listening. One of them is the hinged hoop. I so so SO want this to be done NOW. If I knew how to use power tools, I could do it myself. I really need to learn this skill. I know I can have lettuce and other greens all winter if we do this right.

    Y'all know this. It's strange to buy vegetables after the first fall freeze. It's an out-of-sorts feeling. When you're so used to running to the garden for veggies and herbs and then can't...well, it takes awhile to get back into the groove of purchasing these things.

    I'll do a Garden Monday post at some point tomorrow. The first lettuce has now joined the other greens in sprouting. It's the salad bowl variety. Also, the kale is up. And the coleus. Next weekend I'll start pepper seeds and then the weekend after, tomatoes.

    The sprouts all got to go outdoors for a couple of hours in dappled sun. They are still very small. No true leaves yet...just tiny babies.

    I'm going to order my onions tonight. We haven't had as much rain as some places, so the garden is not wet. It's just that nice level of moisture. The onions are going back to their original spot. Last year, the tomatoes were in that location. It's one of the first areas I started amending. It's barely above ground level--maybe not at all---but it's been "worked" since 2015. I just realized that this is actually the 5th year I've done onions. But the first year was 2015 (and the onions were purchased from a local store) and we all remember the rain and flooding of that year. They bulbed up, but were small. I was thinking back to 2015...we still had snow on the ground the week before spring break. It wasn't a big snow, but it was snow. The ground was so wet and I planted those suckers in the mud. My soil is in much better shape 5 (or is it 4) years later. Oh my goodness! How is it 5 years later?! I remember staying with my Mom for a month while we were waiting to close on this property in 2014! It was SUCH a fun time. So full of hope. So busy. It was a dream come true and I didn't even care that the house was a dump...and still don't care that it's so small and half of it is still a dump. I mean, I care, but not really. Eventually the second half will be "done".

    In other news, my lovely 3rd bedroom retreat is coming along. New curtains and curtain rod. Also, purchased a yoga mat for the room.

    Tomorrow, I'll pull the sprouted greens out of the tray and maybe start the peas. Or maybe I'll wait until after this weekend. Or next weekend? The one coming up. It shows to be cold and yucky again.

    Anyway...hope everyone enjoyed the day. I enjoyed reading your posts.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you all for breaking me in gently. Now we got dadgummed nut sedge. Sigh, where will it ever end. You just introduce me to Bermuda. Then voles. Now nut sedge. So so so so thanking God for making me a Pollyanna. Otherwise, I might get really depressed.

    By the way, Jennifer, I just laughed so hard at your exclamation, "Cow!" I got it!!! LOLOL

  • 5 years ago

    Got some cleanup done, more seeds planted outside, and potted up several of my tomato seedlings that I foolishly started too early. They're somewhat leggy so I need to figure out a way to get more light in the closet. And hardening things off...I cant just put them in the mini greenhouse like I normally do. One the cover for it is trashed and two the puppies will decide to "help" plant everything again.

    I know it's early but I planted some radish, carrots and peas. I don't really care if the peas produce, I need the green compost more than anything. All winter I've been burying coffee grounds and vegetable scraps in holes out in the new bed, and I noticed that half of it is really nice organic soil. The other half is still pretty dense clay, so I need to fo us more on that half of the bed. But it's amazing how much it's improved since last July.

  • 5 years ago

    Nut sedge is food. Under the grassy part is a tuber when dried is sold as the very expensive tigernut. A 1# bag of tigernut flour is $17.

  • 5 years ago

    Nut sedge may be food, Kim, but I have dug it up like mad to clear it from the garden and it would take $7000 worth of digging at minimum wage to come up with 1 pound of those darned nutlets, so it hardly is worth dealing with as a crop. Maybe it would be different in sandier soil. To make sure I got rid of it all, those nutlets along with the rhizomes and nut sedge plants all went into a black trash bag and were hauled to the dump with the household garbage. If I ever get to the point that I have to eat nut sedge tubers, I think I'd rather starve. I hate even the thought of eating it no matter who else might want to pay $17 a pound for the privilege of making anything from tigernut flour.

    Jen, I don't think it ever is totally foolish to start tomato seeds early. What if the weather changes on a dime and suddenly we are having 60 degree days, 40 degree nights and the soil temperatures are warming up quickly? Voila! You'll have early tomato plants you can put in the ground. I think it could happen because this is Oklahoma, of course, and our weather is crazy.

    Because the cold keeps hanging on, my tomato seedlings are doing their best to outgrow the light shelf weeks earlier than they usually do. I'll give them an A for effort. So, starting today, they are going out for their first hour of sunlight. I hope to carry them out every day so they can grow in the sun and be happy after I harden them off because they are increasingly unhappy indoors. I don't feel ready to let them graduate to the greenhouse yet, but the time is coming when I will do just that.

    Soil improvement is an amazing thing to behold. I remember how much improvement we'd see in a wetter year, and then we'd have a drought year, the heat would eat up all the compost and humus that we had in the soil, and it would feel like we were back at square one....sort of a one step forward, two steps back sort of thing. The years 2003, 2005 and 2006 were really tough years when it felt like the soil was going backwards in drought, but after that, it just steadily got better....and then, of course, by the time 2011 rolled around, the soil was improved enough that while the drought slaughtered plants, it didn't hurt the soil as much as drought had in the earlier years. Partly that could have been because we were switching some beds to no-till gardening by then so the humus levels in the soil were protected more.

    Nancy, We have quite a few sedges on our property and they have their the woodland where they are a lovely ground cover or on the edges of a pond, for example, but they aren't tolerated in the garden. I'm not surprised you have nut sedge---it is widespread here, and even for someone who doesn't have any currently on their property, all it takes is one load of compost or soil infested with seeds or the tiny tubers called nutlets and then they'll have nut sedge too. We had it in Fort Worth in our back yard in black clay and that was before Image was developed as a method of dealing with it chemically. By the time we were living here, Image was being recommended by Neil Sperry, and then a few years later, Sedgehammer was introduced to the market. Those products cannot be used in vegetable gardens or even in/near ornamental beds where a person grows annual bedding plants, but they work well in lawn areas. I do think most people have to apply them multiple times because nut sedge is so persistent. Since nut sedge spreads via rhizome, nutlet (tuber) and seed, it can be incredibly hard to remove it from a lawn or a garden, but if you don't get rid of it, it just keeps multiplying. When I hand-dug it from own back yard in Fort Worth, it looked like our St. Augustine lawn grass had pretty much disappeared because so much of it was nut sedge, but then the St. Augustine filled in nicely again once all the nut sedge was gone.

    We face so many challenges with gardening here, but I guarantee you that once a person learns how to garden here, they can garden anywhere in the world.

    Jennifer, It was the same here with the wind----50 mile per hour gusts are nothing to mess with, are they? I kept wondering what would snap first---a power line? a power pole? Trees? All we ended up with was a bunch of deadfall under the pecan tree and a couple of oaks, and I honestly had expected it to be worse, so I was relieved. Ill just gather up all the deadfall limbs today and add them to a hugelkultur bed I'm working on.

    It sounds like you are making a lot of progress with your many projects and today should be another day to get a lot done, right? I hope your weather is going to be as nice as ours today.

    Sunday was gorgeous but I spent it with the grandkids and never got near the garden. Today every other person is someplace else---so I have the house all to myself and will enjoy the day, spending as much of it outdoors as possible once the temperatures warm up a bit. Yesterday we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs outdoors, which the four year old particularly adored because it reminded her of the fourth of July (and she asked us if we could shoot off fireworks after dinner, as if we mysteriously have a secret stash of them here for any occasion, lol). We ate out-of-season watermelon purchased at Walmart and pretended it was summertime again. We blew bubbles. We popped bubbles. We got out the sidewalk chalk and created artistic masterpieces. It was a fun day out in the sunshine and warmth. While our high temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than on Saturday, it felt so much better because there was very low wind. Of course, I was longing to be out in the garden doing things, but a sunny February day spent with the grandkids is just as precious as a sunny February day spent in the garden and I knew that with this week's weather, I could have both.

    I kill those yellowish multicolored Asian lady beetles every chance I get. While they will eat garden pests, I don't like the way they flock indoors to overwinter and I don't like knowing that they are competing with our native lady bugs. It blows my mind to think they were introduced to this country on purpose by the USDA because they would prey on some crop pests. Why weren't our native lady bugs good enough to do that job? Now that they are here, they are outcompeting native lady bugs and we'll never get rid of them all.

    Rebecca, It is the same here, especially with nut and fruit trees. Our sand plums look ready to bloom any day now and, of course, it still is too early. Our pecan trees can sit a month with little buds that don't advance much, so as long as we stay cold enough at night, they won't lose their minds and bloom too early. We did lose all the pecans in this area (perhaps in the entire state?) last year to the late frosts and freezes in April, so it seems crazy the trees are budding now, but they are...we have had the odd mix of some nice warm or even hot days and plenty of cold ones too, but apparently the warmth is enough to get the trees all wound up and trying to break dormancy.

    Nancy, I'm glad Jerry is okay and none the worse for his inside-the-wall adventure. We once had a cat climb about 60' up into a gigantic old elm tree that we knew was mostly hollow inside....and then she fell down into the hollow trunk. We were horrified. She was frantically meowing and clawing away inside the tree, and we were calling her from outside the tree. We debated whether we should try to cut down the tree with a chainsaw but figured doing so likely would kill her in the process, so just had to rely on her common sense to get her out of the tree. Finally, after a couple of hours, she climbed her way up out of the hollow trunk and then carefully climbed backwards down the exterior of the tree trunk until she was close enough for us to reach up and grab her. She was petrified and pretty much never climbed trees again after that.

    Seedling are fun indoors in winter. The hard part comes when you have to find a place for them all outdoors in the ground. For the first 8 or 10 years that we lived here, I grew far too many flower seedlings indoors just because I could. I finally reined in my desire to grow everything on earth because there's only so much ground suitable for planting and there's only so much water available to get the plantings through the long, hot, dry summers here. Nowadays, I stick mostly to plants that reseed themselves and that has simplified life so much.

    Kim, I agree about the hidden retreat. You know that if I had one here, I'd be sitting there and would look up to see a copperhead or timber rattler staring back at me.

    Megan, Good luck with the new dog. Maybe after a few more days together, Jack will decide that having a younger dog around is fun and they'll get along better. Often when an older dog is snapping at a younger dog, it is that older dog's way of teaching the younger one what behavior is or isn't tolerated.

    I bet you will have a lot of fun creating a small hidden retreat for your daughter.

    On sunny days when the seedlings and I both are happy, it feels like Spring finally is arriving, and then I look at the forecast and see more wintery temperatures and unpleasantly cold weather a few days out and I wonder when the weather ever is going to settle down this year.

    When everyone is at home, I'm so focused on what we are doing together that thoughts of gardening fly right out of my head. I went to the store yesterday and didn't even look at the plants or seeds or anything because I had the younger grandchild with me and that makes grocery shopping challenging enough as it is. So, a quiet day here alone today should give me a chance to get a few things done before everyone arrives home around dinner time. I might dig down into the soil in the area where I'm planning to plant potatoes to see how wet that soil is down at planting level. I am so far behind compared to most years, but it is smarter to wait out the weather than to just go ahead and plant in ground that is too cold and too wet. El Nino winters and springs are hard....and while we haven't had a strong El Nino in a while, we are dealing with a so-called weak one now. I know they only declared El Nino this month, but our constant rainfall since September was very El Nino-like all along, so I felt like we were having an El Nino even in our government's weather agencies didn't agree. Now I look at all the flooding and upcoming flooding across the country and feel vindicated----it has been an El Nino pattern even when it was not declared and we'll see that in all the flooding that is occurring in many parts of the country or that will be occurring as snow melt begins.

    One thing that amazes me is that the stores here are totally in sync with the weather and, for once, they aren't pushing warm-season plants at people in February. That is really unusual, but it is a good thing.


  • 5 years ago

    Onions are ordered and set to ship on March 3.

    So...I think I'll start the pepper seeds today instead. And the tomatoes this coming weekend. It's already March in a couple of days. I know many feel like the year is dragging, but I'm like "where has the year gone" already.

    I really should clean house today. It's basically tidy, but it's dirty--needs dusted, mopped, etc. BUT, I'm really not feeling it today. I'm "feeling" pepper seeds. You should see the face I know I'm making when I buy an organic red bell pepper.

    Dawn, I think my bug might have been a cucumber beetle. It was where the melons were planted last year.

    So glad you're enjoying having your family at home with you. :)

    Nutsedge. We probably have it, but I'm the worst at identifying weeds. Once I recognize a particular weed/plant, I'll never forget it BUT I have the hardest time using pictures to identify different types of grasses/weeds.

    Nancy, so glad Jerry is okay. Poor guy. Every time I see his name I think of Jerry Seinfeld for some reason instead of Tom and Jerry. Maybe because I often watch Seinfeld in the middle of the night during one the many wake-ups. The episode with "Little Jerry". LOL Only he was a rooster, not a cat. Why does that series make me laugh so much?!

    Anyway, you know how some cats are enchanted by catnip and some aren't? I've never had a cat that loved catnip until now. Juno is crazy for the stuff.

    It's so windy. It might prevent a fun outdoor type of day.

  • 5 years ago

    Jennifer, I do sometimes see cucumber beetles out this early. When I do, I sow some cucumber seeds indoors inside in a small clay flower pot (because they'll sprout super quickly in the indoor warm air), and then as soon as they have opened their first true leaf, I move them outside to the garden. I use a clay pot because it is heavy enough that the March wind usually won't blow it over. I set a bottle of Safer's Insecticidal Soap nearby. The cucumber beetles will flock to those small cucumber seedlings (which are being used as sacrificial lambs) and, when I see them, I spray them with the insecticidal soap and kill them. Sometimes, I can go through 3 or 4 rounds of early, sacrificial cucumber seedlings in flower pots, killing dozens of cucumber beetles that way. Doing this helps you kill as many of the first generation of cucumber beetles (they overwinter underground) as you can, and that often means your first cucumber planting in the ground has a chance to get well-established before another generation of cucumber beetles hatches. There have been some years when I have been pulling weeds out of a raised bed, and I see small cucumber beetles in the root/soil that comes up with the weeds.....that is even a better way to control them because I am killing them before they emerge and start flying.

    Today is your day, so do what your heart and soul are yearning to do. As far as I am concerned, it is my job to feed my soul....and cleaning house does not feed my soul the way that gardening does. So, most days, I feed my soul and let the dust bunnies accumulate and breed indoors while I am outdoors exulting in the glorious weather. There's always going to be another day to do housework, but seeds must be started and gardens must be tended whenever your soul insists that you must do it. My soul NEVER insists that I must be cleaning house, so if I am indoors cleaning, it is because my practical brain side won out over my gardening soul least temporarily. Yesterday, I was yearning for one quiet hour to get the floors swept and mopped, but it didn't happen. People and cars and dogs and cats were coming and going like our home was Grand Central Station. Today I have that quiet, so I will take care of the floors and get some laundry done, and then go outside for the whole afternoon.

    The dogs are outdoors in the dog yard barking and I smell a skunk. (sigh) This is not a good combination of I went out and brought the dogs in just now, and they themselves were not skunked, but the smell is thick in the air. Any skunk out this time of day is likely to be rabid, so I hope it has moved on elsewhere.

    I pulled some weeds in the garden earlier, but then came indoors in order to sweep and mop floors and get some laundry done while the house is empty and quiet. It isn't horribly windy here, but the wind does make it feel pretty chilly out there.

    The tomato plants are outside sitting on a white folding table, soaking up their first hour of real sunshine. I wish I could leave them out longer, but we all know that I cannot. I did set up the table close to the house so the house would block the wind. They are getting some wind exposure, but it is only minimal. If I can give them an hour of sun today, and then increase the amount 1 hour per day on all subsequent days, both the tomato plants and I will be very happy about that. I am not really trying to harden them off this early, just trying to get them some real sunlight. Looking at the forecast, no matter what I do with them, it is unlikely they'll be outside next Tuesday or Wednesday when Old Man Winter comes storming back in to throw his weight around. I think he is bringing Mr. Freeze with him and Mr. Freeze might keep some parts of OK below freezing all day long. Well, the oven timer went off, so I went outside and brought in the tomato plants as their hour outdoors had flown by. They looked pretty happy but a little wind-beaten. Tomorrow they'll get two hours of sun and wind and will be happy to have it. When the timer first went off, I asked myself what in the world I had put in the oven.....then I remembered I had set the timer to remind me to bring in the tomato plants.

    I posted today's OK Mesonet Ticker on its own thread because a couple of the graphics show scary weather for gardeners. If you aren't familiar with The Ticker, they usually publish maybe 2 to 4 tickers per week and it is like a newsletter with humor thrown in. Sometimes it is looking ahead to the coming weather, and sometimes it is a summary of the previous week or month or season.....just lots of weather and climate stuff that affects us all. I am not liking the looks of next Tuesday at all, and y'all know that if we are going to be very cold down here in the south part of the state, then the rest of you certainly will be even colder. Is it Spring yet? Today's sunshine, chirping birds, blooming daffodils and dandelions say yes it is, but next week's forecast says no it isn't. Remember---this cold should not be a surprise to any of us because Lee warned us it was coming.


  • 5 years ago

    Well, I accidentally closed the page and lost my post.

    I bought some red onions at Atwoods this weekend. (Ron decided no potatoes this year.) I thought about putting some of the onions in the ground today, but I'm vacillating because of the coming cold. The onions are dry and sorry looking. What can I do to keep them for another week? Damp sand? Darkness?

    Ron built me a table to start lettuce and other things in yesterday. It is a pallet, a long one, 4x8(?), one side was missing it's planks. It nicely fits my buss tubs and cat litter pans. It is waist high. I could put deeper tubs under it for shelter if need be and cover the whole thing. Or, I could use the clear deep tubs on it, too. It still is not tall enough to keep the dog out. I may have to fence it.

    Wednesday, Aldi's has a small plastic green house for $40. I would like bigger, but I can harden off seedlings.

    Yes, I ordered more seeds today. I had it all planned out and the peas I wanted were out of stock. WTH. I ordered from Baker Creek to avoid shipping charges, but didn't get the main thing I wanted.

    Somehow this has become the year of the basil. Different colors, different flavors. Should be fun.

    My Almost Eden order shipped today. I hope it comes before the cold. It is a hoya and a Miss Huff lantana. We'll see.

    I read some interesting things about skunks yesterday. Regarding their spray "Skunks are reluctant to use this weapon, as they carry just enough of the chemical for five or six uses – about 15 cc – and require some ten days to produce another supply." They also are honey bee predators, which never occurred to me.

    Dawn worries about snakes in a "hideaway", I would worry about chiggers. Chiggers and wasps. Sigh.

    My son had to put his dog to sleep late last night. We are all broken hearted, he was a very sweet dog who lived with us for a while.

    Bartlesville tomorrow.

    Ron has surgery to replace his defibrillator a week from tomorrow. Should be outpatient surgery, but will take most of the day.

    Y'all have a good week.

  • 5 years ago

    Amy, I'd hold the onions in a cool, dark location, preferably one which doesn't have large humidity swings. Generally I just put the onions in the back, dark corner of the pantry.

    I think that small greenhouse could work as long as it is tied down, staked down or weighted down somehow to keep it from blowing away in the wind. Sam's Club had one in the store for around $90 or $100 this weekend that is slightly larger, though I don't think it is large enough to be worth that much more than the one you're showing. I didn't go over and look at it, but from walking by I'd say it probably is 5' x 5'.

    Ordering seeds always is a pleasant diversion at this time of the year. Now, if only the weather will get to where we can sow seeds outdoors.

    My experience with skunks is that they spray when scared....if one is outside and our dogs smell it or hear it, they'll bark from inside the house and we'll immediately smell that horrible aroma. Why the heck is a skunk spraying at dogs barking indoors? I've wondered if the skunks feel more threatened because they're hearing an animal they cannot see.

    We usually are too dry to have many chiggers, except for a brief period of time in May/June when the humidity is pretty high and rain is falling regularly. Wasps? They are everywhere, along with mud daubers. I hate them all.

    I am so sorry about your son's furbaby. It is so devastating to everyone to lose a beloved animal companion. Sending hugs to all of you. I hope your son, and all the rest of you too, take comfort in the fact that he obviously made the decision that was in the best interest of his dog even though it is a very hard thing to do. We really and truly do have to love them enough to let them go when it is time to do so, and it is such a kindness and a sign of great strength to be able to do do.

    I hope your dad is doing well, and that Ron's surgery later in the week goes well.

    Have a good week too!

    Today I didn't accomplish much outdoors except for some weeding, but I did have time to observe what's going on out there. I was not especially happy to notice that the first peach tree suddenly is bursting into bloom. It is an Early Elberta and was a small rescue tree bought at Wal-Mart. It had a broken trunk and looked so sad and we spent a whopping $3 to save it several years ago. It is a good producer, but it won't be producing anything this year because it is blooming too early. We have a lot of trees of all kinds flowering and pollinating now (sigh) but my allergies told me that even before I even stepped foot outdoors.

    There's tons less goldfinches at the feeders today. I believe most of them have begun their journey north---they must not have been watching the forecast or I think they would have stuck around here for another week.

    Tons of honey bees were out working all the wildflowers today---mostly Spring Beauties, bluets, henbit and chickweed. Our mid-season daffodils have been blooming for a couple of weeks and now the late-season daffodils are blooming. Apparently these flowers have forgotten they are mid- and late- season types and are just going for it right now. They'll probably be fine since snow or ice rarely hurt them, and I'm not sure we'll get either snow or ice this far south. It is not surprising the daffodils are blooming as they are blooming all over Cooke County TX and at least our part of Love County now, and I've seen some blooming in Ardmore as well.

    Is is Spring yet?


  • 5 years ago

    Back to work tomorrow. !!! Part time for one week than full time. I hit full time next week I also move up to assistant mgr. That will help tremendously.

    After 2 1/2 weeks of the most horrible pain lack of sleep and lack of food I realized I have to get a plan for emergencies. I had 2 meals brought in by sweet friend. So thankful for them. Being single is hard with no one available to help.

    I ready to hargarden now

  • 5 years ago
    I’m a couple posts behind on my reading but I need to get to bed so I’ll catch up tmrw.

    Several of you saw on my Facebook that my uncle was in a motorcycle accident. He has 10 broken ribs! Several other injuries but will heal. I’ve been asked if he was wearing a helmet, which I assume he was because looking at the pics I’m pretty sure he would be dead if he hadn’t been. A trip to San Diego would be nice, but not for his funeral.

    Little one is running a high fever so she’ll be going to the doctor tmrw. Of course my schedule is hectic so my mom and I will tag team watching her. She doesn’t get sick often but she makes up for it by getting super sick about 2x a year.

    I saw robins in the garden this weekend. The wind might have carried them in from somewhere warmer but I’m glad to see them. We had a nest last spring but it’s not there now. :( I did some gardening this weekend while watching the dogs learning to get along in the yard. Also did some garden diagramming and seed stratifying.

    I think new dog will work out. Maybe. I hope so after what Ben spent at the vet today - dog is 3-4 mo old and had no prior vet care (sigh). She’s healthy thankfully. Anywho. Here is a pic of old dog (Jack) sleeping on Ben and new dog (previously known as Cutie - new name tbd) sleeping in Jacks favorite spot.
  • 5 years ago

    I’ve so far behind the rest of you I may never catch up! I got out seed starting mix, trays, and heating mat but have yet to plant one seed, been fighting the various sinus/headache/stomach bug grandkids brought home.

    Megan, we too had robins in the yard over the weekend. My husband said he figures they just got lost . Sure doesn’t look like Spring soon according to forecast. Anyone around Chandler should stop at the Lincoln County Farm Center and check seeds. They have a huge rack of seeds from .45 - $2.25. Good varieties and can’t match the price anywhere. They buy in bulk and package their own. I’ve purchased from them for 3 years and have never been disappointed. Keep posting- I love reading what you are accomplishing.

  • 5 years ago

    Good morning all! It’s that time when I shed my ho-hum winter mood and begin to get serious! Yes, Sunday was gorgeous as I’ve decided that any day is a gorgeous day when there is no wind!!! I pulled my asparagus fern stalks, fertilized their bed and spread compost over, it was a good feeling to be outside and start my season! I bought some veggie seeds and I had some saved from last year and I’ll be starting my peppers and tomatoes this week ( I ought to do it this morning before work, actually) they’ll be ready to go in the ground in a few weeks, I’ll start my lettuce, spinach and radishes this weekend too, probably. My garden did so well last year I have my hopes up for a repeat performance so we’ll see what nature throws my way. I haven’t been able to do much of anything the last 3 months due to a detached retina, I figured it was time for new glasses but the day after Thanksgiving I woke up and knew something was not right but due to the holiday weekend wasn’t able to see a doctor then on Monday he sent me down to OKC for surgery, what a hassle to have to go there for that procedure! It’s just me here so I had to find a ride, well that’s taken care of, what an interesting procedure, really, now I have a really bad cataract that I’ll get taken care of next month and I’ll be able to focus! Yay! I do find aging fascinating. Well, time to finish my coffee and dust off my grow lights!!! Cheers, everyone!

  • 5 years ago

    Kim, I'm glad you're recovering and soon can go back to work. I agree that a single person who lives alone needs to have some sort of plan in place for when illness strikes. Congrats on the impending promotion to Asst Mgr! I knew it wouldn't take them long to realize what a jewel of an employee you are. Does this promotion in any way affect your plans to move to the Denton area this spring?

    Megan, I was so fixated on the blood in your uncle's photo that I was worrying more about a concussion or fractured cheekbones or something and not even thinking about broken ribs. Ten broken ribs is a lot and very painful. Tim broke 4 or 5 ribs once and was hospitalized for a few days until they could be sure the ribs wouldn't move around whenever he they didn't want the ribs puncturing a lung or an internal organ. Your uncle is so fortunate to be alive---his accident could have ended so much more badly than it did. I am hoping and praying he makes a full recovery in the most speedy manner possible.

    I hope your daughter doesn't have strep throat or the flu---both have been running rampant down here since Christmas, and at least 7 regional school districts have closed down for a few days at various times to try to break the cycle of infection/re-infection and sanitize all the schools. It has been a long time since the flu has hit our area this hard. I'm hoping whatever she has will improve with some sort of medication so she's back to normal ASAP.

    We're a lot further south so take that into consideration, but Robins showed up here in January, as they do most years. I think when we see a huge number of them in January, they likely are resting here a bit before they continue migrating further north. Despite the weather, all our plants and wildlife are acting like Spring is here. They may regret this next week when we get really cold again. (Today's cold front will cool us down, but next week's cold front will freeze us.)

    Jack looks so content sitting in his dad's lap. We have two dogs (Princess and Ace) who believe life isn't worth living if they are not sitting in Tim's lap in the evening. Cutie is very bold---choosing to sleep in Jack's favorite place. On the other hand, maybe that shows Cutie already is bonding with Jack and wants to be close to him or close to his scent.

    farmgardener, Don't worry about catching up. You'll be fine. This is not the sort of Spring where we're going to be able to rush things out of the house and into the ground anyway. I suspect we'll all be sitting here with seedlings we cannot plant out because the weather simply won't cooperate. No matter what sort of nice weather we have in any given week, it seems a given that the cold weather already is on its way back to slap us down again. Today is a perfect example of that and then it will happen again next week. I enjoy the pretty, warm and sunny day or two per week that we are getting, but the price we pay is that the pretty days are instantly followed by ugly, cold, gray days, probably with various forms of precipitation.

    Haileybub, I am sorry to hear about your detached retina and glad you'll soon be getting it fixed. My mom had cataract surgery about 20 years ago and was so supremely pleased with how much her vision improved. I'm glad you got to squeeze in some time in the garden. I'm always so much happier even after a relatively brief time out in the garden.

    I find aging fascinating too! It doesn't matter what shape we think we are in as we age---time does take its toll on our bodies and on our health. I feel like I am accepting and handling it really well at this point, and Tim is less so....he prefers to live in denial and pretend he isn't aging, and the results can be hilarious. I'm not saying I like the graying hair or post-menopausal weight gain or the aches and pains of aging, but I do appreciate that I've lived long enough to experience all these things---because I've lost friends to cancer and other terrible diseases who didn't live long enough to really become 'old'. I think growing older, in an odd way, is really a privilege meant to be appreciated and savored. Part of it is, I think, that once you reach a certain age you are more focused on what really matters.

    I can see on the OK Mesonet temperature map that today's cold front already has reached many of you. It isn't here yet, but it is getting closer by the hour. I have the tomato plants outside until noon today, soaking up the sunshine (albeit mostly filtered through clouds) and a little light wind. They'll be back indoors shortly, as soon as their two-hours out has ended. I should be able to continue to get the plants ever-increasing amounts of sunlight and wind over the next few days at least. Next week? I think they'll be stuck either inside the house or the greenhouse.

    I see that NWS-Norman has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 18 or 19 counties. Bah humbug, this is no way to welcome Spring, sunshine and the robins.


  • 5 years ago

    Someone in my dog-sitting facebook group had a run in with a rabid raccoon and wound up getting bit. She was able to capture the thing until animal control got there. I can't say I'd be that dedicated to the dog I was walking, but talk about going above & beyond.

    Megan, it took our youngest boy several months to accept his little sister. I joke that she was a gift for him, like socks for christmas. You don't really want or need them, but eventually you realize they're useful to have. She entertains all the pups we have through here so he can do guard duty and keep everyone safe.

  • 5 years ago
    I was on the road when the cold front came thru, and watched the outside temp gauge drop from 34 when I left to 29 about 30 minutes later when I got where I was going. I was inside for 15 minutes and it dropped another degree in that time.

    I’ve had an eventful morning and it’s just noon. Feels like it should be bedtime. I had an alarm set every 4 hours to give keegan Tylenol and the last time was at 3:30 a.m. I could tell as I headed back to bed that it was close enough to when I normally get up (5 a.m.) that I wouldn’t get back to sleep. Then Keegan and Jack joined us in bed. While I’m happy to be helping my mom get back on her feet, last night was one of those nights I really missed having a guest bed. In the past when keegan has had a fever like this she and I would sleep in the guest bed so I could herar her breath, give her meds without having to walk across the house, etc.

    About 5:30 a.m. while I was doing my morning workout in the living room, I thought I heard ben’s phone ring but dismissed it as noise from keegans iPad. A few minutes later though, he emerges fully dressed and heading for the door. His mother had called and said - Your dad is in bad shape. Come now. Well, this is a man who barely survived a massive heart attack less than 10 years ago, has an artificial valve and congestive heart failure, so I feared it was a come see him before we call the medical examiner encrypted message from my MIL who used to be a hospice administrator and sometimes still acts like one. Thankfully it wasn’t that but he had collapsed trying to get out of bed and was too weak get himself up. Ben had to get him up and dressed before the ambulance arrived. Being roughly a city blocks distance away, of course I could hear the sirens so I snuck outside and ran to the corner to look. I’m not sure what I thought I’d see in the dark from that far away, but I needed to do it at that moment. FIL was taken to the Heart Hospital ER and I had to follow Ben who dropped their car off since they both rode in the ambulance. Thankfully when we got there they were in the room across the hall from the one where my mom’s friend died this summer. I was sweating that the whole drive over. So all that and I was still at work by 8! FIL was diagnosed with flu A - the one the shot isn’t protecting against. He was discharged home within a couple hours because they don’t want the flu in the heart hospital. I would have thought they’d transfer him to Mercy Hospital on the same campus, but they didn’t.

    I’m leaving in a few minutes to take keegan to the doctor to see if flu is what she has too.

    So for garden talk. I have lots of cute little sprouts, but I’m disappointed with my Totally Tomato’s seeds. Getting poor germination, virtually none so far. I’ll give it until this weekend and reseed if that doesn’t change. This is especially disappointing though because it includes the egg yolk cherries I was so excited to try after hearing Craig LeHoullier rave about them in Margaret Roach’s podcast.
  • 5 years ago
    Keegan was also positive for flu A. Even alternating Tylenol and ibuprofen, her fever was 103.1 at the doctor. AND poor kid got the flu shot on her own, told her dr at a checkup in December that she hadn’t had it and knew it was important. So she got it and she got the flu. I know it’s a monumental task to get the flu shot right but this is the second time in her 10 years on earth that shes been vaccinated and gotten the flu - so I’m not sure if any of us will bother next year.

    The flip side of not having the guest bed to sleep in is that I have my mom to help us tag team staying home with a sick kid for a week or more.

    I’ll stop hijacking the conversation now. Wish us luck and a speedy recovery for the sick ones.
  • 5 years ago

    I came here to check in before Pilates and see that my morning post is missing. Wonder where it went...ha. was mostly just saying that I'm sorry about your uncle to Megan...and sorry your daughter is sick (and now see that she has the flu) (and also your FIL). I stopped getting the flu shot 'cause it seems like so many people who get the shot, get the flu anyways. I rarely get the flu (knock on wood) but had it last in the fall of 2017. That's probably only the 3rd or 4th time I've had in my entire life. AND I'm around kids all the time. I tend to get those dumb sinus headaches that turn into a bad cough when I get sick. I'm not sure it's a better choice than the flu to be honest.

    Oh no! I ordered from Totally Tomatoes too! Haven't started that seed yet...except the Mucho Nacho jalapenos, but those were just started yesterday. Keep me updated on their progress, Megan.

    and I said something to farmgardener about not being too far behind me. I just started my first seed last week.

    And to Hailey, what do you fertilize your asparagus with? I've honestly never fertilized mine.

    and WOW Jen, about the rabid raccoon.

    Hitting "submit". Hoping not to lose this post too.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Wow, Megan! What a day! Now I'm nervous for you and Ben--AND your FIL, AND Keegan! (I began this post quite a while ago, but jumped ahead and saw your latest post and Jennifer's.

    A little freaked now, Megan. I ordered from Totally Tomatoes this year, too. EEKS, Going to plant this evening, as It's important to see how they'll germinate. How many days did it take for some to germinate, Megan? I'm going to plant them straight-away and will sow heavily. I'm so glad you mentioned it!

    I'm growing a bunch for a Christian day program that consists of Reading/Literacy, Sports/Recreation, and other educational activities in Wagoner. As with some other counties in OK, they cut the schools back to four days a week. Yes, it is mindblowingly frustrating and upsetting situation. However, this is a wonderful program and we're tickled to be able to help them. It's been really good for us to go to our new "jobs." LOL We worked 5 hours yesterday and almost four today. Wow. Can't handle this--we're tired! But how fun.

    I was hoping to use only my top two grow cart shelves because of the cat. (Tom and Jerry didn't bother the plants at all, but I don't trust Tiny yet!) However, I'm going to have to take a chance.

    I have to laugh at pictures you all post of dogs sitting laps. Not at all feasible or probably even possible for Titan. We had to break him of that jumping on the bed or couch thing right off the bat. Didn't take much work, really.

    Dawn, I loved what you had to say about aging. Spot on!

    I got onions in today. I'm counting on the rain not coming tomorrow. Still. I may throw a plastic tarp on top of the cinder blocks if it does. And will otherwise keep it nearby.

    Haileybub--bummed for you about the detached retina! But the cataract nonsense. I understand that's a given for all of us at a certain point as we age.

    Wow--I actually counted 11 jonquil clumps in bloom! I guess we're a tiny bit on our way.

  • 5 years ago
    HJ and Nancy - Upon closer inspection I realized it’s not all the TT seeds. I ordered seeds in mid-summer having hoped for some fall toms but didn’t get to it. Those are germinating just fine. The ones I ordered last month aren’t... 1 has sprouted out of close to 30 seeds planted. The poblano peppers I ordered from them at the same time last month are sprouting. They just started breaking the soil yesterday but it looks like they’ll germinate at close to 90% based on what I’m seeing. I started the peppers and toms along with my dwarf toms from Heritage Seed Market at the same time and all those are up. However it’s only been 8-9 days so maybe it will still happen.

    One another shelf I have some Lolla Rossa lettuce from 3 year old seeds and it’s the only other thing not germinating but I’m not gonna hold that against 3yo seeds.
  • 5 years ago

    Jen, The only sickly coons we have had up close encounters with are those with distemper back in that year when it ran rampant on the TX side of the river and obviously crossed over a bit into OK too. We killed them when we encountered them that sick because they were suffering and recover wasn't going to happen. We didn't want for them to keep spreading the distemper.....

    I have had several close encounters with rabid skunks and it is terrifying because they are so sick that they behave in a super aggressive manner. I do know that I can outrun a rabid skunk and make it into the house before it can catch me.....and I had to run maybe 100-125' with it trailing along behind. I doubt I could have maintained my speed for a quarter mile or anything like that though. I was really only worried that I wouldn't be able to get the back door open quickly enough to get indoors and shut it and then the skunk would catch me at the door, but that wasn't a problem.

    Megan, I love being out when a cold front comes in and seeing/feeling it arrive---it just fascinates me how quickly the temperatures can drop.

    I'm sorry you're having such a rough week, but also very relieved to hear that your FIL wasn't having a heart episode. Of course, the flu is nothing to take lightly either. I hope he and your daughter both recover quickly. I also hope that some time soon you can catch up on all the rest that you're missing out on right now.

    The germination issue with seeds from TT is strange as that is not normal for their seeds. Having said that, one year I had very slow and erratic (and downright poor) germination with several packets of seed I had just purchased from Victory Seeds---also not typical of their seeds. I never had trouble with their seeds again though, so I think that occasionally a seed issue just happens for whatever reason.

    I feel really bad for your daughter---there she is doing the right thing and getting the flu shot and it did not help her. Clearly this year's flu shot must not provide protection from Type A. Of course, I am wishing for a speedy recovery for all the sick ones and I also hope that those of you who currently are healthy don't catch the flu from them.

    Jennifer, I saw your morning post and read it, and now I don't see it. How odd! This has been happening a lot on GW lately as other people have mentioned it on various forums. Don't be surprised if it pops back in either because sometimes that happens.

    I never got the flu ever at all until I was in my 50s, I'd say, and now I get it almost every other year. It doesn't help that Tim, Chris and Jana all work in jobs with heavy public contact and bring home germs to do both the little ones. Tim gets a flu shot every year. I do not. We generally both get the flu, so it makes me wonder how much the flu shot is or isn't helping him.

    Nancy, It is awesome how your community, including you and GDW, have stepped up to make the kids' program happen to fill the void left by having a 4-day school week.

    My cats don't bother seedlings much. Maybe because I yell at them when they do. However, I cannot let them come into the garden while beans are sprouting because they love, love, love eating bean sprouts. They will eat every single one and they'll get right in my face and do it right in front of me as if they do not even care that they are doing something they know they shouldn't do.

    I watched the cold front drift south all day and it seems like is has stayed stalled just NW/N of us, so we're still 55 degrees even after 8 pm (our high was 66). I think we will stay pretty warm all night and only slightly cooler tomorrow than today, but then the cold front gets here sometime tomorrow and really cools us down. They keep talking about our slim chance of ice this week or snow next week and the general consensus is that we will have cold and we will have moisture, but perhaps not both at the same time so we are more likely to just have rain. I don't want rain, but if it comes, it comes. Our mud puddles are starting to dry up and I'll love to have a day with no puddles.

    The grandchildren are sleeping upstairs and the kids (don't tell my son and his girlfriend I am referring to them as kids!) are sitting here filling us in on their first day in their new house. They closed on it late this morning, and spent the rest of the day caulking and filling in nail holes and such, preparing to paint all the interior. Really the interior looks good. It just isn't painted the colors they would have chosen. They are worn out but also very excited.

    Now the blooming-too-early peach tree has been joined by blooming-too-early sand plums. We probably are not going to get any fruit this year. It isn't even the trees' fault----it is not like they spontaneously decided to just bloom early. We have had tons of chilling hours this winter, so their chilling requirements have been is as simple as that.

    I am telling y'all---all the wildlife, all the little things, all the big things, all the plants---they are acting like Spring is here, and I don't think they are right. The happy animals, birds, bees and plants are going to get slapped down hard here when next week's cold front comes through.

    If you're in the area destined to have freezing drizzle tonight, I hope it misses you all.


  • 5 years ago

    Good Morning All,

    About this weather....last week I saw a video of an OKC weatherman going thru the month of March - two days at a time looking for a "normal" or "above normal" temperature. He went thru the entire month - all the way to the 28? of March before he found a "normal" day temperature. But darn, he clicked and the next days were once again below normal temperatures. And then I picked up a Farmer's Almanac at the Coop Monday. Our area, Zone 5, shows March 24-27 says very warm, severe thunderstorms, turning colder, frosts, penetrating Louisiana coast. In April, it talks about rain, more rain and April 16-19 "very cold air from Canada plunges south." April 28-30 "severe storm brings thunder to the Plains; cold air sweeps behind, bringing near-freeze." May 1-3 "Southern Rockies dry, hot. Heat spreads east." More rain, thunderstorms, severe weather. Just keeps on and on. Maybe we should look into growing rice????

    Last year I planted 75 strawberry plants of which only three survived. I contacted the company, Stark Brothers, and they stood behind them and said they would send replacements this spring. I remembered that and emailed them asking them to hold off sending them until the end of March. Waited too late. They were already in the mail and sure enough I got them last Friday. I got the June bearing plants(50) planted Sunday and went to the Coop to get cotton seed hulls to mulch around them which I did. They only sent me a partial order of the ever-bearing variety (25) but I don't have my space ready. So I planted them five to a gallon pot to try to keep them alive until I can get outside again. I kept telling them this was just their temporary home and things would get better. I put them in my garden shed under LED lights. It's about 60* out there. Think that will work???

    My Master Gardener Committee meeting was cancelled today due to the weather. I'm registered to go with a friend to a OK Farmers Market and Agritourism Conference tomorrow in Edmond. I'm sure the roads will be clear by then but it's going to be cold. Glad I didn't sign up for the farm tours - although that would have been fun. We are supposed to have a Farmers Market starting in Crescent this Spring, but I have no intention of being a supplier. That sounds like too much work! I'm a food/fruit/flower/fruit tree growing for the fun of it and having food to eat for my family only type of gardener. I do want to try to can some this summer. WAY BACK in the 80's I bought a big pressure cooker to can green beans. It's been up in the top cabinet in the garage since then. I'll probably need to order a new gasket for it but think it should be ok. And Dawn, I'll need to pick your brain about canning pickles. I told my daughter I'd try to grow some petite pickles for sweet petite pickles. Is there a variety you would suggest?

    Ok, back to working on the taxes. :-(

    Stay safe and warm everyone.

    Patti Johnston

  • 5 years ago

    I’m sitting here at home, nursing a bad stomach. I should have been more suspicious than I was of yesterday’s salad lunch. Got almost to the end and found 2 huge lettuce cores. I don’t think they got washed well enough. It’s not awful but not normal either. I can’t wait for my own salad greens. When I checked the bins day before yesterday, I had lots of condensation, but no sprouts yet. Might have to throw a sheet over them this weekend.

    I need to to order my last seeds, Heidi, from Victory, but haven’t found anything else I need there. I guess I’ll have to break down and get a couple things from the want list. That’s tough.

    I have housework to do. My cat has a bad case of the zoomies. The weather makes my back hurt. Think I’m going to go take my bad attitude somewhere else, so I don’t bring y’all down.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    It is weird, I checked here yesterday and didn't find many new posts, even refreshed the page. Today there are many posts from yesterday.

    Megan, so sorry for all the sick and injured people in your life!

    Rebecca, I bought Cherokee Trail of tears, Roman Chamomile, Aunt Hettie's Red okra and Mama Payton's Okra from Victory this year. I got my Super Sioux, Ashley cuke, and Atomic red carrot seeds from them in the past. Does that give you ideas? Sorry you're not feeling well.

    It stayed nice here yesterday much longer than I expected, since I knew OKC was already cold. I spent the afternoon in Bartlesville. Took my dad to the Social security office there. Kind of wish I hadn't. Woman in front of us had been sick and obviously was not fully recovered. Another woman came in who looked terrible. If there were 2 germy people in there I could just imagine the number of people over the course of the week contaminating the place. I left B'ville early, expecting rain and cold that didn't happen till today. My plan is to spend these cold nasty days starting seeds. I have to run out this afternoon and see if my Almost Eden order is here. Don't want to let it sit in a freezing mailbox.

    Ron got me a greenhouse from Aldi's. We're thinking about getting a second one. I could put them against the brick wall of the house. I think we might need extra warmth next month.

  • 5 years ago

    I had a mini greenhouse - smaller, but similar in concept to the Aldi one - a few years ago and while it was securely weighted AND staked, the wind one day managed to bend the poles. So I came home and the thing was bent in half at the middle and my stuff scattered everywhere. I had it against a brick wall too but I guess enough wind got between it and the wall to do a real number. Amy, if I had it to do over again, I probably would have driven T-posts at the corners and zip tied the poles of the greenhouse to the T-posts before slipping the cover over. I felt like there was enough slack in the cover that I could have gotten it over the T-posts. I'm tempted to pick up one of those Aldi greenhouses and give it a try that way because with this lingering cold I'll probably be short on space indoors before the weather allows me to put things in the garden.

  • 5 years ago

    Patti, I've always been one to just trust my instincts, and this past autumn those little voices in my head were screaming at me nonstop to go slow at planting time, to not get in any big hurry, to be willing to wait out the cold, wet weather, etc. This was well before we hit the point where the ground was so super-saturated that I even had to contemplate that we might actually be too wet to plant at the usual time. So, knowing I needed to listen, I did so. I made no big plans for planting. I didn't even order onions (still haven't and might not because this seems like a bad year for root crops...). I haven't put anything in the ground. All the volunteers that sprouted in unseasonably warm weather in January and February have subsequently frozen. My blooming fruit trees will do the same....they'll get zapped next week and that will be that. I am trying to remain as chill and relaxed as I can because getting all irritated with the weather and with the way it is slowing down the gardening season is unproductive. I am contemplating the thought of where do I go from here?

    I do think your strawberry plants should be fine, but I'd keep an eye on those overnight lows early next week. They are looking awfully low for some places.

    By petite pickles, do you mean something really small like a gherkin?

    Rebecca, Don't be silly. You aren't bringing us down. We all are here just to love and support and encourage one another no matter what. I hope your day is going better now, though I admit that right now in this icky weather and with a poor weather forecast lying ahead of us, I am finding it hard to think happy thoughts. Mostly my thoughts are about how much I hate this weather! lol. Hating it won't do me any good of course.

    My cats and dogs are stir-crazy too, and so are all 7 tropical birds. Everyone wants to get up, move around, go out or find something to do to relieve the boredom. I know how they feel. I have the 4 year old here alone with me today while everyone else is gone to work or school, so she is keeping things lively. It is hard to completely hate the gloomy day when a 4 year old is giggling and dancing around the room.

    I hope you're feeling better and didn't catch one of those nasty stomach bugs that produce increasingly seems to be carrying. Are we ever again going to have a week in which some produce isn't recalled because of possible contamination?

    Amy, There are so many sick people out there that right now I absolutely hate going anywhere for any reason and am trying to stay home as much as possible.

    I am thinking we'll need all the extra warmth we can get in March....and what about April? Is the cold going to hang on that long? This weather is making me crazy.

    It can be hard (but necessary) to heat those very small greenhouses. Remember that they will hold in virtually no heat at night because thin plastic provides little to no insulation and there's not enough mass to hold much heat. Having a rock (pavers, stepping stones, bricks, etc.) floor would help some as it would soak up heat all day and release it as the night cooled. Of course, if you can set up a small greenhouse on top of a paved surface, you'd have your masonry mass right there. One way to heat those really small greenhouses is with a water-filled crockpot bubbling away all night long.

    Megan, Our Oklahoma wind can be flat out evil sometimes. I hate it. I have had it bend things it shouldn't have as well.

    I hope all your ill and injured family members are feeling better today.

    I've been contemplating the future of the garden today. First, I carried out the tomato plants into our toasty warm morning air---55 degrees at 7 a.m. Then I set the oven timer for 10 a.m. so I'd remember to bring them back in before the cold front rolled on through here. The plants looked happy after 3 hours out. I'm not sure they'll get 4 hours out tomorrow, but I'll try. Obviously it mostly depends on what the weather is doing. So, I think the one thing I can say for sure is that the garden will have tomato plants this year. Beyond that? Who can say?

    I have greens and brassicas that need to go into the ground soon or they'll be rootbound. I have potatoes I intend to plant, but when and how? And where? Can I get little life jackets for the seed potatoes so they all won't float downstream? I'll just buy a bundle of onions at the store at this point and plant them if I decide to grow onions this year because I don't feel like spending the bigger bucks at Dixondale for onions that might never make it into the ground. There is a part of me that is seriously considering not even planting onions at all. Actually, more and more, there is a nagging little voice in my head that is suggesting I completely skip cool-season crops. This even would make sense if the cold keeps hanging on. When the cold hangs on deeply into spring, once we finally warm up it seems like it happens overnight and then the cool-season plants suffer because they weren't ready for the warmth. Back in the early 2000s, we kept having such warm winters that I skipped all cool-season crops, except onions and potatoes, for several years in a row. This feels like the opposite of one of those years, but since it is staying too cold to plant many cool-season crops, I fear that if I plant them, we'll suddenly turn hot and they'll all bolt or whatever. I don't have to decide this week if I'll skip the cool-season plants and jump straight to the warm-season ones, but I probably ought to decide it next week at the latest. More and more that is what I'm leaning towards doing, and it mostly is influenced just by the cold air, although of course, the perpetually wet, waterlogged soil is a contributing factor.

    We have the same drizzle most of you have been seeing today, but we are getting it at temperatures above freezing, for which I am grateful. Our high was that 55 degrees at 7 a.m. and now we're down to 39 degrees and falling about 1 degree per hour at this point.

    Chris is over at the new house (which actually is old, only new to them) continuing to prepare for painting. He has a ton of flooring and windows to cover over so they can use our paint sprayer to paint the interior this coming weekend. I don't know if I mentioned this, but their house is a 1930s bungalow strongly influenced by Folk Victoria style. I love their 11' tall ceilings, their very tall and fairly narrow Victorian style windows and their hardwood floors. And the custom cabinets in the kitchen, especially the uppers with leaded glass inserts. And I totally love their odd, secret closets---at least one of which is hidden behind a larger closet. (Doesn't this make a person wonder what they were thinking when they built that hidden closet?) He has to work a 24-hour shift tomorrow and then Jana works a 12-hour shift on Friday, so Saturday seems like their earliest opportunity to paint. Tim and I told them we'd help them so I'm sort of looking forward to that. Jana has to be at the new house tomorrow from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. because HD is going to deliver their new washer and dryer sometime within that time frame. Hopefully they'll come earlier in the day as opposed to alter so she's not tied down in that one spot all day long. While moving into and furnishing/decorating a new home is exciting and can be fun, I'm glad it is their adventure and not ours. Been there. Done that. Over it.

    I have smothered pork chops cooking in the kitchen, and yeast rolls rising. I'll cook some veggies to go with dinner, probably green beans (from last year's garden, currently they are out in the deep freeze) and mashed potatoes, and we have white chocolate chip-macadamia nut cookies for dessert. For tomorrow, I'm going to soak a bag of ham bean soup beans overnight to cook tomorrow, and I've got ham to go in them. I can only spend so many hours per day meal planning, cleaning house and doing laundry. I'm officially at the point where I am bored beyond belief and about to lose my mind.

    Is it Spring yet?


  • 5 years ago

    Dawn, I just got an update on my uncle and he's taken a turn for the worse. They were doing surgery - I believe to give him a pacemaker, which might be related to what caused the accident - and he's now in a coma. Details are sketchy but please keep praying.

    Other family members are doing much better. Kiddo is able to go longer stretches without medication for her fever - compared to yesterday when her fever was 103.7 even with alternating tylenol and ibuprofen. Father-in-law's fever has been staying below 101 and he's breathing much better.

  • 5 years ago

    So glad I found this thread. The weather is rough, I’m going stir crazy and so is my 2 year old and 8 month old being cooped up inside. We are ready for spring and Garden time.

    Dawn your posts are very thoughtful and informative.

    Megan I’m sorry your family is sick and will be sending prayers Your way.

    Garden updates.... potatoes planted in bags (these are new for me. I don’t know how much cold they can take so i’ve been bring them inside at night). Handful of georgia sweet onions, spinach, peas, and kale in raised beds under cold frames. They seem to be happy. Tomatoes and peppers have sprouted and are getting their first sets of true leaves.

    Any my advice on trying to save my plums and peaches? My plum tree is still pretty small (planted last year) so I wrapped it with warm Christmas lights and covered it in a big plastic bag trying to hold in the warmth. It’s probably a long shot but worth a try. I also wrapped a few branches of the peach tree in warm lights, but I think it’s just way too cold for the blossoms to survive.

    Thanks!, Lauren

  • 5 years ago

    HI Lauren. Welcome! I don't have fruit trees yet, except columnar apple trees, so no advice from me there.

    My dogs are like your children. LOL. Going stir crazy.

    Megan, so sorry about your uncle (praying!). Glad your daughter is feeling better.

    Y'all know that I love the seasons. I don't hate winter, but even I am weary of it. It's time to move past it now.

    Dawn, I'm like you, but not an expert gardener like you (although fairly intuitive in general). I knew WAY back that I should slow down on Garden 19. That's why my tomatoes aren't started yet. I will start them this weekend.

    Got the news about an hour ago that Moore Public is closed. Good grief. They excused afternoon classes if you wanted to check your child out of I sent Ethan home at lunch, but the roads weren't bad when I came home at 2. I left early too. Normally Wednesday is my long day.

    Dawn, your kids house sounds so lovely! I wish you could show pics. I have a thing about houses.

    Amy, if Aldis have those greenhouse in my area this weekend, I think I'll get one too.

    Nothing new in gardening other than I think I should get some new lettuce seed.

    Oh, and I started the Rose of Sharon seeds from Jen tonight.

    I was about to start some zinnia seed when I looked at the packed and it said .59. Since when has a seed packet been that cheap, so I turned over the packet and it's date is 2003! Where in the flippin' world did I get this packet of seed. LOL. Needless to say, I didn't mess with that seed. No idea where this seed came from.

  • 5 years ago

    Megan, I'm still praying for your uncle. His poor body has been through so much this week. I hope he heals completely and rapidly. I'm glad the ones sick with the flu are getting better, and hope those of you who are taking care of them are getting some rest.

    Lauren, Welcome to the forum. I don't think there's anything else you can do for the fruit trees at this point. The temperatures are dropping so low that the chances of saving the crop are slim, especially with the low temperatures expected early next week when the next cold front arrives. This is simply one of the hazards of growing fruit in Oklahoma---the trees often bloom too early and lose their crop to subsequent cold weather. If the blooms are exposed to temperatures below roughly 28 degrees (some can tolerate down to 26 for brief periods) for more than just a few hours, you generally will lose the fruit. We got much better fruit harvests in our first decade here than we have in our second decade. I feel like the winters are changing for the worse, with too many warm days in January and February that tend to set the blooming process in motion too early year after year after year. Even our native sand plums have begun blooming so it isn't just the named cultivars of fruit trees that are blooming too early.

    I bet y'all are going stir crazy. We are slightly stir crazy here and our freezing drizzle has been very minimal--it was sticking on cars when my DH was driving home last night, but wasn't really sticking on the roadways. It is just too cold to be out doing anything though, whether we have ice or not, and we are expecting much colder weather this far south in the Sun-Tues time frame, and perhaps beyond....I'm not looking too far ahead yet. The kids here are not getting days off from school like the kids in the OKC metro are.

    Jennifer, I loved their house from the moment he sent me photos. I love the neighborhood even more---it is the most charming blend of many house styles popular in the early 1930s---colonial, Caftsman, Folk VIctorian and VIctorian inspired (technically if not built in the VIctorian era, they aren't really considered true Victorians, but I don't know what else to call them), a few ranch style and some unusual ones that are a blend of several styles. There are a few really large and grand Arts and Crafts style homes too. Most of the homes have been either restored to their 1930s origins with all the pretty varnished wood trim and built-ins or at least have been carefully updated to keep the charm, style and character. Some have their original and still beautiful hardwood floors, but others have newer hardwoods. I prefer the old hardwoods myself. Our son's home was updated about 12 or 13 years ago so has modern electrical, plumbing, HVAC and modern bathroom fixtures, but the kitchen seems to have very old, perhaps original, custom cabinets that are very nice. They still have a lot of the beautiful door knobs from the 1930s! If a person can find a reasonably-priced home in that neighborhood that has not yet been updated or restored, they are getting a real treasure and their property value will only rise when they fix up the house as this is a very popular neighborhood. I had imagined they would buy in a brand new neighborhood, and Chris had viewed some brand new luxury townhomes just the week before they found this place, and seemed to have his heart set on one. On the day they found their house, they also were supposed to go back so Jana could see the townhomes but I don't think they even did because they found their house first. I just think the character of the older homes won them over once they started looking at those, and when they walked into the house that now is theirs, it felt like home in their hearts and they knew they had found "the one". I think that when you find the home that makes your heart sing, you just have to have it.....and now they do.

    I am glad I listen to my gardener's intuition and glad you're listening to yours, and I hate the messages my intuition is sending me about this spring. It is very frustrating to see the standard planting time for cool-season crops flying right by and we cannot do any planting yet. I'm really seriously considering skipping almost all cool-season crops and going straight to warm-season stuff when we finally are able to plant because our cool season is often almost too short as it is, and this year it is likely to be shorter than usual. I have no idea when the time to plant cool season crops will arrive either. If y'all are following along on our FB gardening group pages you know that a lot of people in areas much colder than mine have peas and onions in the ground with temperatures coming that often will freeze back peas and onions. I'm glad I have nothing in the ground here, and we aren't going to get nearly as cold as parts of the state further north. Even heavy mulching and frost blankets may not save some of those early crops that are in the ground now, not when single digit temperatures are forecast for some areas.

    This house is like Grand Central Station in the early morning hours now. I don't mind it---I can take my time and get out of bed after everyone else is already out the door and headed for school or work. The 4 year old and I can sleep in and move slowly (and wake up slowly) and we're not in anyone's way because the others are all gone. Then, it reverses in late afternoon when everyone starts arriving home. I've been making two early dinner for the kids because they are hungry by 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. and a later dinner for the adults who arrive home from work between 6 and 7 pm. Yesterday, though, Chris was starving and ate tacos with the kids at 4:30 because he'd worked all day without stopping for a meal....his last meal was the plastic bowl of sausage balls he heated in the microwave here at the house and then ate in his car while driving the 9 year old to school. Once he gets to the house and starts working, he just won't even stop long enough to eat. I thought his mama taught him to take better care of himself than that....but then, as I am typing this, I realize that I do exactly the same thing during the height of the gardening season---I eat breakfast and skip lunch and am starving by dinner time. Like me, though, he is careful to stay well-hydrated, so at least there's that.

    There will be no gardening here today. Well, if it warms up enough, I might carry the tomato plants out for their 4 hours of sunlight (or cloudlight, lol) today. They are looking so happy this week with all the time they've been spending outdoors, whether it is sunny or cloudy and I like that the wind movement is strengthening their main stalks. Mostly I imagine this day will be full of baby dolls and Spongebob, coloring books and story books, and maybe if the 4 year old cuts me a little slack, I'll have time to do some laundry, cooking and cleaning too.

    Have a great day y'all. I know this isn't the weather we want, but it is the weather we're stuck with, so we might as well just....I don't know....endure it? Saying enjoy it seems crazy because who enjoys this stuff? I need sunshine, and no, it isn't spring yet, but meteorological spring begins tomorrow....which seems stupid this year, but it is what it is.


  • 5 years ago

    I have had several cheap plastic greenhouses, so I have some experience with wind and cold in them. I expect they will be daytime homes for seedlings. In the past I could leave seedlings out in the greenhouse, and I have been known to cover things IN the greenhouse with frost blankets. I usually weight down the bottom shelves with jugs of water, which helps hold it down and helps with warmth. I have put a 55 gallon drum of water in the biggest one I had. Wind is the worst problem. I will consider Megan's t-post idea. The last one I had, the plastic ripped in the wind. Picture fat old woman trying to duct tape plastic blowing in the wind and then sewing it together with dental floss. Ron just came home with 2 zippers to make doors in the back like I did with the last one, but these are so shallow, I don't know if I'll do it. BTW, I had never seen zippers like this. 7' long with adhesive to stick to plastic. Meant for plastic to be used indoors, like when painting(?) Anyway, if you need to replace a zipper like that, they sell them at home depot.

    I started tomato seeds last night. Why didn't y'all tell me I was so low on some of those seeds? Cherokee Carbon, and my source doesn't carry them any more. Gary 'O senna, JD's Special C-tex. I have enough of those, but will need them next year. But my Grandma Suzy's Beefsteak, just ONE seed. Luckily, I can go to Tomato Man's Daughter and get a plant, then I will have to save seeds. I know of no source for those. I got my original seeds from Gary at Duck Creek, but I don't think he sells seeds any more. He sells plants at Cherry street Market, but mostly herbs. And butterfly plants. Anyway, I was quite sad about that one. Who knows, maybe it will germinate. This variety came to the Tomato Man from someone in Sapulpa. I don't think they are sold commercially elsewhere.

    I need to gather my basil seeds. Told Nancy I would share with her. There are so many. If I had the room, I would have a basil garden. All the different types along a path. I would have to move to a more temperate climate. I usually hide my basil under tomato plants so they get some shade.

    I'm rambling. Everyone have a good day.

  • 5 years ago

    Amy, We would have told you that you were short on some kinds of tomato seeds, but we didn't know how to break the news to you gently. Since the Tomatoman's Daughter still sells plants of Aunt Suzy's Beefsteak, you know that all you have to do is go buy one of her plants, grow it and save seeds. I realize it would be dangerous to walk into TMD without walking out with about 100 new plants though.....

    While your source may not carry Cherokee Carbon seeds any more, lots of the companies I order seeds from still have it. I'm pretty sure I've seen it in the catalogs of Territorial Seed, Seeds N Such, Tomato Growers Supply Company and Totally Tomatoes this season, and maybe some others as well.

    I hope your dad is doing well.

    It is cold and icky here today, but we are about to make it up to freezing though we will not go a lot warmer than that. We warm up again tomorrow and maybe Saturday as well before the next cold front comes in, and that's supposed to be the really strong, bitterly cold one that will send wind chills as well as temperatures plummeting. I looked at the 6-10 Day Outlook, and it has so much of that ugly dark blue on it. Here it is:

    CPC 6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

    There is some slightly better news though. The 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook doesn't look quite as bad:

    8-14 Day Outlooks

    Meanwhile, a small area of Moderate Drought has returned to far southwestern OK as the rain in recent weeks and months has been missing them. Let's hope this isn't the beginning of a drought trend.

    With no gardening to do, I am bored beyond belief.


  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I'm expecting like 8 F Sunday morning ;( I hope that's wrong...I really really do....because it'll kill a number of things.

    Oh good grief, now they're saying 5!

  • 5 years ago

    That's just what I've been thinking, dbarron. GRRR. I need to go throw bunches of hay over a few things! And frost blankets. Dagnabbit!

    And so yet again, have to buy more seeds this week. Bummer. Now I can buy for the new school, though, so have a whole new excuse. I told them to get another of the good volunteer guys to build them a grow cart. :)Dawn. It stinks, that boring stuff. Glad GDW and I both got jobs. LOL I am thinking the same as you, to skip cool weather stuff altogether this spring and leaving it for fall. Well, other than lettuce. I started some on the cart and there's more out on the deck. Speaking of that, wonder if the deck stuff got killed last night. Low of 15. It's covered, but.

    Amy, yes, would be fun to have a big beautiful basil bed. Now I have a confession--I don't really love basil. Just that its so fun to grow. How lame is that!

    Hi, Lauren! How did you find the group? How I did was that I'd google everything I had a question about, and more often than not OKGW would come up near the top of the Google results.

    Megan, more prayers for your uncle. SO sad. What a bad spell for your family!

    Also, because of what you said about the Totally Tomato tomato seeds, I sprinkled seed liberally. It's going to be a riot if mine germinate heavily. I have SUCH a terrible time thinning seedlings out and throwing them away.

    I really like the Victorian-style houses, too. I feel kind of sad that I've never lived in one.

    HJ--or Jen, Did Jen give you any info about how difficult or easy it was to grow Rose of Sharon from seed? Anyone?

    Also. . . for those who know they'll be attending the SF, any knitters who have started relatively recently? I just hit the mother lode of knitting needles. I totally forgot I had them. I had gotten them in an estate sale probably 20 years ago and they were almost FREE. Thinking I'd know someone who knits who would love to have them. Thing I found out was that if they were experienced knitters, they likely already had most of the needles.

    And, hahaha, HJ, I found Walmart has $.20 and $.50 seed packets from American Meadows. (Meadows?) Just for kicks, I got a $.20 packet of okra.

    Garry and I went to town--we've been to town 5 of the past 7 days, and twice Wednesday. And we forgot our LIST! Out of 17 items that were on the original list when I reconstituted the list on the way into town, I asked GDW what his list items were and added the ones I added. And when we got home with the items, we were thrilled that we remembered everything on the original list! I said, "We have REMARKABLE memories!" And then both of us laughed really really hard.

  • 5 years ago

    Last year I had the worst germination with the TT seeds that I have ever had. So bad that I will never order from them again. Actually 2 years ago. I block last year. Also the ppkpkgs were short on seed. There are just too many companies to go back to poor quality. And they never responded.

    With this horrible illness and lloloss of 3 weeks of income I am a mess again. I will get out faster because next week I jump to full time.

    Going to stastart seeds tomorrow for sure. My little man is coming and he can help.

  • 5 years ago

    dbarron, On the night you're supposed to go to 5, we're supposed to go to 15, so to me your 5 degrees sounds pretty accurate considering how much further north you are. Oops, I take that back. We don't hit 15 until Sunday night going into Monday morning, and then 19 on Monday night/Tuesday morning. I hope you're able to cover and save as many plants as possible. Are you going to get snow? If so, won't snow help insulate the plants from the cold air?

    Nancy, I think the covered lettuce would be fine, but it will depend on the variety as some are more cold-hardy than others, and also would depend on how much prior cold conditioning the plants already have had.

    Rose of Sharon is ridiculously easy from seed. I grew all of ours from seed started indoors about the same time I started tomatoes and peppers that year. The Rose of Sharon seedlings will be fairly slow-growing initially but they grow quickly once the real heat arrives.

    I do not like basil a great deal either and really only use it when making fresh pasta sauce, so if you're lame, I'm lame right along with you. Still, I grow tons of it because I love the way it looks and smells. I always grow it in the same beds as tomatoes and I think the basil really does repel tomato and tobacco hornworms. We can have a garden full of hornworms but they rarely get on the tomato plants at all, and I give the basil plants full credit for that. I also love cutting basil to add to bouquets of flowers from the garden.....there are ways we can enjoy it that do not necessarily involve eating it.

    Whenever we even both to make a list, we tend to forget it and leave it at home much to our own dismay, but I do think the very act of making the list helps us to remember what we need. Sometimes I outsmart myself by making the list on my phone and that works pretty well as long as I remember to take my phone with me.

    Kim, I do think that TT is not as good as it used to seems like it has gone downhill since they last time it was sold. You know, the guy who founded, operated and eventually sold TT now owns and operates Seeds N Such and I've noticed he carries about the same things there as he did at TT.

    I hope you have a great time with your little man today. How could you not?

    Our weather today already is better than yesterday's weather as there is no drizzle (finally!) and we already are above freezing (35 degrees at 10:30 a.m.) which beats yesterday's high temperature of 32, which we didn't reach until around 4 pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer before the next cold front hits us on Saturday night or Sunday morning.

    Tim came home from work yesterday as sick as a dog---falling ill even before he finished his commute to work in the freezing drizzle. He tried to stick it out at work because he had a tour and an interview scheduled, but finally realized that if your work day consists solely of throwing up into your office trash can, then maybe you shouldn't stay at work. I think it is the dreaded norovirus or an extreme case of food poisoning, and he had been to a couple of catered events (academy or class graduations, conferences, multi-departmental chiefs' meetings, etc.) in the last few days including the day before he fell ill, so food poisoning certainly isn't out of the question. I know that something is running through the FD at work because our son worked with a lot of people yesterday who has been called in to replace folks who called in sick...a LOT of them. If it is going around at the FD, then it certainly could be making the rounds at the PD as well, so maybe it just is a stomach virus, but he said he's never ever had anything make him this violently ill before. The four year old, upon learning he was driving home because he was throwing up, solemnly intoned "I am NOT hanging out with him today", lol, and she didn't either. She stayed as far away from him all afternoon and evening as she could. She did have a reason as she is going on vacation with her dad and members of his extended family next week and she doesn't want to get sick and ruin her own trip.

    We all are so stir-crazy here from being cooped up indoors that it is just ridiculous and I do mean utterly ridiculous. Tim is home and still looks a sickly grayish-white. He looks like he is recovering from something major like 2 weeks of the flu and not from some stomach now we are going stir crazy with a sick person. This makes me want to go hide out in the garden, but it is so cold out there that I will not.

    There's about a billion birds outside eating now. I have no idea where all of them are coming from, but I guess that birds "talk" and they learn there is food available here by listening to the singing of the other birds. I put out all the cracked corn and hen scratch that I had left this morning, so need to make a feed store run this afternoon or evening so we can feed them again tomorrow. A lot of birds are fresh returnees or they are migrating through. They probably are migrating north a week earlier than they ought to be this year.

    In really exciting news for us, some of the puddles (about half) have dried up so it now is possible to walk on our property without stepping in a puddle. The bad news is that we have several days of rain in the 7-day forecast.

    Happy March 1st! This is the first day of meteorological spring, for whatever that is worth. With this weather, it probably doesn't mean much because the weather screams winter.


  • 5 years ago

    Your 4 year old is wise. I'd avoid him too if I were her.

    We had a rose of sharon growing in our fenceline when we moved here, and seedlings sprouted readily for the first 2 years. Now that we've gotten rid of it, I kinda wish I kept one seedling. But it was destroying the fence so it had to come out.

    Back when I was in school, "alternative learning styles" were just gaining momentum and my English instructor was a big supporter. She would have us write our spelling words on our desk at the beginning of the week. By Friday the ink was gone, but I could still "see" the words. So now I write out a list, and then can just look at a blnk piece of paper and it jogs my memory.

    We have a one day kids program at church tomorrow so I won't be doing any garden stuff. Guess it's good that it'll be too cold to do anything, I still have a lot of outside work to get done.

  • 5 years ago

    I do like basil, but I don't think anyone is lame for not liking it. We like tomatoes with olive oil drizzled over them and fresh basil sprinkled on top. BUT I like Genovese for that. I must have seeds for 20 varieties of basil, I got Persian basil in my last order, which is supposed to taste different. I don't so much want them for culinary purposes, I just am fascinated with all the different kinds and colors. They also have good flowers when they bloom. I LOVE the smell of rosemary, but have come to realize I don't care for the taste.

    Nancy, you and Garry don't over do it!

    I hope Tim recovers quickly and doesn't share his illness.

    Jen, you're still young enough to have good memory. I'm impressed that Nancy and Garry remembered everything. We don't. I have decided next time I need stuff from Walmart I'm ordering on line and picking it up. I hate shopping there. If I'm smart, I put the list in my phone, but I always think of things when I I'm nowhere to write it down and I forget it by the time I get to someplace I CAN write it down.

    Did I mention I got my Almost Eden order. Nice. I have to get then potted up.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    haha, Amy--YES, Jen. Yes, what you said about not being in a place to write it down. If we're home, Garry absolutely DOES stop whatever he's doing and goes to write it down. . . i don't, so forget.

    I forgot what you got beside the lantana? Don't you like the attention to detail they have with the instructions and packing? And I caved in, went back and got a Crossandra after Dawn was saying how pretty they are. Sheesh. I'm not sure WHAT's coming in the mail now. And I keep forgetting I have those aster tataricus coming.

    Oh I HATE norovirus. I certainly hope that's NOT what Tim has. . . otherwise, just keeping my fingers crossed for all of the rest of you! I remember one year the four kids (parents and their kids--lol. See, Dawn? I still call my 48-yr old son and Steph kids). So those kids and THEIR kids. . . we all came down with it within 48 hours. What a MESS! They were staying with me a little while while working on a house--same situation as your kids. We laughed about it later.

    Well, Amy, yes, I like tomatoes with a bit of basil. But I'm really not a huge fan of pesto. I fix it only once in a while. Do you fix pesto?

    What's the occasion for the kids' program, Jen? And yes, I have SO much yard work to do, too. I bet most of us do, given the weather.

    Garry's the one who needs to not overdo it. Up on a ladder putting up insulation and ceiling tiles!!

    WOW my seeds are already a big unorganized mess. Need to straighten them out already.

    By the way, what do you all think of Seed Savers Exchange. Their catalog looks great, and I see many different tomatoes, for example.

  • 5 years ago

    I'm glad Rose of Sharon is easy to start from seed, Dawn. Hopefully mine will sprout soon. Thanks for the seed, Jen.

    The peppers have not sprouted yet.

    I forgot to say, Dawn, that your kids house sounds so amazing. I really, really do have a thing for houses. Even as a kid. I'm surprised that I'm so satisfied with my small, brick rectangle house.

    I hope Tim feels better soon and that the rest of you stay well.

    Nancy, tell Garry to be careful up on that ladder!

    Amy, I bought one of the Aldi's greenhouses this afternoon. They had one left and I scooped it up. I have no idea how to use a greenhouse. I am excited about it, though. I also picked up a couple of their pellet seed starting trays. They aren't great for sure. The pellets don't absorb the water very well like the Jiffy or Burpee ones.

    Happy to say that I got the pine shavings cleaned out of the coop and new ones put down. Tom helped me so it only took about 20 minutes. The coop is far from clean, but it's better and the new shavings are fluffy and feel warmer. Marjorie seemedh better this afternoon. I moved the chick brooder into the coop, though, to have it available in case I need to put her in it with the heat lamp tomorrow night and/or Sunday night.

    I have an early meeting in the morning, so tomorrow won't seem like a day off. We need to grocery shop as soon as Tom gets home from work.

    Y'all stay warm.

  • 5 years ago

    The bad news is that it definitely seems to be norovirus. Jana had at least two patients on her floor with it today and they had the exact same symptoms as Tim....those patients got IVs for fluid replacement, but Tim has made do with Gatorade. He's a lot better today, just pale and weak and very lacking in energy.

    Jen, The 4 year old was determined that no one was going to ruin her trip to Colorado to visit her aunt, so she didn't even want for Tim to breathe in the same room she was in. (grin) He didn't....he went right upstairs and went to bed when he got home and by the time he woke up and came downstairs later, she was wearing her jammies and headed upstairs to bed, so I think it is likely she avoided his germiness. Hopefully the rest of us will as well because y'all know how quickly this stuff spreads.

    Sometimes I have Rose of Sharon plants pop up where one was years ago, so you never know---dormant seeds in the soil may sprout at some point.

    Even if you weren't going to be too busy to garden, it is just too cold with even colder weather to come in a couple more days. I wish we could get amnesia for the weekend and just forget we're gardeners so we wouldn't be worrying and fretting over this awful cold weather.

    Amy, I like the smell of rosemary more than the flavor but I do like some rosemary-flavored breads and crackers. That's about it though.

    Nancy, Now that would be a disaster to have that many people sick with this virus, and it certainly could happen. It clearly is going around among the employees at work, so Chris was exposed to it there, Jana gets exposed to it at work and now we've all been exposed to it with Tim having it. We're trying to be really careful with the hand sanitizer, staying away from Tim, keeping him out of the kitchen and other stuff, but let's be realistic---it is hard for me to imagine that none of us will come down with it. He was so weak today and complained about that and I just reminded him that he had no gasoline left in his engine to fuel his body and he was going to have to eat and drink in order to refuel. He did so grudgingly, but he didn't throw up any more so I think he is on the road to improvement.

    Seed Savers Exchange is the grandaddy of the heirloom, open-pollinated seed movement in this country. I have great respect for what this organization has accomplished in the past and what they continue to do. You can buy seeds through their public catalog of several hundred different varieties (or maybe a few thousand---I've never gone through the catalog and counted) or you can pay a membership fee, join and obtain access to many thousands of types of very rare seeds (most not available anywhere else) directly from their thousands of members. I was a member for a few years back when it all came to your house in a big thick printed yearbook with teeny tiny print. I believe it all is computerized now. George and Jerreth were some of the original and most long-time members for several decades, but now George focuses his seed-saving and seed-sharing efforts on his Green Country Seed Savers group here in OK. I bought a lot from SSE for quite a few years in the early 2000s, but got disgusted with the personal politics and fall-out after the founding couple's marriage began falling apart and SSE kinda got dragged into that and through the mud with it and all, and I just begin shopping elsewhere with less ongoing drama. For a while, it seemed like there was so much turmoil that a person wondered if they still were focused on their was just a big mess. There's nothing wrong with their seeds, although a lot of their tomato varieties seem more well-adapted to cooler summers than ours. I have found some interesting heirloom varieties from Oklahoma there that I might not have found otherwise.

    Jennifer, I was in hog heaven at the house today, closely examining many of its features, and looking at the paint samples painted on the wall to see how they look in the natural light. I loved poking around in the secret closets and hidden closets and stuff. There's no telling what stories these walls could tell if they could talk. I think we have pretty much determined, based on a chimney on top of the house that the kids didn't notice until they were showing us the back yard today, that there once was a fireplace in the center of the house. It isn't there any more, and I think the location is pretty obvious. Right beneath that chimney there is a build-in china cabinet just outside the kitchen. If you go into the kitchen through the doorway by the china cabinet and go out the other kitchen door, there is a bizarre upper closet that begins about head-high (about where the china cabinet ends on the other side of the wall). I think the china cabinet was moved from someplace else to fill the void after the fireplace was removed and the weird upper storage closet that begins head-high is what is left of the old chimney shaft. It just makes sense. What no one can guess is why the fireplace was taken out, but I'm guessing that maybe it was old and crumbling. The house is over 90 years old, so that wouldn't be surprising.

    We're supposed to go up and help the kids and our granddaughter paint tomorrow, but my main goal is go poke around and try to find a bare wall. All the walls are covered in either tile, real old beadboard or anaglypta type wallpaper that is very pretty and painted because, of course, it is paintable. I am wondering if the wallpaper was put up merely to add period detail of the Folk Victorian sort or if it is covering plaster walls. Enquiring minds (at list mine) want to know. I'm hoping I can find a wall in a closet or something that isn't beadboard or wallpaper and figure out if the walls are plaster. I was standing and looking out the living room window (even the coat closet has a lovely old oval window!) at a huge Victorian style home with turrets and gingerbread trim and all that just sort of catty-corner across the road and I told my son "I love that house, I'd live in that house" and he responded "I love it too. If it came on the market and I could afford it, I'd buy it too". You could have knocked me over with a feather---what happened to my modern everything son that he has developed such an affection for old houses? I wanted to ask him what have you done to my son and where are you hiding him, but I didn't. lol

    The weather here is ridiculously cold. I feel sorry for anyone who has plants in the ground, especially from OKC northward. I've lost onions in wet soil when the temperatures dipped below the 20s, and some of these places are going to see temperatures in the teens and single digits. I do see some highs in the 60s at our end of the state late next week, so I guess we can keep painting rooms in the new old house while waiting for warmer weather.


  • 5 years ago

    H/J the green house isn't very big. The most important thing is to weight it down or stake it against the wind. Also, choose a sheltered location. I know from past experience, the most damage came when the wind came from the NW and whipped around the house to the south side. The wind blew over one of those shelf style little greenhouses that way. The last green house I had, the wind tore the plastic. These are probably a good size to be heated with a crock pot of water. Or, bring in the flats at night. I have used cheap, clear shower curtain liners (Big Lots) to add a layer of insulation. I have also covered things with frost blankets inside the greenhouse. As small as these are, you could throw a blanket over it at night. The opposite problem will be that the sun will heat it up super fast and cook your plants. Since you work, that will make it tough. With "rigid" green houses, you can buy things that open and close vents at certain temps. This is obviously not a fancy enough greenhouse for that. You might want to use cloth to shade the plants if you're gone all day.

    We're babysitting grand babies today. Later y'all.

  • 5 years ago

    I'm trying to find the energy to cover things and bring things in from the garage but I have none. I woke up at 5 when Ben started getting ready for work. I watched a movie and went back to sleep at the end of it, then next thing I knew it was 11 a.m. I seem to have a touch of a tummy bug knocking me down but I don't think it's anything like norovirus. MIL came home from the ER when FIL was there and I guess she got something there that she now shared with me. Keegan hasn't had a fever since mid-day on Thursday so I let her go to a birthday party today. Ironically, it's the daughter of a woman my injured uncle was friends with in CA. What are the odds that when she moved from CA that she would end up in the same town we are and that our daughters would be the same age and friends!?! Uncle is improving. Still in an induced coma but he is doing much better. They tried to let him come out of the coma but he is on a ventilator and was fighting it so they had to put him back under. I'm not 100% clear on which organ triggered it but there was a chain reaction and organs started shutting down. However, they've removed the heart pump and replaced it with a pacemaker which is working well. His kidneys were shutting down too but his numbers are coming back down so we're all hopeful. So far, Ben and I have avoided the flu <knock on wood> but my mom has come down with it. She called in sick to work yesterday and got a lot of grief because she's a grocery store cashier and yesterday was food stamp day, so she was afraid to call in sick today. I'm concerned that this will just make her sicker, of course but what can you do.

    The sprouts indoors are doing well. After complaining, 3 more TT tomatoes popped up but those were the Lime Green Salad dwarfs that I was trying for fun. None of the egg yolks - the whole reason I placed the order - have come up, so I reseeded yesterday. If they don't come up, I'll trash the packet and give up on them this year. Just like the rest of us, I'll end up with far more tomato plants than I have room for anyway. LOL

    I may have some dwarf basils to share at SF for you basil fans. I won't have space to start them for a couple more weeks depending on what the weather does and how soon I can move other things outdoors. I might have something teensy-er than my little sunflowers and milkweed at last year's SF. LOL If the cold lingers too long, I might be sharing seeds! One variety came with the questionable TT order so I'm curious if it will perform.

    I diagrammed the rain garden and unintentionally ended up planning on plants I had seeds for already. I don't know how I managed to do that. Well, I guess I do. I bought and traded for seeds that I really really wanted over the last couple years and didn't have the space ready for them. Most of those are now in the fridge stratifying.

    I had to order some tropical milkweed seeds this week since none of the plants I had last year set seed. Only seed order recently and I have zero room for anything not already planned so I'm avoiding the catalogs and websites.

    I received a promo in the mail for a dwarf blueberry that has me contemplating getting one - anyone have recommendations on a container/dwarf variety for Oklahoma? I know nothing about growing them, but I would love to grow fruit because it reminds me of being maybe 5 years old and riding on the tire well of my neighbor's little red tractor through the orchard. These neighbors had built a new house next to the family's old wood frame farmhouse, and we rented the farmhouse from the time I was 3 or 4 years old until I was in college. The couple died in a car accident when I was in first grade (about 7 years old) but until then they'd been like another set of grandparents. The orchard was positioned at the end of the drive that led to the two houses so in the winter my brother and I would huddle behind the trees to block the wind because the bus driver wouldn't wait for us if we had to run up the long drive from the house. Then in the spring we would nibble on cherries. My dad's mom stayed with us for a summer as the result of a move and I remember her sending us out to the orchard to pick fruit and she covered the kitchen table with pies. I wish I had the recipes and I've asked my cousins for them to no avail, but I don't know how she made them because we mostly only had pre-packaged food in the house, but she did it and I was in awe. More fruit tree stories...I've always been a bit of a hippie at heart and starting in middle school would pick blossoms from the apple trees and wear them in my hair... which drove my brother nuts because being a hippie was NOT cool in the late 80s/early 90s, so there was not much I could have done that was more nerdy in his opinion. That of course made me wish the trees would bloom all year so I could drive him crazy non-stop. LOL All these memories stirred by a postcard promoting strawberry plants and a dwarf blueberry. So I think I need a dwarf blueberry since stone fruit is so tough with our climate these days.

    It's time to go get mini-me from the birthday party and then probably a nap. Cross your fingers that hubby is up to cooking dinner since I'm too worn out. I'd planned on some things to use up the outdoor kale that I don't plan to cover this weekend, but this momma isn't up to it tonight.

  • 5 years ago

    Megan - I’m a sucker for blueberries and blackberries. When I was little we lived in Washington for a few years and our neighbor would invite me over for tea parties with her grandkids and she had blueberries in pots all over her patio. We were at Lowe’s yesterday picking up some trim for our house and they had some healthy looking blueberry plants. I snagged one and potted it up yesterday. Now it’s sitting on my kitchen table waiting for the weather to turn :)

    Nancy - I found the group googling Oklahoma gardening tips. Ps I’m a sucker for pesto. I like to make it with half blanched kale and half fresh basil, garlic, a handful soaked cashews (instead of oil or cheese), and lemon zest/ juice. It’s heavenly and so good for you. My kiddos eat it by the spoonful or on crackers

    Dawn- the house sounds amazing and I love that it has secret rooms. Hoping Tim gets well soon!

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks, Amy, for your greenhouse tips. My plan is to put it against the back of our brick house. The back faces south. I'll put it on the grass, but make a paver floor. IF I can use t-posts to help stake it, I'll do that too. I like the crockpot idea. There is an outlet on the back of the house. I'll have to figure out the "working" and "being away from home" thing. It's often cold when I leave in the morning and it warms up so much by the time I return home. Although, the past few weeks haven't been that way at all. How in the world is it March?! We haven't had those warm February days that I remember from the past 3 years or so.

    Megan, glad your family members health issues are improving. I also want a dwarf blueberry plant! Maybe one that will work for a large/deep Smartpot. I got one at the OKC Home and Garden show when I helped Dale and Bill Farris. I eat blueberries several times a week. I think I would like to try several dwarf fruit plants/trees. There's a patio peach at Walmart right now. I'm totally fine with a few fruit as I realize it's not going to produce like a full-sized one would. The smaller ones would be easier to "work" with, ya know.

    Lauren, what sort of blueberry plant did you get? I am SO interested. Also, I should probably explain my name because everyone calls me something different. haha. My user name is Hazel (because I like it and in the past, I had some weird experiences at other forums with stalking and such (not gardening forums) so I was hesitant about using my real name, Jennifer. Dumb, I know). Some call me Jennifer (There's also another regular, Jen) and HJ is another name for me.

    My favorite pesto is with half basil/half spinach and pinenuts. BUT I like to change it up too.

    Y'all I"m tired. It's been a long day. I wonder what the weather will bring us tonight.

  • 5 years ago

    Grrr. I am irritated. Have typed a long, rambling answer twice and lost it twice. So here's my final attempt for tonight.

    Tim is still very sick. I am beginning to understand what a violent stomach virus the norovirus gives new meaning to the word projectile. If the rest of us manage to escape all the germs he is spewing into the universe, it will be an absolute miracle, and not a miracle I'm expecting will occur. The four year old granddaughter was lucky---she left for her dad's house and an out-of-state vacation the same day Tim came home sick, so she might be spared. The rest of us probably won't be.

    This weather.....this is what Oklahoma does. What is pretty much guaranteed is that the weather each year will find a way to be very different from the previous year's, after three relatively nice, warm Februaries, we are having a cold one....with March seeming like it will start out the same way. It is what it is and we just have to deal with it. Our erratic late winter and early spring weather is why Oklahoma isn't known for having a huge commercial fruit-growing industry---because such as industry would go broke here.

    Blueberries are extremely difficult to grow successfully. I grew them in Texas and was smart enough to never attempt them here as I have highly alkaline soil and highly alkaline water, slow-draining clay and frequent summer dry spells with tons of heat and little to no rainfall. What do blueberries need? A very specific acidic soil in a very specific pH range, and if you can create that, you also need to have neutral to acidic water that isn't working against you. If you have alkaline water, then each time you water (blueberries tend to need irrigation daily in our very hot and dry summers in southern OK), the water is making your acidic mix a bit more alkaline and it takes a toll on the plants after a couple of years. They need perfect drainage. Perfect. They are shallow-rooted and will die quickly if allowed to get too dry in the summer. They abhor wet feet and will die quickly if allowed to sit in waterlogged soil. How are you going to help them cope on one of those days when 5 or 8 or 12" of rain falls in one day? Have a plan for that! They are very prone to root rot diseases like phytopthera. People who have success with them tend to have perfect drainage and soil that is in the perfect pH range for them. When I grew them in Texas, I had them in a raised bed completely above grade so their roots never made it down into our slow-draining black gumbo clay. That bed was filled with a 50-50 mix of pine bark fines and peat moss. I watered with a soaker hose so the water went into the soil-less mix and not onto the plants. My plants got direct sun from about 8-10 a.m. and then were in dappled shade to heavy shade the rest of the day. If you grow them in containers, you may need to water with drip irrigation lines more than once a day in the hottest weather. It is hard to create a soil-less mix that drains well but also doesn't drain too well....good luck with that.

    Here's the OSU Fact Sheet on Growing Blueberries in the home garden. The people I know who have had the most success have lived in the NE quadrant of the state and had naturally well-draining and acidic soil. I don't know if any of them kept the plants alive for longer than maybe 5 years, and lost the plants about the time they really began to produce well. Sometimes they did get a year or two of good production from the plants before they died.

    Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden

    Megan, I'm glad your daughter is so much better and continue to pray for your uncle's continued recovery. He's had such a tough time the last few days. Your poor mom! Being sick is not fun and if you feel compelled to go into work anyway, that is just a miserable situation.

    Of course you are tired and low in energy today---your crazy week drained it all out of you. I hope you were able to rest and yet also to find the energy to cover up and move whatever plants needed it. I am afraid y'all are going to take a pretty hard hit from this weather up there.

    They have snow and/or sleet back in our forecast for tomorrow---it pops in and out of the forecast every few hours, but tonight our local TV weather guy seemed more convinced than previously that it is going to find us. I'll continue hoping it misses us. We're still going to be pretty cold for this far south. The wind chills for the whole state look horrible over the next couple of days. At least wind chills themselves do not affect plants, though cold temperatures and strong winds can be tough on our plants in these sorts of cold spells.

    I helped Jana and Lillie paint Lillie's room at the new house today. It looks really nice and two coats of her chosen paint color (one coat yesterday, another one today) covered up the previous paint color very well. There's a ton of prep work involved in painting these rooms because they have so much of the lovely Victoria style trim and woodwork that needs to be covered in blue painter's tape so that we don't get the wall paint on the trim. Really, by the time you can finally start painting, the painting goes much more quickly than all the prep work. After we finished that room, we worked on prepping the living room for has a total of 8 walls and I think 10 windows, 8 of which are the 84" tall lots of time was spent up on ladders, and we never even made it high enough today to cover the crown molding to protect it from the wall paint. I guess that's a project for tomorrow if we aren't iced in here at our house. My son works tomorrow, so we may take a day off and stay home unless we have to be up there at the house because an appliance is being delivered. One is scheduled, but the weather could interfere......and we all may be tired enough that we are sort of hoping it does.

    One thing that struck me about her room is that the only closet is the original one from 1932, and it is sort of wedge shaped in a corner, and very tiny, so it will not hold much....she is sort of in shock at the fact that her lovely room has so little built-in storage. We're looking for furniture that can store a lot of clothing.....maybe an old-fashioned armoire or wardrobe.

    For lunch we had a picnic sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor since no furniture has been moved into the house yet. We had our favorite Bar-B-Q from Caddo BBQ so it was the yummiest meal and was lots of fun. I spent a lot of time looking out windows at the landscape today. They have a lot of shade so that may present some landscaping challenges. Oh, and we met the lovely older couple next door....almost old enough, perhaps, to be my parents, but not quite. They are so kind and so friendly. We found some old wallpaper previously not seen when removing light switch plates and old cabinets and things. That was pretty fun...but it wasn't drastically old wallpaper....I think I remember very similar patterns from the 1980s.

    My tomato plants are outgrowing their light shelf and I have no desire to move them to the greenhouse yet, as that would mean setting up heaters in the greenhouse....and I just do not even want to go I'll bring in a bigger shelf tomorrow that has adjustable shelving which will allow the plants to stay under fluorescent lights for at least a couple more weeks.

    We still have nice weather out in the forecast around Thursday or so....knock on wood!


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