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November 2019, Week 3

dbarron
3 years ago

Having not seen Dawn (online) any yesterday, I felt it appropriate to assist. The kitties and online shopping must be getting her down :)

Ok, I'm not as verbose as Dawn, but welcome to the wild world of Arkansas/Oklahoma weather. This week looks to be warming back to "normal" with rain in mid week. Frost (but not deep freezing) returning after the rain As normal, the holiday will have a colder less pleasant day, we wouldn't want people to get outside and enjoy themselves, would we ?

To add variety, I can tell you about an interesting plant shopping experience that unraveled this past week. I ordered some carnivorous plants from California Carnivores about 3 weeks ago now, they were running a sale and had advised that shipping could run slower than their normal 7-10 days. So I had just impatiently waited till Wednesday, when I got this odd phone call that I didn't recognize. I typically have the phone on do not disturb and only people on my contacts list get any chance at me answering it. Well Google (my provider) transcribes most voice mails automatically to test, I can glance at them and see what they were w/o listening to anything, and usually just delete them.

In this particular case, a lady from Wilmington, DE was calling to tell me that she had received my order. She had placed an order with CC, but had not received her order, just mine. She called again with more details before I had read the first text. Ok, so she's determined..right?

I emailed details to the company (CC), and asked what they were going to do for us. Then I returned the call, and talked to this lady, who was very nice. The call lasted 2 hours, as we discussed gardening history, venturing off to parrots (both of us had parrots, mine passed a few years ago before I left Oklahoma), aquariums, etc. This is excessive talking and I think we both were looking for ways to get away, so I was pleased when she decided it was lunch time (for me too).

Resolution, is that my plants were shipped out next day (again), and this time to my address. They should arrive Monday morning. I will call Monday and compare notes (and hopefully photos) of what she got and what I got. The fun thing is that I ordered a grab bag pitcher plant and a random Mexican butterwort, besides precise specific varieties. I told her I'll be "sad" if the first shipment was more interesting and/or bigger plants than what I get on the second shipment.

(technical stuff but possibly of interest to some)

Pitcher plants are the somewhat snake looking tall tubes that insects fall into. They are mostly US natives, and will be grown outside here in a bog environment.

Mexican butterworts are very interesting, they're also passive insect catchers, but they do it with long boat shaped leaves with hairs that have sticky dew on the ends of them. They're weird in that they have two sets of leaves. In the dry season in their native habitat (winter), they grow leaves that remind one more of hen and chickens sempervivum. We call those the succulent leaves and they don't trap insects, they just look all radial and cute. Then when the rainy season begins (last year for my first plant it was June), they begin producing the big insect catcher leaves that are semi-translucent and feature insect catching. They caught a LOT during the summer last year and early fall.

I also have a clump of venus fly trap (the famous quick action carnivorous plant). It's outside with a saucer of water, because they won't typically live through the winter without dormancy. They are native to areas along the East coast. I think everyone probably knows that when 2 different receptors in the 'trap' are touched by an insect, they slam closed with near lightning speed. These traps stayed full all summer and fall too. They and the pitcher plant are the only ones that can trap something beetle or wasp sized, all the other CPs that I grow are more ant and gnat sized.

And finally, sundews, I have two tropical sundews now. Both display slower motion than the Venus Fly traps and use the dewy and gluey hair principle that butterworts also use, however, they display leaf movement (but on the order of fiveteen minutes) curling, folding, etc the leaf to engulf the prey with more dew and digestive enzymes. Their prey tends to be very small things ant sized or less, but they stayed rolled tight about all the warm season with tiny bugs. One of the new items is an common sundew to the american southeast, so it'll be going outside too. The others (new and old) are tropical plants which will overwinter in my sunny bedroom window. The ones there have already caught some fungus gnats since moving inside about 2 weeks ago when we had first frost.

(end CP)

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good weekend and Dawn finds this before creating another.

Comments (44)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    dbarron, Thanks for starting this week's conversation thread! I came here to try to do this and my brain was groaning (too much bottle feeding of kittens, too little sleep....) because it really isn't awake and raring to go yet. I think I need caffeine. The grandkids are here this weekend so that has contributed a little to my lack of computer time. Last night after they went to bed and I could have had computer time, we were watching OU's amazing comeback. We had watched two movies (The Lion King and Elf) with the girls so didn't even know OU was behind until we turned on the game and discovered OU was not doing so well. I remember that it didn't look good for OU when we started watching, and of course, we were feeding the kittens at the same time so I still wasn't that focused on the game until the kittens were done....and by then OU had started their comeback.

    I love your description of your wayward plant shipment and the 2-hour conversation with the woman who received it. Gardeners always are so happy to talk gardening (and other topics) with one another, aren't we? That's interesting info about your bog plants. I have been in parts of eastern and southeastern Texas where the bog plants grow in wild abundance in some areas of natural habitat that mankind has not yet managed to destroy and they are amazing. I didn't know that any of them were even moderately cold-hardy. I hope you'll let us know what you receive tomorrow when your plants arrive.

    I am excited about our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday weather when we are expecting high temperatures in the 70s. This morning is the same old, same old thing as what we had all week long last week though---an early morning low in the 30s, low dewpoints, and frost on everything outdoors. After one more cold night tonight though, our lows for the next three nights will be in the 40s and 50s, so we'll wake up for at least a couple of days that feel like typical November days.

    Our fall color has fallen apart thanks to the multiple hard freezes while leaves still were green, and now all the foliage is largely going brown and falling. The elms were pretty spectacular for a while and the red oaks have tried their best, but their red is not like the red of a more typical year. I noticed when we were down in Texas last weekend that the Chinese Pistache trees were a glorious brilliant red, but they also haven't had the early hard freezes like we've had. I do have a pair of sunglasses that seem to make plant material veer a bit more red or orange than it actually is, so when I look at the red oaks while wearing the sunglasses, the foliage looks pretty spectacular but that effect doesn't last once I take off my sunglasses.

    I wish rain weren't returning for the latter half of the week, but we get what we get and rain always is a good thing as long as we're not flooding. A portion of northern OK has a chance for some freezing precipitation at the end of this week, and they are welcome to it.....we don't want it down here in southern OK this early in the season. Here's the 7-day Qualitative Precipitation Forecast for anyone who's wondering how much rain their area is forecast to get:


    7-Day QPF


    I hadn't looked at the longer-term outlooks this weekend either, so checked to see what the updated ones say. Here's the 8-14 day outlook that carries us through the end of this month:


    8-14 Day Outlook


    Y'all might remember that for a long time the medium-range outlooks were showing that the odds were good we'd have warmer-than-average weather for the second half of November, but they've been trending away from that for the last 8-10 days, so now it looks like the weather for the first half of this week might be the only warmer-than-average weather we'll get. I'm still hopeful for a warm and sunny Thanksgiving Day, but that's seeming less and less likely. It sort of looks like Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week might be our last gasp of pretty, sunny, warm weather this month. One discouraging thing about highs in the 70s is that sometimes the snakes come out on fall days that warm in order to hunt, and we have so many leaves down on the ground that the venomous ones like copperheads can blend right in with the leaves. I don't like that. I had begun thinking that these three pretty days would be a great time to mow and collect leaves, but then thought about the snakes and changed my mind about that.

    Over the last few days, and for probably most of the last week, we've seen an increase in the number of grass fires that are hard to control and require multiple departments (often up to 5 to 8 VFDs) to bring them under control here in our county. Now that we have had multiple hard freezes, all the moisture is frozen out of the brush and prairie grasses and the fires are spreading quickly once they start. We also have to remember that all the rain we had earlier in 2019 caused a lot of plant growth, so now that's a heavy potential fire fuel load sitting out there. Fires are starting from something as simple as mowing (a mower blade hits a piece of metal or a stone and throws off a spark that ignites the grass) and welding. I don't know if the welders were using welding blankets and all that, but one welding fire burned 140 acres and one mowing accident cost a family several vehicles that the grass fire reached before firefighters could arrive, or at least before they could get to the vehicles---the larger priority always is to save the structures and I think that's what was going on when the adjacent vehicles began burning. I hope this isn't a sign that the winter wildfire season is going to be difficult. We're at the point now where rain won't help in terms of fire danger because dry, dead or dormant vegetation doesn't absorb that moisture like green, growing plants do. The only thing rain will do is make the ground so soft and muddy that fire brush trucks bog down in the mud while trying to fight pasture fires.

    I'm getting my gardening fix from six potted amaryllis plants that are sitting here in a sunny, south-facing window. You know, when you buy those bulbs, it always is iffy. Most of them will grow and bloom, but every now and then you get one that only produces foliage and no flowers. I have one of those. Of the remaining five, three have talk stalks with developing flower buds and I think we'll have blooms before long, and I just bought the last two last weekend at Lowe's (their blooms will be dark pink) so they're just getting started. Most years the worry is that the plants won't bloom by Christmas. This year I am starting to worry they'll bloom well before Christmas, so I bought those last two to increase the odds we'll have some in bloom on Christmas Day. We'll enjoy them either way, but I like to have them in bloom when everyone comes to the house for Christmas.

    It is hard to even think of a garden chore list at this time of the year, but I'm trying.

    November is a great time to:

    ---plant trees and shrubs (or transplant any, once dormant)

    ---gather autumn leaves and use them as mulch or as fodder for the compost pile

    ---do corrective pruning of mis-shapened or damaged shrubs and trees

    ---plant winter annual color like pansies, violas, ornamental kale and cabbage, etc., if you still can find the plants in stores

    ---plant daffodils if you've got them, but wait until December to plant pre-chilled tulips if you have those

    Hmmm. That's all I can think of. If somebody wanted to overseed a lawn with rye grass or plant any sort of cover crop from seed today, I think there is a narrow window of opportunity this week to perhaps try that, water immediately after sowing the seed, and hope to get good germination this week while we are a bit warmer than we have been previously this month.

    I'm putting up the goldfinch feeder today. Usually the birds don't really show up at the finch feeder until January, but we froze so early this year that I'm wondering if it has affected their winter seed supply so I think I'll get the feeder put up early just in case it has.

    That's about it for this morning. I bet there's stuff I'm forgetting, but clearly I have no idea what it is. I'm working on weaning the kittens onto solid food now, so can see the light at the end of the tunnel and think that within the next couple of weeks I may be able to get them off their bottles which, in turn, should mean a return to normal sleep patterns for us around here. Right now they still are exploring the flavor and texture of canned kitten food but prefer most of their nutrition come from the bottle. I'm hoping we can change that rather soon. It is sweet, though, to hold them and feed them while they gaze up and look at you (or, perhaps, they are looking at their bottle) with adoring eyes and purr. I'm going to miss those sweet moments once these little babies are no longer so little. Nurturing tiny animals is almost as fun as nurturing plants.


    Dawn





    dbarron thanked Okiedawn OK Zone 7
  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago

    What a strange event, dbarron! Very funny. Good job and posting in Dawn's stead.

    Gorgeous weather, indeed! And we'll have three more days of it--well, two, anyway.

    When did you become a carnivorous plant fan? There are so many which ways to explore with gardening, aren't there!

    Dawn, I felt a little sad, hearing you talk about missing the sweet tiny kitten moments.

    I so wish I could have pretty things like amaryllis plants in the house--or a Christmas cactus. How old is yours?

    We had 2 fun hard-working 16-yr olds out yesterday in the great weather. One is coming again tomorrow. We know both of them, and learned they were looking to earn $$. Also, one has visited out here a few times with her Mom, and she wants to learn how to garden. I expect the other one will, too. How cool is THAT!?? We got so much done. The girls were "building soil," GDW was raking around spots the mower can't go, and I was double mulching leaves. Amy and I'll spend tomorrow afternoon "building" more soil. I have them their choice--raking or making soil. Both chose the latter. I warned them that they were taking the harder job, but they thought it sounded fun! LOLOL I LOVED it.

    I think I'll have them drag the big totes off the deck for one of the next projects. Woo-hoo! Happy Sunday, all.



    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
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  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Nancy, I'm into almost everything...not just CP and not just indoor/outdoor plants :) I tried CPs first when I was a youngster and didn't know any better than to treat like 'normal' houseplants, they died pretty fast.

    I decided a few years ago to give them another whirl with all the information I'd gleaned over the internet, and they grow just fine (in fact more like weeds). It's always nice to see the old dog has learned a few things along the way!

  • Rebecca (7a)
    3 years ago

    I’m neck deep in holiday cooking and baking plans. My new little deep freezer is being delivered next Saturday. I’ll probably resurface around here in January when I can think about seed orders again.

    dbarron thanked Rebecca (7a)
  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Rebecca, you're gonna bake for a month and a half straight? :) Wow, you should invite me to your table.

  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Since this is all that's really photographic right now...here's an idea of how sticky sundews are. Think of every drop as a drop of very sticky adhesive glue.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago

    Rebecca--I just asked you about your baking on FB--specifically, what kinds of stuff will you be baking?

    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 years ago

    I have not been doing much, but I have gotten all the tree limbs hauled off and still have 2 more trees to trim. I cut one of the trees down that I had planned to trim, which I am proud of. It was a Cleveland pear and should not have been planted anyway. I had to drag it about 1/2 mile to take the long way to the wildlife garden where it will be burned along with all the other tree trash.


    I am supposed to have a young man over tomorrow after school to do some of the work that needs to be done around here. I know that I will never be caught up, but I doubt that anyone else will be caught up either. I thank that as long as you own a home there is always something that needs to be done.

    dbarron thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Hi!

    Busy weekend. Hoping to spend a little time outdoors tomorrow. Maybe cut the asparagus. It's browning now. And do a few more clean up chores.

    I'm not sure the broccoli and cauliflower will make it. That really cold night did some damage for sure.


    It feels like there were a couple of questions from last week's thread that I was suppose to answer, but I can't remember them.

    Nancy, you mentioned Finbar and not being cuddly. He can be cuddly. He likes to lie on my in the very early morning hours and purr loudly. And other times too. BUT, he is very busy too and likes to run around outdoors.


    Onions. I've been thinking about them. It's a bit early for me to be thinking so deeply about them, but I am.


    What's everyone's opinions of short day vs intermediate day? I've only grown short day varieties, but a considering buying the intermediate day variety pack this year. I will get a bundle of Red Creole just because it stores so well. I


    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • jlhart76
    3 years ago

    Flooring guy comes tomorrow. His grandmother died so he was out of town last week dealing with that. So instead of having the day off for a holiday, I'm going to have to take the day off (grumble grumble). I have somewhere around 3 months of vacation saved up, but I'm stingy. But it'll give me time to reorganize and clean the layer of clay dust off things before we bring them back in. We only have one guest until Friday, a little whippett/jack russell mix, and then the holiday horde descends & we're practically booked solid until January. So the new floor will definitely get a good breaking in.


    Garden-wise, not much other than seed sorting, packing for swaps, and trying to decide what I want to start come January (or mid Dec if I get the bedroom closet emptied and my shelves set up). I need to do some more cleaning, and I think I saw a neighbor had bagged leaves at the curb so I need to go -ahem- reallocate them before trash day.

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  • HU-939938193
    3 years ago

    Jennifer, I haven't found too much difference between short day and intermediate day varieties. I've tried just about every variety available here .I usually put out 20 to 30 bunches of various

    varieties every Feb. I've had the best success with Yellow Granex , Candy and Texas Supersweet (1015Y). Superstar does ok too. Red Candy doesn't get as big as Candy but it's ok for a red onion. Neither does Red Creole. For me the red onions doesn't get as big as the yellow or white ones. For an intermediate variety Candy would probably be your best bet. Of course a lot depends on the growing conditions, "WEATHER" . This year I had a too wet spring and had to pull the onion crop before it rotted in the ground and before they got full size.


    I usually don't get the onion fever until late Jan.


    okmulgee boy


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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    Nancy, The baby kitten moments of cuddling and purring are so sweet, and so fleeting....even now the kittens are so much more independent than they were 2 weeks ago, and instead of cuddling and snuggling after they eat, they want to get down and run and play. But then, on the other hand, I can give up the mama cat's chore of washing their little private areas with a baby washcloth after each feeding to stimulate urination and defecation because now they seem mostly able to just go to their little litter box and use it. Yay! That's a baby kitten chore I won't miss. I just watch to make sure all 4 are successfully using the box so that if anyone is having trouble we can address that and deal with it.

    Nancy, This Christmas cactus is only 3 years old. Prior to that I had one that was about 8 or 9 years old, and now I don't even remember what happened to it but it died one winter. Cats might have gotten it because they like to use the Christmas cacti as cat beds. which breaks and destroys the plants. With the current one, I have plastic forks sticking up in it because that's the only way to keep Pumpkin from sleeping in it/on it. I used black forks because they won't detract from the beauty of the plant when it blooms quite as much as white forks will.

    That's great that you have some teenaged helpers who want to learn about gardening. When you learn that sort of thing at a young age, it stays with you forever and it sounds like y'all are in the process of growing two new gardeners now.

    Rebecca, Enjoy the baking season! The King Arthur Flour catalog came last week and the girls and I were drooling over some of the cookie cutters and other items in it. We do a modest amount of holiday baking but not too much because we don't need to eat all those extra calories. I used to bake and give away a lot back when we lived in Fort Worth and were geographically closer to so many friends and family. I cut back a lot after we moved up here to a much more lightly populated area, and I do miss doing all that baking. I will bake cookies and cinnamon rolls pretty much daily during the peak of a bad winter fire season so that I always have snacks for the firefighters, but we haven't had a bad winter fire season in several years now and I may be out of practice for that kind of a workload.

    dbarron, I love that image of the sundew! They are such fascinating plants.

    Larry, It sounds to me like you've been plenty busy. I wish we'd had time this weekend to cut down a couple of trees. I do agree with you that anyone who owns property never really catches up on all the maintenance chores no matter how hard we try, and the larger the property, the harder it is to try to catch up. I'm glad you have a young man coming over to help.

    Jennifer, In our climate, you will not necessarily see much difference between short day and intermediate day length types. In fact, in some years, I have had the intermediate day onions ready for harvest at the same time as, or even earlier than, the short day types, depending on the variety and its' DTM as well as its day length. Different varieties, even within the same class, have different responses to day length. Still, I like to grow short day, intermediate day and long day length types. In an average year when I was gardening in more depth than I intend to do from this point forward, I'd average around 9 varieties of onions per year, split pretty evenly between short day, intermediate day and long day types. Short day and intermediate day length types tend to be the varieties of sweet onions that perform well in the south. I love them, and as Okmulgee boy stated above, you cannot go wrong with Candy---it produces well, produces huge onions as long as the plants have adequate nutrition and water, and they're so superbly sweet. Red Candy Apple just never has performed nearly as well as Candy and I stopped growing it for the most part. I thought it would be the red equivalent of Candy when they introduced it, but it really is nowhere close to Candy in size. The drawback to all sweet onion varieties is that their storage time is limited to just a few months and they'll begin sprouting before you can use them all. That's why I grow long daylength types, which tend to be more pungent in flavor, because they will store for a much longer period of time. For me, Copia, Red River and Highlander can store for almost a year in dry storage in a good year. Red River gives me larger onions than any of the sweet red onion varieties, by the way. (A bad onion year is one in which the onions got far too much rainfall and were so high in water content at harvest that their storage period was cut shorter than usual, so while you may get as many onions, they won't store as well as in a drier year, and in some very wet years, they can rot in the garden. In those years, I harvest them early, and chop and freeze them because their use as fresh onions will be incredibly limited by the excess moisture content.)

    When I grow short-day, intermediate-day, and long-day type onions all in the same year, my onion harvest period runs from May through either late July or sometimes early August depending on the long-day varieties performance. If I'm not growing a long day type, the harvest runs from May through either late June or very early July. One thing about short day types is that they really need to be planted early (February in my garden) in order to achieve their maximum size and sweetness by May when their tops begin to fall over because they are done. If you plant short-day types late, they won't achieve a good size because they just won't have the time to do so. It is a lot easier to get away with planting intermediate and long day types late because they take longer to mature.

    I really prefer growing long daylength types for storage onions because I can still be using those fresh by the time I'm starting to harvest the following year's short day types. You just have to choose your long daylength varieties carefully because not all long day length types will bulb up well this far south. I have been careful to follow Dixondale's recommendations for long day length types that will grow in our short day/intermediate day area because I learned the hard way that you cannot get a great harvest from every long day type that is sold.

    I've never been disappointed in any of the white or yellow short day or intermediate day varieties of onions that Dixondale sells, and have grown Texas 1015Y, aka Texas Supersweet, ever since it was first introduced several decades ago as it is a very reliable producer. I love Candy and have found Superstar does very well here too. I also have been pretty happy with Texas Early White and Texas Legend, which are much newer introductions. The red short day and intermediate day types are all the same to me, as none of them seems to perform that much better than any other, though Red Creole will store longer. I really like Southern Belle Red even though it doesn't attain a great size for me, but its storage period is pretty brief, so for reds I really rely more on Red River now than Southern Belle even though I have to wait significantly longer for Red River to mature.

    Jen, I'm glad the new floor is going in before you get super-busy with the holiday rush. I'm sure you're about to get busier with dogs than I can even imagine. We have our hands full with 4 dogs and don't need any more, not even temporarily.

    Isn't it convenient when people rake up and bag up leaves and all you have to do is search for them, find them, and bring them home to your place? That doesn't happen out here in the country---many people here just let them blow around all winter long, or they rake and burn them (a terrible waste of a great resource). Fortunately, our trees produce all the leaves we need.

    It is too cold this morning! I want to know why the forecast was for 38 degrees as an overnight low and we dropped to 30 degrees. I mean, that's not a measly 1 or 2-degree difference. Why can't the forecasters get it right? Or, maybe I should ask why our weather doesn't behave as expected?

    It is going to be a nice day outdoors once it warms up and I'm excited about that. I may gather leaves with the mower, which is safer, snake-wise, than raking them.

    We had such a great time with the girls all weekend. We had bought a package of those fake snowballs for indoor snowball fights, and yesterday afternoon we had the most epic indoor snowball fight with so much laughter and giggling, running and hiding, throwing and retrieving. Even after we took the girls home and thought we found and put away all the snowballs, we kept finding a stray snowball here or there. I cannot imagine having more fun outdoors with real snowballs than what we had with the fake ones indoors....and it was fun to have a snowball fight where you weren't getting hit in the face with a cold snowball. Warm snowballs are so much nicer. I do hope we have a snowy day this winter so the girls can play in the snow with real snowballs, but I'm a realist---this far south that sort of snow is extremely rare and most years it just does not happen at all. When we do get snow it usually is in such a small amount that you cannot even scrape up enough for a snowball.

    I noticed yesterday when we were at the store that the kids complained about how the stores are pushing Christmas so hard so early that Thanksgiving is in danger of being overlooked or forgotten and neither of them was happy about that. For a 5 year old and a 10 year old, I thought they had very well-formed opinions on that topic. I assured them that we were not going to miss or overlook Thanksgiving at our house nor were their parents going to miss or overlook Thanksgiving either. The whole conversation surprised me---because they certainly do look forward to Christmas....but not until after Thanksgiving, I suppose.

    I need to rake up burr oak acorns today. They are in the yard in between the house and the detached garage and it is really easy to stumble over those huge acorns, or step on one and slide off of it...they are larger than golf balls and larger than hen's eggs, so not easy to ignore when they are covering the ground mixed in with leaves. I try to at least corral all those so no one trips over them. I usually just rake them and dump them onto the compost pile along with chopped/shredded leaves. Then I pile chicken coop 'stuff' (a mixture of bedding and chicken manure) on top of the acorns and leaves to ensure that part of the pile gets hot enough for all those acorns to decompose instead of sprouting. We don't need for an oak forest to sprout in our compost pile. It is much easier to just ignore the acorns from the pin oaks, red oaks and post oaks, but you cannot ignore those big ones, and there's tons of them this year. There's so many acorns we aren't even seeing squirrels in our yard gathering them---I am sure they have gathered up and stored all the acorns they want from the woodland trees already.

    I cannot believe it is mid-November already. This month is just flying by.


    Dawn


    dbarron thanked Okiedawn OK Zone 7
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    It is flying by isn't it, Dawn?

    Thanks, Okmulgee Boy and Dawn, for the onion info. I haven't researched it deeply. I just heard that short day was the best for Oklahoma and have always purchased those varieties. For 3 years (I only do 2 bundles per/year), I had success with Red Creole and Texas Legend. Then, two years ago, I tried the Texas Supersweet and Southern Bell Red. They did okay, but there was a lot of bolting....and they just didn't produce as well for me. (although there could have been a ton of reasons for that.) SO, this year I went back to Texas Legend and Red Creole. They got too much rain and there was no harvest really. Total waste of time and money.

    I thought it would be fun to branch out and try the intermediate day ones this year. Maybe in 2021, I'll branch out further and try long day. They are going to the back garden this year into a true raised bed. Honestly, I don't care if the onions get giant--although that is fun--I just want them to make a nice healthy bulb.

    I'm sitting here after starting laundry and cleaning up the kitchen a bit. I'm trying NOT to clean the kitchen well because the first batch of turkeys will be started tomorrow and that destroys the kitchen. The second batch will be next Tuesday/Wednesday...so I might as well wait to scrub down the kitchen until after that. I'm just keeping the counters and dishes clean...and the sticky off the floor. Ugh. It's driving me nuts.

    I'm not thrilled that December is 3 days after Thanksgiving. There's that rush to get everything changed out from "fall" to Christmas. In good news, I'll only work one day during the week of Thanksgiving. So excited about that!

    And honestly, I don't know why I'm obsessing about the kitchen, because there's certainly a million other things I could be doing in the meantime.

    Before I hop up and start working on those "million other things", I want to ask about garlic. I've never had wonderful garlic harvests...for a variety of reasons. Mostly, they've gotten too wet, I think. Also, there's the years I planted them in giant pots and even though that worked well for Calikim, I suspect the pots got too cold. The garlic never sprouted. At all.

    I say all of this, but over 4 years ago, a neighbor gave me some garlic bulbs and I stuck them in the ground behind the shop. I've never harvested them and they come up every year. What is garlic like that like? Is that garlic good? Is it old and bitter? I just leave it.

    For this year, I didn't get any ordered, so picked up some organic garlic from NG. I'm going to put it in the back garden to try to keep it from getting too wet (like the future onions). Right now those beds are "mulched" with chicken bedding. It has droppings mixed in and it's been sitting on the bed for 2 or 3 months. Do y'all think it's safe to put the garlic cloves in those beds? I know that chicken droppings are hot.

    Anyway...let me know what y'all think. Thanks!

    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Ok, photobomb of new CPs that arrived today:

    1) Mystery butterwort, won't know till it blooms.

    2) Outside - New pitcher plant, surrounded by dormany Venus Fly Trap and dormant sundew. I also got another pitcher plant (but it's trimmed and also unknown).


    3) A red flowered butterwort


    4) Alicae sundew. It lost it's dew after I unpackaged it, due to travel trauma. It should recover in a few days.


  • jlhart76
    3 years ago

    Carpet is up, new flooring is waiting for the guy to come back tomorrow to install. Next house definitely has to have tile or vinyl in the main living areas.

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  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    3 years ago

    Dbarron, your CPs are very interesting! I thought about venus flytraps for the chicken run when we first got chickens. I didn't think I could maintain the right environment. My luck the chickens would eat the plants.

    H/J, I think the garlic behind the shed sprouts from the previous years cloves. I often have it sprout from cloves I missed. I wouldn't harvest till about July, though. I don't think it would be good now.

    Jen, I would love to get rid of the carpet. Lord I hate our carpet. Moving furniture always is my sticking point.

    I swore I had posted on this thread. Maybe I was stuck on last week. Okmulgee boy, how did your tunnels work out? Did I miss a report?

    Have a good week everyone.

  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Yes, if put in proximity, the tiny little CPs would almost certainly be eaten by chickens. And they are kinda demanding, if rainfall isn't enough, you have to use low PPM water (aka no high ph), I use distilled water. But they're also kinda neat. I had a gnat of some kind bothering me yesterday at lunch. I killed it (by hand) and put on a sundew hair on tip of leaf. In a couple hours I looked back, and the leaf had rolled over it and moved it down several hairs where it is currently digesting. (no waste!)

    The only reason to harvest garlic now would be if you wanted the greens, and wouldn't be good for clove formation. Does anyone actually use garlic greens like chives?

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    3 years ago

    Okmulgee boy, I found your post on last weeks thread.

    Dbarron, I've meant to, LOL, but haven't. Lots of people do. We have a wild garlic stand that comes up next to the patio every spring. Ron sometimes uses those greens. We have garlic chives, which he uses, too, but I don't like them, the leaves are too tough. I think young garlic greens would be good and not as tough.

    dbarron thanked AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Because I'm really pretty dumb about gardening...what I meant about the 'garlic from the neighbor behind the shop that always comes up each year'...is that garlic good in the summer when it comes up again? Does that make sense? I really need to study up on it. I've left it undisturbed for this long...is the new stuff that comes up each year...edible? Or is it old? The bulbs/cloves...not greens.

    I hope I'm making sense. haha.

    Thanks, y'all.


    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Hazel, for most bulbs (not all), the life cycle is that each year the bulbs are replaced, so there is no such thing as 'old'.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    Jennifer, You're welcome. The last few years have been wet during onion-growing season and that can cause onions to rot. Most years I still get a good harvest from onions grown in raised beds, but every now and then there is a year when we are so wet in Spring that even the raised beds stay too wet---last year was sort of one of those years. I say sort of because some of the onions survived the huge onslaught on constant moisture and performed well. Other onions stayed too wet and rotted---it wasn't variety specific and they all were in the same bed, so it likely was just the luck of the draw. Perhaps some parts of that bed drained better than others. I don't know. It is an old, well-established bed and generally drains well enough. Bolting normally is related more to highly variable temperatures, which Oklahoma tends to have plenty of. The size of the onions at the time the temperatures are fluctuating a great deal play a role in bolting too.

    Garlic that is left in the ground unharvested usually will grow and produce more garlic the following year, but not exactly the way most people think. Assuming the unharvested garlic had formed bulbs that a person did not get around to harvesting, the bulbs will split into individual cloves underground if you don't harvest it at the proper time. Then, all the cloves will sprout and grow, which each clove essentially forming its own plant. Sometimes the bulbs also form little offsets called bulbils, which are baby cloves-to-be, and the bulbils eventually reach a size where they sprout and grow as well. The end result of all the cloves and bulbils sprouting and growing in place undisturbed from unharvested garlic is that they will be too close together for good bulbs to form, though they'll provide a perpetual harvest of garlic greens. So, if you want a good harvest of actual garlic bulbs from your undisturbed garlic patch, you'll need to dig all of it up and replant the healthy cloves and bulbils at proper garlic spacing. Whatever garlic is growing in that patch now is edible and shouldn't be bitter, but there may not be many or any bulbs and the bulbs may not have differentiated into individual cloves if they are too tightly packed into the growing space. The greens may be tough and not really edible at this stage, though any new green growth should be tender as long as you harvest and use it before it gets too old. You won't really know what your garlic patch looks like underground until you dig down there and see what you find. If you don't need or want to use the garlic, you can leave it undisturbed as is. In my back garden I planted a ring of garlic around the fig tree in either 2012 or 2013 to repel voles so they wouldn't eat the fig roots. (They already had nearly destroyed one fig tree by eating about 95-99% of its roots, so I hurriedly planted the garlic to protect the remaining tree....and it worked.) Oh, and I did save the decimated fig tree by digging it up, potting it up and cutting it back by about 95% so that the roots and top growth could regrow together in a balanced way instead of expecting the small amount of tiny roots left to support a full-sized tree. Anyhow, I never touch that ring of garlic and it just looks like a big round ring of liriope or sedge growing around the base of the fig tree, but it is garlic.

    I'm not happy about the quick changeover we'll have to do in order to replace the Thanksgiving/autumn décor with Christmas décor so quickly, but I guess we'll find a way to get it done. There is so much about this autumn that I just haven't liked....and the weather is #1 followed closely by the late, late Thanksgiving this year. I just looked at the calendar to see what next year's holidays look like and Thanksgiving 2020 falls on Nov. 26th compared to this year's Thanksgiving falling on Nov 28th, so that helps a little bit but not all that much. The retailers must not like it either, as they are pushing Black Friday deals early.....some of them started back in October with so-called Black Friday deals each week. I ignore pretty much all their marketing but still get tired of hearing about it. I remember the olden days when Black Friday deals really were huge deals, financially. Now it seems like a lot more hype for deals that are not really significant savings.

    Next week's weather is not looking as nice as this week's weather. The latest 6-10 day outlook still shows temperatures for Thanksgiving that will be trending cooler than average:


    6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

    And, the 8-14 Day Outlook is about the same:


    8-14 Day Temperature Outlook


    I've noticed that a lot of people have been seeing snakes out this week (photos and warnings posted on FB), so be careful if you're out there working with leaves.

    I'm coming down with a cold, I think, and have been taking elderberry to try to lessen its impact. I really don't want to be sick for Thanksgiving.

    In wonderful kitten news (any change in the kitten's life that will allow me to sleep like a normal person again is good news), the kittens are eating their canned food much better now, on Day 4 of introducing semi-solid food to the kittens, and they haven't had a bottle yet this morning since we awakened, although they had bottles at the 2 am feeding. For their mid-day feeding, I am going to offer them their milk replacer in the dishes instead of via bottles, although that hasn't worked well when attempted previously. They don't seem eager to give up bottle feedings, but are starting to bite holes in the nipples, so it is time to move on from that before one of them bites off a nipple or a good-sized piece of one and swallows it. Plants are so much easier than kittens.....you just plant those plants and feed or water as needed and they eat and drink as needed. Kittens require much more specialized attention. lol. Other than them not wanting to give up their bottles, they are turning into playing machines, fighting machines, and little climbing and jumping machines. So far I can keep them inside their kitty corral, but one kitten has climbed to the top of it twice today and would have gotten over the top if I hadn't been there pulling it off the kitty coral fence and putting it back on the floor inside the coral. If they all figure out how to climb out of the kitty corral, then I will have lost control of them. The thought of 4 kittens running all over everywhere is not a happy thought---our two dogs, Ace and Princess, are not kitten-friendly like Jersey is and I'm afraid they might hurt them so I'll have to watch the free-ranging kittens carefully. Jesse is an unknown factor, but he is just so big and gangly and all legs and paws that he might step on a kitten and hurt it without meaning to.

    I bought two more amaryllis bulbs this past weekend since several of the existing ones are about to bloom roughly a month earlier than I'd hoped they would. I didn't start them earlier than usual either. The two I bought most recently are the Stargazer amaryllis, which produces a red and white bicolored flower. This gives us a total of 8 amaryllis bulbs in pots. I did, at least, resist buying the waxed amaryllis bulbs I saw at Costco, and maybe at Sam's Club too, over the last couple of weeks. I've seen mixed reviews of the waxed bulbs so haven't been in a hurry to try one. They do look really nice though.

    Have a good day everyone and enjoy the sunshine and warmth....and lack of rainfall. I know the rain comes back in a couple of days, but it is nice to not have any falling for another day or so.


    Dawn



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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    Is anyone else making a run at a high temperature of 80 this afternoon? We are....just one degree away.

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  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago

    We made it to 70, Dawn, and I was THRILLED. I took my laptop out to the deck--first day since our initial early frost. It was glorious! Garry and I had eye appointments this morning; he finally got his eyes tested so he can get his new glasses, and I got antibiotics for eye infection. A two-fer--glad we both got in.

    But then we made the mistake of having a late breakfast in town, so came home and didn't do a thing. Finally, about 3:30 or so, I realized it was so lovely outside I needed to do SOMETHING. So I had Garry help me get the leaf blower back pack on (I can't get it on by myself) and took off, blowing leaves from our drainage ditch and down the county access-way between the neighbors and us. I'd just LEAVE those leaves in the interest of better habitat practices, but if I did, I know the neighbor would not only blow them but would also burn them. All the neighbors are leaf-burning fools. So I got started on that project. It's a LOT of leaves. Well, you can imagine, with probably a total of 20-30 enormous oaks on either side of the access way. This year, however, I talked Garry into leaving all the leaves in what I refer to as the "back 40." He should just love me for all the work I've saved him!

    I am just melting at hearing about the kittens. I won't ever have kittens again, probably--but was just realizing how fun childhood was as we had 2-3 batches of kittens way back then, before getting Momma kitty spayed and always were able to find homes for them--Meanwhile we got to see them from birth to 2-3 months old.

    The CPs do sound like a lot of fun. . . it's just as well that we live in this cave, or I would be tempted to try them out, no doubt.

    I'm so happy with our new garden helpers! What a difference another pair or two pair of hands makes! I realized I should take full advantage of these few nice days, so had one of the helpers back out yesterday. (Wagoner doesn't currently have school on Mondays--grrrr.)

    I cannot remember what kind of onions I got last year! AAHH--Candy. This year short day varieties--TX Super Sweet and TX Legend.

    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    We made it to 77. It was such a nice day. I was unable to spend much time outdoors, but we did walk the dogs before dark.

    Nothing new to report.

    Thanks for the garlic info. If you saw my FB post you know that I did go ahead and plant the garlic yesterday. I hope the chicken droppings don't mess it all up. That bed is already getting better. The worms were thick.

    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • jlhart76
    3 years ago

    Links to gardening are never an annoyance.


    Floor is half finished and the contractors will be back today to finish it up. So tonight and tomorrow night I can get things set back to rights. Just in time for the horde to descend. We'll still have to paint baseboards at some point but that will have to wait until we can close up. Otherwise all the dog hair flying around will just make for fuzzy baseboards.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    3 years ago

    okmulgee boy, thanks, I liked the link. I am working toward some of that, but wish I had started years ago.


    I have a young man coming over after school and we are getting some of the projects done that I have a very hard time doing any more. We both enjoy the time together, I think he enjoys the extra money he can make ( I was the same way at his age ). I enjoy his company and showing him how to do things. If I don't run out of money or if he does not run out of time we will get a lot done.


    We now have 4 poles set on my "potting shed". I should call it a hobby shed, because I plan on using it for a lot of things. It will be built very strong. I want to have a 1 ton hand winch or hoist attached to the ceiling to lift lawn mowers, tractor buckets and any heavy item I want to play with.


    I am wanting to try to roll EMT or fence top rail around a tractor tire to make hoops for the garden. I don't have a bender, and I don't think I am strong enough to do the bending anyway. I am hopping I can drive up on the tubing and strap it to a tractor tire and then drive forward until I get the bend I want. I have never heard of anything like this, but I think it is worth a try. If I still have my young man working for me when I get to that project I think I can build a jig and get him to do the bending, he is really a strong guy for his size.


    I can see now why farmers- of- old had such large families , they needed the slave labor so they all could eat.

    dbarron thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the link, Okmulgee Boy. That was very useful in figuring out WHEN to start my winter/fall garden. It's a flop this year. I started things too late and don't have the proper coverings for those crops.


    Jen, pets and baseboards. Yuk. Our utility room was remodeled 3 years ago. We put in new 6 inch white baseboards that are completely nasty now. The dogs sleep in the utility room and the cats' food and litter boxes (in a little closet thing) are in there as well. I gave up on trying to keep them spotless. Someday when these dogs have crossed the rainbow bridge maybe I'll scrub them and repaint. My dogs pick up a lot of dirt and dust when they are outside. How does everyone manage that? Or do your dogs stay inside except to go out to do their business?


    Hey I have a question for any of you who have wood raised beds...particularly ones made with treated lumber. How long do your beds last?

    The ones in our back garden are made with untreated lumber and are breaking down after 5 years. I might get another year out of them. I will probably replace those with concrete blocks. Another question. How do you change out the bed frames? They are filled with amended soil and obviously you want to keep that, so do you shovel it onto tarps, and then build the new beds and shovel the soil back into them? (during this process would also be a good time to look for the remaining pesky bermuda stolons and pull them out.)

    Our east garden has raised beds built with treated lumber. I'm just wondering how long those will last...

    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    My dogs only go out for supervised short visits. They run for the door as soon as I head that way, they don't want to be out there by themselves. But yes, they do bring in quite a bit (leaves, sticks) still. Mud sometimes :(

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Haha, okmulgeeboy. Despite what I said about hoping my crops would die, I DO have my spinach, cilantro, and wildflower seedlings out in the beds. Last year they did fine with no extra frost covers or plastic hoop tunnels. But I may try the added protection this year. My problem is mostly borne of uncertainty, which is just silly. TRY it and modify if necessary, right? There's no way I can use rebar in the mix, as these beds are built on rock/gravel. But I keep thinking since the beds are raised concrete blocks, I could uses PVC with the ends going down through the concrete block holes. If there would too much movement of the pipes, I could then fill the holes with dirt. I keep meaning to try it out, just haven't gotten it done yet.

    HJ, how we handle the dog being out. And then in. And then out. You get the idea. We have old carpeting that blends in well with dirt. LOL GDW says he can't see getting new stuff as long as we have the dog. Agree. And baseboard???? The guy that built this house put in "baseboards" that are rough cut--as well as the trim around the doorways. I guess he liked the primitive look. At any rate, the only way they can be kept a little less trashy is with a wire brush. And how often do I do that? Ummmmm. . . . The cats love that trim--makes fine scratching posts. And I mostly don't get on them about it, since one can't tell, anyway.

    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Really? Has no one posted here? Well. . . . here I was, feeling all delinquent for not posting today. REALLY, Nancy--grow UP! :) Oh hallelujah! Thanks to our new garden helpers, Amy (not YOU, Amy--new 16-yr old Amy) I got my sun raised bed amended. This is a flowers only--a full day sun bed. I threw in bunches of different kinds of milkweed. It's going to be an all milkweed bed, if they come up. Previously, I had tithonia in it. And the butterflies love tithonia, but the butterflies and Monarch butterflies love the milkweed. I'll put tithonia in other part sun beds and pray for them.

    Maybe I'll turn the veggie raised beds into pollinator beds. GDW and I, after all, don't really love all that many veggies! LOLOL. We love onions, potatoes a couple tomatoes, a couple peppers. Actually, come to think of it--what matters to me most at this point is feeding pollinators. SO maybe I'll plant a bunch of wildflowers in the veggie beds.

    Also. I was treating what I assumed was my usual yearly or bi-yearly stye situation for the past few years rather cavalierly. But this time, soaking it occasionally wasn't working. So when GDW had HIS eye appt a few days ago, I piggy-backed on. Told them I guessed I should make eye appt--they worked me in. Doc prescribed antibiotics and sternly told me I had to soak it for like 20 minutes 4 times a day. She noted multiple sites on my left eye (which I had also noted---eeks). I gotta ask you guys--can any of you sit still for 20 minutes 4 times a day and not read? I can't. SO. I figured out I can fill a thermal coffee cup up with warm-to-very-warm water, and get a wash cloth. I wear glasses, which complicates issues, but I can dip the wash cloth into the very warm water, and put a thin layer of it against my eye, and then put my glasses on. I can still read with one eye, while soaking the other eye for 20-30 minutes til my fingers get pruny. LOLOL. I am a very impatient patient. I told GDW tonight that I was very proud of myself. I actually did it four times today.

    Looks like Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the coming week will be good for yard work. I'm thankful, as there's still plenty to do.

    Neither of us went out today, as the wind was gusting and blowing all kinds of things around--Between GDW's recent cataract removals and my eye infections, we decided the smart thing was to stay indoors, aside from my seeding the raised bed and watering a few things.


    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Hey Nancy. I, too, was wondering where everyone is/was. Maybe not much gardening news to post???

    Glad you have new garden helpers.

    And as you prepare for your 2020 garden, remember that your health (food consumed is part of it) is as important as the pollinators' health...so grow those veggies for you to consume. And most of the food at grocery stores is unpollinator friendly.

    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • jlhart76
    3 years ago

    H/J, I had wood beds in Tulsa. I bought some of those treated 1x6s (think they're for decks), and they lasted for about a decade. They were pretty rotted out, but still connected enough to use. And when I replaced one with concrete blocks, I just stacked 3 sides around the original bed, then yanked out the boards & shoveled it all to one side to finish the last side.

    As for dogs and dirt, we just learn to turn a blind eye. Our house is really disgusting compared to some, dog hair all over and pawprints on every floor. But daily swiffering helps, and with the carpet up I'll have to go back to sweeping daily too. I don't like socks and can't stand gritty stuff on my feet.

    dbarron thanked jlhart76
  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    Nancy, I bet that 70 degrees was lovely. I'm laughing at how eating a late breakfast made y'all, um, less productive for a few hours. Same thing happens to us!

    I'm not a fan of leaf blowers. We have one, somewhere in the junk pit that is the garage, but we've never used it as a leaf blower. It has a reverse button and you can use it as a vacuum to suck up leaves and it chops/shreds them in the process, and we tried that for a year or two before giving up on it because it would vacuum up small acorns, twigs, sticks, bigger sticks, chunks of bark, etc. and then have trouble chopping those up so it was perpetually clogging up and we spent more time unclogging it than actually using it. That's when we started mowing the leaves and picking them up with the mower's grass catcher instead probably around 2002 or so. But....my pat rack husband never will part with that stupid leaf blower/vac so there it sits taking up space. One thing (out of many) that I don't miss about city life is the perpetual sound of neighbors using leaf blowers on the weekends.

    The kittens are reaching the heart-meltingly cute stage. Last night after we fed them we let them play in the living room. They were rolling, tumbling, wrestling and doing that hysterically cute move where they hop sideways at one another, trying to appear bigger and more fierce than they are. Keep in mind that they still are so young that half the time they simply fall over when attempting such tactics simply because their brain is pushing them to do things their bodies can't really do yet. They are better entertainment than anything on TV. Being very young, they also play hard and then suddenly collapse into a heap of tiny sleeping kittens when they've used up all their energy. It is amazing how they go from a whirling dervish of kittens to a lumpy pile of sleeping babies.

    Jennifer, Since you made it to 77, your weather was about the same as ours. We never did make it above 79, but a couple of cities in nearby counties along the river it 80 and 81. I wasn't even jealous of their temperatures in the 80s---our 79 was nice enough. Of course the heat brought out the swarms of wasps and a few lady bugs trying to make it into the house while I did my best to keep them out of the house.

    I'm glad you got your garlic planted. I've gotten good results from very late plantings---including as late as December.

    Okmulgee boy, With winter gardening, the key is to plant early enough that the plants make great growth while we still have decent sunlight because once we reach the Persephone days of winter, everything stalls and doesn't grow until day length finally gets long enough again to induce new plant growth. It can be odd to see plantings, like spinach for example, just sit there for a few weeks with literally no growth at all and then, suddenly, they take off and start growing again. I have found the OSU-recommended dates for fall planting, which actually start as early as late June and early July with some crops, do work really well if you use them. I just find it hard to start things (especially brassicas) as early as they say we should, especially in drought years when we haven't had rain in a month or more and the high temperatures are exceeding 100 degrees daily. In those conditions, a fall/winter garden seems like a pipe dream because the bigger struggle is to keep the heat and drought from wiping out what already is growing.

    Gardening links are never a bad idea---this is a gardening forum, after all.

    Jen, I'm laughing at the fuzzy baseboard comment. Sometimes after I sweep or vacuum, I complain to Tim that I could make my own yard from all the pet hair and then knit or crochet a blanket for the dogs.

    Larry, My dad always said that about large families---the more kids they had, the more farm labor they had, but then they also had more mouths to feed. During the 1920s and 1930s, especially during the Dust Bowl years, all the kids in his family had to quit school around the time they reached 3rd grade so they could go to work as farm laborers. His least favorite memories of those years was picking cotton for a more prosperous farmer from sunrise to sunset for $1 a day. It might sound cruel to work kids that hard, but it was a matter of survival for small subsistence farmers like my grandparents---even if their crops weren't making it, their kids could bring in enough money to maybe just barely keep the family afloat. If the kids were lucky, their dad would give them a nickel or dime of their own earnings to spend when they went to town on the Saturdays that they weren't working. All those kids, including my dad, earned their GED when they went into the military for WWII, and made good enough lives for themselves but I always wondered how different their adult lives might have been if they'd had a chance to go to college as young adults. All those young country kids didn't survive either, and I think poor nutrition in very large, poor families, likely played a role in that---my dad had, we think, 15 siblings but only 9 of them made it to adulthood. My grandmother lost so many babies in their first year or two of life back in the 1910s-1920s when it was such a struggle to feed all those hungry mouths.

    Jennifer, It is simply a constant battle with dirt, dust and pet hair. I vacuum and sweep and mop like a crazy woman and am always complaining to Tim that our floors only look good for 5 minutes, and then some dog or cat walks across them and ruins them. I suppose it is the price we pay for having beloved animal companions. We do have a Dyson Animal vacuum and that helps a lot, but there's days that I think it would be more efficient to just bring in the Shop-Vac from the garage and clean the house with it because of its strong suction. I hate to think about how many Swiffer things I go through when constantly trying to mop up dog paw prints off the floor during rainy spells and, for what? So the next time they go out and come in again I then have to do it all over again? Ace and Princess are short dogs and low to the ground and always seem to drag in half the outdoors attached to their bodies. I keep them in Tim's office most of the time which does contain the dirt to that area, but it needs to be swept and mopped daily because, as I always say, "those dogs are manufacturing dirt in there". Ace and Princess like their dirt and take offense when I am cleaning their floors---they hate that with a passion. After I clean the floors in their room, they go outside and promptly roll in the dirt or mud so they can dirty up the floors again---it is like a power struggle between my desire for clean floors versus their desire for dirty floors.

    Our dogs are in and out all day long depending on the weather, but only in a fenced dog yard that keeps them safe from coyotes, bobcats, skunks and the like. I don't make them stay out in extreme heat or cold either, and over the years, they have decided how hot is too hot or how cold is too cold for them and they do not hesitate to sit at the back door and scratch at it or bark repeatedly to get me to come let them back in again. We also don't leave them outdoors if we aren't here.

    For years/decades we only made our raised beds out of untreated lumber, which didn't last too long at all, and we only switched to treated lumber maybe 6 years ago. It took me a long, long time after they stopped using CCA for treated lumber to relax and trust the current methods of treating lumber so we were very slow to change over to treated lumber. So far, those beds made of treated lumber still are going strong so I cannot say how long they'll last because they aren't old enough to have begun decaying yet, but I'm pleased that they are lasting longer than the ones made of untreated lumber. Pressure-treated lumber is supposed to last at least 20 years even when it is in contact with soil, so I guess we'll find out eventually if it does so. Some people say 30 years. I think it might depend on what sort of soil a person has and how well it holds moisture though.

    I would have posted yesterday afternoon or evening had I been here, but I was out at a big grassfire west of town. The fire itself sounded pretty awful in the early stages with flame lengths/heights reportedly reaching 20'. By the time they were sounding the third alarm, I knew I'd end up going eventually although our VFD would have been in the 4th or 5th alarm stage for this particular location. However, I had to feed kittens before leaving, and then we had to load up our truck with drinks and ice, and then we had to drive west forever and a day, so by the time we got there, the fire wasn't that bad any longer...and the firefighters were hungry and thirsty. One way we find the fires in areas outside our fire district is to follow the smoke plume, which makes it pretty easy to at least find the general area, and then we just watch for flashing red and blue lights. There was no smoke plume by the time we were headed west, though there was a lot of smoke down in the Red River Valley (which did us no good because our fire was up out of the bottom lands). We don't go out west often enough to understand the roads well out there, so yesterday it was just an adventure trying to find the fire, but we finally found it. By the time we got home afterwards, it was dark, and we had to take care of dogs, cats and dinner, and then collapsed into bed. Now I'm awake in the middle of the night because I had to get up and feed kittens and it takes me a while to get sleepy again after that.

    We looked at land out west in 1997 and almost bought a place there, but I was uneasy about how close that land was to the river and I was uneasy about how extremely sandy it was. We would have had wonderful neighbors out there, but I'm glad we didn't buy that place. Yesterday the area where we were was extremely deep sandy soil (how deep it is out west I do not know, but south of us in Thackerville the sand is hundreds of feet deep)---you cannot drive on it easily without 4WD (which our fire rehab truck does have), and nothing grows in it except a few selected grasses that are well adapted to deep sand...and grass burrs. By the time we'd been there for maybe 5 minutes our shoes were re-soled with a thick layer of grass and burrs. It was scary how much there was---you couldn't see the soles of our shoes, only the grass and the burrs. We spent forever trying to get all the grass burrs out of our shoes (and pant legs) before we got back into our truck to come home because we didn't want the truck full of grass burrs. Trying to garden in that sort of sand would have turned me into a raving lunatic who only gardened in containers, so when I am complaining about our clay, I need to remind myself that we chose this clay as a better alternative to that deep sand. It isn't even sandy loam. Just sand.

    Now you're sounding like me with turning veggie beds into pollinator beds. Even after all the 2020 landscaping projects are done, I don't think I'll ever go back to having such a massively large veggie garden but I'll always grow veggies. I'm ready for a simpler life with a lot less weeding in it, and am especially ready for a life that involves about 90% less canning and other food preservation than what I've done since moving here. I am contemplating only growing in containers, for the most part, from this point going forward, except I think I'd keep a small portion of the existing garden in the ground just for the purpose of raising corn, cucumbers and melons, none of which thrive (at least not in the quantities I want to grow) in containers. That won't happen in 2020 though because the focus is totally on the landscape.I just broke the news to one of my VFD friends yesterday that I am completely done with canning salsa for an extra 50 to 300 people per year and there will be no salsa at Christmas this year. She was dumbfounded by my news, but supportive of my desire to back off from all the heavy gardening and heavy canning. Even Tim has come around to my way of thinking, which is a good thing, because if he had tried to insist I do all that salsa canning for even one more year, I was going to tell him to can it himself (which I know would not happen, lol).

    No, I cannot sit still for even 5 minutes and not be reading something. Actually, I cannot sit still at all unless reading. I hope your eye heals quickly. I used to be able to sit still and cross stitch, but cats make that impossible because they attack the needle and thread constantly so I gave up cross stitching long ago.

    The wind was awful yesterday. Even before the fire pagers started going off in the afternoon, I knew there would be a bad fire because of the wind. We'd already had several very challenging fires late last week and throughout this week and that was on less windy days. We are expecting a bad wildfire winter season here because all the rain made tons and tons of brush and grass grow all year long, and several early, hard freezes now have sucked all the moisture out of the grasses and a lot of it out of the brush. We haven't had a bad winter wildfire season in several years, though we have had a bad wildfire here and there in an otherwise so-so season. Everyone seems to be expecting the worst this winter. Our winter wildfire season usually starts up the week before Thanksgiving, and this year it seems like it started a week or two earlier than that. In our worst-ever winter wildfire season in 2005-06 the bad fires started up in mid-October (we must have had an early freeze, but it has been so long that I don't remember exactly---I do know we had freezing weather well before the end of October in 2005), so at least this year the fire season didn't start that early.

    I had decided to start working, whenever time allowed, on Christmas decorating. I now have big storage tubs of Christmas stuff stacked all over the living room, entry way, mudroom and dining room, and in the upstairs hallway because I got virtually nothing else done, except dragging all that stuff out and positioning it where needed, before the fire pagers went off. My plan is to leave the Thanksgiving/autumn décor in the dining room and on the living room mantel (probably) but go ahead and put up the Christmas tree in the living room and add Christmas décor to other rooms. Then, on the day after Thanksgiving, I can replace the Thanksgiving decor in the dining room and on the living room mantel with Christmas decor and be done with it all before December arrives. It is laughable how little I got done yesterday. I had tried to do everything else in the house that needed done, and moving all those storage tubs from the attic to the appropriate rooms was real time-consuming. I thought I'd feed the kittens at 2 pm and then work on decorating the house the rest of the day, but I wasn't counting on going to a fire. So, today I will start all over with the plan to do some holiday decorating and we'll see how that goes. I'm hoping the rain that we're expecting means there won't be fires, but I am a realist---often the rain brings lightning that starts fires so we'll just see how it goes.

    Apparently while we were out for the afternoon at the fire, Chris was at home putting up his Christmas lights outdoors because he sent me progress photos last night. He didn't get all of it done because apparently it started raining, but he had quite a lot done before the rain arrived and it looked really good. Now I feel even more behind. lol.

    Jen, I love dogs and cats, so there's always a certain level of animal hair and paw prints no matter what I do. I don't care. I enjoy the company of the pets more than that of many people that we know (grin), so if putting up with their animal hair and paw prints is the price we pay for that, then we'll gladly pay that price. It is exhausting, though, in the sense that it is never-ending, and there are days I just let the Swiffer hang on its nail in the closet and turn a blind eye to pawprints and hair for at least that day. I also keep the furniture covered with blankets to protect it, and then just remove the blankets if somebody comes over. It seems easier to me than having to use upholstery cleaner to clean the furniture all the time. Do y'all remember when little old ladies in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s had those clear plastic covers over their perfect, nice furniture in living rooms, if not in family rooms or dens? We used to laugh about those crackly, clear plastic furniture covers, even as kids, but with a house full of pets, I have come to understand why they did it, even if they only had 1 cat or 1 dog or none. One of my best friends had a great-aunt who'd never married or had kids, and who had only 1 tiny lap dog, and we always thought her plastic furniture covers probably were intended to protect her furniture from her great-nieces and great-nephews. Of course, she had white carpeting and white furniture as only a single woman would have had back in those days---it was not a kid- or pet-friendly house. She never fussed at us to wipe our feet before coming in or whatever, but we were super-careful to do so because none of us wanted to live a dirty footprint on her white carpets. Now that I am an adult, I wonder what was she thinking---buying white carpet? We've gotten rid of all the carpet in our house except in the girls' room upstairs and I don't miss it at all. Hard surfaces are a lot easier to clean.

    I need to get some sleep while I still can. The kittens that I just fed an hour or so ago will be awake and hungry all too soon. At least I posted and caught up, and if I disappear again, y'all can guess it probably is because I'm out at fires. Tis the season.


    Dawn

    dbarron thanked Okiedawn OK Zone 7
  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    3 years ago

    Ron says our beds are made from non treated wood. They don't last long, but what we're having trouble with is the corner braces rot out and then the boards shift at the corners. On some beds he made he attached a 2x2" board to the bottom of the main 2x12. The idea being, what he was seeing was that bottom area rotted first. His hope is to be able to replace the 2x2 and still use the 2x12 for a longer time. We haven't had the beds long enough to judge that idea. There are people who don't edge their beds with anything, they are "humps" in the ground. I don't know how they prevent erosion, but I think it would be cheaper. Harder to keep bermuda out though. Not that bermuda stays out of raised beds. Ron built one bed with a wooden "floor" on the principal of square foot gardening done on impervious ground, in hopes of blocking bermuda. That was 2015, my onions were in it. 2015 was the spring monsoon and that bed was in the low end of the garden. I believe it floated. The wood floor swelled so it didn't drain. We had to go drill holes through the dirt and floor. There were words exchanged between us. So far, when we have had rotted beds we have made new and moved locations, so we (he) dug the dirt out on a tarp and replaced it in a new bed.

    Nancy, PVC bends easily and might brace against your concrete blocks on the inside. They will fall to the side (from perpendicular to angled), but you can zip tie one horizontally across the top (think fish bone) to stabilize them. I like using zip ties, but attach them so they point inward and won't snag your row cover or plastic. I have been known to put hanging baskets on the horizontal brace.

    The white hoops are PVC the bed in the lower right had a built in trellis there in the middle. That is what I put hanging baskets on. We put hoops over that, too. I would go out in the wind and cold and cover those 2 beds with a blue tarp that didn't quite fit and didn't want to close up properly. That went on for about a month before I got fed up with it. On the right back by the shed, there's asparagus. That was the bed with a floor. the next season we moved it so it butted up against the bed with PVC and removed the floor.

    I'm sorry about your eye issues. I clicked on a FB ad for a cleansing spray for your eyelids. It said it might help dry eye (my problem) and styes. It was stupidly expensive, but then I had several more ads pop up for different products with the same purpose. I assume there's one out there that isn't so expensive.

    I walked around my garden yesterday but didn't get over to the cilantro. Wonder if it is still alive. There is a collard on the edge of the asparagus bed that is doing well, but two planted at the same time in the bed behind it look bad. There was broccoli in a pot that died. I have ornamental cabbages and a Red kale in a pot looking nice. That was meant to go out front to replace all the dead stuff, it hasn't moved.

    We got just a little rain last night. Sounded heavier than it was.

    XOXO

    dbarron thanked AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    I got sleepy all the sudden and decided to check out the forum here.

    Nancy, I'm sorry if my above comment was rude. I really didn't make much sense either. I think I meant pollinator unfriendly--or something. Actually, who knows. I was half asleep then too.


    Thanks for y'all's input on the raised beds.

    I really don't want all concrete block beds, but maybe I'll move towards that. I know the back garden will be concrete blocks. That's the small garden and as I age it might become the only garden. Hopefully that won't be for a long time, though.

    I had an idea, though. How would it work for the holes in concrete blocks to be filled in with concrete and then press grandchildren's hands/feet into it to make prints. This could also be done with pet feet and chicken feet and other designs. I think that would be so cute.


    Okay. I'm awake now. Back to work!

    dbarron thanked hazelinok
  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago

    Hahaha, Jennifer! What ARE you talking about! You are absolutely correct about us taking care of ourselves, too. Lettuce and greens! Spinach spinach spinach. They are the most palatable green vegetables to me. And I couldn't live without onions and garlic. :) I adore summer squash and won't be without it. Probably not brassica--seems to take up a lot of room. Pole beans.

    Would be cute, but what a lot of work! And think how heavy one of those blocks would be! LOL

    You all know ours are ALL concrete. Aesthetically, they're perhaps not as pleasing as some. But at the time we put them in, I was trying to keep it cheap, as GDW wasn't even really excited about it all. So $$ was THE deciding factor. And in retrospect, I'm glad we went that route. First, no one really sees our veggie raised beds since they're behind the shop. Second. . . . form follows function. Since their 16" high, we don't have to bend TOO much. This is their 4th year, and we FINALLY got the soil up to the top without even spending all that much money. We were laughing about this just yesterday.

    And I am SO excited we have new soil in the beds, thanks to two pair of extra hands. Sounds like Larry and I are operating out of the same playbook with our "helpers." It's the best! When Amy was here on Monday she asked me if I put up Christmas lights--if so, she could help. !

    Amy, your garden area looks GREAT. I'll go forward with the PVC pipes. Thank you. I'm sure your cilantro is fine. I got mine planted a bit late, so we won't be harvesting any in Dec. and Jan.

    Thanks for the eye tips. I'll ask our doc about it when I see her in Dec. She didn't say anything about drops or sprays--just the antibiotics and soaking. We'll see.

    White carpeting and furniture, Dawn. Shudder. However, I DID have a 9x12 area rug that was white--this was when I was in the city in an apartment building. It did just fine until my son was visiting from college and he spilled a full cup of coffee on it. Easy come, easy go, eh. I knew from the get-go was not a smart idea.

    Speaking of Swiffers. I've never used one but decided to pick one up in Walmart and switch over to using one. Could not FIND one! WHAT? I'll find one somewhere.

    I realized I actually do have quite a lot of stuff planted here and there--milkweed, wildflowers, lettuce, spinach, pak choy. And Dawn, since I DO have wildflowers sown in one of the veggie raised beds, I just decided to not only leave them there, but to add more to that bed. So it does indeed sound like I am on the same path as you. BTW speaking of that. . . I got my catalog from Missouri Wildflowers, dbarron--it is wonderful! And I should be getting one from Prairie Moon, too--it looks really wonderful! And of course, Native American Seeds catalogs are scrumptious, and I just ordered one from Wildfarm Seeds. :)

    Well, I guess that's about all from here.




    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • dbarron
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Nancy, I've found that I got better performance out of plants more local to my growing area, aka Prairie Moon is too far north (imo).

    Ideally, you would buy from someone that collected wild seed in your region of Oklahoma, but likely you'll never find that person (if they exist). But anyway, staying closer usually works out better for me.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    dbarron. . . . but in my case, since I lived in Mpls for 30 yrs before moving here, I consider Prairie Moon "my region." LOLOLOLOL Seriously, I ordered several packets of seeds from them, several from TX Wildfarm Seeds, and several from Native American Seeds. Yes, those two are about as close as I can get to me. I haven't ordered from Missouri Wildflowers yet, but my next order will most likely be from them. Also, dbarron, saw this on FB. Guess who I thought of!



    dbarron thanked Nancy RW (zone 7)
  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    The wildflower seeds I've gotten from Wildseed Farms in Texas have performed well here, and I usually don't buy wildflower seeds from further away unless it is for something they don't carry. I have ordered seeds from Native American Seed in the past, though it was quite some time ago, and they were fine but I only order seeds from them if Wildseed doesn't carry them because Native American Seed tends to be pricier. Most wildflowers reseed themselves just fine anyway in an average year, so all I have to do is plant them and let them do their thing. Since our climate can be difficult, some years the wildflowers fry in the heat and drought before they even set seeds and that usually is when I order seeds to overseed that area to make up for the seeds they didn't form. A lot of people burn their pastures and say it gives them better wildflowers the next year, which I do not doubt at all---fire is restorative to prairies after all, but because we're surrounded by woodland that also could burn, I tend to avoid burning our pastures. We spend enough time putting out other people's so called "controlled burns" (which so rarely seem to remain under control) and don't need to deal with that at our own place. If I did do a prescribed burn, I'd plow proper firebreaks and such first and only would burn on a low-wind, high humidity type day.

    After two days of rain we're still slightly under a half-inch in the rain gauge, so we haven't gotten nearly as much rain as they said we would, but I'm not complaining. It is gray, gloomy, wet and cold, which is not my favorite autumn weather. It is muddy outdoors so our floor is decorated with muddy paw prints. Tis the season for that! The dogs get bored indoors and want to go out, so I let them out, and then after 5 minutes of mud and cold they want to come in again. I just wait until the end of the day and mop up all the pawprints after they've been out for the last time right before bedtime. That way the floor gets to be clean and look good for a few hours (while we sleep) until the dogs, cats and people wake up and go outdoors again.

    Raised wood beds are essential for us because they stay in place. We do hammer in rebar to hold the boards where they are because, in our strongly sloping garden, everything moves downhill if not held firmly in place. For that reason, concrete blocks wouldn't work for us unless we used rebar to hold each and every block in place and I'm not willing to invest that sort of money in rebar.

    I love low tunnel hoops but am halfway over them. When I cover them with frost blankets, Micromesh netting or, in hail season, with deer netting/bird netting for protection from hail stones, the cats think we've built elaborate cat hammocks and sleep on them. This generally does not end well. Gardening with pets is such a challenge.

    We still have parsley and fennel that are green, and dianthus and snapdragons, though all of them suffered some freeze damage when we went down to the 15-17 degree range a couple of times. They're bouncing back though. Our asparagus still is 75% green---it just doesn't want to give up and turn brown this year. Just think, in an average year, we'd be having our first freeze around now at our house. This year it was so abnormal, but not unheard of, to have it in early to mid October.

    This week the kittens have been having a bottle every morning and every evening and canned kitten food thinned with water to a sort of gruel consistency the rest of the time. After a week of eating semi-solid food, they are doing great, so we've cut them down to only their bedtime bottle now, and that only will last a couple more days. They've developed sharp teeth and are biting holes in the bottle nipples but sure do hate giving up their little bottles. They put their little paws up and hang on to the bottles while eating now. It is the cutest thing. I'm also mixing less and less water with their food so that we can help them move from semi-solid food to solid food. I cannot believe how quickly they grow and change. Obviously it has been a long time since we've raised newborn kittens, and you forget how quickly they grow up. The cat corral that I put them in last week has kept them contained and in place for a whole week, but now when they get bored, they climb over it. I do put them back in it, hoping they'll decide it is futile to keep climbing out. I'd rather keep them contained a while longer so they don't get lost underneath furniture or get stepped on by people or dogs.

    I spent all day yesterday, as time, chores, and pets allowed, getting our Christmas tree put up and decorated. I'm not done with it yet, but am getting close. The cats and dogs make having a Christmas tree set up indoors pretty risky, so mostly we use unbreakable ornaments, largely because I'm afraid to put the breakable ornaments on the tree. Our house looks odd now with mostly autumn décor in the dining room and on the living room mantel, but the Christmas tree and other decorations also in place. Still, I'm glad I'm getting it done now. I bet the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas will fly by. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, it is just a couple of days until December. That seems crazy, yet here we are.

    Two of the amaryllis plants are opening the first flowers now. I'm happy to see them. A third is a dud with abundant foliage for some time now, but no flowering stalks. The others remain in various stages of growth.

    My goal for today is to finish the living room's Christmas tree and to decorate the mudroom's skinny tree. I feel pretty organized now and think I'll be able to get both of these done. I hope so. I'm already over having the storage tubs of Christmas decorations sitting all over the place as I empty them out and use up the stuff inside of them.

    Chris finished decorating the exterior of his house yesterday and sent me photos that he took last night. I think that Jana and I offended him by calling him "The Grinch" because he insists he doesn't like holiday decorations, so he set out to prove us wrong apparently. He sent me photos with a hash tag "NotTheGrinch". lol.

    Tim and I hope to get our exterior decorations up on Sunday, which looks to be the nicest day of the weekend.

    The 6-10 day Temperature Outlook is pretty favorable:


    6-10 Day Temperature Outlook


    The 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook doesn't look quite as favorable to most of the state.



    8-14 Day Temperature Outlook


    Dawn

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  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Wow, Dawn, you've been so busy!

    We have brunch with some friends in a bit and then have to pick up the turkey breasts that Tom ordered from the Chef Store. Then deliver a toddler curriculum to a church that is just starting up. Then...I don't know. Tom is working swing shift tonight (it's been years since he's done that), so maybe I'll sneak over to Hobby Lobby this afternoon. Maybe I'll bake some more pumpkins. Maybe I'll do laundry. Maybe all of it. I won't be decorating for Christmas today/tonight, though.


    We barely "froze/frosted" this morning. There was a tiny bit of slush on the animals' waterers, but it will easily melt away. I chose not to cover anything last night. Pretty sure the broccoli and cauliflower are toast. Later today I will take a picture and post it here to get y'all's opinions.


    I did spend time after dark chasing the "baby" chickens (they are nearly full size) around and placing them on the roost bars in the main coop. That one that I posted on FB for Chicken Friday was a hoot. She had literally flown to the top of the old coop (I can't reach it) because she was so upset about not being able to get into it. A couple of the others, including the dark Cornish banty, had flown to the lower part of it, but she was all the way on top.

    I expect nothing less from her. I know her mother. She is the one baby that I'm sure of the mother. She is Stella's (Blossom raised her, though). Stella has a distinct egg and this baby hatched from it. I am very pleased it turned out to be a female. I love Stella so much. She is a loud and flighty bird, but makes me laugh. Her baby has her traits for sure. She doesn't look like her exactly, but there's something in the face that is the same. I noticed from the moment she hatched. I don't know how to explain it--but it's a sassy face. That's the best I can do.

    I wish MyPetChicken sold Buff Minorcas.


    Tomorrow we will probably pull out the outdoor lights and start working on those. Should be able to finish after Tom comes home from work on Monday. This house is easy peasy compared to our last house which involved a large covered porch, railings, columns, and shrubbery. Getting the ladder in the right spot was difficult.

    I do want to change over to white lights again. Our last house "called" for white lights, but Ethan always wanted colored lights, so we chose those for this house. Now he doesn't care, so I'm going back to white lights. AND I like the softer, old fashioned lights not the LED lights that give me a headache. Tom's sister and her husband always decorated like Clark Griswold, but are living in a giant RV now, so they dumped all their lights on us a couple of years ago. We need to go through their stuff and see what they have. They may have enough white lights. The plan is to make the change next year, though. We'll do the colored lights this year. I feel too rushed this year to deal with it.


    There's really just nothing in gardening news. My salad garden died and that is that. I still am hoping for a brussels sprouts crop. It seems to be taking forever, though. I think I planted them at the end of September. I would love to serve brussels sprouts at the winter solstice party. MY brussels sprouts.


    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


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  • hazelinok
    3 years ago

    Here’s the broccoli and cauliflower. Dead?

    And Eve. I didn’t get a pic of her on top of the coop but she is always up on something.

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  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    3 years ago

    Cute pic of Eve. We're on our way to Tulsa for Jerry the troublemaker cat

    He tangled with something or someone has a 2" long shallow gash. It's not serious but might need antibiotics. Grrr of course off vet hours.


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  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    3 years ago

    Jennifer, Not dead. Yes, there's some necrosis on some of the leaves, but that is to be expected at this time of the year. With decent rainfall and nice weather, these plants may bounce back.

    Nancy, I[m glad that Jerry is going to be okay. Cats get into the strangest scrapes.

    One of our cats (Tigger) got her belly fur hung up on the barbed wire fence once. I'm guessing it was around 2008 or 2009. It scalped her---just sliced her belly fur off of her and wound it up around and around the barbed wire. The more she fought to free herself, the more of her belly fur she was slicing off her body. I couldn't get her to hold still so I could unwind her, so had to leave her long enough to run to the house and yell for Tim and Chris. Wearing leather gloves, they worked together, unwinding her and untwisting her, getting her untangled from the barbed wire. Her skin was in one long flap like it had been sliced with a knife, still attached to her body at one end. We rushed her to the vet. We thought he'd stitch her up. Being somewhat new to country living still, we were totally freaked out by that her barbed wire fence encounter had done to her. Our vet? Totally calm. Said it happens to cats (and sometimes dog) more often than people think. He sliced off the pelt, leaving her entire stomach pink and raw looking. Didn't even give her antibiotics. He gave us some sort of spray to spray her raw skin with 4 to 6 times a day to promote healing. She was fine. Her fur regrew. She does avoid barbed wire fences now. I think we were more traumatized by what happened to her than she was.

    Today was sort of windy and chilly and our county had more fires. I'm not liking this trend.

    The wind did seem to help the mud dry up a lot, and I'm grateful for that.

    We mostly shopped today---did our pre-Thanksgiving shopping, feed store, Costco, Hobby Lobby, etc., and squeezed in some Christmas gift shopping too. I've been trying to get as much holiday stuff done before Thanksgiving as possible because I feel like the time will fly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and also am a little worried that fires will start breaking out more often and we'll get really busy with that.

    Home Depot had some gorgeous Christmas plants today: rosemary plants pruned in Christmas tree shapes, poinsettias, including the ones with the curled bracts that look sort of like roses (Winter Rose Red is the one like this that I've seen in photos but I'm not sure if the specific ones they had are Winter Rose Red), some rectagular wooden succulent planters with 3 succulents each just the right size for a window sill with red and green succulents in them, a mixed dish garden with a poinsettia in the middle with a larger but lower growing tropical plant surrounding it on all sizes, and Thanksgiving cacti in bloom and Christmas cacti not yet blooming. They also had fresh green wreaths. I didn't buy any plants but I really wanted to. I showed restraint because I had a cart full of stuff already, and getting plants would have meant a second cart.....

    Costco had poinsettias that were 3-4' tall but they all were individually wrapped in cellophane sleeves so I couldn't figure out if they'd flop over and be hard to maintain once you took the cellophane wrap off the plant. Now I wish I'd bought one, but at the time all I could think of was that I didn't want to deal with a lanky, loose, floppy plant. Hmmmm. Now that I think about it, the Costco cart was pretty full too and I wouldn't have had space for one more thing anyway unless it was a really small thing, and those plants were not small.

    Tomorrow we are going to put up the Christmas lights on the exterior of the house, and the door wreaths and then the garland/red bows on the porch railings too if time permits. The weather is supposed to be really nice for the next couple of days. Then, for the rest of this week, all I have to do is clean house and cook for Thanksgiving. Well, and also take care of the kittens and dogs and all that. So far, no one has knocked over the Christmas tree and I don't even think a cat has climbed it, though it has been thoroughly sniffed, bumped, shaken, touched, pawed and slept under. Isn't that what a Christmas tree skirt is meant for? To be a nice little cat bed? The dogs are a little too interested in the round, ball-shaped ornaments on the tree, but I'm spending time teaching them to leave the tree alone....which isn't hard because they all understand the meaning of the word No. Being still a puppy, Jesse needs more than the word No, so I bought a 4-pack of Kong brand dog toys, although 3 of the 4 are soft toys and not heavy-duty like regular Kong toys, at Costco to serve as distractions. Even though they aren't super heavy duty like the regular Kongs, they are surprisingly sturdy. Jesse tried for hours to tear up the soft stuffed toys, especially the one with an animal shape, and which seems to be made out of ballistic fabric, and other than chewing the ends off its ears and paws, he couldn't tear into it. He was very frustrated and spent a lot of time trying to tear it up, making it the perfect toy to draw his attention away from the Christmas tree. The whole package cost about as much as one large Kong treat type toy so I didn't expect much sturdiness, but figured at least they would keep him busy for a while. I am pleasantly surprised that he couldn't destroy them the first day.

    Today the contractors were out mowing along I-35. I'm guessing they are supposed to have it mowed down nice and short before Thanksgiving. and are trying to get it all done in between bouts of rain. The grass is so dry that when they mow, grass clippings rise up in a sort of cloud or fog that looks like smoke, but we watched carefully and it was only grass clippings, duff, leaf litter or dust---not smoke and no fires were involved.

    It was a long day and I am tired. I'm trying to decide whether to stay up for a couple more hours until it is time to feed the kittens, or to set an alarm and try to sleep for a couple of hours and then get up to feed them. Staying up probably will win out.


    Dawn



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