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February 2020, Week 2

Another week, another chance for garden chat, especially if you have rain in your forecast on as many days as I do. Since it is too wet to actually do any gardening, maybe we can at least talk about it. I think Tim and I will enjoy these lake-sized 'forever' puddles we have had all winter and continue to have and maybe open a catfish hatchery or something. All we're missing is the fish.

We are arriving at that magical, mystical start to the gardening season. Some people probably are about ready to put onions in the ground, while those of us under water are going to have to wait a while for that. The stores here in our area now have plenty of onions in the store, and the Bonnie Plants transplants of cool-season veggies. It is a little early here, though a perfectly fine time to plant for anyone east of my county, right along the river and over there in southeastern OK. We still have some pretty cool nights, so those of you itching to plant early, please remember that young transplants generally are not hardened off to cold and may need to be covered up on coldish nights when lows drop well below freezing.

Are your roses leafing out? Ours are, and I blame that 83-degree day last week for making the roses think they can start a bit early this year. If you need to prune your roses, check them soon and make sure you get them pruned before they start putting too much energy into leafing out. The same is true with your fruit trees, brambles and grape vines. There's also still time to plant bare-root roses (and other perennials and flowering shrubs), fruit trees, brambles and grape vines if you are seeing them in stores, but I'd hurry and get it done this month before too much warm weather arrives. After the plants are breaking dormancy, it is better to plant container plants, not bare-root ones, just to give the plants a better chance to become well-established before the summer heat arrives. Pansies are in the stores now and could be planted as well.

If you are going to plant your seed potatoes in February, remember to chit them (green-sprout them) before planting if you like to do that, and after you cut the seed potatoes into pieces, let them air dry for a couple of days before you plant them. If your soil is persistently wet, you might want to dust the cut pieces before planting with sulfur to reduce the chances of the seed potato pieces rotting before they can grow.

When you look at the OSU Spring Planning Guide, remember that the range of dates, i.e. February 15 - March 10, for example) doesn't mean everybody in every part of the state can plant the listed plant anytime during that range of dates. Remember that the earliest date given is for southeastern OK, which tends to warm up and stay warm first, and the latest date is for northwestern OK, r for them (though most seem to just bathe and drink from the rain puddles). It is nice to have them back early, but I feel bad for them on the cold nights when we drop into the low 20s. Still, as soon as the sun comes up and it warms up just a bit, they are out singing and carrying on and eating, and making it feel more and more like Spring. While hints of warmer weather abound, including early flower buds on many shrubs and trees, I still don't trust the weather. It has been incredibly erratic ever since that first early freeze back in early October, and the temperatures have been up and down like a roller coaster. The temps are going to have to stabilize more before I feel comfortable planting much of anything out in the garden.

Lady bugs are awake and moving around the yard and garden. I'm not sure what they are finding to eat. I am not seeing the small grasshoppers that we had hatching out in December and January, which is a good thing. I'm thinking either some of the cold nights froze them to death, or the rain carried them downstream. Either one of those options works for me.

So, let us know what's happening in your yard and garden. If signs of spring aren't busting out all over, I think they soon will be.

Have a great week everyone.


Comments (84)

  • 4 years ago

    You can sprout just about any thing edible. I'm looking at taking some amaranth seeds and doing micro greens. They usually use soil or coir to grow them on.

    I like okra roasted. Split length wise or cut in medalions, cooked before it has time to slime. Also eat it raw. Little ones in salad. I won't eat it boiled. Gumbo may be my least liked soup.

    You all are so industrious. I can't get going either.

    I never went to select seeds. Dbarron mentioned them. But I did find a native plant nursery in Arkansas that intrigues me...Pine Ridge Gardens.

    I'm glad you had a good time Rebecca. I'm envious about your trip to Central market.

    I have a dog that climbs the fence. I've thought about doing an electric fence. Sigh. My dogs are still chasing squirrels, but they don't stay out as long.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Yes, I'm associated with PRG Amy. Known the owner for 20 years or more and have assisted her in various ways (tech and horticulturally). You'll be happy with what you order from there (I warrant). A few of the plants were sourced from my collection also (lol).

    Though with shipping costs being what it is, it might pay to drive over and drive your plants home (also nice to look at things and select your own).

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  • 4 years ago

    Oh my! I harvested the first of the fall broccoli and it is DELICIOUS! This is the first time I've had broccoli during the fall and winter. Not sure if a freeze makes it better like with brussels sprouts, but YUM!

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I've harvested a few of my fall broccoli too. I stir fried it with my collard greens and onions. I agree YUM! . I just wish my fall brussel sprouts would have produced , But I only have a couple that are still alive out probably around 40 some plants I put out. I blame the hot Sept and the cabbage worms for that failure. I still got those all under my hoop tunnel . I'm probably going to have to take the grow tunnel down to make way for the spring potato planting ahead (if it ever dries out enough).

    I still have a couple of fall califlower still alive and wandering if it's going to actually produce a good head. I'm expecting an explosion of overwintered spinach when the daylight gets long enough to trigger it off. Popeye will be proud.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    Another garden center I want to visit. You guys are the worst enablers.

    Mom’s place is pretty close, still in town. She did say she had an awful time sleeping last night because she’s closer to the train crossing. I’m sure she’ll get used to it and I’ll go over this weekend and hang some drapes. I have some heavy velvet ones that should dampen the sound a little.

    i have had nothing growing since shortly after the first fall freeze. My seedlings got eaten by rabbits and I didn’t have a chance to replant. So I’m really excited to finally have seedlings. Arugula and lettuce sprouted while I was at work today.

    I tried grilled okra this summer and loved it. I haven’t ever tried the dried okra they sell in bags at Sprouts or Whole Foods. I keep saying I will but I always pass on it.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    About the sprouting trays here's my exact model that I have :

    Notice how small the holes are in the bottom of the tray so that the broccoli seeds won't fall through but water will drain (zoom in on the 3rd image of it). Unfortunately that model has been discontinued . I got it a long time ago out of one of the seed catalogs . I'm trying to find it or something like it on ebay or elsewhere.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    My forecast is for rain and 15F tomorrow night. ARGH! Potted plants must move in yet one more time (and I hope it's the last).

  • 4 years ago

    Megan, arugula is always the first to sprout for me. Glad you have seedlings again too!

    Remember a couple of years ago when our weekly threads had song "themes"? As I was walking the dogs this morning and feeding the chickens, the song by Supertramp started "playing" in my head, "It's raining again..." That one. Except I don't remember any of the lyrics other that that line.

    And I shouldn't complain. I haven't dealt with as much rain as many of you.

    Okmulgee boy, I started some of the sandwich sprout mix seeds. They're pretty tiny, but the yellow lid pictured above seemed to work. It's not the best system, like the trays, but I'll see how I do with it this time. The seed is pretty old.

    My brussels are fine. The leaves got a little damaged by the frost, but the little sprout things look find and are growing. My cauliflower got ruined by small worm things. I pulled it all out.

  • 4 years ago

    Here's a short vid on growing broccoli sprouts in a jar

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    Heaven help me, I have no will power. I went to Select Seeds, and caved. And then I went to Prairie Moon, because they were having a sale (it ended at midnight, y'all are safe) and bought more there. Many of them are meant to be fall planted.

    It is cool that you know the PRG owner, Dbarron. I think I have seen Pine Ridge Gardens at events here, but I was thinking a road trip might be in order. She does have some seeds she's selling, besides plants if anyone is interested.

    H/J you might have seen my leaving on a jet plane post on FB. We have had random songs pop into our heads all week.

    The rabbit hole I went down today involved alleopathy. A post on FB mentioned alleopathy of mint. He wanted to grow mint with white clover to crowd out quack grass. I googled mint alleopathy. Actually, first I googled mint allopathy because I can't spell. That brings up homeopathic stuff. I never knew mint was alleopathic. (For those who don't know, alleopathic plants exude chemicals that prevent other plants from growing near by.) This does explain why mint is considered a thug in the garden. I had visions of mint planted outside my beds killing bermuda. But nothing said it killed bermuda. I was just dreaming. But at some point sorghum was mentioned. WHAT? We ground up sorghum stalks and mulched the winter garden with them. I am either going to have a weed free garden next year or nothing is going to grow. Apparently sorghum alleopathy has been researched as a rotation crop for big agricultural operations. But it seems to make the crop that follows not as productive. Would explain why the cukes planted in the sorghum bed didn't do well. That could also be root knot nematode, which is the reason I planted the sorghum in the first place.

    Other things that are alleopathic: black walnut (probably the best known) Tree of Heaven, fragrant sumac, RICE, PEAS. Corn has alleopathic effects on itself making corn planted after itself less productive. I read an article that mentioned wheat straw, but it was talking about soybeans, so it might have been specific to soybeans. Plus the question was was it alleopathy or did it prevent the following crop from getting enough nitrogen. This is the article that started it all. 

  • 4 years ago

    I like the jar sprouting method... but I never fill my jars to be that full. I also, just have them on the counter. Works just fine.

    Okmulgee boy, I wonder, if one can make those trays with plastic canvas... or better said, I wonder if plastic canvas is still available. It was THE crafting material in the 80's. :)


  • 4 years ago

    Spill the beans Amy, my old neighbor, what did you buy?

  • 4 years ago

    Hi Moni'

    Plastic canvas might work. That's a good idea.

    if you can get down the right mesh size. Then attach it to the bottom of some box enclosure somehow.

    The jar method looks to be a simple straightforward (cheap) way of doing it but I've never tried it.

    Looks to me like mold would be more of a problem being enclosed in a jar like that, especially as full as that guy is doing it, rather than spreading it out in a flat tray for better ventilation.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    Yes, Hobby Lobby has plastic canvas (now called mesh I think.)

    Prairie Moon

    Symphyotrichum ericoides Heath Aster

    Verbena hastata Blue Vervain

    Rudbeckia subtomentosa Sweet Black-eyed Susan

    Rudbeckia hirta Black-eyed Susan

    Dalea purpurea Purple Prairie Clover

    Physocarpus opulifolius Prairie Ninebark

    Hypericum prolificum SHRUBBY ST. JOHN'S WORT

    Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower

    Coreopsis palmata PRAIRIE COREOPSIS

    Select seeds

    Salvia coccinea Brenthurst Pink

    Rudbeckia triloba Prairie Glow

    Heliopsis helianthoides scabra

    Echinacea angustifolia NARROW LEAVED PURPLE ORGANIC

    Been updating my spreadsheet.

  • 4 years ago

    I almost can't believe you bought heath aster when it's kinda everywhere out in the country (weedy in my opinion, but also impressive when it is covered in bloom).

    Nice choice on the hypericum prolificum, it's the one that I have and is probably the nicest of the species I've grown (though some have larger more perfect flowers).

    You'll never be without R triloba again (and I don't want to be..but it's kinda aggressive for me).

    I think the only thing that might need cold treatment is your E. angustifolia (though not sure that it does).

    For the love of salvia coccinea, I can't get it to reseed itself, except in every pot I have, never in the ground. I have three pots in the laundry room that have hitchhikers in them.

    Some of my favorites in your list, good luck with them!

  • 4 years ago

    The filter was for med to low water use and I was looking for late summer blooms. Heath aster is supposed to bloom into Oct and the picture was beautiful. I don't do much wandering in the country these days. The r. triloba variety is gorgeous and so is the Heliopsis variety, name is Burning Heart, don't know why that didn't show up. My flower beds are in transition, so many of these will be grown in pots. The truth is I have seeds for over 300 "ornamental" varieties and certainly don't have that much room (or that many pots). I also realized tonight that I haven't ever completed my orders for Companion Plants or Almost Eden. Some of my seeds suggest fall planting, which will help me out a little.

  • 4 years ago

    Calikim used some of that plastic canvas with mason jar rings.

    Okmulgee boy, the jar method works fine. That's what I did for in the past. It's probably not as good as your method though.

    Congrats on your new seeds, Amy. :D I look forward to planting more flowers and ornamentals someday.

  • 4 years ago

    Cracked me up, Amy. I saw the same "sale" alert from Prairie Moon. I am in the middle of updating my spread sheet, too.

    I am broke. I ordered plants from Missouri Wildflowers, to be delivered about April 10--20 milkweeds to share with the school, and 10 "forest" plants for me.

    Dawn, are you okay? I'm hoping you are just getting some rest, and being engaged in fun activities.

    Although I'd already ordered from Prairie Moon, when I saw that sale, I jumped in, too! I'm suprised we weren't sending messages back and forth to each other! I look forward to trading plants at SF. dbarron and Larry, and okmulgeeboy--you might think about it. . . . long trips for you two, Larry and dbarron. Longish trip even for us. Anyway, so this is the flower crop for this year--for me and for me, friends, and the school.

    Agrimony (Roadside) Agrimonia striata Prairie Moon Nursery

    American Beautyberry Collicarpa americana Native American

    Aromatic aster (shade!) Symphyotrichum oblongifolium Prairie Moon Nursery

    Bellflower (Tall) Campanula americana Prairie Moon Nursery

    Bergamot Monarda Fistulosa Native American

    Bluestar (Ozark) Amsonia illustris Prairie Moon Nursery

    Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Prairie Moon Nursery

    Coneflower (pale purple) Echinacea Pallida, Purpurea, and Paradoxa-- SESE

    Coreopsis (Dyer's) Coreopsis SESE

    Early Meadow Rue Prairie Moon Nursery

    American Ginger (Wild) Asarum canadense Prairie Moon Nursery

    Goldenrod (Shiny) Solildago nitida Native American

    and Zig Zag Goldenrod

    Joe Pye Eutrochium maculatum Prairie Moon Nursery

    and Sweet Joe Pye (little)

    Lead Plant Amorpha canescens Prairie Moon Nursery

    Little Bluestem Schizachyrium scoparium SESE

    Milkweed (Showy) Asclepias speciosa Prairie Moon Nursery

    Milkweed, Antelope Horns Asclepias asperula Native American

    Milkweed, Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa Prairie Moon Nursery

    Milkweed, Prairie Asclepias sullivantii Prairie Moon Nursery

    Milkweed, Rose Asclepias incarnata - Rose Milkweed Prairie Moon Nursery

    Milkweed, Spider Asclepias viridis Prairie Moon Nursery

    Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata Jen

    Purple Giant Hyssop Agastache scrophulariaefolia Prairie Moon Nursery

    Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium Native American

    Sedum Seastar Sedum pulchellum

    Showy Wild Garlic Allium canadense var. lavendulare Prairie Moon Nursery

    Sunflower (Early) Heliopsis helianthoides Prairie Moon Nursery

    Verbena (Prairie) Glandularia bipinnatifida Native American

    I sowed a wildflower mixes here and at the school in November; and had many others stratifying. I have an entire large tote of Antelope milkweed on the deck. I threw a whole bunch more in the fridge yesterday (they were 30-day stratification). And I got started planting for the grow cart today. Many of the wildflowers that don't need special treatment--and peppers. I just remembered that last year when I tried soaking the peppers in hot water overnight, they germinated in 2-3 days. So I went ahead and did that with them--also with the wildflowers that I started today.

    I've no idea on some of these wildflowers. Could NOT find info on germination. So just went with my best guess. BUT I ordered double amounts of some of them, so can try them every which way.

    The heath aster IS pretty! I'll have to go looking for native wildflowers. Thanks for the heads up, dbarron. I know we have a ton of prairie verbena nearby and native phlox.

    I have a lot of bee balm in the back yard, but didn't have the fistulosa. Now have it. Also--dbarron--your endorsement of shrubby St. Johns wort! One of my winners from purchases last year. I found 2 gallon pots of it at Southwoods in Tulsa and snapped them up. I LOVE them.

    re salvia. . . love em, can't have em here. BUT. I grow great salvia at the school!

    They got our website up for the school finally, and it is going to come in handy for writing grant applications. LOL I've never done it before, but agreed to try. What was I thinking! lol Have any of you done it?

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    For the technical "nerds" among us ( of course we are)

    In other words , eat yer broccoli ( and the sprouts).

    Arctic air coming down tonight .

    You all take care.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    Oh, Nancy, I don't know why I didn't message you, we could have shared shipping. I was feeling guilty I think.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Nancy, aromatic aster is not a shade plant at all.

    This one may be just me, but campanula americana can just be grown for a flower (in it's second year), I can't grow it through summer for the life of me (younger plant)..and since it's biennial.

    Antelope horn asclepias is everywhere in Oklahoma I think..will certainly do well. In face, most of those should do well, baring the fact that the geographic origin of those specific plants are quite a bit further north than Oklahoma. And I can say that I've ordered from more local growers versus Prairie Moon and saw results myself. Many PM plants struggle with our summers, but most do get the hang of it or pass on to cooler pastures.

    Of those that I think will require stratification: The milkweeds,beautyberry might, lead plant (assume you ordered plant though),

  • 4 years ago

    Is it true milk weed seeds are only viable for one year? I have definitely bitten off more than I can chew.

  • 4 years ago

    As a general rule, seed should be used as soon as possible, but ideal (cool, low humidity) conditions can help. Milkweed doesn't have a lot of reserves (like corn or peas would), so I would imagine it doesn't store well.

  • 4 years ago

    You don't have an extra fridge, do you, Amy? I don't have a lot of room in mine, but did manage to save many seeds in the bottom drawer of my fridge for a whole year! I had them in a gallon plastic ziploc bag. The only thing we generally have in that drawer are soda pop, juice, and beer for when relatives visit. And ha! I just found seeds in the freezer (also from several months ago. No idea why I thought I had to have 1/2 oz of Siberian kale AND spinach! My oh my.

    And no idea how I managed to get the "shade" on the aromatic aster, either, dbarron! I know I was excited to see there were some things for shade and was mighty excited about it, so put "shady" in the notes on the spreadsheet. I may have to save the lead plant seeds until fall, as PM says they need 60 days of stratification. It's a big packet of seeds, however, so I'll experiment a little. More of them required stratification than didn't.

    Prairie Moon actually had good seed planting instructions. The ones missing specific instructions were from Native American Seeds.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Nancy, having just started hellebores (needing a warm and cold stratification in order), you still have time to stratify the lead plants (use some milled spagnum soaked, then squeezed mostly dry, put seeds in ziploc with it, and refrigerate). Oh, I'd soak seeds overnight first. Does lead plant require scarification too? (lots of legumes do).

    Oh, and my select seeds order came, ordered on Sunday. I gotta see if I can get sweet peas planted today or tomorrow (inside).

  • 4 years ago

    No extra fridge and if I had one Ron would fill it with food (or beer). The one in the house is always packed. We talked about a new fridge. Even went to look at them but other things happened. I might could freeze some seeds. Maybe a jar in the back of the fridge. We really should have coordinated, I have lead plant too. I wonder if we should start a native plant thread so we can find this info later. Select seeds said they shipped. PM has not.

  • 4 years ago

    Somebody said something about American Strawberry bush, was it Dawn? Dbarron? I'm trying to pare down my almost Eden list, thinking some could wait till next year. But it's so hard.

  • 4 years ago

    Well, I've grown it (I don't think I said anything about it). Deers love it, it's only showy for a fairly short period (though the bright orange and purple is really loud), I really wasn't impressed and haven't grown it since leaving Oklahoma.

  • 4 years ago

    Good idea, Amy, starting a thread. We should have. I thought about mentioning it on here, but it for such a short time I figured most folks wouldn't even see the post until it was over. Still, I should have mentioned it on FB. Next time! BTW, I didn't even LOOK at Select Seeds this year, just because of the focus--and I still have so many things left over from last year and before. Maybe just a tiny peek. . .

    I was planting tomatoes today. Here we go again. Growing too many of each one and growing too many kinds. But I should have plenty for the school and friends. I was out of Cherokee Purple seeds and thought, "Oh well." BUT might have to re-think that. These are the ones I planted, thanks in part to Jen!

    Egg Yolk

    Speckled Roma

    Royal Hillbilly

    Black Krim

    Dwarf Mr. Snow

    Big Brandy F1

    Homestead 24


    San Marzona Redorta

    Dr Wyche's Yellow

    Super Sweet 100 Hybrid

    Arkansas Traveler

    Black from Tula

    Anthony Bourdain

    Mortgage Lifter, RC

    My tomatoes took a beating last year with the rain. Thus, ones that didn't do well will get another chance.

    I don't have the lead plant (Amorpha canescens) seeds yet. I was looking all over for them; thought I'd lost them, but then realized I haven't received that last PM order yet. And I think you're right, dbarron; I think there will be plenty of time for them. I checked PM's directions against others, and they were being cautious. I was trying to pull up Tom Clothier's site this afternoon--cannot get it! Has anyone else been at his site recently?

    Garry is intent on finding his pawpaw tree, so I guess I'll see what I can do. LOL Love it.

  • 4 years ago

    Hmmm...I tried to post pictures of my seedlings, but guess they were lost.

    Nancy, that's a great list of tomatoes. I won't start my tomatoes until March 1. That worked well last year.

    I had planned on ordering new lights and completely reworking my light shelf, but probably won't do that this year. Except I do have 24 tomato varieties that I want to try. And there will be multiples of those. Then, peppers. And a few flowers. I hope there's room for it all.


    I hope Garry finds his pawpaw.

    Dawn (hope you're okay), how long have Seminole pumpkins stored for you? I still have SO many. They are precious to me, so want to use them all. I'm not growing them this year at all.

    Okmulgee boy, my sprouts have sprouted! They're not broccoli sprouts, but I am going to look for those this weekend. NG has a nice little rack of sprout seeds.

    It's supposed to be somewhat nice this weekend. The goal is to get the chicken yard fence replaced/repaired. Tom is off work on Monday. It's already started: Mason and I are going to look at a wedding venue on Saturday. I suppose I should dress up a bit for that and not look like I'm repairing a chicken fence. Wow. Wedding venues are expensive. What happened to a good old fashioned church wedding?!

    We are trying to adapt Mason's cat to our house. She is a mean cat. Only likes Mason and my Mom. Mason's fiancé has 2 dogs. Diana will not tolerate those well at all. She attacks the fiancé anytime he is at Mason's house. I've never known a cat like Diana. Mason got her as a 10 week old kitten from our friends. Juno is her sister. Juno is weird too, but not mean. Pretty sure the mother was just a little more than feral. (I say "was" because they moved her to their property, but she was ran over.) She is staying in our 3rd bedroom and finally came out to eat today. (Juno stayed under our bed for 4 days when she was brought to us.) She hissed and growled at me once while I was exercising in that room. But I ignored her and she stopped. I wonder if she's been allowed to get away with bad behavior--everyone reacts to it, etc. Which is understandable when you're scratched and hissed at. Anyway...I'm rambling. I hope this works out. I would rather have her put down than try to find another home for her. She would never be adopted from a rescue or the pound.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    " Okmulgee boy, my sprouts have sprouted! They're not broccoli sprouts, but I am going to look for those this weekend. NG has a nice little rack of sprout seeds. "

    Jennifer , here's where I've been getting mine if you can't find them.

    Dawn , you OK ? I know you've been getting an excess amount of rain down there.

    I had that experience back in 2015. 20 inches in the month of May and continued on into july that year . My garden just looked like the surrounding cow pasture , got all grown up in grass knee high with water standing in it. . Took the rest of the summer cleaning it out. It wasn't fun at all .It was depressing.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Wow, I started some hardy cyclamen seed the last of January and I have little sprouts (which surprised me...because I always thought it required cold stratification (but I read it didn't necessarily so tried it)...boy lots of time I've wasted stratifying these in the past, usually requiring many months to germinate). The sweet peas are soaking in warm water before I plant them tomorrow morning in toilet paper rolls (yes, someone suggested that as an ideal tall pot for taprooted peas), I hope they hold up till I can plant them outdoors..I'll rubber band them together.

  • 4 years ago

    Since it rains daily and I cannot do any gardening or yard work, I've just stayed busy with lots of other stuff, and guess I haven't been back to this thread all week.

    I am fine....just thoroughly and completely hating the weather. Why are my yard and garden so awful? Well, in January, at our house, we received right at 400% of our usual January rainfall, on soil that already was heavily saturated from December. Now, in February, even though we are only just barely at mid-month, our rainfall is 150% of average for the whole month, and there's a lot more rain in the forecast for next week. I'm starting to feel like I'm going to have to build an ark and fill it with 2 plants of every kind in order to have a garden of any sort in 2020.

    okmulgeeboy, We had an awful 2015 very wet and with the river flooding so much, and us so close to the river, that for the first time in my life, I wondered if water would back up from the river into our creeks and flood us (it did not). We came really close to seeing the I-35 bridge over the Red River shut down due to high water, and it was scary to drive across that bridge for a while because the river was so high. However, while we did not flood at our house (the property was a different story) the floodwaters carried away a home that was a little northwest of us---it was an old house that no one lived in by then, but there was a lot of local history in that house and the family whose loved ones had lived in it were quite dismayed to have it floating down the river. Our average rainfall is around 38-39". In 2015, we got a bit over 78". It was horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. I do remember May being especially awful, especially for those of us in a fairly narrow band of our county that got right at 24" of rain that month---2 or 3" more than the rest of the county. The rain that hit us here on a couple of extra-wet days went straight to Marietta and flooded the basement of our county courthouse, where they had offices and lots of paper records stored. It was horrible and the recover and repair of the courthouse took an exceptionally long time. During that big May rainfall, at our place, we had almost a foot of rain in one day...the third time that has happened since we moved here in 1999. Our dense red clay gets really ugly every time a foot of rain falls in one day! lol. After getting two feet of rain in May 2015, we got a foot of rain in June. Needless to say, it was not a great gardening year as many plants just rotted off at the soil beds raised from 4" to 20" above grade level. All my raised beds are positioned a certain way to control the flow of water downhill since the garden slopes strongly, and that year, all the raised beds served as dams to hold the water in the pathways forever and forever. This had better not be another one of those years.....

    I agree that 2015 was depressing. Last year was nearly as bad here....less rain overall but most of it in the Spring and not enough of it later in the summer, naturally. I am hoping 2020 is not going to be a repeat of 2015 or even 2019. I went back and looked at 2015's Mesonet records, which do not necessarily match our rainfall at our house, and we had a little under 5" of rainfall in Jan and Feb 2015 combined. This year? For Jan and Feb combined at our house we are at almost 9", and at our Mesonet station they have recorded 7.59", so whether I'm looking at official rainfall totals for the county or just the unofficial rainfall at our house, we're already much wetter in 2020 than we were in 2015 and that is a scary thought.

    Because of all the rain, I am questioning whether I'll be able to plant any cool-season crops in the garden at all as even the raised beds are full of water. I'm not planting potatoes at all, and even the idea of planting onions seems highly questionable at this point. It is time to plant them here but I know if I plant them into this very wet soil, they'll just rot, so there's no point. It is the same thing with carrots. In this wet soil, the seeds would rot before they ever could sprout. I know I'll have tomatoes and peppers in large containers eventually, but was hoping to plant other veggies in a portion of the garden instead of having only flowers...and now all those planting dreams are at risk of not happening at all...including the flowers.

    Of course, all my plans to remove grass sod in the yard and replace it with plants, pathways and other hardscaping are at serious risk now because the yard is perpetually under water, making it impossible to do anything at all out there. I have to wear boots every single day and walk through puddles on top of wet, squishy ground just to feed the wild birds, and to let the chickens out of their coop to free-range. The feral cats I started feeding last summer after two of them had kittens here? While skittish and standoffish, they "allow" me to feed them in our garage twice a day, and they have pretty much set up housekeeping in there because at least in the garage, it is dry. I had hoped we'd spend January and February removing grass sod, a few trees and the old, overgrown shrubs, so we could spend March improving the soil and drainage, putting up the fence, etc., and then be ready to plant by April. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. It isn't happening yet and I wonder how it is going to happen at all if the rains continue. I guess if the heavy rains continue in March and April, and beyond, then maybe redoing the landscape becomes a 2021 project. I am so beyond frustrated with all this rain! There, that's all my tale of garden woe in 2020....I do not have a good feeling about this year's weather and think it might make us as miserable as last year's did.

    Jennifer, It is supposed to be somewhat nice here on Sun and Mon, and I guess some would think Sat would be nice, but we're so wet that it won't matter if the sun is shining and the high temps are near 60 here on Saturday as it still will be too wet to do any actual work outdoors. I feel bad just walking on our wet ground because walking on the wet ground just compacts it more, adding to the drainage issues. The one bright hope in our weather forecast is that Monday's warm, dry weather (we have a forecast high of 77 degrees for Monday) might dry up the big standing puddles, but then more rain is in the forecast beginning Tuesday. The cats and dogs whine and beg to go outdoors, and then they come back inside 5 minutes later, soaking wet and miserable. I have had to mediate a lot of little battles between dogs and cats stuck indoors and immensely bored. I have a cat or dog on my lap, in my face or beneath my feet pretty much every waking hour of the day. I can't blame them for being bored and tired of being stuck indoors as I feel the same way.

    Seminoles have stored for me as long as 18 months, and that probably was in 2011 when we had a bumper crop in late fall after the drought finally ended in late summer. I had watered them heavily most of the summer and it didn't seem to help, but the vines survived the heat and drought and produced heavily in the fall. There were so many that year I had to store them in the garden shed on a table in there and in the garage, lined up on lumber lying on the floor along the wall. It was forever before you could walk normally in our garage without stepping over/tripping over Seminole pumpkins. In most years, they have lasted up to a year in storage though, and sometimes longer.

    Nancy, I am still here. Just not really doing any gardening, and when I get busy with other stuff and have no gardening on my mind, I just don't think to come here. I'm thinking about building a boat so I'll be able to get out of the house more. I'm pretty sure our chicken's feet are turning into webbed feet as they splash their way through all the huge standing puddles daily.

    Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk webpage came right up for me, so I'll link the veggie page for you. From there you can navigate to his other info there.

    Tom Clothier's webpage

    dbarron, 15 degrees is too cold! I hope all your plants made it through the cold here at the end of the week. Earlier in the week they showed us with a low this morning of 27, but as the week went on, they dropped it and dropped it. I think the lowest forecast low for this morning that I saw at the NWS was 22. Then, yesterday, they abruptly raised it back to 27. Ha! They could not have been more wrong. So far this morning our low temperature has been....22. So, their mid-week forecast for the cold was right after all. Our local TV met warned last night that we could drop down to 19, but that hasn't happened at our house., and so far the Mesonet station has recorded only 21, but I'm not saying that some of the folks west of town who live right down on the river might not have dropped to 19 because I think they could have.

    The forecast for the weekend seems promising as we're supposed to have sunshine and warmth on at least Sunday and Monday, but then rain and cooler temperatures come back after that, with a very slight chance (I don't think it will happen) of snow mixing with our rain later in the week.

    Our temperatures have been all over the place all winter and haven't stabilized yet. It is not unusual for us to have a least one day a week with a high temperature in the upper 70s or low 80s, but then 2, 3 or 4 days later we'll be back in the 20s at night and 30s or 40s during the day. It is just bizarre. This is the worst yo-yoing weather we've had in a while. Surely all these weather fluctuations drive the plants themselves mad. The fruit trees and hollies are budding and closer to blooming too early every single day that passes although I expect this morning's cold will set them back. The daffodils started blooming this week----why wouldn't they after we had that 83 degree day about 10 or 11 days ago? There's dandelions, henbit, chickweed and spring beauties blooming in the yard. There's gigantic lake-sized puddles in the yard this morning that are frozen over on top.....this all makes me feel like our yard has turned into a circus of sorts. I'm just hoping that when I go out to feed everyone that I don't slip and fall on the frozen puddles. lol. I'm going to have to take a shovel or metal t-post or something and break through the ice so the wild birds can have some water to drink because all the birdbaths are frozen and I want to let the ice in them thaw naturally so they don't break.

    All our ponds, which have been totally dry most of the time since drought dried up the springs that fed them in 2011, are now seasonal ponds---filled to the brim with rainfall now that then runs over the lowest part of the pond bank and flows downstream, filling up the large overflow pond that downstream from the upper pond. When that overflow pond overflows, the runoff goes into one of our three creeks. After so many years of dry, empty ponds it is nice to see water in them again, and they've been full to the point of overflowing all winter long which is not typical, but then the rainfall has been atypical.

    I still haven't started tomato seeds. I am not motivated to do it at all, but I know I need to get it done, based on the assumption that someday the rain will back off, we'll warm up and stay warm and I'll actually be able to plant and will want to have transplants ready at that point in time. I'm thinking it might not happen until April though. And, April, May and June are usually our rainiest months so I wonder how well the plants will do, even in pots. As rainy as our driest winter months have been, I cannot imagine Spring will suddenly turn warm, sunny and dry even though I sure do hope that it does. I have not forgotten how horrible all of last year's rain was. Too much rain is just as bad as too little, and maybe even worse. If you aren't getting enough rain, you can irrigate. If you're getting too much rain, you cannot really go out into the garden with the shop-vac and suck up all the extra moisture from the soil.

    Then, there's the gazillion wildflower seeds I'm cold-stratifying. Eventually they'll reach the stratification goal (60 days for most) and then I can sow the seeds. The question is where I'll raise them. I was hoping to plant a lot directly in the ground, but with this wet soil that sort of direct planting is seeming less likely, so I'll probably be planting tons of them in flats and then eventually transplanting as conditions allow. To avoid fretting endlessly about the weather and all the excess moisture, I try to avoid thinking about gardening, and that drives me mad too.


  • 4 years ago

    Dawn, after half my seeds rotting last year, I'm doing pretty much all starting in pots indoors. I don't like it..but the results are much better than all of last year outside (due to rain that never stopped pretty much yet). It's just what we have to 'weather' this year.

  • 4 years ago

    You guys are starting my seed planting itch. I will have to get some potting soil today and bring my light shelf into our center bedroom.

    I don't know when I can be ready to plant. I want to take soil test first, because I know that this time of the year the test will take forever coming back. Plus I don't have a boat to get to the garden to take a soil sample.

    Hazel, I don't think that I have ever planted 24 different kinds of tomatoes. My wife and I use to joke about me buying 50 acres of seed and only having 2500 sq. ft. of planting area. I think most gardeners have a little bit of the same problem.

    I have never sprouted seeds to eat. I expect that you do this for health reasons? I think that I have seen sprouts on a buffet line before , but I don't remember eating any. I grew up on a simple diet and that has not changed much in 76 years.

    I have really lost control of my gardens, they are covered in henbit and other grass/weeds. I was sorta keeping up with weed control with a weed burner until it got too wet and cold to work in the garden. I am thinking now that I may just cover the grass with mulch and compost. I know that wont last long, but I just don't feel like doing it the old fashion way. I plan on trying some containers this year. I expect that weed control wont be near the problem in them.

  • 4 years ago

    Hypothetically, how much is "too much" basil? I have more than 25 varieties of seeds, most tiny amounts, so if I want to replenish it looks like I'm on a pesto binge this year.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Well I just got back from the feedstore and got some more seed potatoes and some onion "sets".I know it's too wet right now but it makes me feel better that I'm getting my "guns cocked and loaded". I figure the seed potatoes and onion sets will hold a while even into March a little if I have to wait that long. I'm going to wait another week or so to get the onion bundles depending on if conditions improve. My usual Feb thing is planting half red and half white potatoes about the same time I put out onions. The onion "sets" I use for green table onions (scallions) and the plants for the big onions. Hopefully the weather will improve towards the end of Feb . Maybe the arctic air will get it over with now and not come back in Mar but that's probably wishful thinking.

    Eastern OK in general is still pretty wet but Southeast OK got it a whole lot worse.

    The way my schedule situation is I have to stay a week ahead on things or end up being a week or two behind. So I tend to "row the dice" and try to be an early bird . Sometimes I win , sometimes I lose.

    " I have never sprouted seeds to eat. I expect that you do this for health reasons? "

    Larry , in the case of doing broccoli "sprouts" , the sprouts are suppose to have 10 -100 times the cancer fighting compounds than just regular broccoli. That's what the scientists say any way. I put up some links about it way up above in the thread. Try this one :

    and its something you can do in the kitchen regardless of the weather outside as long as the seeds will sprout and it's not too humid for mold to set up.

    Happy Valentine's Day you all.

    You Hoo

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    Jlhart, no such thing as too much basil. If you don’t use it or like the flavor of one, the pollinators will love it. And pesto freezes beautifully.

    I‘m going in search of potatoes this weekend. Onions are TBD. And getting taxes done.

    I desperately need some time in the dirt.

  • 4 years ago

    Rebecca, you need to put a small wading pool in your living room and fill it with dirt, then you can play in the dirt 24/7.

    I guess I will grow basil for the first time this year. My daughter brought over a package Sunday. I ask her if she wanted me to start the plants, she said , No, I want you to grow them in your garden. I have grown lemon balm, but never lemon basil. I assume there about the same. The lemon balm was very invasive.

    okmulgee boy, thanks for the link on broccoli sprouts. I should check into that because cancer has taken most of my family. My son and daughter are still cancer free, mine returned. If my grand kids start eating broccoli sprouts it may be a good move for them.

    It was nice today, cold but nice and sunny.

  • 4 years ago

    Larry, you might try it for yourself too. What do you have to lose?

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago

    okmulgee boy, I plan on trying them. It has been 10 years since my surgery, 8 years since I knew of return. I watched my dad and brother suffer from treatment, At this point it is just watch and see. So far I have done well, arthritis gives me fits, just like most everyone else, but I have never heard of anyone dying from it.

  • 4 years ago

    Well first of all , you need the broccoli sprouting seed .Not any broccoli seed will do. It has to be bred for sprouting , something to do with the plant genetics I guess.

    Here's where I get mine :

    You can probably get it in other places probably for cheaper maybe. Then seeds need to be soaked in water overnite . Then they need to be rinsed and drained morning and night for 3 to 5 days . Then they will start sprouting.Then let them have some daylight like in your kitchen window to green up some . Then they are ready to eat. Keep them in your frig while you are sprouting your next batch. and repeat until it starts getting warm and humid into early May like it does. When it starts smelling like dead fish and getting slimey in your frig then its time to quit. Sprouting season is over . Time to switch over to another vegetable , whatever is in season next

    There's links to how to sprout them ., either in a flat tray made for it or the jar method.

    okmulgee boy.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I do love sprouts on my sandwiches. What other ways do you use them, okmulgee boy? HJ? Yay--glad you're gonna give it a try, Larry. I will, too!

    Lemon balm is awful! Sure smells great, though. I think I'll try to take mine out and start some in a container. It doesn't seem to have any beneficial presence for pollinators or birds, so is just wasting space in my big center bed. AND Elizabeth brought me some LIME balm last year that is just as charming as the lemon. Love the smells.

    I laughed, dbarron. The second batch of seeds came today, including the lead plant seeds. Uh no. no scarification for them. They're actually almost tiny. I had no idea what to expect.

    I feel like I already posted today, but I must not have. I was agreeing with you Dawn, about too much water! BUT you have REALLY gotten hammered! We've had a bit more than 70 inches since a year ago today. And it has been raining regularly for most of the fall and winter. Our cats and Titan are driving us nuts. In. And out. And in, and out and in and out. Is Chris able to get anything done at their place in terms of gardens?

    And I said, Rebecca, "Speaking of basil, the red leaf basil is the first up, planted day before yesterday."

    We had to go to Tulsa again today. And it was cold, but nice and sunny here, too. What a waste of a day. We had to go 3 days ago to get a part for the heating system. (We offered to go, instead of our HVAC guy. Figured it would be cheaper--and besides, he's kind of busy.) They sent us home with the wrong part. So HVAC guy called them and got it straightened out and back we went. While we were there, we decided to take the truck in for a recall fix. AAGGGHHH. We should have quit while we were ahead. Three hours later we were on our way home. Funny, though--I had my catalogs from Missouri Wildflower Nursery, Native American Seed, and Prairie Moon. Garry and I BOTH had fun looking through the catalogs and comparing. Who knew he'd EVER get like this! Amy, you will laugh to know that he had to try and find pawpaw saplings in the catalogs! He found them in the Missouri catalog, but of course when I looked for them on the cell, they were sold out. As I told Amy on FB, I found them at Stark Bros. I'll get two different varieties for him. . . . but the planting directions for them is fascinating, and I will read up on them some more before ordering.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    " I do love sprouts on my sandwiches. What other ways do you use them, okmulgee boy? "

    Just eat them raw or sprinkle them on salads or whatever. Chew on them thoroughly so the compound will break down and absorb into your system better.It needs to be ate regularly. The effects drop off rapidly when you quit , same with eating salad greens, spinach.

    okmulgee boy

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I am sitting here reading on sprouting broccoli, with TV going. The TV is saying that Jan. 2019 was the warmest Jan. world wide in 2019 years. I can't verify that, but I can say that I don't remember a wetter Jan.

    It looks like we are going to have a pretty nice day. I have not been able to get loose and get down to the co-op to pick up a couple of bag of Pro mix, so I will just make a special trip to town today and get the potting soil. We did go to Ft. Smith yesterday to buy Kopper Kettle candy boxes for my Valentines, but had to stand in line so long that we were too tired to go get the potting soil. We are becoming a "one trip family", we go to town to shop and pick up one thing and then go home to rest, telling our self, "that's all I really need".

    My daughter orders a lot of stuff from Amazon. She has 5 dogs, a little Yorkie in the house and at least 4 large strays outside. Amazon delivers her dog food and just sits in on the porch. She has what looks like a hog feeder on her back porch and has the happiest dogs, coons, skunks,possuns, even deer that hang around. I don't know why I brought up my daughter, except that we have started ordering more, and more stuff online also.

    Maybe I should make things clearer. What looks like a hog feeder to me , is a pet feeder. It does not have the lid/door that slams shut when the hogs are not eating. I sometimes forget that some of you did not grow up in the "stone age".

    Madge and I went over and picked up my daughter and grand daughter and went for brunch. We then went to "Squash Blossom Food", which is a health food store in Dora OK. I got some sprouting broccoli seed, and my grand daughter pick up something. I sent it all home with them, hoping that if the sprouts have cancer fighting ability it may her side step some sad times in her future.

  • 4 years ago

    I am the same way Larry. One store is all I can handle. I bought all the grand kids Christmas presents on Amazon in an afternoon. Recently Birthday presents, too. I got mad the last time I went to Walmart because they had no motorized carts left and they took the benches out so I couldn't even rest. So I looked on Amazon and found most of the stuff I usually buy there. Next time I will get it on line.

    My seeds haven't come! Maybe today.

    Basil is only invasive if you let it go to seed, and then it is easy to pull if you don't want it. One time I had Tulsi (known as holy basil) in a bed and the little pollinators went crazy on it. It became a living mulch the next year, though I had to cut it so the plants I MEANT to have got sun.

  • 4 years ago

    Nephew knocked out two teeth at the trampoline park last night. Expensive Valentine’s Day for his parents. 13 years old.

    People in my Tulsa gardening group are reporting seeing ducks traveling north and other spring birds out and around. They seem to think spring will be early based on signs. I am seeing tiny buds on the pecan trees, and on The Revenge of Godzilla. I didn’t feel the urgency to start seeds until February started, then it hit with a vengeance.

  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Rebecca, that is horrible about your nephew's teeth! Wow.

    I have stuff ready to go into the garden, so, yes, let's do spring already! I really will need to harvest the first round of lettuce from the light shelf if I can't plant it outdoors soon. They are on the patio table getting some sun right now, along with all the other seedlings.

    We went away for the night. It was nice---relaxing.

    Ethan did okay with putting the animals to bed and shutting off the light shelf, etc. EXCEPT somehow the little roo, Sisko, was not in the coop this morning--he was in the chicken yard. I know that he was in the pen when I left last night. There's small openings on top of the side walls of our pen that he has roosted a couple of times. When I'm home, I count them and look for him if he's not inside the coop...and then move him to the coop. SO, I guess he flew down from that spot in the pen to the chicken yard this morning. We got home around 9 (We stayed in Norman). Ethan was still asleep, so I did my normal animal care routine.

    It's decent weather, so we worked outdoors. My vision of using the old chainlink for the chicken yard didn't work out. We had a roll of hardware cloth so used that instead. It covered the back of the yard and 10 ft. of the east side. We will have to buy more and that is not really in the budget, but must be done before planting time. Our chicken yard is about 120 ft long and 20 ft. wide. We will finish this project on Monday and get it checked off the list. One down, 97 to go. (I have a long list.)

    My jar of sprouts is looking good! I'm going to NG in a bit and will look for broccoli sprouts to do next.

    Nancy, yes, lemon balm is a monster! I wish I had known that before planting. It spawns like crazy too. It does smell delightful, but I can only use so much lemon balm. It's doubtful I'll be able to dig it out of the herb bed. It's been there maybe 4 years...or possibly this is it's 5th year. Time goes so quickly. Lemon balm is good for anxiety and upset stomach. I used to make a tincture with it using vegetable glycerin instead of alcohol. I did make a bug spray with it and honestly the mosquitoes bite right through it.

    We have no puddles on our property right now. It's not too wet. It's not exactly dry though. There is a large puddle on our neighbor's pasture area. All the water runs to that spot.

    I am planning to plant onions in a couple of weeks unless we get a ton more rain. They are going in raised beds this year.

    Larry, I'll only keep one of each variety of tomato. Many of them are dwarf varieties that I want to try out. I'll give away any extras. Still, I'll need to find a spot to put them all. I'm using the back garden for the onions, black beans, and lima beans. And putting peppers where I had tomatoes two years ago. I have 3 mineral tubs, so three can go into those...and a couple of smart pots as well. I can probably put 6 into concrete block bed that held the sweet peppers last year. And 8 to 10 in the area the Seminole pumpkins were planted (not that they stayed in that area--they webbed the entire garden at one point).

    I will be busy with wedding stuff, so can't do too much extra this year. Mason found her venue, so we didn't look at the one in Norman today (which is why I got to work on the chicken yard fence.) Her venue is The Stone Barn at Blueberry Hill. And of course the first thing that popped in my mind (being a gardener), do you really grow blueberries there....and how? It's a lovely place...and I will be looking for blueberries when I go to check it out. She went without me yesterday with Mack.

    Nancy, I eat sprouts on sandwiches and salads, but will be trying other things with them.

    The Diana situation. She is eating and drinking and using the litterbox...and still staying in the 3rd bedroom. She scratched me pretty good this morning. But I refused to retreat. That is the first step, I think. I sat right down by her food. She growled for a few seconds, but I kept sitting and reaching for things around us, touched her food and water bowls. Didn't make a lot of eye contact. She stayed near me and didn't scratch again. I really want for her to learn to be a good cat. It's not like she can be an outdoor cat either. She's only ever been indoors.

    I sure hope everyone gets to enjoy the warmer temperatures today, Sunday, and Monday.

  • 4 years ago

    dbarron, I'll probably have to start all mine indoors too. Then I'll build the plants little boats and they can spend the rest of the spring and summer floating downhill, slipping through the garden fence, slipping and sliding across the front wildflower meadow and sliding happily down the embankment into the bar ditch, and then they can travelthrough our creek until they end up floating down the Red River. Maybe they'll wave bye as they float away. That is how discouraging all this rain is. I already can visualize my plants floating away before I've even started seeds.

    Yesterday when everything was frozen solid, our soil looked dry. It looked so good from inside the house, though walking on it wasn't that great when I went outdoors. Then the frozen ground thawed out during the morning hours and turned back into mud. I'd start hoping for drought, but I've been watching the videos of the 400 million locusts destroying Africa and headed into Asia, and I don't really want a drought because that's when our grasshoppers try to turn sort of locusts. Although... I should point out that it was a couple of rainy years that have given rise to the plague of locusts there in Africa, and we have had more than a couple of rainy years here....and I saw grasshoppers hatching out and growing in both December and January. I haven't seen many lately, so I'm hoping they drowned in the rain. It is just so wrong to have grasshoppers here in the winter, and in previous years when they were hatching out in the winter, we had a horrible problem with them all summer long. Those usually were drought years though.

    Jen, There have been years I've grown too much basil and I'd say you're about to have one of those years! The good thing is that it is a great companion plant and if you truly have too many plants taking up too much space, you can cut them back relentlessly....and they'll grow right back. If you have more than you can use, and more than you can dehydrate or make into pesto, you can use basil as fillers in bouquets, or tie together a lot of sprigs artfully to form a swag to hang up in the kitchen...and it will perfume the kitchen for ages.

    Larry, The wading pool idea sounds like a winner to me, but wouldn't work here because the 4 kittens would think it was just a big kitty litter box. I already have trouble keeping them out of the houseplants.

    Nancy, I always had too much lemon balm, but I just pulled out excess seedlings or dug up excess plants. I figured I'd never be rid of all the lemon balm. Then, in 2015 we got around 79" of rain and the perpetually wet soil finally killed the lemon balm plants. I was not sorry---for once, having dense wet clay was an advantage. Every now and then a lemon balm plant will pop up here or there in a raised bed, but not in great abundance like we once had, and that is a relief.

    Chris has been building the raised beds for their potager garden in their back yard, and he's just had to work around the rain. He has it about half built. I think he'll get the other half built this week. He needs to---he has seeds started and tons of plants all over the place and they are going to outgrow his light shelf soon. We are praying for an early last freeze so he can get those babies in the ground. He is at a much higher elevation than we are, so he probably will be able to plant before we can even though he is further north. Microclimate is everything. This morning, the nursery delivered his dump truck load full of garden soil that he intends to use to fill the beds in the potager garden. He's already dug out and removed all the grass from the potager garden area, which wasn't too time-consuming since he has loose, sandy soil. Anyhow, his driveway is fairly narrow and slopes sharply uphill and they didn't think the dump truck could back up that driveway with the load of heavy, wet garden soil, so they dumped it at the base of the driveway, covering his driveway, the sidewalk and a great deal of the yard. Ooops! Wanting to clear the sidewalk off and regain use of the driveway, he and Tim spent a long, hard few hours pushing wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load of heavy, wet garden soil up the steep driveway. That effort got it to the top of the driveway, but they couldn't wheel it into the back yard because it is incredibly wet (of course). So, they spread out the soil in heaping piles, covering up about half their driveway--the upper half, which leaves the lower half available to park their vehicles. Chris is hoping the soil will dry out quickly on the concrete, and then he can load it up again and wheel it into the back yard. The important thing to him is that the rest of their driveway is usable and the sidewalk is clear. The two of them went to lunch afterwards and had a nice father-son day together, and I predict both with be sore and achy tomorrow. I was home with our animals, letting them in and out as it pleased them, and doing housework and stuff. I didn't really want to shovel and haul dirt uphill so was smart enough to stay home. The cats and dogs were happier today, but we still have a ton of puddles and mud.

    Amy, I'd be happy if I only had to go to one store, but since we occasionally drive all the way to the metroplex to go to Costco and Central Market, I make a list and we stop at every other store we need to visit so we are getting the most bang for our buck after using all that gas to drive down there. It drives me crazy, though, and I cannot get out of the metroplex and back home quickly enough. It doesn't even matter if we only go to Gainesville or Ardmore, I've still had 'enough' of it after one store and just want to rush through whatever else we need to do to get home.

    Rebecca, Your poor nephew! Tim was about the same age when he slammed, face and teeth-first into a tree while sledding, and much expensive dental work ensued.

    I'd say an early Spring definitely is happening overall, even though we still have occasional nights in the 20s. All our Spring birds came back around 4 weeks ago, and everything here is sprouting, budding and leafing out, including trees. We went from sort of 0 mph to 60 mph overnight. I am sure more cold nights, and the threat of snow, will keep Spring from plowing ahead too enthusiastically, but she definitely is here. I noticed today that trees along the Red River are really leafing out now, though ours here at the house are a bit further behind and are only either flowering or budding. For those of us with allergies, I am sure the pollen counts are about to go off the charts.

    Jennifer, You do have a long list! I have a perpetually long list as well.

    The Stone Barn at Blueberry Hill surely will have blueberry plants, won't it? Otherwise, why the name? Some people have success with blueberries here, as long as they amend the soil to very acidic levels and put in an irrigation system to pamper those plants through our long, hot summers. The further northeast a person goes in this state, the easier it is to succeed with blueberries. Regardless, whether they have blueberry plants or not, I'm sure it will be an awesome place for a wedding.

    Hopefully Diana will adjust in the long run. She just may need time. Some cats take a long time to relax and calm down and become comfortable.

    We have a busy day planned tomorrow, but Monday I plan to be out in the garden at least doing some garden clean-up and weeding. I may have to carry out a sheet of plywood to put down in the pathway to kneel upon so I'm not soaking wet and muddy, but I've done that in the past and it has worked pretty well as far as keeping me above the mud. The next couple of days will be nice, but then the rain comes back. Honestly, can we not have one single week without rain? I'm so over it!


  • 4 years ago

    Lemon basil is delicious. One of my favorites to grow. I've had it reseed, but never out of control.

    Yesterday was our anniversary so we're planning to go out tonight to celebrate. We only have one guest so our roommate has offered to babysit everyone.

    After spending all this time spreading wood chips, I can sympathize with Chris and Tim. We still have more than half the pile to go.