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June 2021 Week 4

OklaMoni
4 months ago

I planted the rest of my sweet potatos yesterday. I plan to let the vines grow up some string, and eat the leaves.

But I have never grown sweet potatos nor eaten their leaves and wonder if anyone here has and can give me some ideas on eating raw or cooked, and recipes.


Moni looking forward to the promised cooler days starting Monday... and some time off for her AC.

Comments (86)

  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Yes, someone asked if Jasper was the name...I said I won't really know till I get him home (giving me that much time to change mind), but that's the leading contender I think.
    Oh, just to make sure, that's the annual monarda citriodora (much more colorful than any mountain mint) :)
    What was said about honeyvine, I'm trying to make up my mind now...I may start ripping it out if I don't get any monarchs on it this year. I have about 5 stems of common milkweed and 6 or so of swamp milkweed, so I might feel that I have adequate other sources for the monarchs, especially since that should double next year (or more). Given that I haven't ever had more than 5 larvae in the years that I lived here (course I only had maybe 3 stalks of swamp milkweed as the food source then). I'd like more..I have seeds for more swamp milkweed..but I'm all 'seeded' out pretty much this year...So much care for seedlings and making sure they don't dry out. I really should start some more stuff though next month (things for fall planting..annuals that overwinter). Do I have it in me ? (not sure):)
    Being messed up is my normal. It may mesh well with taking a young puppy out frequently, though.

    Yay, it's 57F, which is a welcome cool start to the morning (once the light comes). Though it should reach the 90 degree mark again tomorrow, but only for a couple of days, before another rain on Saturday. If that's so...the weather is moderating happily.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    LOL re messed up. Well, if it's Jasper, I have to say I loved it--but didn't want to weigh in. And OH, re mountain mint. Thanks--just what I need one more variety of monarda! . . but the school kids will love it since it has a smell--they want to smell everything. I find that enchanting.

    Re honeyvine. Amy assured me that I have it, even if I don't know I do. I thought that was very funny--and possible, but haven't found it yet. That's like the lady who told me I had purslane after I said I didn't. She said, "EVERYBODY" has purslane. Well. . . I won't say I don't have it. . . . but I sure don't think I do.

    To tell you the truth, Dbarron, being messed up is my normal, too. It was something I loved about Dawn, too. She often posted at odd night hours.

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  • dbarron
    4 months ago

    Well, it's an annual so it either reseeds for you, or you need to start it like a tomato, versus most perennial monarda that bed themselves in to stay...spreading...spreading..spreading. I'm not sure it will tolerate my wet soil, so I potted it up after buying a young plant from Bustani, but I will try to gather seed.

    Yep, it seems to come to some of us in our advanced youth. On the other side, I think my mother could have slept 15 hours a day if we'd let her.

    When I was working, I was dead by 11 or 11:30 pm, but now umm, I get up about then sometimes (lol). Actually, I usually get up about 1 am. Not working is freeing in your schedule, I guess?

  • OklaMoni
    Original Author
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Jen have you gotten those free jars yet?

    Please make sure, and run your finger all the way around the top... to see if there are nicks of any kind.

    You don't want to can, and then your jar won't seal.


    Amy, Megan I thought the tomatoes needed temps under 80 degrees at night to set fruit? Am I really 10 degrees off?


    Moni

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I like being up at night (or very early morning) too! I love that quiet time. BUT, I am so tired now-a-days, that I just can't make it that late. Especially if I've had a hard workout plus a day in the garden or doing something physically taxing. The humidity is enough to wear out a person. So, Nancy and Danny enjoy it for me!

    I did sleep in today until about 7:30 and everyone (including myself) is fed. The tomatoes are quickly ripening, so Rick and I will need to make a decision on canning or freezing very soon. I say that about the tomatoes because I enjoy a slice of tomato on my eggs in the mornings...and that is what I fed myself.

    The milkweed at the event the other night was the first thing that sold out so I didn't get any. I like the plants I got, though.

    After posting this, I'll edit it was a couple of pictures. One is a list for monarchs. I would like to know if you all concur with these peoples list. I can start working on getting these plants in my garden if so.

    I'm not meaning to be a nag, but I'll ask again. Do any of you have experience or advice for the hyssop and beard tongue (penstemon)?

    A long time ago, the plan for one of our raised beds was to make it a Harry Potter bed--with some of the herbs/plants in those books. But, it's been used for a variety of things now. It has 5 peppers in it, including Dawn's pepper (which appears to be a jalapeno. It's making it's first fruit). An all the gift peppers from Nancy. (Nancy, that 5 color jalapeno is BEAUTIFUL!) The problem now, is there are several assassin bugs in that garden. Each pepper has one residing on it. The milkweed and bolted parsley AND a couple of other herbs are in the garden bed too. So, you can see the problem. While assassin bugs are good for a lot of things, I don't want them near where swallowtail and monarch caterpillars are hatching.

    Assassin bugs are so scary and I'm afraid to move them. I'm going to have to get it together, put on some gloves and move those guys. Maybe to the corn?

    Maybe the bee balm, hyssop, and penstemon can go to the HP bed too.

    Kim, do you know anything about the fig you gave to me? It's doing very well. Super excited about it.

    Rick, your SG tomatoes look good! There's tons of fruit. Much of which is sitting on my counter.

    Danny, the lemon mint...do you scatter the seed? What time of year?

    Coming back with an edit to include pictures.




  • dbarron
    4 months ago

    I've had no luck with scattering or even directly sowing seeds here. The wetness precludes it, seeds rot, birds eat it, slugs devour, etc. I would have to start it in containers and attempt transplant in early spring.

    As to any advise on your purchases, I would have to know more than the genus name to see if I know anything about it. I would need to know what species.


  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    4 months ago

    H/J I'm growing a penstemon for the first time this year. I think they spread. I've had hyssop in a pot for 2 years. Gorgeous tubular flowers, but not real obvious in the garden. (Not as showy as some).

    Those are flowers for adult monarchs to nectar on. I expect they can get nectar from non natives, but there is some question whether they get the nutrition they need from non natives and cultivars.

    Danny I was told by people who take monarch cats in to raise that they prefer honeyvine. The "discussion" was with an "agronomist" who said to kill the cats on honey vine with malathion. (They weren't monarchs, I've forgotten what they were, but butterfly cats). In the end he conceded he didn't know honey vine was a monarch host. Who knows, maybe we have a convert.

    Moni, l've been saying 74°. It depends on your source. How tomatoes respond depends on the variety, too. I really think Heidi sets fruit at higher temps.

    you're killing me with talks of puppies. Ron and I agree no more potty training. But the old beagle won't be around much longer. I feel disloyal to Sasquatch, but I miss a lap dog. And I see beagle puppies on FB and my heart melts.

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    Amy, how is Sasquatch doing? We used to talk about her (?) more often when Dawn was with us here. She was a mess as a puppy, if I remember correctly.


    I was drawn to the hyssop for whatever reason, as was my sister. Maybe it's something our ancestors had...and we have some weird genetic memory of it. When we moved out here, I was immediately drawn to the wild yarrow too....before I even knew what it was. The hyssop is very delicate for sure (in color).


    Danny, there wasn't much information on these plants. In fact, there was no plant tag at all. Just a label on each tray. I'll just not worry about them and plant.


    We were amused by the number of redheads at the pollinator event. A couple of the people had on cute Got Milkweed shirts. Maybe a Mc1R Got Milkweed would be in order.


    The assassin bugs must have heard me talking. They've disappeared from what I can tell...and now the wasps have returned to flying over the herbs. There's another herb coming up in that bed that has a familiar smell but I can't name it (yet). Maybe it will come to me. Could be a culinary herb.


    Beadboard in bathroom now painted. Check! I didn't even make a mess.

    Hopefully the vanity and sink will go in tonight.

    We've had issue after issue with this bathroom remodel.


    Humidity is back!

    Just pulled some weeds and took pics of the sweet potatoes to show to George. I don't know which variety is which.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    4 months ago

    I googled hyssop. Most of them are purple. I bought my plant. It just said hyssop. I THOUGHT anise hyssop had the tall purple flowers almost like mints.... I can't find any with yellow flowers. Mine may start out yellow and turn peach (which I love) .

    Back later.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    4 months ago

    Yeah, when I Google peach hyssop I get agastache.

  • dbarron
    4 months ago

    I was figuring some form of agastache, seems there is a yellow one, but not gonna make assumptions (been there) and penstemon varies GREATLY in cultivation needs between species. I can happily grow penstemon tenuis in my wet beds, which I can't think of any other penstemon in the trade that would last more than a few days there. Just one example of divergency.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    HJ: Here are some good sources to assist you. I can't really give good advice because my ecoregion is so very different from yours. If you call up this link, it gives good general advice on plants native to your zip code. https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/Native-Plants/Find-Available-Natives . This site is good, too, in that it gives info on how many native insect species the plants support. (included in parentheses)

    Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center has a most amazing database of plants. It's an excellent site.

    BTW, there many many kinds of penstemon. The link below will give you an idea. Or just google penstemon and you'll see. There's even a Penstemon Society. This will give you a bit of an idea-- I have Husker Red here (Penstemon digitalis "Husker Red" cultivar) (it's too shady here so they get very floppy--but they spread nicely. I'm moving more over to the school. One has to be careful buying cultivars of the original native plants. Sometimes the cultivars don't have ANY of the nectaring or hosting qualities of the original . https://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/lifestyles/penstemon-varieties-for-your-garden/article_1337a79b-055f-5861-a906-29f680957416.html

    Anise hyssop is a member of the agastache family. Yours might very well be agastache nepetoides (Giant yellow). I grow Agastache foeniculum (the purple one). Both are natives, but I didn't seek further, to see if both are native to my neighborhood.

    The reason I'm trying to learn the taxonomic names instead of common names is that the common names might refer to several different plants, and that leads to mass confusion and inaccuracies. The 12-pack you got from Okies for Monarchs was using the common names. I see they also have the taxonomic name in smaller print.

    I have sollidago speciosa here, and 3-4 kinds of it at the school. I also got some beautiful baptisia for the school. My focus for the school has shifted to understory trees and shrubs--and there are some beautiful ones! The Ladybird database has 124 trees, shrubs and plants in the "Special collections" section. https://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=OK

    Amy. . . . a beagle puppy would be awfully nice. After all, we're here to enable each other, right? Heavy responsibility as the clocks are winding down--even more so with cats since they generally live longer. Our cats would be up a creek without a paddle without us.

    Regarding assassin bugs and caterpillars--or any predator and caterpillars. That's why it is very good to have LOTS of the cats' native host plants--because they have all KINDS of predators, from birds right on down the food chain. I wouldn't worrry about it--rather it is just the way ecosystems work.

    I am having a fabulous work/study day. A little weeding, a little reading, etc. I also have these new rudbeckia laciniatas to get into the ground! But WHERE!!?? LOL . Looks like school garden time.

  • jlhart76
    4 months ago

    Moni, I was planning to get them yesterday because I had a meeting at the office, but it got canceled so I'm going to run over Sun & get them. She's up on the north side of town so I can't justify driving all the way over just for some jars. And if any have chips, I can always use them for herbs or dry goods.


    Danny, I'm a firm believer that dogs will let you know their name. Our girl was named Tigger because the first morning she was bouncing up & down the hallway. Our youngest is Shadow because the first 4 months he was an inch from my back heels at all times. I'm sure your new family member will let you know what to call them.

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    DUH! Why not just go to the place I purchased the plants.? Sometimes I'm so dense.


    This is the beard tongue

    Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

    White, tubular flowers grace this lovely native perennial in early summer. Attracts butterflies. Grows 2-3’ high with purple-tinted foliage. Dry to medium water, full to partial sun. Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year (1996.)


    And the hyssop

    Agastache aurantiaca Sunset Yellow

    Aromatic foliage with showy, butter-yellow blooms, first year flowering. Long blooming plants attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Fleuroselect Award. 1-2’ height. Medium water, needs well-drained soil. Full sun.


    Here's the website:

    Lia's Garden


  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Actually P digitalis is fairly water tolerant, but yes, tends to grow in drier areas. I found an improved ever darker foliaged one 'Blackbeard' this year, which has been performing well. Full Sun.
    I liked it because the flowers are more purple than white, and the bumblebees seem to like it even though it's a variant cultivar. (not my image)



    Agastache, requires excellent drainage to last beyond one season. I always lost it in Spring (during the rains). Also full sun.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    That's a beautiful cultivar. Penstemon, I KNOW, does not do well here. But the agastache foeniculum (anise hyssop) likes the part sun quite well and has been spread by birds or wind to two other part sun beds. All three have great drainage, though.



    We just had the craziest thing happen. Garry had been over at his burn pile, and glanced at the Japanese beetle pheremone trap nearby and saw a butterfly in it. He didn't deal with it, as he assumed it was dead. But he reported back to me right after he saw it and said it was one of the big ones. So I hurried over with the scissors and it was a female Diana fritillary! And they are pretty good sized. I quick cut the bag and lifted her out, put her on the ground nearby. After she regained her bearings, she flew off. We couldn't figure out how that big butterflly got in there!

    Back to work.



  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    A foeniculum isn't like the others, it's an eastern native. Most of the other agastaches are SW natives.
    Puppy photo of the week, they posed him with flowers...does he like flowers or does he EAT flowers?

    Nancy, I think butterflies flap around kinda randomly :)

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    He is magnificent! Does he have more colored patches? Of course you will have to post more pictures when you get him home. And looks like he's already a plant lover.

    Yes, Danny--that makes perfect sense, since I can't grow any of the rest of them in MY shady yard! I tried.

    Stupid randomly-flying flaky fritillary. Thing is, the openings to that bag are rather small, and then it narrows down to a VERY small neck in the middle of the bag.


  • dbarron
    4 months ago

    Ok, maybe just one more...sorry everyone, but it's the fastest way to answer Nancy's question.


  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    Now I'm the one being killed, Amy! AGGHH. Envious! Oh my!

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    Jasper (?) is adorable!


    So, in the bed of sweet peppers that is surround by beds of tomatoes, basil, onions, leeks, shallots, noodle beans and flowers....a couple of squash volunteered. These beds were compost piles at one time. Oh, okay. I'll leave the squash and see what it is exactly.

    Killed 3 squash bugs ALREADY on it and a SVB too. I pulled the poor squash. I'm not doing that this year. Nope. I left them because I thought MAYBE the squash pests wouldn't find them in that mess of plants back in the garden. They did.


    However, the stupid squash bugs were all over the Armenian cukes too! I squished them all. What a pain and disappointment.


    And then there's the grasshoppers.


    But, it is what it is.


    Rick and I watered everything tonight and pulled the turnips, radishes and beets and some more onions in the kitchen garden.


    It's all good.


    Tom got the vanity and sink functioning! Super excited! It's so close to being finished.


    And I'm so sleepy, I might fall asleep right on my laptop.




  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    I see in the above posts that you wondered about honeyvine, Danny. Cynanchum laeve. The single outlier from the rest of the milkweed (asclepias) varieties. Amy, it's my guess that why some people say it is a preferred milkweed is because it is easy to grow and its growth is rampant--unlike many of the others (MOST of the others where I live). I want some. Absolutely! Since I have such very little sunshine I will WELCOME a plant that is less picky and that the Monarchs will use. In reading up, seems some sites indicate incarnata and syriaca are preferred. No way could I grow incarnata here. My friend in Sheridan WY has a self-made pond behind their back deck, and it is surrounded by incarnata. (SWAMP milkweed.) Frankly, Cynanchum is not listed as a preferred milkweed in many sites. In fact, many, if not most, sites don't even menfion this separate species. But since the rest would be difficult to grow on my property, and since Monarchs have to have a host, I need to get some honeyvine. The Monarchs stripped my asclepias varieties bare. I just can't grow enough of them here.

    The milkweed native to OK include honeyvine, along these: https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/oklahoma/stories-in-oklahoma/oklahoma-monarchs/.

    I get frustrated with ALL sites, because they're all just now becoming invested in important natives and so they're all on a learning curve. Even the esteemed Doug Tallamy, expert as he is, doesn't live here, but in PA, so is doing his best guess job via his expert assistants. This means extra research on the part of all of us who are interested in the topic of natives.

    Thankful for all of you.


  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Yep Nancy, when I lived in Chelsea, I planted incarnata around the pond and sometimes it reached six to seven feet high. It never does more than four or so here, but it and syriaca (because it's usually a weed and spreads rampantly) are the only ones to tolerate my wetness. Syriaca has been *slow* to establish and four years planted still is not flowering, but has multiplied a little. Hee, it's hard for the weed to grow in the wet, but it has managed.
    I think I might have mentioned a trip last month to a local garden that has became mostly syriaca plants. I don't know if it was their intention or it just got out of hand. I didn't visit much last year and hadn't noticed all the asclepias. Of course, it's in vain if we don't have any monarchs laying on it.

    Last night I filled out a garden certification thingy with Wild Ones. I surprised myself with how many species I listed and probably underestimated the % native plants (85%), in fact after I submitted, I was like..wow..I really don't have that many non-natives any more (if we don't count the billions of tiny privet that I mow) and the metric * ton of honeysuckle I'm trying to reclaim. I just counted things I wanted to keep (crinums, lilies, iris, bulbous plants (crocus, tulips, daffodils)) that aren't natives...I did just pot up 23 iris bulbs that I wasn't ready to plant in the ground (gotta yank up the plain purple old fashioned types first) that arrived about a month earlier than I expected. After whatever process of certification, then I can buy a Wild Ones sign if I need it to whap the city officials with.

    I also didn't really realize that I had as many shrubs as I did have till I listed them. Viburnum (denatum, prunifolium), sabal minor, hydrangea quercifolia, hypericum prolificum, amorpha fruitcosa, black chokeberry, rabbiteye blueberry, ilex verticillata,salvia greggii, ninebark, southern bayberry, fringe tree, american beautyberry. And if I hadn't thought of it, I'd say I had two or three shrubs. And many of them are host plants too.

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Thanks for the link, Nancy. The website that (I think) Amy posted on FB, showed nothing for my zip code. That can't be right. I don't know.

    It's probably good to scatter the various plants throughout the property, right? Not just use one area.

    I was a dork and put milkweed next to the chicken pen a couple of years ago. Luckily the cardinal climber sort of protected the caterpillars from the view of the chickens...and made it so they couldn't stick their heads through the pen.

    I only have one milkweed that is blooming.


  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    HJ--what will you do with the turnips and radishes? I just have no idea how to store or preserve either of those. Did you get a nice crop of beets? I have not grown them yet. I love beets and why haven't I!! Do you have a cool place to store stuff? Will you can them? Pickle some?

    I'll be planting cucumbers toward the end of July. At school, anyway. I haven't seen the school garden since last Friday. It's sort of fun, in a way, to see how much everything changes in a week. I want the trellis plants to start trellising! lol

    HJ, my best squash last year was the one that grew out of the compost! It was the moschata summer squash Meot Jaeng I ae. Delicous. I planted all 3 of the summer squash that Kitazawa had in their catalog this year (at the school).

    The peppers are fun. Quite a ice variety out there. Jen--I think I got the Cajun bell from you--it's producing ince peppers--I will be so excited to try it, and all the rest. Hungarian paprika peppers grow up, which is interesting. And my hot hot hot ones are finally taking off--yay--I don't know why I'm excited about that; it's not likely I'll work up the courage to try them! (Yellow bhut jolokia and fatalii)

    Garden weeds, A-plus. Garlic, onions, B. lettuces and chard, A, Cilantro--outperforms many of the A-plus weeds! Asparagus--I'm excited--I have to live at least 3 more years to get an awesome harvest.

    I never did get a new rosemary to replace the dead ARPs, here and at the school. But the rest of the herbs are plentiful--basils, fennel, dill, parsley, thyme, oregano, catmint, I'm sure there are more that I'm not even thinking of.

    There didn't seem to be any room in the big bed at school for sunflowers, so I planted one of the smaller 4x12 beds full of sunflowers! LOL

    Oh it's back up to very hot today. Yuck. Makes it hard to type on my laptop keboard. But wow, friends! Check out the 10-day forecast starting tomorrow! If your properties are too wet, you may not be happy. But it suits us just fine.


    Let's see. . native shrubs here: Paw paws, aralia spinosa, aralia racemosa, hydrangea quercifolia, sambucus canadensis, callicarpa americana, clethra ainafolia, yucca glauca (lots of em), an easter red cedar (interesting article: https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/article/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-eastern-redcedar/)

    Another interesting article, I had been looking for the answer to this for quite some time. https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2018/11/12/the-nativar-dilemma-the-case-of-my-purple-ninebark-the-leaf-beetle/ . And one more thing. I had ordered the viburnum trilobum--not remotely native to where I live. Bummer.

    My conclusions to date. NO cultivars. Stick to the true natives--and these can be hard to ferret out from all the sales ads, misinformation. Most sites aren't up to date on current native findings--including OSU's info. (At least they specify that the natives they list are native to the to the lower 48 contiguous states.) .

    I moved inside and that's where I'll stay the rest of the day.


  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I very occasionally have CVs (the penstemon digitalis I mentioned yesterday), and I started seeds of heliopsis helianthoides 'Burning Hearts' this year. Otherwise, I do try for straight natives, they're usually much tougher besides benefits for pollinators. For an example, all those purple coneflower color variations, that usually won't overwinter (basically just lack vigor).
    Hee, I'm also pretty much staying in today. I'm resting for tomorrow's exertions. I have a compulsion to seek custard/flan though..and feeling too lazy to make it, so I may make a short grocery store run (probably a good idea anyway).

  • slowpoke_gardener
    4 months ago

    Danny, that sure is a cute pup.


    Nancy, you ask some questions a day soy two ago about me and Madge and our " Pot garden ". We have lived here almost 15 years. So far the puts are doing fine,watering will be a problem because is a learning curve fur both of us. The tomatoes was just the south side of the first row in the south garden, I still have tomatoes in the south and north garden to repair.





    I will try to name what is in the pots, sweet potato, roselle, cucumbers, pepper, flower, tomato, tomato, tmate, sweet potato.




    You sent me a bunch of seed a year or two ago, hear is some of wild flower seed you sent, also I am growing some of the tomato seeds you sent, so far everything is doing great. I can't see what I am doing, I hope this makes sense to you.


  • hazelinok
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Larry! That looks great!

    Nancy, It can be confusing and I haven't really looked that hard yet to purchase natives.

    I'm pretty sure the coneflowers/echinacea I have are the regular ol' wild one and the yarrow (I know it's not listed for butterflies, but the ladybugs love it) just grows wild. I really meant to take pictures of all the wildflowers that were on my property just a month ago. It was numerous. I don't know what some of them are. I do know that I have the purple thistle, Indian paintbrush, yarrow, coneflowers still on the property. I planted none of it. Many other things too.

    Also, Nancy, we don't have tons of turnips or beets. The turnips I grew this time are White Egg. I was hoping there were the kind that Looney Farms sells as salad turnips. (hers are so good). Mine are okay. Some of them got too big, but they'll be good to roast. I almost put some in with the potatoes, onions, and (last of the) carrots (all from the garden). But was feeling lazy and didn't want to go to the shop to get them out of the refrigerator.

    The smaller ones are in the house refrigerator and ate some of them on my salad today.

    The beets are good grilled. I don't like pickled beets.

    They're all stored in the shop refrigerator except the small turnips and they're in the house.

    I wish I had a root cellar. Goals. LOL

    I felt bad about pulling out the mystery squash plants. I'm just not playing the squash pest game this year. Although, I'll be forced to because they're on the Armenian cucumbers.

    I'm glad you have luck with the Korean squash. I've grown all 3 too....but they are still squash bug magnets for me. I might wait a couple of years...maybe 3 and then try Seminole, Korean and a couple of others again.

    We had them so bad last year that they've been waiting in the mulch and in the soil for something to eat. Polar Vortex didn't affect them.

    I would like to see pics of your school garden. Are they on your fb? For some reason your posts don't show up on my newsfeed. I have to go look at your page.

    Okay. I'm going to finish up dinner. It's all from the garden and Tom's pig that he had at a friend's property. Pretty cool, huh?

    I might try the pork chop--just a bite. Besides the veggies I listed above, we're having the last of the asparagus and southern peas.

    Then, it's out to search for squash bugs on the cukes and water a few things in pots.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    4 months ago

    Larry, It totally made sense. I still love your container idea. That looks so cool! I sure wish we could have a set-up like that! Haha, I'm glad you made use of the wildflower seeds--and the tomato ones. As I recall, the tomatoes seeds were something with "Trucker" in the name. YES. "Trucker's Favorite"! lol

    I quit fixing dessert here shortly after we got married. I used to. We'd eat a serving out of an apple crisp or pecan pie, etc. for a couple of days, and 3 days later I'd be throwing it out. So ended the desserts.

    So guess what was in my Walmart grocery cart today (which I'll be picking up tomorrow). TWO key lime pies. It's a joke, but I also adore key lime pie. We eat at the marina once a week. And a couple months ago, she had key lime pie--so I HAD to have a piece (which I brought home and ate later). The next week she had it again. Woo-hoo! And she hasn't had it since! I ask every time. Nope. So last week, I told her I was going to buy one from Walmart and bring my own piece!

    Maybe I'll take her both pies and tell her to save them for me in her freezer. And give her one as rent payment. Ha!

    Something dawned on me today. . . when you all were saying you didn't want to be purists about natives. Thing is that we made a pact to have the school be a pollinator's garden. In fact, right now, John doesn't have a lot of interest in veggies, other than just to show the kids a sampling. There's certainly not enough room to have any kind of large veggie garden to feed people. He so wants to acquire a couple nearby properties so we can have a true community garden (but he'd have to find someone else to head that up). At any rate, since that's the mission, it's important to have natives there--especially native shrubs and understory trees, for the pollinators and birds. So THAT'S why I've been studying all this so hard. I want to do a good job of choosing these for the school.

    Jennifer--amen it is confusing. My head just starts spinning after a while--spinning like crazy. Uhhhhhhhh. lol I'm working on spead sheets right now with all the details of each forb/tree/shrub. Today was one of those days. And this evening I just realized I put the aralia racemosa in totally the wrong place. FAR too shady for it where it is. DANG.

    I think I told you all that John really wants a pine tree out front so he could have a Christmas tree. Aha!!! Here's where the eastern red cedar comes in! I laughed so hard when it came to me today. I don't know if he knows the bad reputation it has. But if there's anywhere it would be safe to plant a red cedar, it would be in front of the school where he wants his Christmas tree. Woo-hoo! Problem solved. There aren't any apple trees anywhere around. Nothing but vacant lots or run-down houses on nearby lots. When I pitch this idea, I'll tell him the pros and cons.

    HJ, my DIL showed me a great way to fix beets. Just wrap them in tin foil and bake them--it concentrates the flavor, the beets don't "bleed," the skin peels off easily after I've let them cool just a bit, and they are so sweet and tasty!



  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    4 months ago

    2019 at Lincoln--look at the top--that's the big center bed then. John and a couple helpers leveled the groung and put up the raised beds. The center bed was flooded from May til almost August--so THAT wasn't going to work. Notice in the background--no playground.



    March 3/1/2020: This is the week I blame for my current hip pain. It took a LOT of rotting firewood, leaves, straw, wood chips, cheap dirt, cheap garden soil, good gardening soil and finally compost to fill up that big center bed. There were about seven of us working on it. (Again, no playground in the background



    Aug. of 2020:


    And 2021 coming up next.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    The center bed:




    Suzanne and me 5/28/21



    Well, heck! I still didn't get the playground in! Wait til I show you! Thing is, kids love the garden as much as they love the playground.

    At lecwagoner.org there's a photo gallery. . . it's kind of messy right now, but there are a lot of garden pictures.

  • HU-422368488
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    "I wish I had a root cellar. Goals. LOL"

    Ever hear of burying an old broken down freezer clear up to the lid.

    Looks to me like it would fill up with water.

    Guess you have to drain and vent it a certain way.

    Cogs are rolling in my brain:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+turn+an+old+freezer+into+a+root+cellar&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS689US690&oq=freezer+root+cellar&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0i22i30l2j0i390l3.9471j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


    Don't know how well it'd work in Okla. Needs to at least be on the north side of a shed maybe.

    HU


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    4 months ago

    All those plants in the past 3 years. I grew probably 80% of them on my grow cart. I did buy several more native seedlings last year from Missouri Wildflower Nursery, and shrubs here and there. John works so hard--in the garden, in the school, with the kids--he is one of the hardest workers I know. And Suzanne administers programs, writes grants, and organizes volunteers. The only one who has a paid position is John, who became the director last year. The rest of ALL the adults are volunteers. A fabulous group of volunteers! To look back at the photo gallery brought tears to my eyes. Many of the adult volunteers have become dear friends, as have John and Suzanne. And to see the children! Although some come and go, many are here every year. Love them all so much. We love to show off the school and garden, so if you'd like to come see us, just let me know!

  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    Wow, Nancy! How beautiful! You all have done an amazing job at the school garden. SO in love with it. <3


    Thanks for the beet suggestion. Until last fall, I had only had grilled beets a time or two...and even then only a couple of bites. So, apparently I'm one of those people who eat beets and have a situation later. A situation that may cause you to run to the emergency room. LOL

    Thank goodness for google. About 14% of the population have Beeturia. I guess it makes sense that I have it. Low stomach acid prevents the pigment in beets from properly being broken down. (And according to Eat Right for You (blood) Type), Blood type A has low stomach acid which is why meat is not a good food choice.) Beeturia is a real thing.


    Anyway....TMI.


    Yes...need a root cellar, Rick.



  • HU-422368488
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago
  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Well today is the day (good and bad), everyone wish that no falling rocks, deer, elk, or cow impacts my car on the journey. I'm getting old...2 hour drive..long journey. The sadness of saying goodbye to Denver, the joy of bringing a new friend home (and figuring out what his name is). We will try to stop twice to give him a pee break on the way home, also a chance to drink something.

    Then Saturday, he joins the work crew at Dad's house..so he'll be getting car ride experience.


    I am joyful at the hope of having a dog that can go places with me, doesn't hate/fear everything, and doesn't leave traces on a fairly regular basis. I am hopeful that fireworks don't totally freak him out..but that will be put to the test soon enough, I guess. I've only heard a few isolated booms in the last week, since the stands weren't open as of yesterday.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    4 months ago

    So, H/J and HU, how about a tornado shelter for a root cellar? Otherwise, I suggest a freezer that still works, but you turn up the temp to refrigerator levels. Apparently they're more efficient than a regular fridge. I think I saw that on pintrest.

    Speaking of appliances, we bought a new dishwasher yesterday. And a chair. I bought this lift chair before Christmas and it is so uncomfortable I decided to get something different. My new chair is tall. That will help with getting up. The lady told me the dishwasher we got would get coffee cups clean. Current dishwasher does not. We will see.

    Enjoy your puppy Danny. I guess I never posted yesterday how cute he is.

    Are the pinetrees grown in Oklahoma for Christmas trees not native? Cedars don't look like Christmas trees to me. Of course I've hated them since child hood.

    Larry your gardens look good to me. Are your tubs wicking beds? You will probably have to water more often. I probably need to go out and water the pool beds. but we're supposed to have heavy rains the next few days.

    Definitely true Nancy needs to be more careful at the school. I have a native bed. I've thought about making one of the beds a perennial flower bed, but ron keeps coming up with all the stuff he wants to do, like planting flipping squash. He wants to plant onions and garlic. We planted garlic around the outside edges of what became the tomato beds. They didn't make big bulbs. Probably because they were grocery store bulbs. Or maybe the weather. I had given up on bulbing onions to make room for other things. I had scallions planted which he pulled up with the garlic. He doesn't like my walking onions. He doesn't dislike them, he just doesn't know hope to use them. He dislikes the bed they're in and wants to remove it. He's doing all the work, so I'm going to have to compromise.

    Time to feed the dogs.

  • HU-422368488
    4 months ago

    A tornado shelter doubling as a root cellar is a good idea , if H/J wants to put one in.


    HU


  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    So Amy (out of curiosity), what is a 'flipping squash', is it like a Mexican Jumping Bean? (yes I know what you mean..but umm I had to ask) :)

    Denver did not go quietly (and I bawled). They administered the sedative, he settled and seemed to stop breathing, then he gasped and jerked upright, eyes locked on me, then he went (I think) and fell. They came in about 5 minutes to do the lethal injection, but I believe either he stopped breathing or heart failed with only the sedative. :(

    Ok, we made it. Puppy/Jasper slept on his seat for about 30 minutes, then decided taht the rest of the way would be better if he were a warm limp noodle laying over my right leg.

    He ate quite a bit, drank too much (lol..means many trips out), and we've done 2 #1 and 1 #2 (mushy..understandable with the stress) successfully outside. Mainly due to my vigilance and frequent trips out..but it's better (imo) to help them succeed. Rags doesn't have any idea what to do with this thing that has appallingly bad manners (like biting his ear), though he'll love playing with him in a day or two.

    My previous Aussie (Arson) was a moaner/groaner, Jasper is a crier (I hope he outgrows that). It is nice to have one that wants to be with me now, instead of hiding under the bed and only occassionally coming outside with me.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I'm so sorry, Danny. I was thinking about this yesterday and wondering if I could go through with it. I can believe it was very hard for you. Poor misbegotten little Denver. Will be loving to hear about new dog and Rags, and to seeing more pics!

    Brutal day here. I took off for the school garden at 9:30. I was there until 11:30 when I happened to check email for word from Walmart about my scheduled grocery pickup at 12-1. And saw that I was to pick up my groceries between 12-1 in COWETA!!! Not Wagoner. My fault, but their @#$%^YU messed up glitchy website. It had un-defaulted me and so when I brought it up had Tulsa as my store, we this correct? Cuss cuss no. So I hit the next Walmart down which was Walmart on Highway 51 (our Walmart is on Hwy 51 in Wagoner.) . Well, Coweta's is on Hwy 51 in Coweta. half an hour away from Wagoner.

    So more cussing today. The worst thing was that I had a doc appt IN COWETA at 3 this afternoon! I couldn't figure out how to fix this, since GDW and I were planning to eat out in Coweta after the doc appt.

    SO . I took off from the school, drove to Coweta, then back to our house (45 miles away from Coweta). Quick shower, relaxed for half an hour, then GDW and I took off for Coweta. Again.

    The best thing was this amazing little restaurant we "found." The coolest menu ever! Such very quirky delicious-sounding foods. Amazing drink combos. I think we have just found our new favorite restaurant. (I had, oddly enough, a hamburger this time--a hamburger with an egg (OE for me), pork belly, and a bunch of other stuff. I just had a side salad--which was charming with spring greens and excellent blue cheese dressing. What a gem of a place--and the bartender/chef and server were both charming and hospitable. And nice but not fancy ambience.

    We got home at 6 to four needy animals who demanded our attention.

    I love our new doc. First family doc I've had in over 30 years. And I got a good 'un!!! She is a peach--just like a real person! A real person that would be a friend of mine!

    I'm a real class-A mess with the garden at school--I have NO idea what some of the plants are! LOL . Last year when I planted many of the native flowers, I had no idea what they looked like "in person." (Things like some of the goldenrod, roadside agrimony, partridge peas, frost weed.) . So this year I've got PictureThis to help me, but that big bed is wall-to-wall flowers and it is conFUSING.

    Meanwhile, all these flowers that were so hard for me to grow here. . . well, I am beginning to think of them as very aggressive indeed at school--rudbeckia could take over everything, as could the frostweed, gaillardia, goldenrods. And then the HERBS! We have a bed of sweet potatoes--but we let the little lemon basils stay there. Well the little lemon basils are now BIG lemon basils. They want to take over the world too. As do the bundleflowers. Honestly! Sheesh.

    Yeah, HU! I thought Amy's idea was terrific, too!

    Why do I always check for typos AFTER I've hit send.

    Later, all.


  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    Danny, my heart breaks for Denver and for you. What an awful situation. He has peace now. And you have a very cute puppy.


    Nancy, what is the name of the restaurant? If you don't mind sharing.

    And, I do the same thing. Check for typos after I've hit submit. Sometimes I'll go back and edit. Sometimes I don't care and leave it.


    Storm shelters cost money. They are not cheap. Maybe someday we can afford to put one in. I don't feel confident in our ability to do it ourselves. I don't really like the newer ones anyways. They are barely 6 ft under. Grown men have a hard time standing up in them. I like the older ones that my grandparents had. It was like a concrete room under ground.

    There's a few things on our house that need repaired before a storm shelter is purchased. Our bathroom remodel isn't just because I didn't like the color of the walls, etc. There were issues, which is why we had to gut the entire thing. The other bathroom will need to be done as soon as we save enough money. It also has issues. But, it's all functioning for now, so that is good.

    We plan on staying in this house for a long time and we need to not let it fall into disrepair for as long as we're able to prevent that. It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since we remodeled everything in the house except the baths and bedrooms....including raising floors, engineered beams, a gutted kitchen. Already we need to touch up that part of the remodel. haha. But, it's just cosmetic at this point.

    And Tim and Dawn were remodeling their house at the same time. I remember that. We both put in farm sinks.

    Anyway...a storm shelter would be nice, but it's not something we'll do anytime soon.


    We had dinner at Flips for Tom's BD tonight. We started going there in 1989 when we were just kids. Such good food.

    I spent the day coring tomatoes and putting them into the freezer, giving Josi a bath, picking up tools and items lying about on the property in case the weather is really stormy tonight....and moving stuff back into my bathroom. The vanity/sink and toilet are functioning now.

    And covering up the onions that are still curing on the shop porch.


    I can really get into working only 3 days a week!


    So, now 6 hens have decided that they wanna be mommies. I don't know where to put them all. It's possible none of the eggs selected for them are fertile. Maybe 2? I've noticed that Jean Luc hasn't been as "active" with the ladies in the past few weeks. He seems healthy. Maybe 3 is old for a rooster? He will be 3 in about 2 weeks.

    I have 6 chicks coming. Maybe it will be enough.

    rambling now....




  • OklaMoni
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Well, I had no intention for THIS much rain, while I watered some very very dry areas Friday morning.

    YIKES! Over night 1.6 inches and so much more in the forecast.


    Moni

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    We got nada, zip, zero here, Moni. And today it is a balmy 75--BUT very humid.

    I thought I told you the name last night, HJ--guess not. It's 1843 on Broadway. (AND they had a delicious cabernet--Coppola. I'll have to find out which one next time. Am I correct in thinking Mason's hubby Mack(?) is from this area?

    We were going to have a steak cookout at our neighbors, but they canceled because of the threat of storms. Now see? That's why one wants a part of one's deck to be covered by a roof. I'm a little bummed. We haven't visited for SUCH a long time!! So I guess we'll go to the marina for prime rib.


  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    Okay, Amy, because you hate red cedars, I just went through 18 possibles without success! lol . PLUS 9-12 Christmas tree farms in OK.


  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    We got a lot of rain, but I accidentally broke my rain gauge yesterday so don't know the exact amount.


    Nancy, If we're ever in that area, I want to visit that restaurant. It sounds like something we would enjoy.

    Mack isn't from that area. He's from Edmond. However, Mason dated a boy for a short time who is from Wagoner. His family has a goat farm there and show goats.


    I let the loppers get my kale, so had to buy some for a recipe planned for this week. ANNOYING!

    We decided to check the Norman farmer's market for the kale and got the last bag. We also picked up some zucchini. The gardener at the booth says he just smashes squash bugs (good for him. I'm not doing it this year.), but uses Bt on the kale and brassicas.

    During the 'growing' season, normally the only thing I'll buy in the produce section is blueberries, oranges, lemons/limes regularly. I'll also purchase apples depending on the columnar trees...and lettuce/spinach when it gets too hot. Oh, and melons until ours start producing. But it's nice to have a lot of veggie choices for meals right out in the backyard OR in the pantry/freezer.


    A nap may be in order.


  • dbarron
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I can't think of a good Christmas tree for central Oklahoma. I mean sometimes people get lucky here and I see lovely dwarf alberta spruce (they usually die). I once got lucky with a canadian hemlock, then all other attempts, they died. Lol, maybe the best are some of the pines, but it's probably not really better than a cedar (which though native..is kinda a problem due to lack of burning to keep under control, almost as invasive a native as tall/canadian goldenrod, both of which have their places I guess) :)

    Maybe an Arizona cypress, though that's horrible for allergies, I read. Non-native blue atlas cedar or maybe deodar cedar? Just throwing things out.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago

    Temps in the northwest--even British Columbia--CRAZY. So sad.

    I'm needing to find sources for native shrubs, trees, plants. Looks like AR has some good ones, Danny.

    Also. I was just visiting with a friend who is very "afraid" of spiders. I think many many of us have had this condition, or of bugs in general--WHY?? What's that about. I hope all of us are better at teaching youngsters than apparently I was taught. I think this is what drives a lot of folks in garden groups to say, "KILL it! Get out the spray!"

    Oh dear oh dear, I just got through reading up on asters yellow--WHAT THE.

    Yes, after having given it a real effort, Danny, I am over the Christmas tree search, and will tell John he's pretty much out of luck. He can have a yaupon holly or a red cedar.

    How's the pup's first whole day? What does Rags think?



  • hazelinok
    4 months ago

    Nancy, Portland is supposed to be 115 tomorrow! PORTLAND!

    Ethan returned almost 2 weeks ago and while he was there, installed a window AC unit for Stella. I'm so glad he did!


    Our neighbor posted a pic of 3 inches in his rain gauge, so I guess that's what we got.

  • Nancy Waggoner
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    I KNOW, HJ!! It's totally freaky weather in the NW!


    My new favorite restaurant. . . featured what I used to know as a juicy Lucy in Mpls. A hamburger with peanut butter infused in the center. It was so so yummy. These guys have fancied it up a bit, but I'll ask them to hold the bacon. I'm not sure I've ever seen pork shoulder featured on another menu (other than my favorite Mexican one), but it is one of my very favorite cuts of meat, low and slow.

    We were in the marina restaurant this evening, visiting with friends along the way. Come to find out, the Saturday bartender is a big time gardener. So we were visiting about what a weird year this was in terms of knowing when to plant. He said he got so frustrated, he just bought tons of seeds, and dug shallow trenches and spread seed everywhere in them!! I will be amused and excited to see how this turns out for him. I kinda did the same--threw all the planting guides out the window and planted when I could. Then--he shrugged, threw up his arms, and said, "It's all a crap shoot." Garry and I both laughed really hard!

    I told Garry Dean, 5-6 years ago when he asked about rules. . . . I said, "Honey, it's all just an educated crap shoot." John always says he's gonna make a sign of one of my sayings--"gardening's not for sissies." Yes, I've said that. But my BEST saying is "Gardening is an educated crap shoot." Right?



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