March 2018, Week 3......Happy Spring!

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
March 18, 2018

I cannot believe that March already is more than halfway over. Where did the time go?

It still is not too late to be putting cool-season plants in the ground or to be sowing cool-season seeds. Despite some warm days, the temperatures continue to be a roller coaster ride and we haven't had too much real heat yet. (I'll add that it was 84 degrees at our house on Friday, and that did feel like real heat!) The further south and southeast you are, the more important it is to finish up those cool-season plantings soon.

Soil temperatures are rising, but cool nights do pull them back down low again so don't let the soil temps after a handful of warm days fool you into planting warm-season, tender veggies, herbs or flowers too early.

Even though we already are in meteorological Spring, and astronomical Spring arrives this week (on the 20th), it still feels like the Spring season is running 2-3 weeks behind. We still are not greened up nearly as much as we normally would be at this time and I've noticed most the local gardeners here are even further behind in planting cool-season crops than I am. This is a good year to be late with them, especially if you're in an area like ours where heavy rainfall in February left some soil types incredibly waterlogged. This is the most normal Spring I feel like we've had in ages---while we have had a few very warm days, we still have plenty of cool days and lots of cool nights. It is nice to have what passes for normal weather here this year....

And on that note, I'll add that today is a good day to open up your tornado shelter and air it out if you haven't already done so. Severe Weather Season is rapidly approaching.

My garden work plans this week are similar to last week's----continue hardening off tomatoes and other warm-season plants, finish getting the last of the cool season plants planted, and keep working on weeding and mulching. Right now, with the peak of our winter fire season (I hope this is the peak, we don't need for it to get any worse) colliding with planting season, I am finding it hard to get all the garden chores done in what I consider a timely manner. We had another All Page fire on Saturday, though it didn't seem nearly as bad to me as Friday's, and I didn't/couldn't/wouldn't go because Lillie was here and I'm just not going to drag her off to fires with us.

If you measure your Spring days by how early the fire pager wakes you up, then today is going to be a terrible day. I hope to be out in the garden not too long after sunrise anyhow.

What's everyone else doing this week? Are y'all yanking out weeds like I am? If I didn't weed my garden daily like a crazy, weed-hating wild woman, it would be nothing but Johnson grass, bermuda grass, poa annua, field bindweed, chickweed, hoary bittercress, Shepherd's purse, pink evening primrose, random clumping pasture grasses and knotweed.

It looks like the March winds continue this week. I keep hoping they'll start doing the 'out like a lamb' thing, but I don't think we're close enough to the end of the month yet for that to happen.

Got rain in your forecast? We do, but the amounts are expected to remain small, if rain falls at all.

Have a great day and a great week, everyone!


Comments (100)

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Thanks, Kim--window shop--a GREAT idea! Thank YOU!

  • hazelinok

    Our net is out but I’m using data.

    Jen, so amazing that you already had cherry tomatoes on this date 7 years ago. My fb memory today was 9 years ago atvthe science museum. It was a pic of me riding a Segway. Oh my heart. The kids were so young.

    I have an idea for spring fling if Paula is unable to host.

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  • jacoblockcuff (z6 NW Arkansas - Hz7 - Sunset z35)

    Alright, all brassicas but the unharmed cauliflowers transplanted. Out of two dozen broccoli, 3 snapped clean at the stems, and I lost a few cabbages, but I started 3 dozen so not a big deal there. All cauliflower survived. Luckily most of the cauliflower stayed in place, and interestingly the leaves have a pinkish tint so they were easy to identify. Broccoli and cauliflower had the same leaf shape- like poison ivy (wouldn't that be a surprise?), but cabbage is smooth around the upper part of the leaf. SO I identified the cauliflower from the broccoli from the cabbage. Cauliflower and broccoli are only one variety. CABBAGE was 3 varieties. So, the cabbage varieties are mixed up LOL. It'll clear up when they start heading I suppose, one being a drumhead and the other 2 pointed heads. We still tend to get cold, freak lows occasionally until after Easter, so cover could be an issue. I'll pray we don't get a freak low and I have many tarps handy so if needed I have those on top of the fabric and plastic covers. What a mess!! Stupid Jacob. You'd think I'd be more careful. Lol

    I could probably transplant my onions soon but I think I'll wait until the first week or two of April, so I can let them thicken up a tiny bit more. I probably need to get my autumn leeks going soon.

    I DID manage to get some flowers sowed in my greenhouse. Many allysums, four o' clocks, Dutch Irises, etc. I have more to sow tomorrow time permitting. My sweet peas are doing very well also, and my Swiss chard, mustard, and arugula is just emerging. Tomatoes just sprouting as is basil. Hm gotta get some more herbs sowed.

    Rebecca, that sucks about the peas. My cat has begun to leave mine alone after having chased him out a few times. Most are doing well.

    Nancy, I hope the stomach problems aren't anything particularly serious. Keep us posted! Our soil temperature is pretty cold I've noticed, which is why I've held off on sowing carrots or directly in ground. My thermometer was measuring mid 40's last time I checked, which will work for sowing cool weather crops, but it takes so long they rot on normal years. Early to mid April is usually the best time to start, at least in my garden.

    Wind was chilly today, but warmer than yesterday, and it was sunny. Looks like a nice weekend ahead of us for sure.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Thanks, HJ and Jacob. Don't like it when family doesn't feel well, y'know?

    It was a long day and I had lots to do when after getting home. Some seedlings weren't happy; cats weren't happy; dog wasn't happy. Potatoes came, finally! Hope I can do something with them tomorrow. Did I mention I hate leaving the house and going to town? Especially to doctors! Wan smile. I'm sure Garry feels that way only more so! :)

    We could tell it was definitely more spring-like on the way to Broken Arrow today. And looks like we are nearly in the clear for a beautiful spring.

  • Eileen Sim

    I went to a garden club from Broken Arrow today just for fun. It made me want to buy more plants which isn't good. I need to just work on the seeds I have and learn all about them. You just can't rush when it comes to gardening. It takes time for the plants to grow, and for me to observe and learn what works in my yard.

    I was so naive to think that the neighbor's cat would not find the other raised beds on the other side of my house. Had to clean up cat poop again today. I will not clean my raised beds until I'm ready to plant next year onwards! Hmm actually I still need to fence up all the beds when I first plant the seedlings in. I'm sure the cat will dig out all my seedlings.

    I just read article about the Texas Observer article. How infuriating that they can get away with it!

    Amy, Megan, I hope to go to the Great Salt Plains some day. Hopefully this year. Their crystal digging season opens 1st April.

    Nancy, I like going to Tulsa Habitat for Humanity. They have lots of things you can repurpose. Even old drawers can be used as raised beds. Saw that on TV. My oregano cutting from Amy has no roots too. I bought a root stimulator yesterday, so that I can use it on it as well as the elderberry cuttings.

    HJ, sounds like you are going to get all three cats since you have already named them. I totally agree with you about a real pilates instructor and how it can be more useful than a chiropractor! It's the same for me when it comes to yoga. Sadly, I haven't practiced yoga since I moved to Oklahoma 3 years ago. Really need to find a good yoga studio here. I have been hesitant because many of them are in areas that have crazy traffic.

    Rebecca, my snow peas did not sprout too. Not sure why. Sorry the squirrels are already disrupting your gardening!

  • luvncannin

    Thank you all for your shared disgust at the sad case of mine. I won't ever know if I could have made it as an organic gardener in q but I like to think I could have had I not got knocked down so hard 6 days before my first market. My friend is still supposed to work this case.

    I have a new outlook here remembering why I came here in the first place. So skipping amongst the dirt clods and enjoying the journey. It is not what I expected but still what I needed. All is well. Physically still concerned that I will be able to handle it all. I am taking it one week at a time. Scheduling my weeks helps immensely when things get wildly busy.

    I got my raised bed at my house really going now. I am not sure where to get large amount of soil from. So far 4 to 6 layers of cardboard, lots of pecan leaves and twigs, buffalo manure, rabbit manure, and stuff from sifting soil. So now I want 6' × 6' × 18" of soil and compost. Maybe I will borrow some from the field. The puppies have ruined the rest of the pecan leaves I was going to gather. But I have a pretty good base about 1 foot deep of stuff. I am anxious to get it done and planted.

    I am so looking forward to seeing you all in person. It is to far between visits with you all.

  • luvncannin

    This is a picture of my 3 onions in one hole. I can not wait to see how this works. I only did twenty feet or so but enough to get a good idea if I like it. Lots of new growth going on with the onions.

  • jacoblockcuff (z6 NW Arkansas - Hz7 - Sunset z35)

    Kim, if you're interested in multiplanting onions, you should check out Charles Dowding's website and see how he mulisows his. Charlesdowding.co.uk I believe. He puts as many as 6 in a clump, and he then plants the clumps out about 15" apart, harvesting in July. Real neat! I would like to try it sometime as well. I'm interested to see how yours do.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Nancy, Sometimes I just ban Pumpkin from the garden because he brings me critters into it that I do not need. When I close the gate to keep him out, he gives me the saddest little experession on his face. At least the only creature he's brought into the garden so far this year is a harmless little garter snake. Last year he came out of the woods next door carrying a big, live rat and brought that into the garden. You know the saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? Well, mama wasn't happy with Pumpkin that day.

    I hope that Gary is okay and that the stomach problems can be resolved easily.

    Bindweed never stops sprouting. You'll get new bindweed sprouts literally every day from now until the first freeze and it sprouts everywhere. It even sprouts in containers (for which I blame the birds for spreading the seed). At least with Johnson grass and bermuda grass, I just have to dig them out where they creep under the fence and I know the usual problem spots and attack those spots as needed. Not that I don't mind the Johnson grass and bermuda grass, but just that they aren't popping up in every bed and in my containers. Morning glories are almost as bad as bindweed, but I love growing them on the garden fence, so put up with their billion and one tiny volunteers that sprout.

    Jennifer, The asparagus harvest started last week. At first it was only the green asparagus but now the purple asparagus is sending up spears as well. This is about the time it normally starts down here, but it seems late because it has been early for the last two years. If yours isn't up yet, be ;patient. It might be a bit slow because y'all have been so dry. I expect the coming rain over the next few days will push your asparagus into growing more quickly. Also, your bed is younger. Mine is at least a decade old and I have found the more mature the bed gets, the more vigorously the plants grow.

    Fix your hair? Why? To spend time in the garden in March? Put it in a ponytail or put on a hat and let it be. The wind is going to rearrange your hair anyhow.

    Kim, And Ryder would be right....grab a hat! Admittedly, on some windy days it is hard to keep a hat on one's head though.

    Jen, Maybe Paula is busy or just doesn't want to host the Spring Fling this year. I haven't talked to her about it, so I'm just guessing. We've been extremely fortunate that she and Ken and hosted us for so many years, but we cannot expect them to be permanent Spring Fling hosts---that is not fair to them.

    Rebecca, With the peas, it would depend on how large the plants are and how intertwined their roots might be with other nearby plants. You don't have much to lose by trying. Yesterday, it looked like a hurricane had hit my young pea sprouts. Some of them were up out of the ground, lying sideways. I rushed over, put them back into the ground, patted down the soil firmly around them and watered them. Then the evil pea-plant puller appeared----it was Lucky, the rescue cat who came to escape a 2-degree night and never left. I explained to her that if she pulls up plants or bites the tops off the pea and bean shoots, she'll be banned from the garden. She responded by running to the other end of the row of peas and nipping at a pea plant there. See, I don't even need squirrels---I have a pet who destroys peas at will. I plant thickly so can afford to lose some, but don't want for the cat to develop a bad habit, so she'll likely be banned from the garden until the plants are large enough to be firmly rooted in and hard to pull up.

    Jacob, You are not stupid. You're just merely human. We all have garden disasters from time to time and we just fix or replace what we can, and then we move on. Garden disasters are great teachers and we never forget the lessons we learn from them.

    EIleen, Peas are slow to sprout in cold weather, and that's one of the most frustrating things about living here---peas need to get off to a good early start in order to produce before the heat turns the plants into piles of powdery mildew, but they don't like to sprout in the cold. So, a lot of us, including me, sprout them indoors and then plant them. It makes all the difference in the world.

    Kim, I know you would have been a successful organic market grower in q if you'd stayed there, but the issue always would be that one jerk in an airplane could crop dust your entire garden into oblivion at any given time. That made staying there awfully risky. I always feel like we end up where God meant for us to be, even if we sometimes don't understand the process that gets us to that place. So, I believe you're in a good place and many fun adventures await. Sometimes reality doesn't meet expectations but that is okay too. You'll surely have an interesting gardening and farming year.

    The onion experiment sounds interesting and I am wondering how big each one will get when grown that closely. I suppose it depends on the amount of water and nitrogen supplied to them during their active growth period.

    I got tons of work done in the garden yesterday and no longer feel so far behind. I didn't finish the big bed where I was transplanting cool-season plants for the last succession crop into the ground, but it is about 85% done and I'll finish it first thing this morning, and then hope to get it mulched before the wind gets too high and starts blowing the mulch, the plants and me around the garden. Today is more about weeding the pathways and adding a new layer of mulch on top of the existing mulch to prevent more weeds from sprouting. We are so warm now that things are sprouting right and left and what works best for me is to get the weeds out early and to layer on the mulch thickly so I don't have perpetual weed issues in the pathways. We have a ton of pathways in between and all around the garden's 15 or 16 raised beds so there's lots to do today. Really, it takes me a week or two to get all the paths cleaned out and I don't have a week or two because the rain that could start as soon as Saturday night here is forecast to fall for almost a week. So, I have today, tomorrow and Saturday and need to be as efficient as possible. I'll probably run out of mulching material before I get all the pathways done.

    Cooking in the morning yesterday while it was still very cool outdoors was brilliant. When I went indoors for lunch, all I had to do was heat up some food. Same thing with dinner last night---I still was in the garden when Tim got home from work and we just heated up our dinner and ate. It was glorious--it was like having tasty leftovers only they weren't actually left over. Today is going to be leftovers from yesterday, so yay for that.

    Other than crazy cats in the garden, there weren't too many distractions if you ignore the fact that our fire pagers went off for the first grass fire of the day at 10:45 a.m. and the day went quickly downhill after that. There were some huge fires in our county, and I think all of them resulted from people attempting to do controlled burns of their fields or of bush piles in their fields, and losing control of them on what was a day with really low wind and high humidity in the morning. I never left our garden. Our VFD's only fires were in an adjacent district to our south and not big enough for our firefighters to be out long enough to need drinks, snacks and/or meals brought to them. The big fires were all up north or out west and we weren't paged out to them, so we didn't go.

    To be honest, I'm not planning on going to any fires today, tomorrow or Saturday if I can help it. The heavy rainfall last month put me so far behind that I haven't caught up yet, and what I really intend to do is to work as hard as possible before the coming heavy rainfall so that my paths are weeded and mulched and my remaining raised beds are ready to plant after all that heavy rain is over next week. I'm not saying I absolutely, positively wouldn't go to a big fire if I have to, but I don't think I'll go willingly. Every year we reach this point where I absolutely, positively hate to leave my garden to go to fires and try to do my best to avoid leaving the garden until the planting is done. I'm at that point now. And, just because I said all the above, I've probably jinxed myself and we'll have an All Page this afternoon and I'll have to go because of the sheer amount of manpower involved in those things. When I try to ignore a fire and stay home, guilt eats me up. But, I am first and foremost a gardener and every now and then there's a day where I say I'm just not going to leave the garden no matter what. I need more days like that.


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Garry has an abscess. . . they're watching it and treating it with antibiotics for the moment and hoping they can get rid of it that way; he's got IVs for fluid and such. He's resting in the hospital in Broken Arrow. I'm glad he's there. it was torture with him in pain here, for both of us, and we were both worried. I am SO hoping the antibiotics clean it out, of course. Fingers crossed. We left at 8:30 yesterday and I got home at 6:00. Long day in the ER. They weren't busy, which was good. Just took that long to get the CT and have it read, and then to coordinate the plan of action. Actually, considering the situation, things worked out remarkably well in terms of what the problem was, first and foremost; then, the doctor said he wanted to send us to the ER, as it would take him 2-3 days to schedule a CT; then, in terms of having the ER to ourselves for the first 2-3 hours, and in terms of him not having to be transferred to the main St. Francis location, as they first thought they'd have to. We feel thankful.

    I'll get up there in a little while to visit. He said this morning there was no need for me to hang around there all day, and he's right. I'll take him some Sudokus and Bible study stuff, and he can torment the nurses. Then on the way back I can stop in Coweta to see if they have any alfalfa hay, and pick up a few groceries.

    Then later today I'll see about step 1 of my potato experiment. I'm going to stage a 3-pronged experiment. Save some and plant late after being chitted; plant the small ones whole, now, and some just cut and planted now. I'm concerned about the big rain coming that will soak the beds. What do you all think? Think I should forego cutting and planting some now?

    I guess we're all looking forward to seeing the results of Kim's experiment. . . I can't quite picture it. I'll have to watch the link you provided, Jacob. And by the way. . . no one can make any stupider mistakes than I can! And I bet most of you would say the same thing! That's the one thing we're all really good at! LOL

    It seems to me as I'm remembering, that about now last year, people were talking about the Spring Fling, but it wasn't really announced until after Apr 1. Hanging out, looking forward to it. If Paula decides not to do it, you know there are any number of the rest willing to do it. I expect she'll pop in one of these days, right? :)

    Habitat Re-Store. I LOVE going to those places! We had a marvelous one up north, too. My DIL and I could spend whole afternoons in there. I look forward to it, and also liked your idea, Kim, about contacting window shops.

    The two troublemaking cats will be shut in THEIR room today while I go to Broken Arrow. Once Jerry gets it in his mind to explore something, he is VERY determined and persistent. I've already chased him away from the cart half a dozen times this morning. I sort of have it barricaded, but he could get through. Well, it was just a matter of time, I guess.

    Okay. . . on to work. Have a good day, all!

  • luvncannin

    Praying your GDW has a quick recovery, Nancy. I hope he can rest well. Rest and laughter are the best meds

  • hazelinok

    Okay. Just a quick post because I'm excited and disappointed. And we are working on the shed.

    First, I'm glad Garry is getting fixed up at the hospital. Praying!

    The first asparagus spear is just barely showing this morning! So happy.

    Disappointed because the three cats aren't meant to be with me. I'll explain more later.

    Oh, and I would never fix my hair to work in the garden. haha. We went to Bricktown yesterday for a movie and lunch. I did try to straighten it and it didn't look too good anyway. Oh well.

    Oh...one more thing. I have a central location that would be a good place for the SF as a backup. It's in south OKC. If someone is FB friends with Paula and wants to check on it, that would be great. Then I can go about reserving the place for us. I'm almost sure it's still available. And no charge. There's an indoor area too, in case of rain. And indoor bathrooms.. Tom would smoke the meat. Of course, Paula is so amazing, that we would never compare. She is the best and her home and yard are so lovely.

  • luvncannin

    Last year Paula posted on April 8th. We must be early birds this year

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    One eggplant has germinated. I had to turn the heat back on because I was cold. Me and the cat. I've been working on a medicinal herb spreadsheet. I've been reading a book Nancy loaned me, and I have one of my own, but I can't wrap my head around it without a spreadsheet. That's how my brain works.

    The Restore...there is a Java Dave's on 15th street near there. That's where Ron got my French Press. Jones Aluminum is also on 15th, perhaps they have old windows. Artic Restaurant Supply is on 11th. That is where I got my steak markers. It isn't a picturesque neighborhood. You can drive down 11th so you can say you were on Route 66. Go by TU if it interests you.

    Dawn, the Epley maneuver does not help my vertigo. I did come up with at least one herb used to treat vertigo, Chrysanthemum, and sweet Eileen gave me some last time I saw her, so I will be trying that.

    DH suggested a Rubbermaid shed for me. He says the one he's looking at we could both stand in. I hate his shed. First of I have to duck to go through the door. I always bump my head on the way out. What ever I want will be blocked by a couple of lawn mowers and a cement mixer. It always feels "spidery" and I pulled bird netting out one time with a snake stuck in it. Of course we all know there will be spiders in any thing left outside, but I'm warming to the Rubbermaid idea.

    We got 4 asparagus spears yesterday!

    Cuban Oregano, Nancy. I sure hope those things root. I was sure they would be easy!

    Kim, I am still frustrated for you over the herbicide thing. You are working SOOO hard now. We made lasagna beds a couple of years ago. DH really didn't have the concept down, and I didn't think we had enough layers or soil. Those are my best beds. I don't think you need 18" of soil in top of what you've got. It would be nice, but don't kill yourself doing it.

    Nancy, I hope GDW is better today. Contact me if you need me!

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Got to Broken Arrow and back. This is good for me, driving around Broken Arrow and getting a bit more familiar with Tulsa. Easy peasy. I doubt GDW will even be out tomorrow. They're keeping him pumped full of fluids, as the diarrhea is bad. BUT he hasn't been in any pain today. That's GOOD. We'll see. He was able to get a 2-hr nap while I was there; the personnel were very good about cracking the door first to see if he was sleeping, and backed right out. He's not happy about it all, of course, but we both agree he's where he needs to be. Titan's definitely not happy his buddy isn't here.

    I'll be sure to let you know, Amy, if I need ya! Meanwhile, I stopped by Coweta and got four fresh bales of Iowa alfalfa. . . ouch. Would have gotten more but not at the price. AND stopped by the first window place I saw in Wagoner, Kim, on the way through and picked up 3 old storm windows for a real good price. LOL Thx for that tip. So will set up a makeshift cold frame for now. Thanks for all your suggestions, all.

    Now I'm ready to just chill for a while. The cats have forgiven me for shutting them up in their home room, and were glad to be set free and glad to see me.

    Cuban oregano. Oh, it WILL root, by gosh! The big one has a few little roots on it. I'm going to perform surgery on it today and cut off all but the last very few little leaves. My theory is that the leaves are taking up energy that the roots need. What do ya think?

    I'm sorry about the mama cat and two kittens, HJ. Vets always have kittens, too, you know. And the good thing about theirs are that they've all been neutered and treated for worms/fleas/etc. We sure saw some cute ones when we looked in October. So two for one, $25, was a real bargain for these two characters.

    I'd still like to visit Restore. Maybe we can plan a field trip. . . :)

    I suppose you're outside gardening like crazy, Dawn. Good for you! And leftover meatloaf! Sometimes I make meatloaf just FOR the leftover meatloaf. Nothing like a cold meatloaf sandwich! I am just rolling my eyes to hear of the cats' escapades. I KNOW I will be having those kinds of cats. (Thankfully, I, too, have a gate I can close them out with.) Already do, with Jerry. Tom's my current favorite. LOL But Jerry's so sweet and cuddly, wakes me up with kisses every morning. Brat.

    I know Paula will let us know when it's time.

    Told GDW today his stomach problems must be contagious. Whenever I have stress like that, it always hits my gut first. So I need to drink lots of chamomile and peppermint tea this evening.

  • jlhart76

    I know, I don't expect her to host indefinitely. I know I wouldn't want to be the de facto host, either. But I think we all just enjoy our family reunion & she does such a great job of it that we turn to her for organizing. And if she can't & HJ's place falls through, I might have a backup.

    Cuban oregano...is that the one with fleshy leaves? I had something years ago that was labeled Cuban oregano. I'd love to find it again, but nothing I've come across seems to match.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Yep it is, Jen. Amy handed it off to me. The cutting has been in water for what, maybe 2, 21/2 wks and very few little roots, so I trimmed off all but the top 3 small leaves this afternoon--off both cuttings. We'll see how that goes. It will be such a lovely plant; really want it to root! And hers is variegated. Very attractive and very oregano-ish smelling. :)

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    I am too tired to speak intelligently, but I just want to say to Nancy that I hope GDW is on the road to recovery and not too miserable about being stuck in the hospital.

    Oh, and Jennifer, sorry about the three cats. I guess it wasn't meant to be.

    Now, y'all can relax about the SF. Paula and I are working on picking a date. So, relax and wait for the announcement.

    I worked so hard today that both my brain and body are tired and sore, but I'm all caught up and now working to get ahead of the rain. Yay!

    More tomorrow, because I need to stop typing while the things I'm saying are still making sense. I feel too tired to focus. I think I need to go to bed.

  • hazelinok

    I'm glad there is a plan for the SF. Thanks to Paula and Dawn for working on it.

    So...the Momma cat and 4 kittens story. There is a girl who took in the lot. Her child opened the door and Momma came in and had the babies. The girl lives in an apartment and originally just wanted someone to come get them all. Then she fell in love with a couple of the kitties. Her Grandmother and she were going to take a couple of the kittens. That left the 3. I had been talking to her about taking all three in a few weeks. Her landlord found out and she had to get rid of the ones she's not keeping. She sent a text, but I accidentally left my phone at home and went to the store. I did not get the message until 2 hours later. I sent a text--many tests, but never heard from her again, even though we had been texting quite a bit. She mentioned that she was getting rid of the Momma and 2 other kittens, but was keeping the two and planned on buying supplemental milk for the kittens. Please keep in mind these are 4 day old kittens. I offered to take them all and return her two when they are 6 weeks old. Still no reply.

    I just got sleepy, so I'm ending this post.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jennifer, I hope you hear back from her but am afraid she may already have found someone else who took the cats.

    Jen, Sometimes I see the variegated Cuban oregano in stores but not until sometime in April or earliest May because it is very cold-sensitive and doesn't like frost.

    Nancy, Your cutting probably isn't forming roots because, as a succulent, it doesn't like being very wet. Succulents tend to rot in water. You might want to change your method and try to root it in a moist, not sopping wet, soil-less mix.

    I did garden like a maniac and got almost all caught up on planting. I even got 4 varieties of beans planted. Yes, it is early for beans, but we're warm enough here and I have frost blankets if the cold comes back. One of my goals for today is to get the corn area ready for planting. It is the last major area of the front garden that still looks as bad, at this moment, as it did at the end of the 2017 gardening season. That all changes today. It was invaded a bit by Johnson grass, so I have some digging to do to get that stuff out.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Ooops. I hit the wrong key and accidentally posted before I was done.

    Expect a SF announcement from Paula soon, hopefully today, although she does have a very full schedule today. If not today, then soon. So, y'all can relax, because the Host/Hostess Couple with the Most Big Hearts are set to host our annual GW Family Reunion yet again. And, I think they deserve a medal for being willing to do so.

    Nancy, The meatloaf was a very deliberate choice because (a) it makes a large quantity of meat loaf and (b) that meant we could have meat loaf sandwiches for lunch and regular meat loaf plus veggies for dinner for 2 or 3 days. I was trying to simplify life this week as I race to finish all the work in the garden that I can in advance of the coming flood of rain. We'll perhaps get tired of meat loaf before we finish it off.

    Tim goes out of town on a work-related trip from Mon-Thurs, so I am going to make a big pot of veggie soap and live off that next week while he is gone. I'll have tons of gardening time and little cooking duty, but how much of anything I accomplish in the garden obviously depends on how much rain is falling. For us, Tuesday looks like the big day for rain although the rain could start as early as Saturday night.

    We got paged to a couple of fires yesterday, but I didn't have to leave the garden, and our county was quiet overall. I think the large number of escaped/uncontrolled burns on the previous day mostly scared everyone out of attempting any controlled burning yesterday and, for our county, that was a good thing. Hopefully things will go as well today in stronger wind. Now that the wind is coming straight out of the south, our dewpoint and relative humidity ought to stay higher today and that will help. I know there were some raging fires in various parts of OK. The delayed spring green-up needs to hurry up and get here.

    Amy, The shed we're planning on getting is not a Rubbermaid brand, unless the company that makes it is a subsidiary of Rubbermaid, but that is the type of shed that it is---made of molded HDPE panels. Tim is driving down to CostCo this morning to get it, and hopefully they won't be sold out. They had it last weekend, but we were in the car and not in the truck. It will be small, only 7' x 7.5' I think, but that's plenty big enough to hold my gardening tools and we are planning to put it right inside the garden, just inside the western fence, so it will be in a spot that gets shade from around 1 pm onward. I am looking forward to never having to haul an armload of tools down to the garden again. Of course, there's the back garden too, but I walk past the garage walking to it, so stopping to grab a shovel or trowel or whatever will be a breeze.

    While he is gone, I'm going to clear out the area where we want to put the shed because right now it has two chairs, a table, a ton of containers filled with soil-less mix and the HDPE deck box I've been using to hold tools. That box is sort of like having a toy box in the garden, but I feel uneasy using it. Every time I lift the lid, I'm afraid I'll find a snake that's found a way to get into it....although that never has happened. Because of the extreme slope of the garden, the shed will be offset to one side and not centered midway as I'd like for it to be, but that's okay---it is not the most crushing blow on earth to have a shed that isn't centered.

    Now, y'all know how the story of our lives go in March. Whenever I'm attempting to really accomplish anything meaningful in the garden, the fire pagers tend to go off and ruin it all. So, I expect Time will come home with the boxes containing the shed, we'll start assembling it.....and then we'll have a fire somewhere. You can almost bet money on it, although of course, I am hoping I am wrong.

    There are multiple things on my Garden To Do list for today, and I doubt I'll get them all done, but I think that between today and tomorrow I have a good chance of getting most of them done. Putting up the trellis for the peas is the first thing, because right now they are flopping around on the ground and probably not happy about that.

    Have a great day everyone.

  • luvncannin

    I need a shed and so happy yall are getting new sheds. I was going to get Rubbermaid she'd and they said put it in the shade cuz it will warp and twist if it's in full sun. Besides good tools and seeds and soil that is the best! I am going shopping with Mrs boss to get tools and paint today. Hopefully the farm crew won't borrow our tools knowing they belong to the Mrs.

    I feel so much better having caught up on all the direct seeding. And the list of stuff I had to do this week was done by noon yesterday ;) so I almost relaxed. Lol

    OT yesterday I took some old jewelry from exes I thought might bring 40 or 50, that's what they offered me 10 years ago. Ha gold must be up I got 231. All that dragging my feet cuz I do not like gold exchange or pawn shops lol. Jokes on me. Now I got traveling money. Wonder where I might go?

  • hazelinok

    Our hot water tank went out last night/this morning. So Tom is taking another day off work to replace it.

    I'm going to help Dale and friends at the Home and Outdoor Living show in a little while.

    I am sad about the kitties, but something told me to be cautiously excited about them early on--I really wanted them, but...something felt off. I was trying to ignore the "off" feeling.

    If my small plants survive all this wind, it will be a miracle. And I need to plant more cabbage and greens tomorrow. Really the hoops and some type of insect cloth needs to be moved up on "The List". I'm guessing that the insect netting would take a bit of the wind off too?

    The bed in the back garden is almost weed free. Beans will go there in a couple of weeks.

    The shed looks pretty good. It is not the vision I had a year ago, but I (was forced to) changed that vision and I like it. Decided to just leave the concrete floor instead of adding vinyl floor. The coop part has vinyl floor. Tom just needs to put the baseboards on and then the rest is up to me. Well other than some electrical stuff. The dividing wall had to go where the ceiling light was located, so it looks tacky right now. He's going to do something to make a light on both sides of the wall. He also needs to change out some outlet plugs in the future--but it's just for looks...the old ones are nasty, but functional. Hopefully, I can get the doors and shelves painted tomorrow. It will feel nice to be organized.

    Sunshine has a sore on her back. It's not bleeding but looks really sore. I poured peroxide on it and she didn't mind too much. She doesn't seem to be sick at all. What do y'all do for chicken wounds? She's one of the tamest chickens and doesn't mind being held at all. I have no idea how she was wounded.

    So excited about the Spring Fling!

  • jlhart76

    Found money is so nice, isn't it?

    Weekend to-do: get rid of more grass in the garden, do some more butcher work on the mulberry bushes growing in the fence, and hopefully get a trellis up & ready for plants. I want to grow cucumbers, squash, etc. upright so they don't take over the whole bed.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Dawn, I'm glad things are working out for you to be able to get some gardening done! Good stuff. Your tool shed will undoubtedly be a really good aid for your gardening. I'm thrilled you're getting it. Yes, I'd be leery of a toy box full of tools, too. I was leery of my boys' toy box, and it was indoors. lol Seriously, isn't it amazing the huge difference something like that can make in our tasks.

    I sure hope they still have some of the sheds and you get it up this weekend before Tim leaves. Oh, didn't read your post well. I see that you're not planning to set it up until after Tim gets back. Makes sense.

    Hahaha! Well, being a succulent would explain a lot in terms of the Cuban oregano, Dawn! However. Get this--last night after I cut the leaves off, I thought to myself, "Well. THIS plant is not happy being forced to root in water. I wonder how it would do in soilless mix. (Not having a clue about it being succulent, even though its leaves ARE fleshy.) So, I plunked the smaller cutting into a container of soilless mix, to compare. Well. Thank YOU. Now I shall plunk the other one in, too. SHEESH.

    Obviously I have not gotten anything done in terms of gardening this week, other than keeping the grow cart seedlings alive. I deep cleaned the kitchen counters last night, as I found a herd of those little ants in the middle of one of them. I had already done the borax/sugar cotton ball treatment on their usual entrance, but they found a detour. So I went nuts, took everything off the counters, had an ant massacre with paper towels and an overload of bleach. (Tiled counter, so bleach doesn't affect it.) I poured bleach on both the counters, mopping up wayward ants as well as the main herd. Then I put 3 more cotton ball traps at other points of entry and got everything back in place.

    I called GDW this morning after I thought the doctor would have been there. Nope, no doctor, of course, BUT he sounded very much better--more lively, more alive. He said he feels quite a bit better, and he said the nurses were talking like he might get to come home this afternoon. His diarrhea has improved--that is HUGE, and his pain is at a low level, he said maybe a 2. If they do let him out today, he will need to take it easy for some time, and I will have to ensure that he is getting plenty of good foods, full of nutrition and immune-boosting nutrients. I know how serious sepsis (in the abdomen) is, and have been on high alert, having been through the gamut with my two sons and medical stuff, as well as working in doc's office for 7 years (know more than the average layperson, I daresay.) SO thrilled to hear him sounding like himself. And, in fact, since he is optimistic about getting out this afternoon/evening, I'll wait until this afternoon to go see him and hopefully bring him home.

    This is good, being able to putz this morning. I can unload the hay and windows and maybe get the cold frame set up, give some attention to Titan, tend to seedlings. I've been keeping a bit of water on the newly transplanted five shrubs and they all look good. (Jerry has the most endearing way of burying his head in my neck, and just staying that way, for minutes at a time. He just did.I had to stop typing and just pet him. What a little lover he his. Brat.)

    Guess you got a mis-addressed message this time, HJ. Those probably weren't THE kitties. I know yours are out there, like ours were. Like Dawn's new Lucky was.

    Kim, I am thrilled for your progress and your renewed upbeat recent week. Good good to hear. You could wander across the state of OK and visit along the way. . . stay overnight here and head back. . . :) Ha! Glad for your $$ gift!

    It's a beautiful day.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Update. Doc says nope. They'll keep him over the weekend. I'm actually relieved and fine with it, as is GDW. Like him being there having those IVs hooked up!

  • okoutdrsman

    Finally! Managed a few minutes to try and read through and catch up!

    HJ, two of the little buggers got me. One slipped in an opening on my glove and got me on the back of the hand. I was holding a hive lid we were using to place some of the old comb to transfer into their new home and could only watch while it crawled in. Knowing I was fixing to get stung and not being able to do anything about it was interesting. It really didn't bother me that bad.

    The one that got me that hurt like crazy hit me while I was closing the wall opening back up. Right on my bony wrist! I'm sure if it hadn't been so close to bone, it wouldn't have gotten so sore. Figured I was just being a wuss, so I just iced it and took some of the swelling down. Maybe it will help ward off arthritis in the two fingers I jacked up several years ago? The doctor has been saying I'd have trouble eventually, but so far, so good!

    Yes, Nancy it's something else I'm trying to learn! Unfortunately my beekeeper friend is leaving to take a job with a large bee company back east and I'm having to learn as much as I can before she goes.

    HJ, I was planning on attending the Home and Garden Show, but the granddaughter has a ball tournament that came up at the last minute. If I can juggle around that, I may still try to make it.

    I'm not to concerned about the failed herbs at this point. I'll replant this week on the starter trays, plus direct sow in the garden later on. Only a couple I wanted to get a jumpstart on anyway, Cumin and Lime Basil. I tried germinating some of the Cumin seed on got zero. It's seed I ordered from Double Helix this year, so I figure I'm not giving it what it needs?

    Nancy, GDW needs to get better! It's coming up on prime fishing and I know he won't want to miss that!

    Dawn, as always, I know I'm not the only one that worries about you when it comes to fire season! Every time we have high wind I can't help but think about how bad a day it can be for our fire crews and the ones that provide support.

    I won't touch too much on SF, since I know it'll be announced when all the details are worked out. Hope not to need it, but I have a couple of the pop up canopies ready to go and a back up location if it comes to that.

  • p_mac

    Hello, Gang!!! I promise I've been lurking but time to actually type here is elusive!!!

    After chatting back and forth with several of you behind the scenes - It seems that the 28th of April is best for everyone. Dawn can't make it the 21st and Kim can't make it the 5th of May. The problem is - I can't take off of work on the 27th to prepare the way I normally do. My job really gets in the way of my gardening addiction sometimes! I'll see what I can juggle as far as the PortaPotty delivery. We DO have the carport this year. The dang thing was installed the week after last years get-together.

    Oldest daughter and family are moving this weekend so I'm back and forth. I'll check back in to see what you all think. Don't we want to start a separate thread for the SF?

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    When you guys say this is it, this is IT. Good to go, here. Doesn't suit my schedule, I rearrange the schedule. :)

  • Lisa_H OK

    Yay! Paula, there was actually a gardening event set for the 5th at the Myriad Gardens... but I would have been happy to skip it! I may have that fri off if I can help any. I'll check my schedule.

    (Edit) I do have the 27th off. We are working 9/80s, so that is my off day. I am happy to pitch in

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Good day gardening, thinking of GDW. I got my makeshift cold frame set up with the alfalfa bales, thank you Dawn, and the used storm windows, thank you Kim. Lined the bottom with heavy cardboard, piled some mulched leaves and wood ships. I'll set plants in there on flats, as the bottom isn't entirely level. It's not high enough for fast-growing healthy tomatoes for long, but will definitely help. And I can put a few other things out there, too. Good fix for now. Then I got Espoma acid supplement spread around the blueberries and hydrangeas and piled some peat moss amongst them for good measure, then covered back up with the leaf mulches. If I erred in the applications, would one of you let me know, please? I've kept busy, and that is a very good thing.

    Bruce--what I really need is a string of four 70-some days to get GDW up to go fishing! Sixties just aren't going to cut it for him. Rats! lol And BTW, you need to get going on that lime basil! It's the only one I wanted that I didn't get! Chop chop! As much as I want to start the cumin, from what I'm reading, best to start it direct after the soil warms up. . . so...........

    I'm excited about your beekeeping venture and hope you have close access to your bailed beekeeper mentor! You can do it, if anyone can.

    Jacob, I am so sorry that I laughed about your mishap. Yes, you HAVE to salvage them all, they'll sort themselves out sooner or later. (Does this lower your self-imposed grade any?) :) Glad to find out you're human.

  • okoutdrsman

    I’m working on logistics from our end. There are a few things we have to work out, but we should be able to be there rain or shine!

    Nancy, if I don’t have the Lime Basil going by then, it’s because it’s completely kicked my butt! Worst case I’ll send a few seeds to try and direct sow!

    The cumin, I’m not quite as worried about, since it requires such a long growing season. It may or may not do well here.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    LOL. Uh-huh, got that! Italian pepperoncini kicked mine this year, and Moule Red. In my defense, both were from BC and the Moule Red is 2 yrs old--so I'll just blame them--totally unfair, but hey. Gotta blame someone, right? I just planted all the extra basil a few days ago, so it remains to be seen which ones of those are gonna "kick my butt." I am super glad to see Tulsi has arrived.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    I will be sure to put April 28 on the schedule at work, to make SURE it works for me this year. And I have time to start a few seeds to bring. I do think a separate SF thread would be a good idea. Cookies, cupcakes, and brownies are my specialty, so dessert will be taken care of. Should we start doing the no-rain dance now?

    Lowe's has MG Raised Bed soil on sale 2/$12 this weekend. I hauled 2 home, and drug them into the back yard, plus 2 4 ring tomato cages (that barely fit into my Honda coupe). Need to get at least one of the big new grow bags filled tomorrow.

    Early Girl is living up to her name, and is the last tomato to sprout. And, only one of 5 seeds at that. I get to plant more calendula and painted daisies tomorrow. As much as we need the rain, my WS containers need sun too.

    Nothing below 40 in the current 9 day forecast here. I refuse to say we're in the clear (even in July I won't say that), but it's feeling good to me. Dawn is probably way more right about the forecast than I am, though. I find it amazing, still, that last year I had tomato plants in the dirt, and this year the early ones are just getting their first true leaves. God is weird.

  • okoutdrsman

    Nancy, if the Italians don’t come thru, I should have a few Greeks I can bring?

    I know we always do a separate thread for plant request, so we can look at it then.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    ha, my Greeks came through, and those were the ones we wanted anyway! So I really wasn't concerned about the Italian ones. . . . right? lol

  • luvncannin

    So incredibly thankful for you all and that I will get to see you soon. May 5th is our first market and no way I could have gotten off. I hope everyone can make it this year at least for some of it. Did I mention how excited I am. Let the countdown begin

  • luvncannin

    Oh and Paula don't prepare for us we are like family only better.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Will be so good to see everyone! Hopefully this year without looking like a drowned rat. Nevertheless. A little rain never hurt anyone. And let's see. . . the year before I think I'm remembering Bruce had a tornado, right? Well. This year it will be a perfect spring day, I'm thinking.

  • p_mac

    Tonight I'll go to bed with all well with my soul. =) I'll start a "proper" thread tomorrow to include all the info and reminders, But fair warning ---- this year will most likely be our Swan Song.....because we (I) want to be able to go visit too!!!! I'm all ears, "HJ"!!!!

    You guys are indeed the perfect neighbors! luvs!!!!!!

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Kim, I wasn't worried so much about the shed warping as I was worried about it blowing away, but we built a deck-type wooden floor/frame set in posts anchored in the soil in concrete today, so it may warp in morning sun/afternoon shade, but it won't blow away. It did hurt my gardener's heart to cover up beautiful garden soil that was humusy and rich with a shed floor. Regardless, there now will be a shed to hold the tools. We plan to assemble the shed tomorrow and bolt it down. Tomorrow should be less windy than today and that will help will assembling the shed. Hooray for being caught up on your To Do List and for feeling so relaxed, and happy to have traveling money. This is just your week!

    Jennifer, The netting does break the wind some, and how much just depends on the size of the holes and all. I do think it helps and sometimes all a plant needs is just a little bit of help to get through these crazy Spring winds. The water heater news is not good. I don't do anything for chicken wounds---they heal just fine on their own. You can clean them with Betadine or hydrogen peroxide, but if they're minor they tend to heal quickly with no human intervention. Our chickens are independent and don't especially want us messing with them. Wounds aren't real common here. If it is a puncture wound, keep an eye on that for infection.

    Nancy, I'm glad they're keeping GDW in the hospital on those IV antibiotics. It will be better to have him more healed than less healed when he is released. Sometimes it seems like hospitals are too quick to shove patients out the door. I'm glad this one is not doing that to him.

    About the SF, I cannot rearrange our schedule (ha ha) because it is a family wedding (extended family, not immediate family) and I wouldn't dare ask our niece to change her wedding date now. Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of gardening? (grin)

    We just had either our second or third day in a row with highs in the 80s, and with only minor fire calls, so it is another good day here. It helps that our relative humidity and dewpoint are really being driven upward by the relentless south winds. I really think the big outbreak of fires here on Wed scared everyone so badly that they've been really, really careful the last couple of days. With all the rain that's supposed to be coming, I'm feeling like our county may already have peaked in terms of the winter fire season and maybe things will start improving now. The green-up needs to speed up though, or that will not be true.

    Rebecca, I have no idea if I am right or wrong about the weather, but I trust my instincts and they rarely let me down. If they do, I have enough frost blankets to cover my entire front garden and about a third of the back. so I could, theoretically and if the ground were warm enough, just lose my mind and plant everything now. So far this year I haven't covered up anything a single time, except I put a little mulch and autumn leaves over the volunteer pineapple sage plants on a couple of nights when we were going to drop below freezing, and they survived. I suppose the fact that pineapple sage reseeded and the volunteers are growing here already is another sign that our soil is plenty warm. Y'all have to remember, though, that I am really, really far south compared to the rest of you. My weather is more like the weather in Dallas than in OKC, and I plant accordingly.

    I won't plant everything now, but it is tempting. Not only have four o'clocks sprouted this week (they're usually one of the last volunteers to pop up as they really like and need heat) but so have squash. It is hard to guess if they are winter squash or summer squash, and it won't matter because they are in a compost pile and I'm not going to transplant them and hope they're something worth having, but I find it interesting that the seeds are sprouting. Squash seed will eventually germinate at soil temps of 60, though they prefer 70 or 75 and even will germinate when soil temps are 90-95. Our soil temperatures in the raised beds are staying in the mid-60s and even going up warmer than that during the day, but I didn't think the finished compost that is earmarked for a flower bed I'm reworking was getting that warm. Apparently it must be.

    There's a family of 7 deer lurking near the front garden. They are making me nervous. They are there every night. They are there every morning. The other day, they came to check out the garden at mid-morning while I was out working, and they were probably less happy to see me than I was to see them. I know in my heart they're trying to find a way over, under or through the fence. I rarely pay attention to the fence on the north side of the garden but I think I need to check it carefully tomorrow because that seems like the weakest section of fence and I don't need for a herd of 7 deer to find a way to breach it. That is a really old fence on the north side and we need to redo it, but that's not going to happen this weekend because it is shed weekend.

    I've had a flat of purchased tomato plants---7 in all---four Early GIrls, 2 SunGolds and 1 Cherokee Purple that I've been carrying outdoors every morning and indoors every night for at least a month. I meant to pot them up to larger containers (they're in 5" pots) but never got around to it, so now they are big, blooming, have baby fruit on some of them and are getting rootbound. So, today I did the obvious thing and put them in the ground. Oh no you didn't, y'all say. Oh yes, I did. I did it and I'm not sorry. They are in the second highest raised bed and it is staying really warm. Zinnias have been popping up in it for about a month now, and there's a pineapple sage volunteer in that bed too. I lined them all up in a row, three feet apart and I didn't cage them because it is easier to put a frost blanket over them if they aren't caged. I did stake them to help them endure the wind. I know my microclimate, I know my ability to cover and protect these things and I'm confident I made a good decision, but I'm not mentioning it on FB because I do not want to lead astray any less experienced gardeners who might decide to follow my lead. Most people in OKC, for example, have little understanding of the fact that our weather down here is more like the weather in Dallas than the weather in central OK. These days in the 80s are making me worry that we're about to go straight to hot weather with very little mild Spring weather. It isn't that I don't think some cold weather lies ahead---it probably does. I just think I can keep the plants warm enough to mitigate any return to the cold that happens. The great thing is that these are purchased plants, not my sweet baby plants that I've raised from seeds, so if something horrible happens to them, it doesn't hurt as much because I'm not emotionally attached to them. Regardless, I haven't lost tomato plants to late freezing weather in many years, so I don't consider this much of a risk. Well, unless those 7 deer jump the fence, get into the garden and eat the tomato plants. Now, if that happens, I'll consider it a sign from God that I shouldn't have planted so early.

    My precious raised-from-seed tomato plant babies probably won't go into the ground for another couple of weeks yet as they are younger and smaller than these purchased plants. Oh, the final thing that made me decide it was time to just go ahead and put them in the ground? When Tim was doing the dirt work to combine the two narrower raised beds into one wider raised bed this past weekend, he dug up a sweet potato I had missed when digging sweet potatoes last year....and it was sprouting underground. I say that if you have a sweet potato sprouting in one of your raised beds, the soil probably is warm enough to plant tomatoes. The real miracle is that I restrained myself all week long and didn't rush the plants into the ground the minute Tim dug up that sweet potato. I waited almost a full week, watched the soil temps, watched the weather, etc. and made a fairly rational decision. So the beans are planted and the first round of tomato plants are in the ground. If I can get the east end of the garden prepped in time, I'll sow corn seed before the rain falls. Or, if I don't get it prepped, that will be the first thing I do after the ground is workable again. This might sound early, and it it a little early, but that little voice in my head is telling me it is okay to risk it. That little voice in my head never lets me down, so I trust it.

    Now, don't y'all go rushing out planting things like I did unless you're willing to risk the consequences. (grin)


  • hazelinok

    Paula, so glad you checked in. Sorry your job is getting in the way. They tend to do that. I'll have to work on the 27th too, but if I can help do anything to prepare, let me know.

    Bruce, I left the home and outdoor show around 3:45. It was a nice day, other than the wind. We were outside. If you came after, I missed you. :( Hope your granddaughter's team did well today.

    Got home to help Tom with the hot water tank, and felt so tired and cold. Took my temp and I have a 101.2! What in the world. I promise. PROMISE that if I skip a week or so of my herbal teas/healthy eating, I get sick. Every time. It was Spring Break, so I didn't do my regular rituals. Ugh.

    I don't feel horrible, just tired.

    Nancy, I'm glad they are keeping Garry just to be sure and safe.

    Sunshine the Hen's sore looks much better today.

    I hope I feel better tomorrow. I have stuff to plant and shelves to paint.

    It's fun to see how many people are interested in growing their own food. Some of them are so new--like I was 4 years ago.

    Bill had a lot of lovely herbs, but I didn't buy anything. I'm going out to his nursery next month.

  • luvncannin

    I never thought of it blowing away. I am going to build one. 2x's and tin. Right now I have most of my gardening tools in my living room. It's a rustic decor around here for sure. Wait till I get my wash tub home for shoe storage. It will definitely complete the look.

    I need to go thru my direct sow seeds and see what we are using here and then I am going to get rid of most of the rest. It is time to refresh.

    Today I go to q and get all my junk piled up, make a sale list and get rid of my collection. Thankfully I am not even sad about it anymore. I know when the time is right I can accumulate what I need. Rain barrels, drip lines, bathtub, fencing, too much. Funny the garden stuff is only 4year accumulation. I guarantee it will look like a lot more when I get it all stacked together. Fun day ahead.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    I cannot believe how much warmer it is at your place than it is at ours, Dawn! Amazing. So got your message loud and clear. My mind is set in terms of when I can put stuff in the ground here. And it's not now! :)

    It is a beautiful day and looks to be that way for until the sun sets. 75-ish. Best of all, GDW called a little while ago and sounded positively perky (for him.) Diarrhea is abating and he feels good. I am SO happy! May or may not go see him today. He's feeling so good he's pretty relaxed, so told me if I had stuff to do, not to bother. We'll see what I find to do, or maybe I can manufacture a reason that I need to go to BA anyway. Mostly I'm just soaking up the good news about how he's feeling and my heart is very thankful. I now realize how very worried I was. Whew................

    I think I'll go into cleaning frenzy mode today, inside and out. Lots of plants to move, plant and/or get into the cold frame. I look forward to the SF threads, which should be a lot of fun. Have a good day, all of you!!

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jennifer, I hope you're feeling better soon. Do you have allergies? If so, maybe you're getting a sinus infection or something as a result of all the allergy symptoms, like the increased drainage. Of course, you work around kids a lot and it seems like we were sick all the time when Chris was little and we always were around a ton of little kids.

    Kim, We have lots of experience with stuff flying away here. lol. Every time west Texas sends us one of those strong west winds with gusts up into the 50s accompanied by dust in the sky, we watch as people's trampolines, for example, go airborne, often traveling from a hundred feet to a hundred yards or more. Sometimes all that stops them from rolling and tumbling like a tumbleweed is the fence along I-35 that separates cattle pastures from the highway. After seeing trash cans, lightweight lawn furniture, the aforementioned trampolines, and much more blowing into the roads, across the roads, down the roads, etc. for all these years, I was leery of getting a shed that seems more lightweight than a traditional stick-built one. If you west Texans would just stop sending us your wind and dust in March and April, I would't worry so much about anchoring the new shed firmly to the ground. : )

    Well, then, there also is the issue of Oklahoma's robust tornado season each year, and on top of that severe thunderstorms and microbursts. We can't blame all the wind on Texas although, at my specific location in the state, our worst damaging winds so often come from the west and southwest that it is very easy to blame y'all. I never worried about stuff blowing away when we lived in Texas, but our neighborhood was much more sheltered from the wind back then than our current neighborhood is now. Every year, if we can just make it through April and May without the house blowing away, we are happy.

    I hope you have a good trip to q today and are able to get everything on your To Do list done. It is amazing how quickly garden junk piles up.

    Nancy, That's why I always stress that my weather is more like the weather in Dallas (where today they are running the Rock and Roll Marathon with an expected high temperature of 88 degrees, which is not going to be good for the runners) than in OKC or Tulsa. I don't want for y'all to get excited about our heat and think you're about to get the same weather because you most likely are not. Sometimes I feel like southern OK is a whole different country from central and northeastern OK.

    I also watch our local weather trends very, very closely and all winter and spring, our local temperatures at our house have stayed significantly warmer than the official lows recorded at Burneyville's mesonet station. So have our highs, so I look at their data but also watch my own because my plants grow in our temperatures, not theirs. If I lived further west at, say, Burneyville, I likely wouldn't have put any tomato plants in the ground yet. Location and microclimate are everything.

    Growing up in north Texas just 80 miles south of where we live here in southern OK, I was long trained to plant tomato plants early to beat the heat. Unfortunately, about the same time that the nighttime lows down there get warm enough to transplant tomato plants into the ground, the daytime highs can already be approaching levels that impede pollination and tomato fruit set, so you learn early in life to do everything humanly possible to beat the heat in order to get good fruit set. We have a little more leeway to plant a bit later here in southern OK, which is good, but some years we still have had those high temperatures that impede fruit set occur in early to mid-May and, in an extra bad drought year, as early as Easter. It aggravates me when I am outside transplanting tomato plants into the ground because the nights finally are warm enough and then the daytime high is hitting 90 degrees or higher on the day I'm transplanting. I wish we had a longer period of warmish nights and cooler days, but often the warm nights are accompanied by hot days far too early in the season.

    Our 2018 weather, while cooler than some recent weathers, still has had bizarre temperature fluctuations. Just based on our Mesonet data, look at the range of temperatures we have had here each month so far in 2018: January: highest temperature 78, lowest 2; February highest 81 lowest 13; March highest 83, lowest 25. At least our lowest temperatures are trending higher each month, but it still strikes me as odd that our winter highs were so high....and this is Mesonet data. At our house, we've already been as hot as 88 degrees in March. It is sort of ridiculous, but it is typical. To take advantage of the heat and great growing conditions, I may have to cover up plants on a couple of cold nights, but it is worth it to beat the heat. We went through a long stretch of years in the early 2000s where I finally stopped planting cool season plants in the winter, other than root crops like potatoes, onions and leeks and sometimes broccoli, because our cool season ended so abruptly and so early that you couldn't get a crop out of the cool season stuff. I hope this is not going to be one of those years, but it is beginning to feel like it down here. Then, when cooler weather returned, it kept pushing the last freeze out until around May 3 or 4, for either 6 or 7 years, which explains why I have thousands of square feet of frost blankets---it takes a lot of stuff to cover up tomato plants that are 4-6' tall and heavily loaded with fruit when that last late freeze or frost hits in May, and in those years I had to cover up everything else too---corn that was knee high, bean plants that were producing beans already, etc. You do what you have to do in order to cope with the weather conditions you have. All of this carries me back to my favorite saying about gardening in OK's strongly fluctuating Spring temperatures: you don't have to be crazy to garden here, but it helps.

    I hope you get all your tasks accomplished today and that Garry continues to heal and to feel better.

    Now, I'm out of here to go assemble that shed.


  • jlhart76

    Funny, Dawn, I tend to censor what I say on Facebook too. It seems there are a lot on there who think gardening is just dropping some seeds & watching things grow. Ok, it is for the most part, but you also need to understand how weather can affect things.

    Weather like this make me want to just start planting away. But common sense is prevailing so far, though I am experimenting with a couple things. If it works, great. If not, I've already got plan b to go.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    So. One trip to Stringers, one trip to Walmart, 2 new packs of seed, and 200 plastic forks later, I may have saved my snow/snap pea crop. Need a couple hundred more to do some work on the root crops. *Bad word* squirrels.

    I have potato sprouts! In one bag.

    Planted two more jugs of painted daisies, 2 of calendula, and one of mini marigolds.

    Tomato weirdness. The Big Beef and Brandy Boys will be ready to go in the ground before the Glacier, 4th of July, and Early Girls.

    Clear plastic Solo cups are making nice cloches for direct seeded things, and when used over regular Solo cups for seed starting. Extra warmth and critter/bird protection. The plants under plastic bag cloches are doing very well, but I moved them under the porch cover to keep them from getting crushed by the rain. The Solo cups give more protection.

    Started a few things intended for SF - tithonia and my favorite Franchi basil. I'm suddenly afraid that no one will want what I have, and I'll end up bringing it all home. Apparently I might have extra zinnias, too.

  • hazelinok

    Well Rebecca, I want all of what you mentioned. :) Tithonia, Franchi Basil and zinnias.

    There's a funny division among new gardeners. Some are carefree--plant what whenever and expect it to do well. Then those, who are overly scared about doing it "just right". I swing in between the two., although I'm not new any longer. Part of it, is that you really don't know until you do it. Like with the Halloween pumpkins I planted almost 4 years ago...I'm sure I read about SVB, but didn't understand how serious they are. Does that make sense?

    My fever broke last night--I did lots of yarrow and echinacea. I think it's what you said, Dawn. A sinus infection. I don't have allergies in the normal way--it's all internal--no outward snot (gross, I know). I am SO glad I feel better today.

    I was able to plant the last of the cool season things. Dale's uncle gave me some potatoes and lettuce seedlings too--all planted now.

    I worked in our community garden for about an hour. It's just getting built and I didn't want to do a lot of heavy stuff just getting over the sinus infection or whatever it was.

    I wish we could have a week of today's weather and I could stay home. The good thing about the upcoming rain is that it will force me to stay indoors and clean. Tom mentioned tonight that our house is a bit dirty. LOL. Like I don't know that. He cooked tonight and the kitchen is a disaster after he cooks. :) He made some yummy grilled veggies and homemade hummus (and steak for himself), so it is worth it, I guess.

    I haven't moved the chicks to the shed brooder yet. It seems so early, weird, and scary moving them so soon. However, it I get the new kitty that I filled out adoption papers for, then they need to be moved out.

    Oh, I wish I had another week of Spring Break.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jen, One of the things on FB that astonishes me is how many people don't have cool-season plants in the ground yet. How long can those poor little cool-season seedlings survive in flats indoors? What part of cool-season is not understood? We post the garden planning guide with recommended planting dates over and over again, and yet sometimes I feel like the ones who need to read it and learn from it just aren't bothering. I feel baffled by the keeping of cool-season plants indoors in a warm, safe cocoon still, but just keep my mouth shut. They'll learn the difference in proper planting conditions/times just like we all did---the old-fashioned way---by doing it, either getting good or bad results, and making future decisions accordingly.

    It was 86 degrees here today and my cool-season plants, including those that have been in the ground a month or two, wilted and looked disgusted. I had to drag the hose down to the garden, water them, give them a good pep talk and promise them that we wouldn't hit 86 degrees again tomorrow. This early heat worries me---it isn't good for the smallish lettuce plants to have to deal with that heat this early in the growing season. Like it or not, we need the rain down here and we need for the temperatures to cool down some for the sake of the cool-season plants, who might be wondering right now just what happened to their cool season. The oaks are leafing out, at least the post oaks, black oaks and red oaks are. I don't thing our white oaks are leafing out yet, but then maybe I just haven't looked at them closely enough. What more can I say? Well, the pecans aren't leafing out yet, so at least there's that. I haven't checked the local mesquite trees. I'll try to get a look at them tomorrow. Once the pecans and mesquites leaf out, the cold weather is done about 90% of the time. One of my favorite trash trees, the chinaberry tree that I had to have because it reminds me of my childhood home and neighborhood, usually is one of the last trees to leaf out---and it started leafing out about 7-10 days ago. The trees and grasses are ahead of all the wildflowers, which is interesting. I think the drought hurt the wildflowers a great deal as many of them usually germinate in Oct-Nov and remain tiny rosettes of leaves down close to the ground and then grow quickly in Spring. Well, they never leafed out in Oct-Nov so a lot of them may be no-shows this eyar.

    Rebecca, Can we choose our own bad word for the squirrels?

    Congrats on your potato sprouts. I have potato sprouts too, but not where this year's potatoes are planted. Nope. The sprouts, two of them about two feet apart, are in last year's potato bed, so apparently I missed two small potatoes while digging last spring or summer. I guess I'll leave them where they are since they went to the trouble to actually grow.

    I have a lot of tomato weirdness too. And pepper weirdness. It is just one of those years I suppose.

    I have no reason to think people won't want to take home what you bring to the Spring Fling. Wait and see.

    Most of today was either spent on errands---vet, grocery store, feed store, Home Depot (because apparently we forgot to buy bolts yesterday to bolt the shed floor to the foundation yesterday) or assembling the shed. The shed assembly dragged on ever so slowly all afternoon long and I was starting to picture it being finished sometime in July. Then Chris showed up to help, plunged right in, and the whole process started going a lot more quickly. He's coming back in the morning (if it isn't raining) to help us finish. I think it will take only a couple more hours. In the time I had in the garden that didn't involve shed building, I mostly weeded, mulched, checked to be sure all plants were cutworm-protected, scattered a little of the pelleted Slug-Go to make the sow bugs and pill bugs go away and stop eating the lettuce plants, and also watered.

    The purple martins are building their nests in the new purple martin house and are so cute and so happy. One sat on the house's little porch railing for about a half hour and just watched us. I watched it in return, and even stood beneath the house, looking up at the martin and speaking with it. It did not reply, but it also didn't fly away.

    We're seeing increasing numbers of butterflies daily. Today it was mostly bordered patch butterflies, undoubtedly looking for sunflower plants to devour. I told them it was too early for that. The black wasps and red wasps were swarming all over and I sure hope they don't build their nests anywhere close to us. One black wasp kept coming into the mudroom with me and I kept shooing it back out. Today there were crickets in the garden and grasshoppers in the yard. Oh, and fire ants in the onion bed. I guess I'll put some Come and Get It there for them tomorrow and wait for them to get it. I feel like the Spring season is running ahead of me and urging me to hurry up and catch up with it. I'm not necessarily really ready, but it is happening. There's squirrels everywhere but, thankfully, not in the garden. I am seeing a lot of them in the yard though. The song birds are changing. Many of the ones that overwintered have headed north, and new arrivals are coming in from the south.

    Basil, dill and chamomile have begun sprouting in the asparagus bed. Which part of "asparagus bed" do they not understand? I need to weed the asparagus bed and then mulch it heavily to try to keep the weeds down.

    Now, because I know that I need to start the new post for the new week tomorrow and I tend to forget to do that in a timely manner when Tim is home and my daily routine is altered, I'm going to go start it now. If you see it tonight, just pretend tonight is tomorrow.


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    I laughed a lot with your thread this evening, Dawn. You promised them it would cool down. Hope you don't have to break your promise. My funniest plants this year are the short stout fat pepper plants. As I said, I keep burying them as they need potted up. They're pretty cute short stout little buggers. They make me laugh.

    I've actually been laughing all day. I called GDW at 3 to see how he was, and he was very unhappy (that means he's feeling good) because no one would bring him a ballpoint pen. Long story. . . they couldn't be bothered to chase one down for him, apparently. I exclaimed, "OH for crying out loud! So your wife has to drive 96 miles to bring you a PEN, I guess!" And he demurred. . . I just laughed. Hung up and fed the cats, turned the water off outside, told Titan to guard the house and took off (WITH pen). I guess I wanted to see him, anyway, eh? We both got a good laugh over it. And I stopped and checked Sprouts out on the way home. My goodness. What a store! I was totally overwhelmed. I can see one doesn't go in there without a list or a chaperone.

    I got a bunch of WS out in the beds today, fertilized onions cleared out and mulched some of the last leaves piled up, watered, cleaned house a bit. . . and visited GDW. I'm starting to get my Broken Arrow "legs." And I got to visit a couple times with my bad friend who never has time for me, Scott, down the road. What a gorgeous and fun day out there.

    Kim, are you having the sale at q then? Probably, I'm thinking. . . wish I could be there! lol

    Ohhhh, fading fast here. See you all tomorrow.

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