February 2020, Week 3

Do y'all feel Spring stirring in the air? I do, and I'm not ready for it, but that relates more to the constant rain and mud than to anything else. Last year's awful rainfall was so hard on the garden (and the gardeners) and the last thing I wanted was for this year to be as bad. Really, it is not as bad at our house---it is worse, so far at least. That's all I'll say about that.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the phenology map that showed the trees leafing out about 3 weeks early along the Gulf Coast. Well, on this week's map the early leaf-out phenomenon has reached Oklahoma, so I thought I'd link it here. Look at how much of OK already has the early leafing out in progress now and it moves further north constantly.

Spring Leaves Are Popping!

We start out the week with nice weather. Well, hopefully we do. We are expecting fog Sunday morning but I think it eventually will give way to sunshine, and then the rest of Sunday and all of Monday should be glorious. After that, the rain comes back, and colder weather, and a slim chance of snow for some people. I hope everyone gets as much of the better weather as possible, and then we all can endure the cold, wet, yucky stuff for a few days while waiting for better weather to come back.

The stores here now have all sorts of Bonnie Plant seedlings of cool-season plants, so I am sure some people will be buying them and planting them this weekend. Obviously, that would be people who have drier soil that we have here at our house. I need to buy some baby catfish and sow them into the big puddles and see if they grow. Certainly they would amuse the feral kittens, who spent the other morning incredulously walking on the frozen puddles and trying to figure out where the water had disappeared to. I was not outside when the puddles thawed and would have liked to have seen what the feral kittens thought of that.

The same plants that were blooming last week are blooming as we begin this week---only there's more daffodils now. The dandelions, henbit, chickweed and spring beauties are keeping the little bees and butterflies happy on the warm days, and seeing the wildflowers blooming in the yard makes me happy even on the gloomy days when the rain is pouring down on everything. As wet as we are here, we still have flowers in bloom and I'm grateful for that.

There are a lot of garden chores than can be done now. If you haven't pruned fruit trees and rose bushes, it probably is time to hurry up and get that chore completed. If there is anything dormant (trees, shrubs, perennials) that you want to transplant, the time to finish up that task is now before the buds begin to swell and the plants begin to leaf out or bloom. It probably is not too late to plant anything that is bare root, but I wouldn't wait much longer. Soon, it will be wiser to start with container grown plants instead of bare-root ones, especially if the weather begins to

warm up more quickly. Right now we still are on the warm-cool-warm-cold-warm roller coaster, but haven't had much that feels like hot weather.

People whose gardens are not too soggy probably can and should be planting onions and brassicas soon, and potatoes as well. I don't think I'd plant any this week with the cold and slight chance of snow at the end of the week, but I'd be watching the forecast after that to see if it is going to stay a bit more consistently warm (and snow-free).

I checked my garden today to see if any poppies are sprouting yet, and didn't find any. That might be a good thing. If we are too wet after the poppies sprout, they tend to rot off right at the ground level, and the larkspurs are the same way. I don't really have the ideal soil for them, even though it is in raised beds and well-amended, but they grow well enough except in the wettest years, so hopefully we'll dry out enough soon that they can sprout, grow and bloom. The dianthus, daylilies, sedum and other plants are up and growing so I don't think the poppies and larkspur will be too far behind them.

After this week, we have only one more week of February and then we'll be starting March and I suspect that will give all of us a really intense case of Spring fever.

Have a great week everyone!


Comments (59)

  • HU-939938193

    Jennifer , https://www.vermontbean.com/product/V04407/96

    There's still plenty of time to get sprout seeds. I don't even start sprouts until into Mar.

    It may even be too early for some stores to have them right now.

    okmulgee boy

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Oops. . . .just lemon basil. We all know how that turned out.

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  • hazelinok

    We should write a children's book about Dawn's sailing seedlings!

    I really don't have much to talk about. The seedlings went out for some sun again today. I hope I can plant the oldest ones next Monday. We'll see.

    Sunshine, my Easter Egger hen, is missing. My gut says a coyote got her. I noticed she was gone last night when I did the head count. Honestly, she could have disappeared on Friday. I put them all in the pen before I left for our night away from home...or I thought I put them all in the pen. I am sure the little rooster was in there--he was the one I was focused on. Maybe she wasn't. Tom was home all day Friday and doesn't have the coyote "sixth sense" that I have, so she could have easily been taken then. Ethan just shuts their door and doesn't count when he's closing them up, which he did Friday night.

    I don't remember seeing her yesterday, but when you have 20+ chickens it's easy to miss one until you count. I don't think she was taken yesterday when we got home. We were outside most of the day, other than running to the bank. Maybe she was taken then. My neighbor posted that a coyote was walking down the street this morning. So, we have one in the neighborhood again. I just hate this. I know y'all get tired of my chicken stories (take it to a chicken forum already, Jennifer!), but I'm really sad when one goes missing. I only had 2 full-sized Easter Eggers and the people who buy my eggs like the pretty green eggs. I'll order a couple of EE chicks to put under the broody hens this summer, but they won't be laying until next January or February. Shoot! I still have a couple of her eggs in my egg basket.

    Thanks, Okmulgee Boy! My sandwich sprouts are about done. I'll take a pic of them tomorrow.

    We will finish up the east side of the chicken yard tomorrow. Maybe I'll clean out the "greens" bed and get it ready to plant.

  • jlhart76

    Nancy, hold off if you haven't ordered the lemon basil yet. I think I have some extra. If so, I'll bag some up for you

  • HU-939938193

    Jennifer , when I was a boy I had a pet rooster , bantum type that had fur instead of feathers , something like this https://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/Silkie-Bantam-B100.aspx

    One day I found it out in the field , all gutted out . Broke my wittle heart :(

    I enjoy your chicken stories.

    " There were several Bonnie plants boxes full of onion plants.. in full sun....lots of them dried out... HD garden employees just really don't know squat about how to keep and display onion sets! "

    Moni , Lowes here in Norman is about the same way . That's the only thing they got sitting out there. They just let them sit there regardless of the weather , temps ,don't water, they're dried now.

    The feedstore I go to takes better care of them in under a shed ,wets them down a little, got more varieties. They're Dixondale too and not as expensive as the boxstores.

    Looks like a little more winter weather this week with light snow/sleet across the mid section of the state. Dense fog this morning. Careful with the morning commute.

    More rain next weekend Boo! (...grrrr).

    okmulgee boy

  • haileybub(7a)

    Good morning everyone! I’ve enjoyed skimming over all of these posts, I love the stories, however heartbreaking (chickens, you know)! I’m reading about all of the wet weather and wondering where all of this rain is that you speak of! Here in N central, it’s still too dry for my liking, I’m ready for some pre-spring rains. It never seems to be as rainy here as I’d like. This year I planted 200 onion seeds! A first for me and I’m fascinated with the way they’re taking off. I’ve got those, some basil and several spinach seedlings under my lights. I think in a couple of weeks I’ll transplant that spinach into bigger pots and put them outside. Im getting the itch to be outdoors with my hands in the dirt but I’ll just have to be patient, work my asparagus bed, turn my shredded leaves and concentrate on what I’ve got going on inside. I’ll start my tomatoes and peppers when the spinach goes outside. I’ve had all of my seeds for a few weeks and have been planning, waiting and going to my paying job until the time is right to plant. I’ve also started my worm bin again this year after 5 years, so that just fuels my bug big time! It’s a pleasant morning so I’m enjoy my coffee while sitting on my patio listening to the birds and look! A robin!

  • HU-422368488

    Eastern OK has been pretty wet since the 1st of the year . SE OK is even worse.

    I'll be glad to give you some of my rain. So would Dawn.

    okmulgee boy

  • dbarron

    And NW Arkansas (for more than a year)...you may have at least half my rain..willingly.

  • OklaMoni

    Oh my gosh, Nancy... I just fb messaged you...

    put some thin fabric, or panty hose over the end of the vacuums hose, and see about sucking those seeds up. Have a small bowl within reach, you can hold the end over, before turning the vacuum off. That should drop your seeds in to the bowl.

    Spring has sprung at my house:

    my old camera died. My new one needed the settings played with. How is this one for color?

    and what I actually planted:

    again, with the new color setting:

  • hazelinok

    The silkies are so pretty, Okmulgee boy. I've never had one of those.

    Hi Hailey. Good to see you. If I remember correctly, you and I started our asparagus crowns at the same time all those years ago (except it seems like it was just last year!). I'm sorta with you regarding tomato and pepper seeds. I want to clear off the light shelf of the greens and then use that space for tomatoes and peppers. Everything else is sown directly in the garden. I had planned on buying all new lights for our shelves, but I'm going to hold off on that this year.

    If you have time to come back and update us on your worm bin, that would be wonderful. I saw a worm bin set up for sale on FB Market and it was tempting.

    Speaking of basil, I sure would like to find a single plant of a variegated basil I had last year. It didn't flower, which was good for culinary reason. That way I could let the other basil flower for the bees.

    I saw a yellow butterfly or moth yesterday.

    We are off to buy some fencing to finish up the chicken yard.

  • HU-422368488

    Spring has sprung at my house:

    Moni, I have those too in my yard. The purple flowered things. I call them "early spring weeds".

    I think they are actually clover.

    okmulgee boy

  • dbarron

    okmulgee boy, henbit

  • OklaMoni

    Yup, henbit... but my girls always called them purple flowers and didn't want me to mow them. They would make flower bouquets for me with them and dandelions. :)

  • haileybub(7a)

    Where I live, the “small town” of Enid, it’s harder to find the things I need unless I order them or pick them up whenever I make it to Tulsa, which hasn’t been that often! I did find some sprouting seeds at a store in Tulsa a couple of years ago so stocked up. The only store that I could find them here stopped carnying them due to lack of interest, imagine that. I found those same seed brand, High Mowing, so ordered some from there with some other seeds and got free shipping, which takes some sting out. I splurged this year and ordered an actual pre-made bin for worms, Worm Factory 360, should be easier to harvest that vermicompost than it was with my other homemade bin. I’ve never seen a worm bin on our FB market place! The best stuff is always too far for me to even drive to make it worth it. My bin is all ready for the new occupants which are expected Wednesday!

    Hazel, yes! We planted asparagus at the same time, gosh, a few years ago. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, though. Come March, I’ll have that bed all nice and pretty and fertilized ready for a nice harvest. Dawn, did you ever rid yourself of your asparagus? I plan on direct sowing my cukes and okra but all else will be started inside.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    dbarron, I hate the forecast. It was bad enough that they have rain in it for a couple of days this week, but today Sunday popped up with rain in its forecast too. I'd sure love a whole week with no rain and it isn't going to happen.

    So, paying attention to international news....like Africa's locust plague, I don't know which of the current worldwide plagues would be the lesser of two evils...flooding.....a plague of locusts....the swine flu....avian flu....the Covid-19 coronavirus? Which one? Can't we all just stay home and have no plagues visit us there? Well, the rain probably isn't going away, so there's that.

    I opened the front door around 9 pm last night to let a cat come inside and a flock of moths that were hanging around the front porch light flew into the house. I was not a happy camper. Moths belong outdoors, not indoors flying around madly bumping into walls and lamps.

    Moni, I agree with you that the store employees don't know anything about maintaining the BP plants, nor do they care. The way it is supposed to work nowadays is that BP bears all the financial burden--they eat the cost for any of their plants that die or don't sell, so the Wal-mart, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. employees have no specific motivation to devote time to caring for those plants. It is a shame that it is this way. Those big crates of bundled onions only look good the first week after they arrive in the stores, and after that they are just a dried out mess.

    Thanks for sharing the hellebore photos. They look so awesome!

    Rebecca, Maybe that is what it is. Last year was so miserable and so much of what I managed to plant despite the rain just did so awful in terms of drowning and also suffering from fungal diseases, so maybe my gardener's intuition remembers that and doesn't want me to get in a big hurry this year especially since we are so much wetter this year than we were at the same time last year. What if it just keeps raining? (sigh) I remain 100% unmotivated to do anything at all that relates to gardening. I keep trying to get excited about it and just can't. Of course, keep in mind that this is supposed to be the year I am 100% focused on redoing the landscape, which remains muddy and somewhat under water, and the front garden is supposed to be mostly flowers. It was going to be all flowers, but I feel the need to grow some greens, beans and melons at least, and it is too early for all those. It is too early for tomato and pepper plants in pots. I may wake up one morning and suddenly have the thought in my mind that "it is time" but so far, I am stuck someplace else, mind-wise. I looked at the muddy yard today and wondered if it might be dry enough by the weekend to rent a sod cutter and remove sod, but I don't think it will be, especially with rain in the forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Hmmm. Renting a sod cutter this week seems like a no-go. Maybe next week. Or, maybe the plan to remove the sod just keeps getting pushed out further and further into the future, which will drive me completely out of my mind. Tim has work-related travel trips in March and April so will be gone a substantial amount of the time that I'd hoped we'd be working on the yard so we could plant before the heat sets in, and I wanted to make up for that by getting work done in February, but the rain is completely killing those plans.

    It would be odd to be on the receiving end of tomato plants! I actually started those seeds today, so the plants should be ready in plenty of time, and if they aren't...my son has a gazillion three week old tomato plants on his light shelf that he is busily potting up, and he's already offering them to me. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. (grin) Y'all know if I saw a real tomato plant in a store tomorrow (not that I currently have any plans to go to a store tomorrow, but if....), I'd buy it and bring it home, pot it up in a medium sized pot and carry it indoors every evening and outdoors on every warm morning. Maybe that would give me garden fever.

    I wonder what bit you? I've seen fire ants, gnats, moths, bees, and butterflies out, but nothing has bitten me. Well, except on my left hand I have a semi-circle of small bites...six of them....that I noticed about 3 days ago and I have no idea where those came from, so who knows? You'd think if one thing bit me six times, or six little critters bit me one time each, I would have noticed it.

    Okmulgeeboy, It is beyond frustrating! The ultimate irony is that usually we are much too hot and much too dry and dealing with drought constantly and also with non-stop grasshoppers, so it is odd to have to deal with multiple back-to-back rainy years ever since 2015. I prefer being too dry to too wet, but we don't seem to have much of that weather in recent years. Well, July and August are almost always too dry, but in drought years we're often too dry in spring. It is hard now to remember the last time spring was too dry, but I'm guessing it was 2014. When I was reading about the plague of locusts (which, biologically start out as grasshoppers before they morph into their locust form), I noticed that they are the worst in normally hot dry countries that have had two back to back rainy years. Ooops. We need to be thinking about that and whether it could happen here.

    Larry, That was my potato and onion experience last year, though I did salvage part of the onion crop. It was very wet and those onions did not store as long or as well as usual, but I was just happy to get any usable onions at all.

    Thank you for recognizing the brilliance of my floating garden plan. We gardeners have to salvage what we can from each growing season and if my plants float away, it is nice to think they might help someone else along the way. ; )

    Jennifer, I hope Sunshine was not taken. Did you not see any feathers anywhere? When we lose a chicken to a varmint, they normally lose a few feathers in the struggle to get away from whatever predator has grabbed them. One of the feral cats (the mama who had her babies underneath our pickup truck last summer) hasn't been around for several weeks now, though 2 of her 3 babies still come around, and I'm wondering if something like a coyote got her.

    Haileybub, If there is one regret that I have with regards to moving to a very rural locale it is precisely what you said about it being so much harder to find the things we need. It is such a long drive. In the beginning I thought nothing of driving back to Fort Worth to go to all my favorite nurseries and gardening supply stores, but that was 22 years ago...and things change over time. Most of those gardening supply stores are gone and so are almost all of the smaller, independent nurseries, which just breaks my heart. Nowadays, about the farthest south I go is Southlake, to visit Mike's Garden Center, and that's just a side trip when we are going to the nearby Costco, so it isn't a special trip to get a certain thing...just more of a 'while we're here I want to stop at Mike's and get _____ " sort of thing. I said something to my son the other day about how the stores in the DFW metro get plants earlier than we do up here, as they should since they are 80-90 miles south of us, and that set off ideas in his head. Since he is a firefighter at DFW Airport, and his shift ends at 7 a.m., he can just hit some of the big box stores on his way home, and by the time he is through with them, the nurseries and garden centers will be opening up. He was gleefully planning to stop in at those stores sometime soon, perhaps this week, to see what they have. I don't blame him, though, since he is already down there and his commute is such a long one....from the airport to Ardmore. He is only 10-15 minutes away from a Lowe's in Ardmore, and he pops in there with a frequency that makes my head spin. I haven't lived close to anything in so long that I cannot imagine stopping by a store like that a few times a week. On the bright side, if I want to know what the Lowe's has in stock without driving 30 miles to find out, I can just ask my son and he knows everything they have....plants, seeds, supplies, whatever.

    Despite my best efforts to get rid of our asparagus by cutting it back relentlessly, it is still here. I guess I did such a great job of planting it all those years ago that it is very happy, healthy and resilient, and apparently impossible to kill. Last year I sowed seeds of cleome, cosmos, celosia spicata and a couple of other flowers around it, and let them all slug it out for space. The flowers did great, but the asparagus did too. So, now it is a mixed bed of reseeding flowers and asparagus. May the best plant win!

    Jennifer, Chris and Jana got a worm bin maybe 6 or 8 weeks ago and just love it. They are totally fascinated with the whole process and Chris goes on and on talking about it endlessly. He loves it. He thinks I need one. I tell him my soil and my compost pile are full of worms doing their thing and that I don't want to have to take care of one more thing indoors, so I'm perfectly happy to have the worms taking care of themselves outdoors. He is having a fungus gnat problem that he thinks began with his bin, so he ordered some indoor carnivorous plants to eat the gnats. Personally, I think he was just looking for a reason to buy more plants....something all of us know a lot about....buying more plants for any reason we can cook up.

    okkmulgeeboy, I agree with dbarron and moni---henbit. It is one of my favorite weeds because it provides food for the early bees and butterflies. We have it everywhere, including in the garden, where I like to pretend I planted it on purpose even though I did not. A decade or so further back, all of our neighbors would kill it with a weedkiller, but they seem to have come over to the dark side with me and now leave it for the bees and other little flying critters and I am so glad. We are not in a suburban setting, obviously, but some people like to maintain their front yard as if we are, so it gladdens my heart to see some of those chemically-maintained and well-manicured green carpets that feed nothing being allowed to gradually slip and slide their way quietly and subtly into a more natural state that provides pollen and nectar for some of God's little creatures.

    Yesterday we hit a glorious 73 degrees at home and it was even hotter down in the DFW metro where we made the Costco-Sam's Club run. We now are well-stocked on all supplies and food and won't have to make that trip again for a while. It was so warm down there....76 or 77, and the trees are really waking up big time. I saw a lot of daffodils too, but we already have those busting out all over around here as well, as are our trees. This morning while feeding the chickens I noticed the sand plums are getting too close to blooming too quickly. I hope the colder weather that comes as the cold front moves in or through here tonight will slow them down a bit. We are currently 74 degrees here now and have a semi truck loaded with hay bales on fire in Thackerville. I hope the firefighters are doing well down there with that mess. They paged our VFD to come help them, but almost all our guys work in other cities and aren't home during the standard workday hours, so we didn't have anyone here to go help with that fire. The winter fire season has been pretty quiet so far, which is one good thing about all the rain that keeps falling.

    The dogs and cats have been in and out today, and their big complaint is that it is too hot. They come in and flop down on the floor like they are dying from the heat. Then they get up and wearily drag themselves to the water dish to drink, as if they are dying of thirst. (They have bowls of water on all the porches, not to mention lovely puddles everywhere outdoors.) I remind them that it only seems hot compared to what February is like on the cooler, more normal days, and that 70-whatever degrees is not hot at all.

    By May, we'll be wishing for 70 degree days to come back again.


  • farmgardener

    I have lots of henbit blooming- even saw a couple of honeybees on it yesterday. I have this weed/plant on and around all my raised beds. Can anyone identify it please?

  • hazelinok

    Hey everyone. We got the east side of the chicken yard finished today and part of the west. I think it looks nice...well, it looks better.

    The weather wasn't wonderful. It was cool and cloudy, but at least it wasn't cold and rainy. A few times the sun peeked out.

    Dawn, pretty sure Sunshine was taken. She is gone. Such. A. Bummer. As I went to bring in some clumps of dirt (from where I dug the Bermuda/weeds/etc behind the shop) that was filling in a low spot on our property (to level out some areas in the chicken yard), I noticed either dog or coyote paw prints. Our dogs haven't been back there. I did not see any feathers. I just hate that she was probably scared. Hopefully it all went quickly. I felt even worse when Peggy disappeared. She was my favorite chicken.

    I started zinnia and coleus seed tonight.

    Our dogs got to spend the day outdoors. We aren't muddy really, but there are areas that are squishy.

    I ran out of time to clean out the greens bed.

    Here are the sprouts.

    Sunshine is the bigger Easter Egger. Baby is the bantam. Y’all prob saw this pic on FB a couple of weeks ago.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Just went on another mini-binge while looking for lemon basil. . . too late, Moni! :) Ended up with

    My latest shopping bingelet:

    Basil 'Lime',

    Basil, Lemon

    Broccoli 'Di Ciccio'

    Cucumber Mexican Sour Gherkin (Melothria scabra)

    Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa)

    Liatris aspera (Rough Blazingstar)

    Tomato 'Cherokee Green'

    Sunflowers, all sorts Georgia Collards

    Crimson Giant Radish

    Cherokee Purple Heart

    Most of these are for the Lincoln School. I know the little kids will go nuts over the cucamelons and ground cherries.

  • HU-939938193

    Jennifer I'm sorry about Sunshine . It hurts I know when you get attached to any animal and something happens .

    Your sprouts are looking good. Broccoli sprouts should do good as well. You need any help let me know.

    okmulgee boy

  • hazelinok

    Thanks, Okmulgee boy. I realize that chickens are at the bottom of the food chain and rather fragile really. They aren't normally long living pets. But you do get attached to them. I've lost 2 now to coyotes, 1 to a neighbors' dog, and 2 to illness.

    I get to be home today and am watching them through the dining room window. Their feathers are blowing! The wind must have picked up.

    Okay, so I pulled out the Creative Homeowner Home Landscaping Texas "plus Oklahoma" (in smaller print--rude!) book. Mine is the 2004 printing.

    Dawn, and any others who might have this same book (We talked about it a few months ago), if you have a chance look at pages 60 and 61. I never really noticed these pages, but picked up the book this morning and it fell open to these pages. This! This is sort of what I want in the middle of (what I'm calling) our backyard. Less of a Figure 8 though, and more of an oval.

    Here's the plants. I know the chaste tree is out of favor because it's not a native...and perhaps these others aren't either. I don't know. BUT, if someone has a native alternative, please share. I will keep the chaste tree because I've wanted one for awhile, it's doubled its size in a year and the bees and butterflies love it.

    1. Goldstar esperanza

    2. Belinda's Dream rose

    3. Mexican bush sage

    4. Gaura

    5. Confetti lantana (doesn't this get huge?!)

    6. Goldsturm black-eyed Susan

    7. Fire King yarrow

    8. Homestead Purple verbena

    9. Nircissus

    Any thoughts?

    The thing I noticed is that this design doesn't leave an area to prune the chaste vitex.

    Okmulgee boy, I'll start the broccoli sprouts when I get the seeds and let you know how they're doing.

    My FB shared a memory of last year today. I was just starting my first seeds: greens and flower.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Years ago, right after we moved here, we saw snakes in the water in the ditch. (Owasso has a network of drainage ditches that once looked like nice creeks and now look like ditches...but that's another story). We had a toddler then, and I wasn't thrilled with snakes that close. Someone told Ron geese would kill snakes. So he got a pair. They eventually hatched a couple of broods and some years later after loosing the originals, we were left with one goose. One night we heard her squawk, which was not all that unusual and the next day she was gone. No feathers. She was too heavy for an owl to carry off without a fight. I believe she was taken by urban 2 legged hunters. To be honest, I don't miss my chickens, they were a pain in my behind. They WERE amusing. I do miss those lovely eggs.

    We had the grandsons this weekend and they were in rare form. I am reminded of something I read when my kids were little. The only thing worse than the terrible twos is the terrible two and a halfs. Being in daycare, he's picked up some bad habits like pinching. They went outside and immediately played in water. Couldn't go to the park because their clothes and coats were wet. I had pants to fit the little one, but only shorts for the older one. They either bickered all day or jointly got in to things they shouldn't. Went to Bartlesville Sunday. I was worn out Monday. Worked on my spread sheet. Trying to wrap my brain around this years planting. I'm not getting there.

    Nancy, did you really get lemon broccoli or did the basil part go to internet limbo?

    I chuckle about your Enid comments. I went to college there almost 50 years ago.

    How do you know when a grasshopper becomes a locust? They look like big grasshoppers.

    There was something else I wanted to comment on, but I can't find it. Didn't sleep well last night and brain is not functioning.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    Jennifer, I am sorry about Sunshine, The picture of her looks a lot like a pet chicken I had when I was a child. We never had any luck with our chickens because of so many predators. We never had a good chicken pen, but did have a secure hen house. The chickens would free range in the day and many did not live long.

    We are getting more rain. I don't see how I can ever get anything planted and expect it to survive. The lawn and pasture are just mush. The fellow that rents the pasture is feeding hay on the west side of the place this year (where my house is) and the cows and the tractor are churning the soil to butter. I have been parking my tractors on the parking pad for cars because the tractors were cutting the lawn up so bad when I parked in or near the shop. When there are cows in the pasture I seldom drive out there. But I do go to the wildlife garden often, to do that I just drive down the highway to the next road and go into the wildlife garden. I was over there yesterday to plant a couple of crepe myrtle bushes and pick up a bucked of wood chips for one of Madge's flower beds. Madge had been telling me not to drive the tractors in the wildlife garden because I might get stuck, she was almost right. There are about 3 acres of the garden that I am trying to level out and I had my chip pile, compost pile, and mulch pile in a low area that was very muddy. In a lot of areas I have 4 to 8 inched of clay over shale, so I seldom bog down, I just get stuck because the clay is so slick.

    I dug up more Egyptian Walking onions to take to a lady about 9 miles away. This is the third time I have taken onions to her. These I dug up on the edge of my clay and gravel driveway. I was only able to get 1/2 to 1" of soil with then because I could not dig through the gravel, I will also pot some up out of the garden for her. If they will grow on a driveway, how in the world will they not grow in her flower bed or garden? If this times fails I think I will take her some pet rocks to care for.

    I picked some turnips and greens a few days ago, I finished them off yesterday. I think that they were the best I have ever had. I did not expect much from them because they have grown so slowly. I tried to pick the best looking, and smaller leaves because the larger leaves looked rough and weathered. Some of the turnips had dark strips through the center , but I was able to find plenty good ones, I also added some leaves from some mustard that was bolting (picked small leaves), and collards from the wildlife garden. I picked two turnips to eat raw and sit on the pack porch to eat them. Our little Yorkie could either smell me or could hear me and was crying at the back door for some of what I had to eat. We normally give him small pieces of apple to eat, so Madge got him some apple to eat, but he would not have it. He will not go out the back door without his leash, so Madge just opened the back door and he would sit at the thresh hold and whine for turnips. I tossed that little dog pieces of raw turnips till I though it would make him sick. He is the strangest dog, he even wants cowpeas when we are sitting in the living room shelling peas.

    I had better hush and get something done, Madge has family in the hospital in Ft. Smith and has gone up there the past two day and our schedule is a little messed up.

  • jlhart76

    Nancy, just make sure you plant the cucamelons somewhere you want them to grow every year. I planted 2 or 3 vines a couple years ago and they come back as thugs every year. They make a nice living mulch, and are easy to pull, though.

  • luvncannin

    Has anyone noticed that pro mix potting soil is hard to find ? I normally got it at Walmart and they do have one variety with moisture control polymer but the normal huge compressed bale vaniahed.

    any luck in Oklahoma

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I have not had any luck finding the 3.8' compressed bale the past 2 or 3 years around here. I use to use LC1 sunshine mix, but the past 2 years I have been buying the 2.8 ' bags of LP15 Pro Mix, at the Greenwood AR. Farmers co-op. I have not complained too much because the co-op will load my supplies, and I don't think I can lift a bale anymore anyway. I try to go to places that will load my vehicle. At Walmart it is hard to even find someone to check you out. I live in between some small towns and do not have a lot of choice of anything. As far as plants it seems to be Bonnie or nothing.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    I think I DO feel spring stirring in the air, Dawn! It feels good! What doesn't feel as good are all these seed packets sitting here. Guess I'd better get with it. I soaked some of the pepper seeds, and sure enough, those were up in 7 days. Good for them. Today I'm going to sow a bunch of flowers--most for the school.

    Jennifer, I'm so sorry about Sunshine! I would be just like you are if I had chickens, I know. Send us pictures of the spread on 60-61! I also have the chaste in my yard now. Oh well. haha

    I got some terrific fun suggestions for fun things to plant for the kids. If you all have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Pumpkin on a stick. That cracked me up. Now I added gourds (including an extra long loofah), Chinese red noodle bean, peanuts, Tigger melons. I AM going to try the cucamelons--I hope I'm not sorry. I'll let you know how that turns out. Have any of you grown the Cardinal basil? I think it's a new one. I had to order it.

    Larry, we don't have great shopping options near us, either. On the plus side, we don't do much shopping. Still, it is a pain for gardening purposes. How funny--your Yorkie and his taste in foods. I can't imagine a dog loving turnips! --AND the fact that he won't go out without his leash. I always wanted a Yorkie. Never got mine. And likely won't now. They are the cutest! And smart. And none of the ones I've met are yappers.

    Hmm. I've never seen Pro Mix--at our Walmart or Lowe's, Kim. Hope all is well with you.

    Amy--are you recuperated from the terrible 2s yet? Poor thing. You must have been exhausted. Haha, no lemon broccoli. Might be tasty, though.

    I think I need a worm bin, too. And for sure one at the school. Thanks for mentioning them, Dawn. Has it dried out at all for you this week?

    The grow cart is turning green with little seedlings. And now I need to go plant more seeds!

  • dbarron

    Well, seedling progress: The ornamental onions I think probably gave me close to 100% germination, I count about a dozen little blades. On the cyclamen, I can visibly see three little tubers, and probably a few more under the soil, leaves will appear soon, I uncovered them today. I *think* (but not quiet sure) that my begonia sutherlandii is showing sprouts (or it could be moss). Sweet peas germinating in less than a week after soaking.

    I have an adenium/desert rose blossom starting to open today, with the promise of a number more in the first flowering of the year. The african violets are pretty much all in bloom (earlier than usual).

    And me, I'm making lists of what I want to order next month when the bulb catalogues go live. Yes, I see things blooming and think, I need more of those.

  • hazelinok

    Well, shoot! I was hoping someone knew something about those plants I listed.

    Nancy, I'll try to take a picture of the pages tonight....but, really it's just an oval/slightly figure 8 bed with a Chaste tree in the middle and those other plants around it.

    I potted up the second 'round of lettuce. It's not much of a "up pot" though. I normally start seed in the peat pellets and them move them to a paper cup with potting soil. And that's what I did tonight. I'll probably start another round soon. Maybe just directly in the garden, though. Pepper seed starting on Monday and tomato seed starting the following Monday. That's the plan. How is it over half-way through February?! It was just Christmas!

    I'll order the onions on Friday afternoon and have them delivered at the end of the month. I'm going to order from Dixondale instead of buying them locally because I want to order some of Dixondale's fertilizer. I'm sick of buying onions because mine failed last year.

    Nancy, the school does need a worm bin!

    So, the little banty rooster hasn't been roosting in the coop. He's been sitting at the top of the wall of the pen. I've mentioned that. However, tonight I went out to close their little door and he was roosting on TOP of the SHOP. I had to get ladder. Why is he doing this?

    That's all.

  • OklaMoni

    My sprouts set up earlier today, before the jar on the right got a solid lid and was moved to the fridge.

    So, I am starting some radish kind overnight.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jennifer, When we have poultry do that, it usually is because there is something coming into their coop that frightens them. It could be almost anything. Here's a list of various varmints that have infiltrated our coop when the door is open during the day and the poultry are out (and sometimes these varmints stick around and try to spend the night in there): ring-tailed cats, coons, weasels, skunks, possums, a bobcat, domestic cats (ours and others), dogs (other people's, not ours, because ours are fenced into their dog yard), snakes, snakes, snakes, snakes, snakes, squirrels, mice, rats, doves (they sneak inside to eat) and, once upon a time, an owl who flew down through the greenhouse panel installed as a skylight, breaking it and his wing at the same time. We have had both hawks and owls perch on top of the coop, and perhaps a bold rooster would challenge them by flying up there to sit as a sort of territorial thing, but mine never have...they scurry indoors and hide.

    I was hoping maybe Sunshine had shown up. I am sorry something got her. Now, watch your other chickens carefully because a wild animal that finds an easy meal often comes back every week or two looking for more. You might try putting something in the area where you found the dog or coyote tracks....sometimes the scent of human hair will repel a wild animal. Or human urine...or predator urine, which you can buy online. Wolf urine probably would repel dogs or coyotes but it is really pricey.

    I like that design, and I am not someone who thinks all plants must be native. I'd keep the chaste tree anyway, even if pruning it was a challenge. Some need more pruning than others and I almost never prune mine, other than cutting off dead flower heads before the tree begins leafing out in the Spring. Confetti can get big, but it doesn't always....depends on how hard it freezes back to the ground. Esperanza is one of my favorite plants, but is only marginally cold-hardy here, if cold-hardy at all. I have several of them that I planted in the ground last year, and they did so well. If they don't come back this year, I'll likely grow them in large pots this year and break down and buy a propane heater for the greenhouse so I can overwinter them in there. For almost all the plants on that list, I have trouble with them in clay (except the Chaste Tree, yarrow and narcissus), so be sure you amend the soil really well for great drainage or they'll perish in a cold, wet winter.

    Amy, When grasshoppers become locusts, they flock together in gigantic hordes and fly together, stripping vegetation as they go. On the rare occasion they exhibit that behavior here, I think of them as X number of grasshoppers/locusts per square yard----maybe 15 or 20 per square yard. In Africa, where they often have desert locusts instead of migratory locusts, I believe they can get them (and therefore, describe them) in the millions per square kilometer---maybe 100-150 million per square kilometer. I've seen photos of them there this year and cannot believe my eyes. Often, here in OK, you will have grasshoppers around but not necessarily doing great damage, and then one day they abruptly fly in and start stripping everything down to bare stems. Thankfully, this does not occur very frequently.

    You'll see several changes in the grasshoppers when they become locusts, but it varies depending on the species. Migratory locusts will develop a sleeker, more aerodynamic head shape to facilitate more efficient flight. Their wings enlarge somewhat compared to grasshoppers, and many species (maybe not all) exhibit some sort of color change in their body. Often they change from yellow green to black, but I've heard that in some parts of Africa this year, the desert locusts have taken on a pinkish hue. The only ones I've seen in photos this year, still looked yellowish-green to me, so perhaps they abound in all standard grasshopper colors. Grasshoppers remain more solitary, but locusts flock together, travel together, feed together, etc. Grasshoppers seem to be pickier about where they'll eat---although the ones I see here are equal-opportunity feeders and will feed on grassland/rangeland and gardens/farmland alike. However, they mostly seem to prefer grassland and rangeland until it dries up, and then then flock to irrigated gardens and farmland. And that's about all I know. I do know that in Africa, they sometimes can kill them with extremely strong pesticides that are quite dangerous to use, so people are supposed to remain indoors a full 24 hours after whoever (perhaps government officials?) sprays for the locusts. Really, though, there's so many that they generally cannot get rid of them all by spraying, so why poison the ecosystem? They are the worst after a rainy year or two encourages tons of reproduction.....particularly if a dry year then occurs and sends them traveling long distances to find food. They flock together to protect themselves from predators like birds, and a strong flock of locusts can travel over 800 miles a day, eating (if they choose) everything in their path.

    Larry, Your mushy nightmare is mine as well, although I will say that most of the big surface puddles had dried up by this afternoon, with only a few in the back pasture and about a half dozen in the driveway. If tonight's/tomorrow's rain would miss us, I'd be ever so grateful. That's not to say our soil is not wet beneath the surface, because it surely is, but at the present time, if I am careful, I can walk across the yard on higher spots and not sink into the mud, which feels like progress. Poor progress, but I'll take anything.

    The fire trucks that got stuck in the mud at the grass fire are a warning to all of us because we have a firefighter funeral on Friday, and there will be a large procession of fire trucks from the church to the cemetery. I hope whoever is parking us once we reach the cemetery remembers we need to stay on pavement....because all the roads in our little country cemetery are gravel or dirt tracks, and the last thing we need is for a bunch of fire trucks to bog down in the wet little roads in the middle of all those graves. Since the ground near town already is so wet, any rain we get between now and then will just make it worse.

    Kim, I haven't seen Pro-Mix anywhere close to me in over a decade. The last time I saw it, it was at Mike's Garden Center in Southlake. You might call them and ask them if they have it this year.

    Nancy, Cardinal basil is not that new....maybe 10 or 15 years old? It grows just fine here.

    dbarron, If you don't want more plants, then you aren't really a gardener, right? I want every plant I see in the spring time, and it is enormously hard to rein in my wants and try to focus on needs that fill specific holes in the planting scheme.

    Yesterday was nice and warm, albeit very windy which then made it feel cooler than it was, and today was mostly cloudy and cool. Bah humbug. You could literally fill the humidity and rain moving north from Texas. A fly came into the house today. Why are flies out in February? It is only one fly but I was not happy to see it.

    Since I'm doing no gardening here in the wetland we call home, I talked to Chris. He was shoveling up all that soil into one wheelbarrow load after another today, and the soil mix still is fairly wet and heavy, but he is trying to get it into the raised beds before more rain comes. That is a lot of hard work. He already had filled the bottom portions of his new raised beds with a mixture of chopped/shredded autumn leaves and Black Kow cow manure, so he's on the right track. He even did a jar soil test of his purchased soil in order to gauge how much of it was clay, sand, silt and/or organic matter, and he was thrilled that there was literally no clay, about 60% sand and the rest either organic matter or silt. At least he is starting off with a pretty good mix, though I know he intends to add a lot of organic matter, and to mulch well once everything is up and growing. So far, his gardening season is going better than mine. He does have to be careful as his yard is elevated 6' to 8' above the sidewalk level, held back by an old retaining wall he needs to replace. He has to be religious about mulching, or his soil will wash away, and in heavy rains, he already has had some issues with the mulch washing away. We've been so wet for so long that it is easy to forget that very dry weather would bring its own challenges as well.

    Another gardening catalog came today and I could look at it happily and joyfully because it does not contain seeds or plants to temp me. It is the Kinsman Company catalog, and basically features everything else....tools, containers of all kinds including hayrack planters, bird houses, trellises, arches, arbors, and tons of decorative items.


  • dbarron

    Hee Dawn, you seem to be implying subtly that you've had snakes in the chickens once or twice. I'm glad you haven't bogged down to the knees in the yard and are still able to communicate with us.

    I got a listing from Miles2Go cactii company in NM, and I admit, I did look at the 'new' listings...but I convinced myself that my cactii accquisitions of last year were sufficient to tide me over for at least another year (having lost 1 and 1/2 of the ten or so I bought last year...1/2 because it's possible the offsets will live while the mother plants dies).

    Well, today brings me to another 17F morning (tomorrow/tonight), when I have to bring 7 pots inside because I don't want them exposed to lower than 25F (in pots). I keep hoping every time is the last..the long range forecast keeps saying it is the last...then it changes. I hope Spring stays this time.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Vermicomposting. I was napping while watching You Tube videos on it. I'd wake up every now and then to see his week 1, 2 and 3. Then woke up this morning about 5:30 after dreaming about transplanting flowers/herbs out in the beds. And of course I had way too many plants and nowhere to put them. That sounds about right, huh. So when I got up this morning, had I learned anything from my dream? No. I planted a flat of half petunias and half cleome (although they ARE, at least, mostly for the school).

    Hellebores are something I was going to get every year. And just kept putting it off. So many plants, so little time. I bet they'd do great here, though. I would love to have a succulent and cactus collection but have nowhere to keep them during the winter. We do have the cholla that we started a couple years ago. And our yuccas that keep multiplying.

    HJ, Confetti lantana might not overwinter here. I have two Miss Huff, however, that are enormous--like 5x5x5 feet. I tried growing gaura, but apparently it wasn't sunny enough for them. I had some Fire King yarrow, but Garry accidentally took it out with his weed eater. But it didn't get enough sun, either. I have the Homestead Purple verbena stratifying in the fridge. And that's it for your list and me. :)

    I have a bunch of greens to get in the beds in the next week or so. I am anxious to see the onions from Dixondale to show up, and the potatoes. I went ahead and bought some potatoes at Walmart, because I think the others I ordered are going to be shipped later than I wanted. I chitted the Walmart ones this morning.

    Weather here. . . looks like a couple more days in the next 10 that will be at or below freezing. Today is quite chilly--but at least we didn't have rain this past week. The grow cart is beginning to fill up--and I still have many flowers to plant. In fact just found a gallon baggie of them--out in the garage where they could be cool. Yikes.

    Take care, everyone!

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I went over this morning to check my wildlife garden. The ground was still frozen so walking was easy, just had to take it slow. There was not a lot of stuff coming up, and I did not recognize what was. I was surprised at the amount of deer tracks that I saw. I did not have enough time to get all the cover crop in last fall, but I guess the deer are happy to have what I did get planted.

    I have been happy with the Barkant ( forage) turnips that I have been planting. I also think that I am going to be happy with the forage collards also, they may be a hybrid , so time will tell on them because I want something that will reseed itself.

    I also was out looking for a place to plant my onions. The soil is too wet to work and I dont want to plant them by just sticking them in very wet soil like I did last year, and lost almost all of them.

    I got a 72 cell flat of seeds plant and ready for the light shelf last night. Some of the seed were so small that they may be planted in the carpet. I have never grown Arugula, Mesclun, lemon basil, Ashe county pimento, orange mini bells or roselle before, I also planted Poblano seeds ( grown before) in the flat. It may be a little early for some of this stuff, but if it does not quit raining I will have to plant them in boats like Dawn. The lawn has been so wet That I have not worked on my potting shed in ages, I may turn it into a covered boat dock. With the ground freezing and thawing, along with rain every few days I will have slush for a long time.

  • hazelinok

    Larry, I think you'll like Ashe County pimento. Nancy introduced me to that one a couple of years ago. It's one of my favs now. And my arugula reseed constantly. I've had it in the "greens" bed all winter even in the very cold temperatures (like last night. It got to 17!). It adds a nice spicy bite to a salad, if you enjoy salads.

    I am hoping to put my first group of greens in the garden next weekend.

    Onions are ordered. I bought the intermediate day "sampler" and Red Creole. Hoping for a better onion year.

    All the little zinnias have sprouted. Still waiting on the coleus to sprout. The seed is so tiny, I'm worried that I "missed" the peat pellets.

    Nancy, my Mom's lantana gets huge, like yours. She brought me a piece of it last year and it bloomed. I made it its own 5'x8' bed! haha! I'm hoping it comes back. Hers does, so it should.

    Moni, I have those same sprouting jar lids!

    Totally Tomatoes and one other catalog (can't recall which one right now) resent. haha. I didn't order anything from them, so they probably thought I didn't receive the first one.

    Dawn, it's an interesting situation with our little rooster (he's technically still a cockerel). After he got kicked (or whatever happened), he hasn't been the same. Before that incident, he would actually crow, along with Jean Luc Picard, in the mornings. AFTER the incident, I kept him separate for 5 or 6 days to heal and he's been weird ever since. Maybe he has brain damage? Maybe he is staying out of the coop because it's Jean Luc's flock and he doesn't have his own hens. Maybe...he's being protective (but I don't think so). Sometimes, although rarely, Jean Luc will try to sleep in the pen (on an old log that's in the pen) instead of going indoors. I've wondered if he's sensed something...and is staying out to protect the girls. Although, they are tightly closed up in the coop. Who knows really.

    This has been the weirdest week. It doesn't seem like Friday. Maybe because I didn't work today. I stayed at my Mom's last night because I had a procedure very early this morning and needed a driver...so that's strange too. Although I enjoyed sleeping in the cozy guest room a LOT.

    I wanted Tom to stay home and do animal care and go into work a little late. Ethan could have done it, I guess, and Tom could have driven me....but I feel like it was better this way. Anyway...my days are all mixed up and honestly have been since our snow days.

    NOT looking forward to the rain that is coming in on Sunday.

  • HU-939938193

    Well , I went to the feedstore and loaded up on Dixondale onions. Got some of almost every variety they had. Also got a bundle of leeks and some shallots . I'll see how my ground is tomorrow when I get out there..I don't think it rained there this week so I might have a chance at starting up the tiller and try to air out the ground enough to try to get some onions in the ground.I've got the onion space well manured at least so I don't have to worry about fertilizer.

    Sunday ,it's supposed to rain around 1/4 to 1/2 inch through the middle of of the state. That's

    not too bad. Better than an inch or two. Northern OK is supposed to get the heavier rain this time. They can have it with my blessing.

    I'm more concerned with the next Arctic front thing next week . How cold ? if it's just the 20's I'm not worried . My onions can take for a little while. No more teens ( or single digits) PLEASE!

    I'd like to get at least some of my onions in this weekend so I can concentrate on the potatoes next.

    Time to roll the dice. I'll report back about it Sunday morning.

    ( on every Sunday morning you must not ornery be)

    okmulgee boy

  • luvncannin

    i was so excited to find promix at Walmart in Gainesville. Bought a bag and noticed it says garden soil. Not potting soil. What is the difference?

  • OklaMoni

    garden soil is heavier

  • HU-939938193

    Jennifer, I hope your procedure went ok. I hope that anything I said didn't "complicate" you in any way. I was just thrilled that there was somebody on the forum in the same vicinity that I was in and could yack at about gardening and such . I mean it if you need any help with anything . Gardening, canning , whatever .....

    okmulgee boy

  • hazelinok

    Okmulgee boy, I'm fine. My procedure went well. Thanks! I do want to go to Ellison's Feed and Seed this weekend and see if they have any of the onion varieties I didn't buy online. I wanted to buy some of Dixondale's fertilizer, so bought a couple of bundles online while I was ordering it. It might be my imagination, but when I use their fertilizer it seems like my onions do better.

    My Saturday is sorta full, though. A funeral and a dinner thing. BUT, maybe I'll check out Ellison's in the morning.

    Do you stay in Norman during the week?

    Kim, I put garden soil in my raised beds and potting soil in my pots and containers.

  • HU-939938193

    Yes i'm in Norman during the week . I work at OU.. If you want to meet me. it can be arranged .

    When you are in Ellison;'s ask them about about that guy that buys so much plants in the spring .

    Then you you'll see what kind of guy I am. Hope you don't mind me what I am .

    okmulgee boy

  • dbarron

    So Dawn, how goes the construction of the fleet of plant boats? :) (I presume all work on ornamental beds has not resumed due to water)

  • hazelinok

    dbarron, Dawn hasn't been around much even on facebook, so I'm guessing she is still working on her fleet of tiny plant boats. Although, maybe they're working on their backyard today. I hope so! It's been a few days without rain and it looks like the rain tomorrow won't be much. *fingers crossed*

    Okmulgee boy, you should come to the spring fling this year. It's normally in April. We used to meet at Ken and Paula's house, which is in Norman, but out in the "country". Last year we met at Thunderbird and it went well, I think. Our family had relatives in for "Christmas" in April, so I didn't get to stay long. Everyone is just "normal", regular people of all ages and sorts. We're all a bit weird, of course, but you can already tell that from hanging around this forum. haha.

    We went to Ellison's this morning. That's a cool place! It sorta (not totally) reminds me of K & K before Marcums bought it. I didn't need to buy much, but picked up some strawberries to fill in my strawberry bed a bit. I also bought two more bundles of onions. They look very fresh. Thank you for mentioning them. $2.25 a bundle for Diixondale is great! That's where I'll buy all my onions next year, if they have them. They're decent sized bundles too--about 40 each, I think. I bought Texas 1015y and Texas Legend. Tom likes Texas Legend and it has done well for me. 1015y didn't do as well, but who knows why. It seems to be everyone's favorite.

    I'm trying to not do a lot of extra just because of wedding planning, but it was tempting to buy a lot. Also, with the time we do have, we need to do some maintenance, repairing, and completing of projects already in process.

    Diana progress! I've been caring for her for over a week now, but haven't been able to touch her. Pretty sure she missed me while I was at my Mom's Thursday night. She's used to me exercising in that room every night. Also, I wasn't there Friday morning. When I got home yesterday, I checked in on her. She jumped out the window sill and rubbed against my legs and allowed me to pet her. Once. lol HOWEVER, before bed, I went in to say goodnight. She rubbed against my legs, so I sat on the floor and she sat on my leg and allowed me to pet her for several minutes all while purring loudly. Maybe we'll get there. She has to learn to accept other people too...and the other cats. I'll sing Dirty Diana to her while I'm getting my clothes and stuff out of that room. She likes it, I think, although it's not the nicest song, it's probably my favorite MJ song.

    I've gotta find some new egg customers! The girls are doing great!

    Is it bad that I'm happy our dinner thing tonight got cancelled?

  • dbarron

    No, I frequently am happy when a bi-monthly event is cancelled..I'm a stay home at heart.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    I got Dixondale onion plants at Riddle in Sand Springs today. I paid $3 a bundle including tax. I am not ready to plant them though. Need to finish clearing the beds and put down compost. That will be done next weekend, I hope.

    Atwoods has metal fire pits for $40. The kind without a bottom that some people use for raised beds. I have plenty of cardboard to put down, but I’m worried about how hot they’d get. I’ve heard of a rubberized spray paint that might work on them.

    I think we we are planning on Thunderbird again this year. We all seemed to like it.

    i picked up the garden cart I bought on Facebook marketplace. Looks like a good purchase. I’ll be able to roll bags of stuff out of the back of the car, and right into it.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I wish I could get Dixondale plants here. I bought Bonnie at $3.30 w/tax. I also thought that they had the name tag attached to them. When I got home it was only planting instructions, so I have 4 bundles of ?? onions, because I just tossed them in a sack. I have no idea when I can get these onions planted. I had some cover crop mowed to make a spot for them.

    My helper came over this afternoon and I had him take soil samples of the 3 gardens and place them under roof because it is supposed to start raining again to night, and we already had enough mud to wade to get the samples. I will try to find a way to bring the samples into the house and let them dry before I mix them and send them in. I expect that this time of the year the results may be slow coming back.

    I would like to plant a spring garden, but it looks like it is going to be like last spring, last fall, and be too wet again this spring. When, and if, the ground drys out it will soon be as hard as a sidewalk.

    I would like to come to spring fling, but it would be a long drive, plus one of us tries to stay home with the dog ( which is nearly always me) if the other has to leave for a long time. The way I feel now I may be ready to retire from gardening.

  • luvncannin

    I had the day off so I mowed an area 14x20 covered in cardboard and black plastic. Hopefully I will be able to plant this area soon. My plan A and B fell thru. Where I am staying did not go as planned so on to plan C. I can do three beds 30”x 20’ and should be able to squeeze quite a bit in there. So many things have happened I would have to write a book. But I am planning and already have seeds up in the tiny hous e

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Dawn, I hope you're okay.

    dbarron, I am SO much a stay-at-homer. I get downright grumpy when I have to keep going to town. I love the little kids at the Monday volunteer school, but I hate going to town so much that every Sunday evening, I dread the next day and having to go spend 5-6 hours in town.

    Larry, I'm feeling bad that you're having weather like you're having. I hope you're feeling okay otherwise? So, is your cute little dog a stay-at-home dog? Is it because she's old (like so many of us)? It's a long day for us too; little over 2.5 hrs. We've not had the problems with rain that Dawn and you have, though we've probably had as much rain. But we aren't on clay. And we're on a slope that has just a little bit of dirt over solid rock (LOL. . . but pretty much true). So it runs off pretty good. STILL, it has been plenty damp here, too, and I haven't prayed for rain for a year. (74 inches!)

    Just saw your post Kim. I hope you'll make it to Spring Fling so you can fill us in. Thinking of you.

    I never did do any soil samples. I figured I'd go broke, so just forgot about it. I know the soil on the property is alkaline. I know it's more shade than sun. I know the tomatoes had fungus last year. I know all the milkweeds have all the #$%^& milkweed bugs, know we have more than enough Japanese beetles, way too many four o'clocks and bee balm, and the squash have SVBs. I really don't wanna know anything more bad. Ignorance is bliss for this yard and me.

    Yes, native plants are certainly my focus this year, but baby steps. I have a lot of non-natives here that provide nectar for the bugs, so plan on continuing them until, and if, I can replace them all. And I'll keep plenty of patio container plants.

    Larry, you could order onions from Dixondale online. Have your granddaughter come help you do it! :) Or tell me what you want and I'll do it for you! LOL Too funny. I just thought to step away and check FB and you were "talking" to me on FB! LOL That grow cart is a Cadillac grow cart. My bro David had plenty of play money and was a succulent and cactus freak. And plants in general, especially exotic ones. I sure do miss him. At any rate, he told me about 4 years ago that he was going to retire from growing on it, so to come and get it. I was so thrilled! He died before I got up there, but my SIL remembered and we brought it down here. Part of the reason I love using it so much is because I loved him so much.

    How big are those fire pits, Rebecca?? BTW, what are your favorite kinds of food? LOL I'm tickled pink you got a good cart! Yay!

    I knew you could do it, HJ!!! And I knew Diana could, too! Good job to both of you--and she'll probably end up being your favorite kitty in some ways.

    YES, Okmulgee boy, you need to come to Spring Fling. Just a hop, skip and jump for ya. It's a lot of fun, plus lots of plant trading. Really, Jennifer? We're weird? NOOOOOO, WE're not weird. We need emojis and Gifs here.

    I got dizzy. . . can't backtrack any further up the thread. God bless ya all!

  • jlhart76

    This week's math lesson: 1 incredibly out of shape 40 year old, plus 2 40 year olds with health issues, plus one chipdrop load equals an obscene number of wheelbarrow trips. But the beds are nicely mulched and 75% of the back yard is now covered in wood chips, which should help with the mud issue. Plus when they break down, it hopefully will improve (albeit marginally) the clay soil and allow grass or weeds to get a foothold.

    Last week was a holiday weekend so I spent 3 days hauling mulch. Then our roommate has jumped in and hauled a bunch during the week. And today Cliff & I hauled a bunch. As long as he didn't overdo it today, I'm hoping that tomorrow should knock out the biggest chunk of them.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    dbarron, The one thing I regret most about our particular location is all the wildlife from the river bottom lands that move upland onto our property in drought, searching for food....including gazillions of snakes, and they all want to eat eggs and chicks. If I never see another chicken snake, rat snake, or any other snake (copperheads are fairly common) inside the chicken coop again in my life, I'll be happy. We should have bought land on top of a big hill, not in a creek hollow in a river valley. On the other hand, our friends who built their home 2 miles away from us up on top of a hill had their house struck by lightning 10 or 12 years ago, so I guess every location has its risk...but they rarely had snakes up around the house. Of course, they didn't have chickens either. It was even worse when we had guineas. I always heard that guineas would help keep snakes away, but in our case, I think the incessant yakking of the guineas called in the snakes to come eat the keats. We killed one black rat snake one day they had eaten four half-grown keats. I never would have thought it could eat even one because they were a pretty good size, but it ate four. It does not help that my husband thinks all snakes are good snakes and would patiently relocated rat snakes and chicken snakes to some other place on our property---maybe 200 or 300 yards from the chicken coop. He didn't want to kill them. Well, they'd be back in the chicken coop before he made it back to the house and he finally had to admit defeat in that area and start killing them. One of the great snake memories is that 4 wooden eggs, placed in chicken nesting boxes to get young laying hens to actually lay eggs in the nesting boxes all disappeared. Obviously a snake swallowed them up. I guess it saw the error of its ways and regurgitated the 4 wooden eggs onto the ground, behind the Jeep's rear tires, about 25' away from the chicken coop. We had a good laugh about that.

    We hit 22 and 23 degrees for two consecutive nights, even though the days have been pretty warm. I'm so tired of the cold nights and frosts, but the fruit trees do not care and have been blooming in our neighborhood for 4 or 5 days now. Of course, it is far too early but there those blooms are. I felt really cold at 22 and 23 until I read your 17!

    Jennifer, Did he get kicked in the throat? Or the lungs? Maybe something is damaged. Or, maybe he just figured out it is better to stay quiet and fly under the radar.

    I'm glad your procedure went well and hope you are healing well.

    Kim, What Moni said....and, garden soil is meant for adding to raised beds and such, not for containers. It is too heavy to do well in containers in general, no matter what brand it is.

    dbarron, I am crossing my fingers and hoping the Sunday rain misses us, because if it does, I think I can finally get into the garden to at least clean out the raised beds beginning Monday. (This is a grandkid weekend, so no work tomorrow afternoon...). We'll see. The landscaping work "might" be able to be started, somehow, next weekend if the rain will stay away. Our soil still is too wet and heavy to rent a sod cutter, but we might be able to work on something else. If we get pretty much any rain at all between now and next weekend, I don't think we could do anything in the yard. It is just now to the point that we can walk in it without 'squishing' up the mud and leaving big footprints behind. The young dog who adopted us a few months ago likes to dig in the mud....he likes to dig in anything...so he comes in every day with a big chunk of mud dried to his nose, and I have to crack it and scrape it off his nose. He should be as tired of mud as I am. I can tell y'all that a big chunk of dried mud on a dog's nose is not a fashion statement.

    Jennifer, Since I cannot garden in any shape, form or fashion, I'm just working on other stuff, and if I stay off FB, it is amazing how productive I can be! lol.

    This is a grandchild weekend, so it has been filled so far with arts and crafts, shopping, cooking meals together, going to the park to play at the big playground, eating dinner out, "Family Movie Night" with ice cream, popcorn and videos every night, bubble baths and bath bombs for little girls, playing with the kittens, etc. Even if it wasn't so muddy, there probably wouldn't be much gardening going on because they are getting a full dose of it at home now with new beds and plants everywhere. How ironic that I am trying to give the grandkids a break from gardening....but it is because Chris has become so gardening obsessed. (grin) Lillie went to a sleepover birthday party last night and tried to learn how to use a hoverboard today, which resulted in a face-first collision into a parked car at her friend's house. That happened just before Chris picked her up and brought her here today, so we've been watching her eye swell and turn black, while making up silly stories that start out with "you should see how the other guy looks..." Of course, the drama of her accident makes her little sister wish she had gotten hurt and had a matching black eye, though I've tried to tell her that there's some things about her big sister's life that she doesn't want to copy.

    Kim, I'm sorry things are not working out as planned and hope it all ends well.

    Nancy, I'm fine. Other projects that are not garden-related are taking precedence during our aggravating rainy season, and staying off FB as much as possible gives me the time to work on them. I feel like I spend too much time on FB, so I'm trying to make a massive change there. Know what? I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. The less time I spend on FB, the less I miss it.

    I'm a stay-at-homer too and pretty much would stay home all the time if I could, but there's that pesky business of buying groceries and going to the feed store, etc., that need to be done at least occasionally. I don't dislike people, but at the same time, I'm happier at home. While we were out with the girls today, we missed a fire and, I am not going to lie, when the fire page popped up on the fire app on my phone, I glanced at it and said "yay, we're not home, can't go" which is totally the wrong attitude, but I don't care....that's how I felt. Even if we had been home, I wouldn't have gone because I am never going to take the girls to a fire as they do not belong there. The windy season approaches and I'm sure I'll spend too much time out at fires then, and the muddy ground makes it hard because you can't park/drive anywhere off paved roads or you'll get stuck, and we almost always have to get off the paved roads. I'm dreading that part of Spring, and it usually hits here in March.

    Jen, That's a lot of mulch hauling. I bet y'all all feel it in your muscles now and for the next few days. That heavy hauling is the part of gardening I really don't care for any more. I've done it all my life, and I'm getting to the point that my 60-year-old body doesn't want to do it any more. Yet, the need for heavy physical labor in the garden never really ends, so I guess I'll keep doing it for as long as I can.

    The rain largely missed us this week--only a quarter inch or so, and that has allowed for more surface drying. It all still is real wet underneath though. I think we are not quite as wet as Larry now, but cool-season planting still is questionable. I'm going to evaluate the soil in the tallest raised beds this week to see if they can dry out enough for onions. If not, there won't be any planted this year, and likely not potatoes either. I'm supposed to not plant any nightshades in the front garden this year as a form of crop rotation anyway, so I should just relax and stop feeling like I should be planting potatoes in there somewhere. I don't have hardware-cloth beds anywhere else to protect them from voles, so planting them out in the back garden is not a part of the plan either. I toyed with not having any veggies at all this year except for the peppers and tomatoes in large pots by the garage, but since we cannot do any landscaping in our mud pit of a yard, the raised beds in the front garden are looking more and more appealing now. I'm tempted to cover the whole side yard and back yard with black plastic and leave it for a year to kill the grass, but y'all know I won't because I am not that patient. I just want for the weather to cooperate for once.

    Spring is busting out all over here...random fruit trees are blooming and ornamental pears are blooming here and there. Tim said they were blooming in Sanger this past week, and we saw some around Marietta and Thackerville blooming yesterday and today. More and more wildflowers are blooming now and I see new ones almost every day. I am sure all the rain has pleased them enormously. Daffodils are in bloom everywhere as well. It certainly is too early for the fruit trees and I'm sure these nights in the 20s will kill the flowers that are in bloom and probably some of the buds that haven't opened yet. If we were only going into the upper 20s, it wouldn't be such a big thing, but we're hitting the lower 20s pretty often and blooming fruit trees cannot tolerate temperatures in the 20s without losing the flowers and fruit. I'm seeing tons and tons of gopher mounds on property all around us....next door....across the road, etc. The only reason we don't have gophers is because the cats kill them when they attempt to infiltrate our property, and somehow the gophers know that because they don't try to come into our yard very often. It must be a good gopher year, or perhaps it is the rain, because there's tons and tons of gopher mounds, and I do mean that in a bad way. I'm grateful the nights are still cold, because otherwise the snakes would be up more than they have been so far, but then, at least there would be plenty of gophers for them to eat.


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