February 2020, Week 4

Thanks to this being leap year, we get one extra gardening day this month....Saturday, February 29th. Use it wisely. (grin)

If it isn't raining all the time at your house, I'm guessing you're probably busy with planting cool-season crops, or at least preparing to plant them. I'm busy hoping the mud and puddles will dry up. Today Tim noticed that there barely is any water at all seeping from the higher ground to our south and streaming down our driveway.....for the first time in 2 or 3 months. Oh, it is still there. Don't get me wrong. The water flow though is probably only 10% of what it once was, so there is a chance the seep might dry up if we don't get a lot of rain anytime soon.

While we are having some nice, warm days every now and then, and I know winter has been pretty warm overall, we still are having some really cold (and freezing) nights. We have frost several times a week, so if there's any chance I'd be thinking of planting anything too early, between the cold nights and the frosts, it isn't going to happen this year.

A friend of mine mentioned that it is 'too late' to put out a pre-emergent weedkiller in their yard this year because all the weeds are up and growing. This is not something I worry about since most of the weeds in our yard are highly revered as early spring wildflowers that nurture the butterflies and the bees, but those comments made me stop and think. The weeds sprouting in our yards now are cool-season weeds that germinated back in the autumn, so the pre-emergent herbicides used in Spring aren't for those anyway---they are to prevent germination of warm-seaspn weeds. Now I wonder if my friend knows that and if I should mention it to him? Hmmm.

Some fruit trees already are blooming here, which I guess would aggravate me if they were our trees, but ours aren't blooming yet. The peach trees are extremely close though, and I think they'll bloom any day now. The sand plums are a bit behind them. Even the fig tree, which is one of the last trees to leaf out here, looks like it will be early this year. Rose bushes are leafing out early in the same way....so if any of you need to prune back roses or fruit trees and you're further north and yours aren't leafing out, hurry up and get that pruning done!

Garden chores? It is the same old same old winter time garden chores. Rake and use those autumn leaves as the come down. (We still have oak trees that have brown leaves clinging to them in large numbers.) Feed the compost pile. Use the finished compost if there is any. Clean out the dead annual plants from last year and get ready to plant fresh ones for this year, etc., etc. etc. Plant bare root plants now while it still is cool enough to do so. Most stores now are getting in nice shipments of containerized plants too, and some of those can go into the ground now depending on their cold hardiness.

March and its evil, cold wind approaches very soon. Really, we have had a lot of wind the past few days already. Do not forget that these cold late winter/early spring winds can burn tender vegetation.

Nobody here in my area whose gardens we routinely drive past has planted anything yet. I guess it is too wet everywhere. I was thinking that maybe people with sandier soil might be planting now, but they aren't, so their sandy soil must be as waterlogged as our clay soil.

Despite the cold wind and the wet ground, the birds are in spring mode and I love hearing them singing when I wake up every morning. The squirrels have been AWOL all winter, but have returned to the yard now. I wonder why. Surely they haven't run out of acorns and pecans as the mast crop was huge this past year. I think they just come into our yard to taunt the dogs. The deer are around a lot, scarfing up any birdseed at night that the birds don't devour during the day. Skunks are out looking for mates, and leaving behind their telltale odor .We could live without that.

What's new with all of you?


Comments (77)

  • HU-422368488

    " Once the garden gets going, you'll have to stop by and "critique" it. "

    I'd be happy to . Is it that brick house right there?

    I wouldn't mine stopping by and buying some eggs too.

    The problem is my drive by times.

    I drive the wee hours of the morning to avoid the fast heavy traffic.I leave Norman around 4am Sat morning so I can get out east by daylight. I need my daylight to work out there by. Then Sun morning I do the reverse and drive through there around daylight, sunrise (7 ish) thereabouts.

    Wouldn't want to stop by too early and have Tom shoot me.

    My dad worked in a small dairy operation about like that for over 30 years till he got too old to do it. then it sold out.

    okmulgee boy

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Raising a hand for elderberries. I've killed them the last couple of years. Is there any way to get a sand plum start?

    Dawn, maybe you and I will learn not to get big young dogs! In my defence, I fell in love with a picture and didn't realize how big her feet were. Sasquatch might knock me down one day, but the blasted cat is always under my feet.

    Moni, I'm no expert, but you've got a lot of baby aloe in that pot, and I thought you were supposed to take them out and repot them. And basil likes more water than aloe. But if they're happy, then maybe don't rock the boat.

    We have a wedding the 19th. At this point the only event planned, so we are up for spring fling.


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  • MiaOKC

    Dawn, after a woman walking her tiny dog was killed about two miles from my house here in OKC by two loose pitbulls, I've been afraid to even walk in my neighborhood with my kids. That happened when I was pregnant the last time, so close to 2.5-3 years ago now, and I just didn't feel able to defend myself and a toddler from the what-ifs. We just play in the front or back yard unless my husband is home to go out with us, or we drive a few miles to a nature park that doesn't allow pets and is staffed with rangers to walk their trails. Such city folk, LOL.

    Reading everyone's posts and progress gives me spring fever! So far that hasn't extended to any spring energy, but I've got my fingers crossed.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    Okmulgee Boy, it’s totally worth taking a Saturday off for Spring Fling. You’ll come home with more plants than you know what to do with. And it’s just like one big family.

    Any Saturday is good for me. Maybe earlier is better?

    I‘m getting more bug(?) bites. They start out looking like a mosquito bite, but they last and itch for at least a week, and develop a bruise as they heal. No clue what they are or where they’re coming from.

    I need time off work to get things done.

  • MiaOKC

    Rebecca, I killed a mosquito in my house today -_-

  • hazelinok

    Mia, we had a mean dog in our neighborhood a few years ago. I would peer down the street to see if he was put away and if he wasn't, we just ended our walk and went right back to the house. He attacked Kane while we were walking. We (and his owner) couldn't get him off Kane. Finally I had a chance to pick up Kane and threw him in a neighbor's trash can to protect him. The neighbor was able to get control of her dog at that point. It was scary.

    Sorry, Rebecca, about the bug bites. Have you ever reacted like that to any bites before?

    Amy, do you think you planted your elder cuttings too early too? The plants I bought were bigger and fuller...and they lived.

    Okmulgee boy, I'm going to call you HU from now on. Hope that's okay. And, yes, it's that brick house. Normally, I'm in Norman on Tuesday afternoons/evenings if you want to meet me outside the Pilates studio for eggs. I didn't go tonight because we had our tax appt. The Pilates studio is on main street across from the record store.

    Y'all, I'm tired tonight. I'm so relieved that the tax appt is done and over. The King Cake was good. I ate a piece of it and that's prob one of the reasons I'm so tired.

    It's time to garden. I ate the last of the green beans out of the freezer. Apparently I had beans until July 2, because that is what they were labeled. They were really good.

    Okay...I want to exercise and crash. Maybe watch the snow fall. haha.

  • HU-422368488

    OK , Works for me . I'm HU now.


  • okoutdrsman

    Lori is bringing elderberry plants @ $14 each. The only reason I’m ordering at that price is the varieties she has. Several of mine are wild unknown varieties with a couple of unknowns Chris Webster got from New Jersey or somewhere northeast.

    I bought 6 Ranch elderberries locally at $12 each, but they are 3 year old plants.

    Once I get the diversity of plants I want, I’ll have cuttings to start for myself and friends!

  • hazelinok

    Thanks, HU, I'm lazy and HU is easy to type. And it's cute too.

    Bruce, let me know how and when to pay you. My Ranch ones from 360 are surviving and they were probably 3 year old plants too. I paid $15 per/plant.

    I thought Lori was bringing cuttings, but I'm happy to pay for plants because I have had better luck with plants. I don't care the variety as long as it's not Ranch, only because I already have 3 of those. I'll take 2 plants, if that's okay.

    Kim, I didn't see your post earlier. You can grow a lot of food in a 30' x 20' spot. My main garden isn't much bigger than that.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Kim, As much as you work, and with a new grandbaby to cuddle, I am sure your gardening time is probably pretty limited anyhow. Enjoy the space you have---you really can grow a lot in that amount of space.

    Mia, I totally understand. I no longer walk our dogs, and I miss it, but our dog, Jesse, and I were attacked in my living room by a neighbor's dog a few months ago as we walked into the house upon returning from a walk. I never saw the other dog, which had been over to "visit" our place before since its owner apparently was making no attempt to keep the dog on his property. Didn't see the dog, didn't hear the dog, didn't know it was around. Never had a problem with the dog causing trouble before. Jesse and I walked up the front steps and across the porch. I unlocked the front door and we walked into the living room. I pushed the door closed (but hadn't locked it yet) and simultaneously bent over to remove Jesse's leash from his collar. Obviously I didn't have the door pushed 100% shut, but my next move would have been to straighten up from releasing Jesse from the leash, and then I would have made sure the door was firmly closed and I would have locked it, but I didn't get the chance. About the time I was unsnapping the leash from Jesse's collar, the neighbor's horrifyingly large (and previously friendly) dog pushed open the front door, ran in, grabbed Jesse by the neck and then snapped at me when I yelled at him, calling him by name and telling him to let go of Jesse. It was horrible. That unwelcome and uninvited dog did have to let go of Jesse to snap at me, so at that point Jesse ran out the front door and I closed the door so the neighbor's dog wouldn't follow him. I then got the neighbor's dog to follow me to the mudroom, where I closed him in, so I could go back out front and find Jesse. It was such a horrible mess--both Jesse and I were shaken up by that incident. It happened so quickly it was all a blur. Needless to say, I made it clear to the neighbor that I never wanted to find his dog on our property again, and to be honest, I feel the same way about that neighbor. Anyhow, Jesse loves to walk, but I just cannot do it any more, so Tim walks him now. I know if that dog, which still is known to roam around a lot (I've seen him on our property many times since then, so his owner still is not controlling him), were to attack us again, I wouldn't be able to protect Jesse and myself without shooting that dog....and Jesse might be so tangled up with the dog that I couldn't shoot. So, there, in 5000 words or less is why I no longer walk any of our dogs.

    Oh, and I hope your birthday was lovely and that your family is doing well. We used to walk Chris is his stroller every evening when he was a baby and I don't remember stray dogs being a problem in the neighborhood where we lived then. It was suburban and the animal control guy was very good, so it is likely that stray animals weren't tolerated. This was long ago, in the mid-1980s in Texas. Nowadays, it seems every other week or so you read a news story about someone in Oklahoma being attacked and/or killed, or having a pet killed, by a wandering dog or two or three, and it never ends, year after year. Personally, I think any dog that attacks anyone and harms them, including another pet, automatically should be euthanized, but that isn't how it works in this state.

    Okmulgeeboy, I used to garden hard---working in the garden from sunrise to sunset every day of the growing season, but I think all the decades of doing that have worn me out, and the last few years I am shrinking the garden smaller and smaller every year, and spending less time working in it and less time in the kitchen preserving the excess harvest. It is quite a change, because prior to that, I worked to enlarge the garden every year. lol. I guess I finally hit the point where it was big enough, and then too big, and now I'm taking it down a bit at a time trying to get it to the perfect size for me at this age and stage of my life. I have no regrets either. I loved my gardening life when I spent every minute I could in the garden, and I love it now that I spend less time in the garden. Perhaps having the grandkids around about two or three weekends a month plays a role in that as well. We have things we like to do together that do not include gardening very much at all because my grandkids are pretty young and we have tons of copperheads and timber rattlers, including in the garden, so I really prefer to just take the kids to the playground, or in summer to play in the swimming pool, or to go to the movies or out to eat or shopping---places where I know a venomous snake is not likely to get them. I always thought I'd be the grandma who had the grandkids out in the garden every day, but the plentiful snake population sure changed my mind about that. If we didn't have such a snake issue, I'd probably drag the grandkids out to the garden all the time, but at this point, it just isn't work the risk. Twice people have been bitten by copperheads on the property next door to us, and I don't want for that to happen here.

    Tonight's weather is supposed to be cold and rainy, but not much rain is expected overall, and the snow they say may mix in with the rain should be minimal if it happens at all. I don't like the cold. The wind was crazy again today, and I got messages about fire danger being high for at least a portion of each day this week, so kept my fire radio nearby. I think the higher wind speeds (March does approach, after all) are the reason for the higher fire danger. We weren't paged out to any wildfires or grass fires today, but I wanted to be sure I was paying attention and had a radio handy in case it happened.

    Jennifer, I remember Jolene, and hated that the dog got here. She did not deserve that, of course, but it happens all too often to sweet, innocent chickens. One of our neighbors finally protected his chickens by putting some sort of animal traps scattered around the perimeter of their chicken run...it was some of those leg traps that snaps on their leg. I know he caught several bobcats and coyotes that way, and believe maybe some dogs as well. He had to do something, because roaming canines/wildlife were wiping out his entire flock year after year. He lost over 100 chickens in one year. You know, he is a nice guy but when you keep losing your poultry non-stop, you hit that "no more Mr. Nice Guy" stage, and he did.

    The weather here was awful today. It was just the wind. We had sun on and off, but the wind made it all feel so much colder than it would have been without the wind. Being obsessed with my bluebonnet plants in the front pasture as I am every Spring, I stood out there and counted them after I picked up the mail at the mailbox this afternoon. I figure if I am going to walk that 300' from the house down to the road, I might as well enjoy the walk and check on the wildflowers. I do this every spring. There's lots of wildflowers in that pasture, but I only obsess over the bluebonnets because they need well-drained soil and this is an area with wicked clay, so growing bluebonnets there seems like a real achievement. I I count the plants until I hit 115 or 125 plants and then I relax and stop counting them because I know the bluebonnet area is going to look good. Well, obviously there's not that many bluebonnet plants up yet because it is only February and they normally don't bloom until April, but I saw a lot of emerging small bluebonnet plants, and several really large ones---enough that I returned to the house with all the mail in a really good mood. I counted around 45 plants, so we're well on our way. Usually they all do not emerge until April, so plenty more should be coming soon.

    The daffodils are beginning to fade now. It is hard to believe they've been blooming long enough that they are starting to finish up, and it still is February. I looked closely at the garden but didn't work out in that cold wind. A lot of plants that were greening up last week are frozen back now. It must have been those two nights when we dropped to 22 and 23 degrees that nipped them back. This is just one of those years when the garden plants seem to take one step forward and then two steps back.


  • HU-939938193

    Slick bridges and overpasses , lots of accidents around OKC area this morning.

    Take Care you all.

    HU (okmulgee boy)

  • jlhart76

    Looks like the 18th it is. As HJ said, that seems to be good for everyone. Of course things can come up between now & then.

    Down side to dog sitting is we have a yard filled with interesting scents for all the strays in our neighborhood. Case in point: we currently have a big fluffy teddy bear in our backyard. Cliff went to take the trash out this morning, went out the door with 2 of our dogs and they found a friend wandering the street. He wouldn't follow us at first, then when we sat down to have coffee he started barking at the front door. So we brought him inside & put him in the back with a bowl of food (he tried marking more than once so he must not be housetrained). I really hope someone claims him, or my husband is going to want to keep him.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    I call Jenifer aka Hazel, H/J, so now you're HU and H/J. Cute. ;)

    Dawn, did you tell us about that dog attack? Did I miss it? I believe I would have called the sherIff. There must be some legal thing that can be done. It needs to be the owner who is punished.

    Jen, I've had long house trained male dogs come into my house and mark my flipping couch. That's why my dogs are female. They just squat when they get excited. The things we put up with to have pets.

    My elderberries died mostly from neglect. Some I put in water to root, and they didn't. Some were planted the year my mom died and didn't get watered. I had one that was about 3 years old that got too dry. Too much going on.

    I pulled seeds out of the drawers yesterday. I removed the tomato seeds that were old or I won't ever grow. Some of these are from 2015. Do you think they would sprout or should I toss them instead of giving them away? Now I have mostly empty drawers and a box full of seeds. Sigh, there must be a better way.

  • okoutdrsman

    Jennifer, Lori is coming to the seed swap at Prairie Wind on the 5th. I can pay her and then babysit then until the 18th, or?

    Amy, if you want some, I can do the same thing? She has several varieties I can get the info on?

    Or If a person wants, she can invoice the plants and you can pay her directly? I can still get them from her and hang onto them until SF.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Bruce! Could you please get two for us, also? I'll be happy to pay her directly. I just messaged her. I was happily thinking I didn't need any. But just now remembered I wanted to get some for the school. Thanks much.

    The weather HERE has been awful today, too, Dawn. It's 39 and windy here. My onions got here, but don't have the fertilizer. But this weekend it should be perfect gardening weather, so I'll have the fertilizer by then and can get them planted.

    That is funny. HU HJ and I often think of Jen as JL.

    I was so puzzled about what could be biting you, Rebecca. Could NOT think of anything.

    A year ago yesterday, my spirea was in full bloom. This year it's still thinking about it. I thought it seemed like a cooler February here this year. The jonquils are all bursting with color now.

    I think picking a date for SF this early is a great idea. That kind of determines when I'll be starting some of these seeds. Wish I'd held off on tomatoes and peppers a bit. Still. I did better than previous years.

  • hazelinok

    Bruce, I'm not friends with Lori on FB, but I'll try messaging her. Maybe she'll see it. I can pay her directly too. I would actually enjoy going to Prairie Wind next weekend, but probably can't, so would be super happy if you picked them up for me.

    HU, the roads were clear by the time I left the house at 8:30. Phew.

    Dawn, that dog attack must have shaken you because I'm pretty sure you didn't tell us about it when it happened. Frightening. Our neighbor's dog wasn't mean at all...just picked up the chicken. Sad. My own dogs would kill one, I'm sure, if they had the opportunity. And they're not mean either. Just ridiculous.

    Jen, did you find the dog's owner?

    My Dixondale order came in. They are so fresh. Saturday can't get here soon enough!! I'm thrilled that the 3 varieties in sample bundle look pretty even. There's too many, though. I'm going to plant some in my neighbors garden too.

  • HU-939938193

    Dawn , fortunately I don't have much of a venomous snake problem as you do . In my locale we have mainly water moccasins around the ponds and creeks, although I did have a pigmy rattler crawl in under one of my vehicles one time. I raked it out with a hoe and chopped it up. It struck at my hoe while doing so. It could have easlly been my hand or leg. I've read your stories about all the snakes and I can't imagine living down there by the river. Glad I don't. I get the occasional rat snake once in a while crawling in the yard in the summertime.

    I know what you mean about getting older and trying to garden . I haven't felt quite as energetic

    as I use to myself. I dread the day when I can't do it anymore. I haven't canned as much as I used to the last few years but that's mainly because of lack of produce because of these too wet years we've had ever since 2015 seems like.

    Jennifer, I would like to meet up for eggs next week at Pilates studio on main Tuesday if that's all right. Right now I'd say around 6 to 6:30 pm after I get off from work , if thats OK . How much are you selling them for?

    "Okmulgee Boy, it’s totally worth taking a Saturday off for Spring Fling. You’ll come home with more plants than you know what to do with. And it’s just like one big family."

    Rebecca , I'm sure it is. I wish I could . I would spread my love to all. But when your garden is 100 some miles away (and it's a big garden) and you only have Saturdays to work it and it's prime planting time (April) , what can you do?


  • jlhart76

    Nope, he's still hanging out with us. I was hoping it was a matter of the owner was at work and would notice when they got home, but so far nothing. Cliff will have to call animal control tomorrow. He knows we really can't keep fluffy so he's doing his best to not get attached.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    okmulgeeboy, It only was wet here this morning, though if you looked carefully you could see tiny ice or snow pellets in the water. Luckily there wasn't much of either and our roads weren't slick. I saw some photos from the Mooreland area that had a lot of snow, and I was insanely jealous.

    Jen, All of our dogs came to live with us in a similar way, except for Jersey who Chris adopted at the animal shelter on her "death day" after the Gainesville flood. He wasn't really looking for a dog like her, but when he saw the date marked on her cage, he felt like he had to adopt her and bring her home that day so she wouldn't be euthanized. We have had her and loved her dearly ever since....for 13 years now. The other three were dogs who just showed up, and you know, once you feed them, if you cannot find their owner, then they are yours forever...and that is how Ace, Princess and Jesse came to be ours. It is how Honey, Sam and Butch came to be ours, and how Honey's children, Duke, Jet and Mrs. Jeeves joined the family. All of those dogs are gone to doggy heaven now, but we loved them while they were here with us and we love them still. I've often wondered what would have become of all those dogs if we hadn't taken them in.

    Jennifer, It was a pretty traumatic incident and I haven't talked about it much. I don't think I'll ever walk our dog again. I was thisclose to picking up my handgun off the coffee table and shooting that dog, but it had my dog by the neck and I was worried about hitting my own dog. Plus, I didn't really want to fire a gun indoors, though I'd have done it if I had to. Never in my life would I have thought I'd even contemplate shooting someone's dog, but that day was scary, and I cannot get past the trauma of it all. All it takes is one person who will not control their dogs, and it ruins the neighborhood for the rest of us.

    Amy, I didn't call the sheriff, who is a personal friend. He is a fine person but he didn't write the law in OK. I know the law well as this is not the first dog issue we've had out here. There is no leash law out here in the unincorporated parts of the county and very little to nothing that you can do about a dog at large. Been there, done that, and oddly enough, the previous problem was with people who lived in the same house as this dog and his owner....thankfully, not right next door to us, but not much further than next door. The general attitude out here in the country is that a person needs to do what they need to do to protect themselves and their animals, so if a dog is a problem, you should shoot it. I've had the undersheriff stand here in my driveway in the past and tell me that---and he was right. He kinda said "I cannot tell you to do this, but if it was me...I'd shoot that dog." He made it clear that the then-sheriff never would pursue charges against someone who was protecting themselves or their property, livestock or pets from an animal-at-large. I was very frustrated at the time as those people had 30-40 dogs roaming at large. That is how folks handle it here though. If there is a problem dog whose owner won't control it, sooner or later someone else will take care of it, and not in a good way. Some irresponsible pet owners here use that knowledge against you...they tell you that if you have a problem with their animal coming onto your property, you can just shoot it....which is their way of shifting their responsibility for their own pet off their shoulders and dumping it on you. People like that shouldn't be allowed to have dogs. Lots of dogs from homes like that just disappear, and I guess we all know what happens to them, even if we don't know who did it. I don't want to go into more detail on other incidents, but other people are having trouble with this same person and/or his animals. I just hate that things are this way.

    We have lovely next door neighbors and across-the-road neighbors whom we adore and whose dogs used to come visit ours, and one of our dogs used to go visit theirs, and everyone was happy and everyone got along with never a cross word between us or our animals. Not all dogs are friendly like that though. Most neighbors here will check in with each other if a dog is roaming or missing and we try to let each other know when their dog has strayed away in case they're looking for it. Ha! We do the same thing with stray cattle, horses, goats, etc. now that I am thinking about it. The whole neighborhood chased down a very large and scary stray bull once, and it took about 8 of us, including a guy on an ATV with a cattle prod, to get that bull chased into a pasture and penned up. It wasn't in its own pasture---but at least it was off the road until its owner could come get it.

    Regarding the current problem, I've heard a couple of rumors about other people trying to hold this specific person accountable for a couple of incidents, but won't go into them because all I know is hearsay, though I am inclined to believe what I've been told. Karma wins in the end and someone who will not control their animals will be a pariah in this neighborhood. The rest of us are busy enough taking care of our own animals and maintaining control of them and we don't need to have problem animals roaming around just because their owners are irresponsible and won't maintain control of them. You know, I don't want trouble with anyone. I just want to be left alone to live in peace, so I hope this guy keeps his dogs off our property because I don't want to deal with them or him ever again.

    I've had some seeds sprout that were 10 years old, specifically tomato seeds, so it is possible. Some old seeds won't sprout. Some old seeds that won't sprout in general can be encouraged to sprout by soaking them in a water soluble fertilizer diluted as if you were going to use it to water your plants. I learned that trick from Carolyn Male, who was the queen of reviving really old tomato seeds.

    HU, I have not had many experiences with pygmy rattlers, so suspect we do not often have them here. My sole up-close-and-personal experience with one came when I was gathering leaf mold and compost in the woods in early March in one of our early years here--probably around 2005 or 06 or 07, and one came at me out of nowhere on what was a really chilly day. It was about 2" from my hand when I saw it, and I was crouched down on the ground. Y'all would have been proud of me as I instantly did a backwards somersault to get away from it, and it had been decades since I'd done a somersault at all. lol.

    I used to have a lovely lily pond between the house and the detached garage. We loved it for years and years. It was filled with water lilies and other pond plants and always was full of frogs. Well, when the horrendous drought of 2011 dried up all the creeks, all the springs, and all the ponds (and the Red River near us was reduced to a tiny trickle), a cottonmouth moved into our pond and began eating frogs. After trying repeatedly to kill it (we killed several from 2011-2014, but more kept coming), we gave up, drained the pond and filled it in. Having water moccasins in the pond right beside the pathway we walk between the house and detached garage was too risky. I really miss my lily pond.

    When we moved here, I was 40 years old and most all of our neighbors were in their 60s through 90s. The men, whom I generally refer to correctly as the old ranchers and old farmers took it upon themselves to educate this city slicker about everything from tree identification to snake identification. Whenever one of them shot a venomous snake, they'd throw it in the bed of their pick-up truck, drive over here and make me look at it. Then they'd lecture me about how deadly each one was. They scared the fool out of me! I know, too, how lucky I was to have them here sharing their knowledge with me. I quickly learned, for example, that for each snake there's a certain amount of variation in their pattern and coloring, knowledge that would serve me well when I'd encounter an atypical timber rattler, for example. By the way, I'm the only one here in the neighborhood who calls them timber rattlers. All the old farmer/rancher crowd calls them velvettails because of their black, velvety rattlers. I also learned so many important things from them, including roadkill etiquette. I never realized there was such a thing, but when a wild thing was killed in the road in front of our house, nobody would take it without checking with us to see if it was okay---they weren't going to take it if we wanted it. I assured them over and over again that I never was going to scoop up a dead snake, deer, coon, possum, etc. and make a meal out of it and that they could take whatever they found in "our" section of the road. I cannot tell you how many times one of those old guys (and some young ones too) would tell me "why, that's mighty fine eating if you know how to fix it" and I would have to tell them again and again that I didn't want it. (grin) Almost all those old guys are gone now, and we've lost them one by one for at least the last 10-12 years, and it has been hard. In a lot of ways, they were like surrogate fathers to Tim and I, and each loss hurts but I'm grateful I had them here to teach me things I needed to know. Now, when I stand and talk about gardening with some of the younger folks who've bought or inherited the homes of the old farmers and old ranchers, I realize they are the young'uns now, and Tim and I are the older ones, and that stings a little bit. It is funny how the role reversal occurred slowly over time without us even realizing it was happening. (sigh)

    Have y'all looked ahead at the weekend weather? It looks glorious! I know that Saturday is supposed to be really beautiful, and then Sunday might be a tiny bit more iffy---it will be warmer but very windy and fire danger will be high both days, so I suspect that if we're home, we'll be paged out to fires at some point. It happens pretty much every weekend as it is, and the weather hasn't been as windy as it is going to be going forward into March. I hope to be out working in the garden Sunday afternoon and I hope nothing interferes with that plan. I'd like to get some planting done before the heavy rain returns early in the week. We are almost dried out here now, at least in terms of surface mud and puddles, so I guess it didn't surprise me much tonight when the TV meteorologist said heavy rain is coming. I need to mop my floors tomorrow so I can enjoy them being shining and clean and clear and lovely for a few days until the rain and mud come back.

    All my plans for this year's gardening activity are shifting with the muddy ground and continued wet weather. I really wanted to focus almost 100% on redoing the landscape, a plan which is dead in the water for as long as the ground stays so muddy. One of the first steps has to be removing the Bermuda grass with a sod cutter, and you cannot use a sod cutter on horrendously wet ground. The veggie garden was going to be almost totally a flower garden just because I didn't want to find myself torn between trying to maintain a big vegetable garden and working on the landscape. I didn't want to get bogged down in canning a big harvest either, not if I was working on removing Bermuda grass and replacing it with new non-grassy landscaping. Since I cannot work on the landscape yet, I'm going to plant more veggies since at least the veggie has raised beds above grade level. So, maybe the plans reverse a bit and I work on the veggie garden now, and then work on the landscape whenever/however I can after the rainy season ends, if it ever ends. Who knows? One thing Oklahoma weather demands of us gardeners is that we be flexible and ready to adapt to whatever weather we're getting. I never would have thought the drought years of 2011-2014 would be followed with non-stop rainy years from 2015-2020 (so far), but that's what has happened.

    Today's wind made it feel so cold out there again, although the wind backed off really late in the afternoon and we had a good hour or two when it didn't feel so miserably chilly. It is 27 degrees here at midnight, and it already was down to 32 degrees while I was watching the 10 pm news. It doesn't seem to matter how nice the daytime is---the nights still remain awfully cold. Hopefully that will change a bit as we move into March.


  • luvncannin

    If you are near a natural grocers and your birthday is Saturday the 29th go in on the 29th with id and get a$29.00 gift card free

    for seeds of course

  • slowpoke_gardener

    It looks like today, tomorrow, and, Sat. will be the best chance I have at getting something done around here. I am going out to the south garden and tilling a strip to plant the onions in. I know the soil will be too wet to work, but, maybe I can till enough to kill the Elbon rye and winter peas. I may even leave enough cover crop to try a living mulch. I have never tried a living mulch, and don't have a lot of faith in it, a lot will depend on how the soil works, I may get happy and disc it all in.

    I would also like to work on my light shelf. It is so shaky, I have it set up on a bed in our center bedroom, and if it falls I am in trouble. It really works good, but has set out in the weather too long. I made it out of scrap lumber and did not paint it. I think I can repair it enough to get another year of two out of it.

    I would also like to build a work table to sit on the deck. I would like to build it about like a coffee table, about the height to prop my feet on and to sit garden stuff on while sit and clean it. We have a gas grill out there and never use it. I might be able to prepare some meals out there and keep from heating up the house so much. In the past I would work in the lawn and garden so much that I felt that I did not have time to cook ( Madge does not like me in the kitchen any way).

    This getting old is not as much fun as I thought it would be, but it something that you can do very quickly, and, without a lot of effort.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Larry, I grew Elbon rye in a couple of beds a few years back. We cut it about 2 inches from the dirt. I then dug holes right in the stubble and planted tomatoes. I was pleased, I didn't need mulch in that bed at all and the part we cut became mulch elsewhere. We're only talking a 4x8 bed, so this wasn't difficult. Can you mow the rye?

    I understand the lack of leash laws in your area, Dawn, but the dog came inside your house. I think the owner should be held responsible for the dog attacking you. I mean if a cow is on the road and a car hits it the cows owner is responsible, if a dog comes into your house, the owner should be responsible.

    Here's a more amusing dog walking story. This old fat lady had an old fat dog. I wanted to get into better shape for a pending trip to Disney World. So I walked the dog, down to the neighborhood park and back. There was a cat on our route who would attack the dog. I knew where it lived and crossed the street before we got there. What a pain. That was the sweetest dog we ever had and she used to play with the neighbor's cat. She slept in the hall at night where she could see all the kids doors. She was their protector, though I never saw her do anything remotely aggressive. She considered it her job to watch over any kids in the house.

    I should pm Lori, too. Maybe I can pay her by paypal. It won't be today, have to go to Bartlesville. Maybe I should put it off a year so I don't kill more defenceless elderberries.

    Y'all have a good day.

  • jlhart76

    Our younger boy used to sit on the couch in my spot all night. Finally dawned on me that he could see the front hall and back door from there. He's always been our security guard.

    Fluffy dude is now in lockup. Poor guy, I hate to do it bemut we seriously can't keep him. But I know chows don't do well in shelters, so I really hope either his people come looking or a rescue steps up. He's too smart and friendly.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Amy, I am so glad I checked back in before going to work in the garden. ( it was too cold anyway). Yes , I can mow, that is the reason I built my gardens the way I did. can drive the mower, tiller, or tractor up on the raised garden. I mowed a strip about 8 feet wide about a week ago, now I wish I had used the self-propelled mower, it is only 20" wide I will not mow the rest of the cover crop, other than trying to control the height and see if I can make it work for a living mulch.

    I ordered 25 Kiowa blackberries and 5 Ozark elderberries ( wild elderberries) for the wildlife garden, to be here early next week. The blackberries were $2.80 each, and the elderberries were $3.00 each. Shipping was $12.00, but that was cheaper than going after them. Looks like I need to be getting holes ready. The weather looks pretty good for the next few days, so I think my helper may be coming over after school. He can get the holes dug, if not I will dig them with the tractor, the tractor makes such a mess with the soil as wet as it is. It is the pits to try to garden in this area. It is always too wet in the spring and too hot and dry in the fall.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Larry, my elbon rye died when we cut it. It was done, may have even set seed (I forget). This was cereal rye, Are we talking about the same thing? I've used a number of things for living much. Lettuce and spinach under tomatoes. Cowpeas under several different things, like okra, holy basil (which was too tall and had to be cut, but I threw the cuttings around the proper plants). None of these is ideal in your situation because you have to do some maintenance to keep them under control. The lettuce and spinach eventually went to seed and it is not a long lasting mulch when it dies.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Thanks, Amy, Yes we are talking about the same rye.. Mine has never died before setting seeds. In the wildlife garden I leave it standing till I am ready to plant something else. The critters love it. I would like to try Ladino clover, but I am afraid it would take over the garden. As I think about it, clover taking over the garden aint all that bad, because the garden will be turned back into lawn before too many years anyway. I now have my rows set up to let me drive the zero turn mower between them, if the mulch gets too tall I can mow it as I mow the lawn. I am not sure I can make all this work, but I plan on doing the wildlife garden the same way. The Kiowa blackberries and the elderberries are to build another hiding places for critters, I plan to plant them in such a way that I can keep them trimmed as long as I am able, then let them grow into a thicket. I don.t think they will ever get too large to run a brush hog over. I will be leaving my tractors and equipment for my daughter to use to keep the place trimmer and sprayed. I have fixed up spray rigs that she can use with her side by side or my small tractor, both sprayers fit on either machine and plug into the electrical system.

    Well I have rested long enough. I need to look for my onions. Its too bad that Madge is not here, because I blame her when something gets misplaced, I know it is bound to be her because she can find whatever it is in a minute or two.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Amy, I hope my Elbon rye dies. I just got in from planting 4 bundles of onions, what a job. I hope I can get my other tiller running, that bouncing Mantis nearly killed me. My other tiller is a counter rotating, rear time tiller, it is so much easier to use. I can just hold onto the handles and walk behind it. It is sort of like a powered walker, but very slow, and a little hard for these worn out joints to crank.

    My helper did not come over today. If he is not over in a day or two I will start getting holes ready for the 30 plants I have coming.

  • hazelinok

    It's been a busy day. Work was fairly demanding. Two and a half hour staff meeting...and many other things.

    I've just now been able to sit down. Ethan is especially chatty tonight, so I'm just now able to sink into introvert mode.

    Garden stuff:

    Gave the seedlings a drink of fish emulsion.

    Cleaned out one of the beds that was full of henbit. Felt good to get my hands in the dirt.

    Moved that crate thing we found at the recycling center to the garden. Still needs to be filled with soil.

    Really, that's it.

    Kane's leg/hip thing has flared up. I hate it when this happens. We walked Josi tonight and he was so sad that he had to stay home.

    HU, my class is from 5:45 to 6:45, so I can meet at 6:45. Lately she's been good about finishing promptly. The studio is upstairs. You can wait downstairs OR there's a place upstairs that's on the landing. It's a small space with a couple of chairs. There's other businesses in the building, but by that time it's pretty empty. OR I can meet you right outside the building. Whatever you feel comfortable with. I'll watch the clock and finish up quickly. We clean our mats and equipment but that only takes a minute.

    Bath and bed.

  • HU-939938193

    Either way works for me. I'll be there Tues at 6:45 either out front or just inside somewhere.


  • haileybub(7a)

    Today’s forecast looks promising, for temps anyway. I’ll be gone until this evening and will go ahead and put my pots of spinach out. I have the weekend off and the forecast looks good, too. I love days off from work when the weather is nice. I always keep busy. My onion seedling are looking good, I suppose, I’ve never grown onions, and now I’ve gone and started mine from seeds. I really rely on YouTube videos to compare mine with those. Mine are at the stage where I’m keeping them trimmed to about 3”. I guess I’ll keep them under my lights until no later than May 1st, and I’m also wondering what the little knob/joint thing is near the top of the sprout. Most of them have gotten to the point where I’ve trimmed those off but I’m still curious. I’ve planted 200 onion seeds and I’m wondering what in the heck I’m going to do with all of them? I guess I’ll be surprising myself when the time comes!

  • hazelinok

    Sounds good, HU. When you walk into the door, it's a small space. There's an office/business straight ahead, an elevator to the right and then the stairs to the left. If you decide to wait upstairs where the chairs are, there's a small landing area with the 2 chairs and then, just beyond that area is another business straight ahead (just a few feet) and the pilates studio is to the left of that business. You'll only see the door to the studio. It's all very small.

    Hailey, I've never started onions from seed. Keep us updated on that process. I've only planted those little onion transplants. I think the most onions I've ever planted was 180. They're moving to the back garden this year. I'm not sure I'll have space for all that I've purchased, but my neighbor has room for the leftovers. I need to divide them out tonight. I was going to put peas in the back garden too, but it might be all onions.

    And, Hailey, I also set all of my seedlings out. It was still in the 30's when I left the house, but they all went out. Even the zinnias. They've been out many times, even over night...hopefully I won't have a disaster when I get home.

    We are going to see a movie tonight and pick up some more fencing to complete the west side of the chicken yard tomorrow. Tomorrow, Mason is coming over to see Diana and we will go to brunch. After that, it's time to work outside: chicken fence and onion planting. Hopefully on Sunday--in between work times--I can plant the spinach in that crate thing we found. I would like to find about a dozen more of those. It's stamped with HT, which I think means heat treated, so should be safe. It probably won't last many years, though.

    My elders are waking up. I'm really excited about getting two more different varieties. I chose Oklahoma John (it supposedly gets quite tall) and a Bob Gordon. Anyone have experience with those? Luckily the columnar apple trees aren't showing signs of waking yet. Y'all just stay asleep until late April. I sure would like to get some fruit this year.

    Monday will be tomato starting. Peppers were started a few days ago, but they haven't sprouted yet. I moved them to the 3rd bedroom where it's warm. Once they sprout, I'll put them under the lights.

    That's all from me. Time to get back to work.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I have baby plants of everything I planted, except Poblano peppers. I have some "new to me" stuff this year and I really don.'t know just what to do with it. I am happy with my Roselle plants. I planted 12 seeds in a small 6 cell container and I can see 10 plants trying to come through, I have 2 that are already over 1" tall.

    I have so many things I need to work on. My helper may be busy working for his dad. They have land leased for cattle in several areas and I think my helper is the only son left at home.

    I need to start some zinnias and Partridge peas to use in the flower beds. I also need to start getting a spot ready for my berries. I also need to try to get some sweet potatoes sprouting. I am afraid my helper won't be able to come over before early next week.

  • luvncannin

    I thought I would mention in case I haven’t

    natural grocers produce dept gives free scraps for 🐓 compost etc. not for human consumption.

    at our store we typically cull

    at least one huge box per day.

    and it’s all organic.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Larry. I had to tell Garry what you said about Madge taking whatever is missing. I had a meeting this morning at 10. I got home at 12:30 and GDW was going nuts. The toilet paper holder had come loose, and he was going to fix it. But he couldn't find his teensy Allen wrenches. Said he'd been to the shop several times, to the garage, to two other tool drawers. Said he'd been looking over an hour. I asked if he had to go to town. He said he guessed so, but didn't even know who might have them. Then said he'd go look in the shop once more and if not there he'd go to town. So I walked over with him. I don't even know why I did that--I had no idea how little the package was or anything. We went into the shop to the big tool chest. He said he'd looked in it several times. I moved my hand to the top end section, and kinda moved stuff around and said, "Well, here's some small Allen wrenches. That's not the ones you're looking for, though?" He just dropped his hands to his sides and glared at the wrenches. He took them from me, just shaking his head. So we headed back to the house and he said, "Well, thank you." And then we both began laughing. He said, "I know you took them and had them hidden. How else could you have found them so fast?" Then I told him what you said about Madge. Two pair of eyes are always better than one.

    It's kind of nice today. Supposed to get up to 60. A few fun seeds got here today from Renee's--a trio packet of tasty melons, loofahs, and "Crafters' Gourds (Bottles, Dippers and Bowls)." Makes me smile at how much fun the kids will have. After I get the kale out of here, I'll begin potting up tomatoes and peppers. For now, I'll get some more seeds planted for indoors. Some of the things that require a long growing season.

    Thanks for the heads up, Kim. I'll have to see if the Tulsa store does that. Any of you Tulsa folks know?

    GDW and I have to go strategize in the garden.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Kim, I wonder how many people were born on Leap Day?

    Amy, If I chose to pursue the dog thing as a civil case, I'd probably win, but I'm not interested in that. I just want for that dog and its owner to stay away from me and our property, and so far they are. I'm not really interested in fighting any battles with anyone---I just want to be left alone to live in peace. Let someone else fight that kind of battle with him if they must and, in our neighborhood, as I mentioned before, that neighbor has other issues now to deal with. Since all that stuff began, his dog has not wandered onto our property as far as I know, so I'm a happy camper. I'm pretty sure if it still was showing up randomly, Princess and Ace would let me know.

    Jen, Is there a Chow rescue anywhere in the region? I hope so because a lot of other rescues might be wary about taking on a chow.

    Our watchdogs are Ace and Princess. They sleep in Tim's office and go off like a burglar alarm if anything is nearby. Sometimes I wonder when they find time to sleep because they are so busy watching and listening and barking or howling to sound the alarm all night long. Naturally, I hear every sound they make, and Tim hears nothing. The dogs like to sleep on the office sofa, but often Ace will sleep on top of their dog crate so he can look out the window all night long. If I close the blinds in the bay window, he just shoves his head through them and pushes them aside because he is serious about protecting his home and family. If he cannot see what is outside, he cannot sleep, even if all he is seeing is that nothing is there.

    Nancy, I can almost always find whatever Tim is looking for, even if I don't know its proper name or what it looks like. It sort of drives him crazy, but it really isn't that hard to do---if it is in the house, I can find "it", whatever it is because it is someplace that I know is not its place. There's no point in looking in the place where it is supposed to be, because he would have found it if it was there, so I look in the places it shouldn't be, and that works. : ) If it is in the garage where stuff disappears into the mess of other stuff he stashes out there, it is harder to find but still I normally can do it. If we never find it, we buy another one and you know what that means---we will find the missing object the minute we return from buying its replacement!

    Yesterday started out so cold here---19 degrees---but it warmed up nicely, and fire danger rose throughout the day as expected, as our relative humidity fell really low throughout the afternoon. At this rate, our driveway may fully dry out by Sunday. Today started out warmer and is very nice. If I had plants to plant, I'd be out working that wet soil and trying to plant them. It probably is smarter to let the soil dry a little bit more though, and I don't have anything to plant. That could change if I wander into a garden center or nursery this weekend. Chris checked his soil this morning and feels like it is too wet to plant until at least next week, and his soil isn't even as wet as ours. He started his seedlings too early and they are getting too big. I think next year he'll wait a little longer before he sows seeds. He is about to get caught in a crunch---with plants that need to get off the light shelf and into the ground before they go out of town with the girls on a Spring Break vacation, and it might still be too cold at night, so I may find myself babysitting not only tropical birds but overgrown seedlings.

    There's a little flock of moths fluttering around the outside lights every evening, so it probably is time to buy yellow bug lights and put those in the outdoor light sockets. I hate it when moths fly in at night when you're letting a dog or cat go in or out. It wouldn't be so bad if the moths would fly back out, but they never voluntarily go out after they come in.

    Lots of property owners are doing prescribed burning today and there's huge smoke plumes in the air. I can smell smoke from my front porch even though none of those fires are within miles of us. I am allergic to smoke and it makes my eyes water endlessly.....I mean they run like a waterfall, so I hate, hate, hate this time of the year in that regard.

    Larry, I agree that aging is not as much fun as I had expected, lol, but then again, it is better than pushing up daisies!


  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    I used to shop at Natural grocers, about once a month we would hit Sprouts, then Whole Foods and then NG. They built a Sprouts up here, so I rarely go to that part of town any more. They are the most organic and ecology minded I think, so I would expect it to be chain policy.

    We lost some birthday cards Ron bought a couple of months ago. We searched all over, and finally got replacements. The bag they were in was hanging on the coat closet handle. I did not put them there and I rarely open that closet because my coat hangs on the hall tree. But we walked by them every time we went out, for what, a month. ::eyeroll:: of course, sometimes I have 2 pair of glasses an top of my head....

    Larry, since I put tomato plants into the rye stubble, I'm pretty sure it had set seed. I hope this works for you, I would hate to have sent you in the wrong direction. Speaking of living mulch, I made a note of some thing a guy on a FB garlic group did. He grew oats and buckwheat where he planned to plant garlic. Put the cloves right in it and planned for it to winter kill and make it's own mulch. I thought that was brilliant. I've read you can grow hairy vetch under fall brassica. I hate to bring outside mulching materials into the garden, so any I can grow myself is great.

  • HU-939938193

    Well , my big do tomorrow is planting potatoes. I plant about 50-100 lbs of seed potatoes there abouts. I've got them all sprouted and cut and have been scabbing over for a week now .It hasn't hardly rained over there this week and I've already tilled the ground last weekend so all should be good. I'm doing half and half Red Pontiac and Kennebec. I also have onion "sets" to put in too for green scallions if I have enough daylight left. I'll see how my onion plants are doing from last week. It only got down to around 20 this week so I'm not worried about them. They'll probably show a little transplant shock for a while till they get themselves sorted out.

    The weather is supposed to be real nice this weekend for a change . I hate to say it but they're predicting more rain next week. Dawn , Larry I saw a bullseye of 3 " around SE OK for next week.

    "I was going to put peas in the back garden too, but it might be all onions."

    Jennifer, you can put Southern peas in the same space after you pull the onions.

    That's when I plant my peas.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    Amy, you are not point me in the wrong direction because I was wanting to try a living mulch anyway, just not on onions. If I had been man enough to stay with the Mantis longer I would have tilled a larger spot. I am thinking I will work the rye back with a hand tool, or, use newspaper and mulch to try to clean up around the onions.

    I tried to start my other tiller today, but, no luck. It has been a good tiller for around 15 years, but when I stopped using it a lot I started having trouble with it. I put new carburetors on the Mantis and Poulan both two summers ago, but I cant start the poulan, and I can't see well enough to take the carburetor off and clean it, matter of fact, I cant see well enough to do most repairs.

    I had 25 to 30 very small onion plants left, so I planted them in a tray today. I also deposited 8 buckets of compost in areas where I am going to plant pumpkins, berries, and roselle in the wildlife garden. The mud was so deep in areas that I could not drive the tractor through with the bucket full of compost. I dont like driving in areas like that, but I don't have much choice, water is still standing in some areas, and more rain coming. I need to get the area ready for the berries. I think I have Dr. appointments Mon. and Wed.

    When I have a Dr. appointment it seems to kill at least a half a day, plus I am then so tired I dont want to do anything.

    Dawn, I think that I agree with you, I think daisies probably look better when you are looking at them from the top side.

    I have not started any tomatoes yet. I hope to repair my light shelf tomorrow and install LED light on the top shelf and get ready for more plants.

    The weather is on now and it looks like I had better put the middle buster on the kubota and plow a ditch to plant my berries in because rain and Dr. appointments are going to shut me down awhile.

  • dbarron

    Zinnias grow so fast once it warms a bit, that I can't imagine starting them early inside. I mean I'm sure you can..but I'm not sure why you would, since stronger growth will occur outside unless you really pump the electricity at them. That being said, I have more perennials to start tomorrow, with nicer weather to be had filling pots outside. Also, it's time to go hit Lowes and find the container that will house my grouped hardy carnivorous plants (outside) and get them into it as they're just now starting to wake up.

  • hazelinok

    Larry, I haven't started tomatoes yet either. Hoping for Monday after Josi's vet appt.

    HU, southern peas would be great back there after the onions...but I was thinking of snow peas and sugar snap. Both never give me a good crop, but I enjoy the small amounts I get. Maybe I'll just skip them this year. I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. My gardens aren't so big.

    Fencing is purchased. Once that's done we can move on to repairing/replacing/changing out the hinged hoop. After that, is replacing the broken down raised bed on the east side of the garden.

  • HU-939938193

    "Green peas" are a cool season thing. They can be tricky to grow. They like cool weather but sometimes the seed won't germinate until the ground gets warmer. The seed can rot in the ground if it's too cold and wet. Some people grow them as transplants and then set them out. I'll be planting some green peas in a couple of weeks if it don't get too wet again.

    Green peas are usually done just before time to pull the onions. They don't like the hotter temps.The vines start to mildew then.

    Off to plant potatoes.


  • luvncannin

    Nancy if it is natural grocers they do it It is standard operating procedures. Our SOP is taken serious in the company. We don’t like waste

    dawn I will see today Hopefully a few. i love to see people get free stuff.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Haha, Kim-- I love to see people get free stuff, too. I'm excited for today. A 70 degree day. I'm running into town to plant some onions and a few other things. Then back here to do onions, potatoes. Garry's rigging up trellises for the tomatoes. I'm starting another round of seeds in here on the grow cart. Busy day coming up. Happy gardening, everyone!

  • hazelinok

    dbarron, I always start a few zinnias indoors. Well, they've mostly been outdoors except when we've gone below 33 and then I bring them in. They'll be the first ones in the garden, and then reseed and it's wonderful. So pretty and cheerful. I think I'll plant these on the west side of the chicken pen, in front of the coral honeysuckle.

    HU, I learned a trick about peas (probably here). Just let the peas sprout and then move them to the garden within a day or two. They way they don't have to harden off.

    I have to think of a place for them, though.

    Okay. Inoculant. I've never used it for my peas or beans. Will they produce more if I use it?

  • slowpoke_gardener

    It is a very beautiful day. I have the light shelf out on the deck where I can sit down and work on it. I have the saws set up in the parking area . I will try to repair some of the sloppy work I did when I made the shelf, If I had known I would have liked it so well I would have done a better job when I built it. I would like to paint it also, but wont have time for that. I need to make an area for the berries today also.

    Well I have rested for a bit, and need to get back to work. Happy gardening day to you all.

  • jlhart76

    Dawn, I found a chow rescue in north Texas and the person said they would contact the shelter. Hopefully they can work something out.

    I potted up some of my tomatoes last night and moved them outside today for some sunshine. They were looking leggy so they may not make it, but it's worth a shot.

  • hazelinok

    89 onions planted--the intermediate days. There's probably room for 80 more--the short day ones. Luckily my neighbor took the other 100 or so that I divided out.

    Those back garden beds were full of henbit. I don't mind it because it's easy enough to pull out.

    Chicken yard is complete. So far so good. Once it was completed, no one got out.

    The coleus died. It was barely sprouted. I'll start more seed on Monday when I start tomatoes. I'm having an issue finding the larger peat pellets that I like to use for tomatoes. It is super windy and I hope the seedlings make it. They're going to be planted in the garden tomorrow, so they've gotta get used to it, I guess.

    I bought a blackberry plant. It's thornless but I forgot the name. Is it one of those things that need two? I only bought one.

  • dbarron


    There's plenty of blackberries around so that if you need two the bees won't have any problems.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Amy, If there is anything worse than looking for the glasses (or two pairs of glasses) perched on your head, it is doing that same thing while also looking for the set of keys that you actually are holding in your hand as you search for your keys and glasses simultaneously. Some days I wonder how Tim and I manage to get out of the house at all. It is almost a given that I leave the house last when we are going someplace because I am looking for my keys or glasses....but then, I finally make it out to the vehicle, and he remembers he forgot something and has to go back inside. Every. Single. Time. We decided we just have to laugh about it together or it would drive us bonkers. A sense of humor is a valuable part of aging.

    HU, I've been watching the precipitation forecast, and am not happy about it. Then I drive myself nuts by looking at the 6-10 day outlook, the 8-14 day outlook, etc. I am trying to stay calm and not freak out over the coming rain, but of course, I am not happy. Maybe we'll get lucky and it will miss us. No, I don't really think that will happen, but I am going to hope it will. Just when I think the soil will dry out enough to be workable, here comes more rain.

    The temperatures are lovely though. It was 77 degrees here today at our house, and that's an awesome temperature for the last day of February. The trees know it though---leafing out and blooming and looking so happy. Tomorrow should be equally nice, but the high temperatures and wind will combine to give us High Fire Danger again, which we've had every day for the past week, I think. It is that time of the year. Hopefully there won't be many fires on Sunday.

    Jennifer, Inoculant is interesting and how much it does or doesn't help depends on what your soil already is like. If you've already grown peas and beans in the area, the necessary rhizobia bacteria might already exist in your soil, so if it does, you don't really need to inoculate. It never hurts to use it though. Think of bean and pea inoculant as a sort of probiotic for your plants. Generally you will get growth that is more lush, green and productive if you've used it because it helps the plants fix nitrogen.

    Jen, I'm glad you found a chow rescue.

    Jennifer, I agree with dbarron that one blackberry plant would be fine as almost all modern-day blackberry varieties are self-fruitful. I cannot think of a single variety available nowadays that needs a separate variety as a pollinator. If there was one, the native berries likely would take care of it. With just one plant, though, you shouldn't expect enough berries at one time to make jam or anything like that. Learn about proper pruning because the berries that produce on a plant in a given year come from either floricanes or primocanes, and the plant must be pruned at the right time accordingly. Most blackberry varieties produce on floricanes, but there's some newer varieties that produce on primocanes. Also, do your research and know if the variety you're being is erect, semi-erect or trailing so you can put up the appropriate kind of support. Then, prepare to fight the birds and other wild critters for every single berry.

    Here's the OSU Fact Sheet on Growing Blackberries in the Home Garden. It will tell you everything you need to know to get started with blackberries.

    Blackberry & Raspberry Culture in the Home Garden

    I grew them for 12 or 14 years here in three different locations on our property, and then the voles began eating their roots and I finally gave up. My gardening life was so much easier when the garden had a shorter fence, the bobcats patrolled the garden and the voles stayed away from the garden. Of course, the tradeoff was that the deer jumped the fence and got into the garden, which is why the shorter fence wasn't the best choice overall and was replaced with a taller fence. At the time we did that, I had no idea what a problem the voles then would become. And, yet, the voles don't eat the roots of the native dewberries (trailing blackberries) that invade my garden every year.


  • dbarron

    An aside, if you wait three years or so, you'll have a big enough patch of blackberries to probably do you. If you want a harvest next year, you should plant more now though.

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