March 2020, Week 1

Well, March is going to be an easy month since March 1st falls on Sunday and we get to start out the new month with the first week beginning on the first day of the month. That means I don't have to sit here and figure out whether to call a split month February or March for example.....it is March all the way!

It feels like Spring is about 2/3s of the way here, with lots of lovely days that are fairly warm and some decently warm nights, and yet there's still a freezing night and frost once or twice a week at our place. I am sure the same is true for the rest of you. Still, you really can feel the change in the weather pattern, including more wind or recent days. The warm days will warm up our soil temperatures nicely, but then a couple of chilly nights will cool them down again, so don't get overly excited about warm soil one day and decide to plant warm-season plants too early. Wait for the soil temperatures to stabilize and stay consistently warm for at least 5 days before your start planting warm-season crops, whether that happens sometime this month for you or perhaps not until early April. I like to check my own soil temperatures at planting depth with a soil thermometer, but if you don't do that yourself, you can just look at the soil temperature maps on the OK Mesonet website to see what the maps show. Here's an example of one of those maps:

Three Day Average Soil Temperature 4" Below Bare Soil

Different plants need different soil temperatures in order to grow well. Remember that if you plant into soil that is too cool for a given type of plant, it will just sit and sulk and refuse to grow until the soil warms up.

March is a good month to be finishing up planting cool-season veggies, flowers and seeds, as the weather tends to turn markedly warmer in April (which is a good thing). That is one reason we always are having to push our cool-season plants a little bit---just to get them planted and growing well so that they can produce their crop before the weather gets too hot. For some people in the warmer parts of the state, you may be able to plant warm-season crops and seeds near the end of March, depending on soil temperatures, air temperatures and the 10-day forecast.

In the meantime, there's lots of other garden chores in addition to planting. March usually is the month that gardening becomes a bit more fun as plants arrive in nurseries and garden centers. You can plant annual spring color plants now, like larkspur, poppies, snapdragons, petunias (some cold-hardiness but not an excessive amount either, so don't plant too early) and stock now if you see any of those in stores or if you started your own from seed. You can plant root veggies like potatoes, onions, radishes, beets, turnips, rutabagas and carrots this month (or horseradish or rhubarb) and also leafy veggies like spinach, lettuce and kale in March, but how early or late these can go in the ground depends on how far north or south you are in the state. You can sow seeds of cool-season herbs, and don't forget to plant your brassicas if you're growing them this year.

If you use a fruit tree spray program for your fruit trees, remember that each individual spraying must be timed very precisely, and the OSU fact sheets about growing fruit trees in the home orchard have photos and calendars to help ensure you spray at the correct times.

Remember to stay on top of the weeding chore in your veggie garden. Cool-season weeds grow quickly on warm spring days and the garden can get away from you if you aren't paying attention. Adding new mulch to the surface can help if last year's mulch has thinned out enough that you are seeing lots of weeds sprouting.

Rain is in the forecast for several days. I'll link the 7-day Qualitative Precipitation Forecast below. Please note that it updates multiple times daily, so expect to see the numbers change. Still, it can give you some idea of what to expect.

Qualitative Precipitation Forecast

Have a great week everybody and enjoy the lovely Sunday weather.


Comments (88)

  • hazelinok

    Tomato seed started. Phew. Just finished up.

    The Mucho Nacho jalapenos have sprouted and the Ashe County Pimento is starting to sprout as well. Both varieties of bell are doing nothing.

    I think I have it figured out...all the dwarf tomatoes will go into the concrete block bed. I think I counted 6 or 7 of them.

    There's space for 10 in the middle bed, so the cherry varieties will go there. I have decided that I really like cherry tomatoes and want many varieties of them. All the different colors make a pretty and flavorful salad. The others will go into mineral tubs or squeezed into other beds here or there. Except Juliet. What to do with Juliet....

    It feels really good to sit down.

    Larry, that is hilarious about your arugula plants. I just cleaned out a bed of arugula yesterday. I love it but don't need an entire bed of it.

    Nancy, I saw your post on fb. That's quite a project!

    HU, did you mean to give me a package of broccoli sprout seed?! Thanks for all the canned goodies! It was nice to meet you.

  • HU-939938193

    HJ , I want YOU to have the sprout seed. I didn't mean me to have the sprout seed. YES I WANTED YOU to HAVE THE SPROUT SEED .I forgot to mention it then . YES I love your soul . Take the Brocolli sprout seed.. Please take it. All the soulfull things we talked all winter long was what I was talking about . I treasure it all. Love you. Glad to have met YOU!


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  • haileybub(7a)

    Interesting about how hominy is “made”! I had no idea, growing up in Albuquerque, we would eat posole often. Honestly, I’m not a fan of hominy and thought it was a vegetable on its own. That really is fascinating! I wonder who figured out that corn + lye= hominy. I make soap all of the time, that’s the only thing I’ve ever done with lye.

    I’ll start my tomatoes and peppers this weekend, I have always started them earlier but honestly because I’ve always been itching to do so. I’m pretty busy with other life things at the moment so won’t have a chance till Saturday! I need to do something with my lettuce sprouts, they’re working on their second set of leaves right now, so, being my first attempt in years, I’ll also repot them to a permanent place this weekend. should I wait until they’re bigger? I’ve been keeping all of them as well as the spinach outside because the weather has been so lovely.

  • hazelinok

    HU, thanks SO much for the sprout seed. I'm going to get that started tonight. The sandwich sprouts are about done, so perfect timing. :D

    And for anyone interested, I did see that the NG on SW 89th street has broccoli sprout seeds.

    Hailey, starting tomatoes later worked well for me last year. The year before was tricky 'cause I started them so early. Honestly, I won't plant them outdoors until mid April anyway, so might as well wait. AND, the other good thing is that they can start hardening off from the time they sprout. If the day is warm enough, they go outdoors to experience wind, sun and whatever else the outdoors can give them.

    So far, no escaped chickens! I'm thrilled that the fence is working. Eve did fly over once. When they see me step out the backdoor, they get very excited. The ones who are prone to fly, will often fly to the gate. She actually soared over it. She is Stella's offspring so it doesn't surprise me. She didn't even know what happened...and followed me back through the gate.

    This is good.

    Josi is at the vet for her mouth surgery and I have a busy day at work.

    I'm ready for a nap and it's only 9:18.

  • HU-422368488

    Jennifer ,once again ,nice to have met you.

    Here's that one dried bean I gave you: https://www.vermontbean.com/product/V01275/203

    Hope you enjoy the goodies.


  • jlhart76

    I started tomato and pepper seeds a couple weeks ago, and over the weekend I separated them out. They didn't have true leaves yet so several have already died. And I started hardening them off, which I'm sure zapped a few more. But they were all starting to get leggy so it was either try and salvage them and possibly kill them, or leave them inside and possibly kill them. Time will tell, I guess.

    And I noticed some of the wintersown tomatoes have sprouted. Other containers also have green, but I don't know if it's weeds or something I planted.

    This weekend's goal is to get an inventory of everything and see what I still need to start.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I picked up some flower seeds yesterday, Peldphinium, pacific giant mixed colors, I saw these at Atwoods and thought they were pretty. I plan on planting them in my wildlife garden. After getting them home, where I have magnifying glasses and can read the small print, I am not sure they will do well in my area because of my clay/silt soil. I live south of Ft. Smith. Do any of you have any suggestion on what I should do to improve the chances of the survival of these plants? I have never started flower seed before. It looks like they need a long growing season. I plan on placing these seed on the light shelf today.

    My berries should come in a day or two. They will be bare root, and this is not the best weather to plant then. Well I guess the weather is OK, but the wildlife garden is very wet.

    My helper has not been coming over as much as I would like, so I may have to plant these plants with the tractor, I just cant use hand tools anymore. Also I have another DR. appointment tomorrow, which will kill a half of a day. Walmart needs to have DR. offices that are open 24/7 so old jerks like me will have time to go to the DR.. We could go at night, cause we cant sleep anyway.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Jen do you think that having your lights closer to your plants would help? I tried to post a picture but did not work. I am on my tablet and can't see what I am doing.

    Have a very junky light shelf but it works pretty well.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Postman just brought me 25 blackberries and 5 elderberries, so it looks like I need to get off my back side and get some plants in the ground.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    HU, The photos I saw looked like EF-3 damage, so not as bad as some of Moore's and OKC's past tornadoes. I haven't been watching the news so don't know if the NWS has classified it yet. I think that for some areas even an EF-4 classification isn't out of reach---some of those collapsed buildings looked pretty bad. The initial death toll of 4 that I heard early, early in the morning had reached the 20s by last evening, and that cannot be good. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

    Jennifer, Because Tim and Chris work at an international airport, I've been following the coronavirus story since around January 7th-10th or so---long before they were paying attention to it. I read one obscure mention of an odd SARS-like virus emerging in December in China and began paying attention. Of course, at the time, no one knew what an epidemic it would become in China. When I told Tim and Chris about it, they'd never heard of it. About a week later, it became a topic of discussion at work and now it is something they have to think about and deal with on a daily basis at work. I've been preparing ever since I first became aware of it. I still think that supply chain disruptions will be the major effect we feel here, but....I also am prepared to deal with the virus it if hits us here in the middle of the country. I could fall down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories quite easily, and smarter people than me have a lot of interesting theories, but my focus is not on how it happened or where it came from, but rather on how to prepare and how to deal with it if it comes here. I've been building up our stock of antivirals (essential oils, supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies) because, if it does come here, it will overwhelm our health care systems. We cannot count on anyone else being able to take care of all of us. If this becomes pandemic, we must be able to self-isolate and take care of ourselves. Check out how many ICU beds your local hospitals have, and you'll be shocked...there are not that many in relation to any city's population. I feel like the veggie and herb gardens are more important this year than ever before because we don't know what the virus will do, which has me questioning my decision to cut back on the garden so I can focus on the landscape. I may have to change that plan, particularly if the never-ending rain keeps ruining our plans to rip out the Bermuda and make massive changes there. I wanted to be ready to plant the new landscape by April, and that certainly is not going to happen. We'll probably still be under water then. It has been raining all morning here.....

    HU, My old and well-used tomato press is similar to the one linked below. I've used it for ages. I have four screens for mine (sauce, salsa, pumpkin/squash and berry), but mostly use the sauce and salsa ones. It is amazing how much more quickly I am able to can batches of salsa and tomato sauce with this thing....it is truly life-changing. It also processes soft fruits like peaches and apricots for jam and jelly very quickly.

    A few years ago my husband tried to surprise me with the electric version of the Weston tomato strainer. I was ticked off from the moment I saw it. I had already checked it out, read reviews, felt like it would not be a good investment and I didn't want one. I am positive I told him that over and over again, and he ignored me. He bought it for me as a gift anyway. I wanted to send it right back without even attempting to use it, but he insisted we try using it anyway. (Keep in mind I do 110% of the canning and he does absolutely none of it.) So, we unpackaged it and attempted to make a batch of salsa. The engine was crap and the machine itself leaked and didn't run for even 10 minutes. He watched me work with it endlessly trying to get it to do what it was supposed to do, and then couldn't flee from the kitchen quickly enough when it became apparent that the one with the engine was a piece of junk that was wasting my time in a big way. I didn't have to say I told you so to him....I cleaned it up, packed it up and gave it back to him. No more surprise gifts for me, thankfully! So, if anyone wants to buy one of these, do yourself a favor and don't waste your money on the one with the engine. The bad reviews I had read about it were spot on. I like the one with the hand crank just fine, it always works with no problems and I can hundreds of jars of tomato products with it most years.

    Weston Sauce and Tomato Strainer

    Jennifer, I'm pretty sure our Wal-Mart has hominy, but it isn't one of the usual veggie brands. It might have been Bush's (like Bush's Baked Beans) or Glory Foods, a line of traditional southern seasoned veggies. Or, maybe I saw it with the canned foods on the Mexican food aisle.

    I can make hominy but don't like it enough to do it. My dad loved hominy and my attitude always has been that I have no idea why he loved it so much. lol. I have made lye soap before, and that is fun, but you have to be really, really careful handling the lye, and I have to lock out all the pets if I am going to do it, so I haven't done it in ages. Lye is getting harder and harder to find in stores.

    Larry, Delphiniums don't like our heat here and do better if seed is sown in the fall, or even if you start seedlings indoors in late summer and transplant them into the ground in the fall. If attempted from seed here, they usually sprout too late and burn up in the heat before they even have a chance to get established here. I love the look of delphiniums, but grow annual larkspur here instead because it does tolerate our climate.

    It is raining again and I am trapped indoors with bored dogs and cats who are demanding a lot of attention today. I understand how they feel. You cannot go out and do anything in this weather.

    Bruce did book the pavilion, but is having trouble getting the post he wrote about it to show up here....unless it showed up while I was typing this post.


  • hazelinok

    Larry, what blackberries did you buy? The one I bought was actually 2. I should read the package, I guess. The package included an Arapaho and Navaho.

    Still needing that nap at 2:15....

  • jlhart76

    Larry, my light shelf is not very good quality. I've bought several different grow lights or cabinet light bars over the years, and I have to string them up with twine and carabiners so I have this complex web holding everything up. I have them as close as I can get to the plants but since I don't have enough I have to rotate so some are further away than they should be. All in all, it's the best I have to work with at the moment, so i have to make do. Eventually I'll buy enough lights that every shelf will be covered, but for the time being I have to make do.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Hazel, I bought Kiowa black berries. It is a very thorny berry, but large. I bought 4 or 5 kind of thornless berries from Simmons plant farm almost 20 years ago. They were much easier to pick, but I like the taste of the thorny berries I had about 30 years ago. I am not sure what kind they were because I just dug them up out of my parents garden. I am planting these blackberries and elderberries in the wildlife garden to form a thicket for critters to live and eat in. These berries will be about 15 or 20 feet from the large log pile I have that is 50 or 60 feet around it and about 10 feet tall. I hope the log pile will be covered with Seminole pumpkins this summer. I am probably just building a snake den.

    I was raised on this place, we moved here in 1952. I am trying to get the place cattle and wildlife friendly. I have spent a good bit of money on this place and LOT of work. The place looks better now, than any time since 1952. I hope my daughter will be proud of it and keep it looking nice, I think she will. She is even talking about building a small lake on the east side, where she plans on having her home built.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I got my berries planted, I was short some, Simmons said that they would send more tomorrow.

    My helper showed up this afternoon, boy, was I glad to see him. I had already had the berries planted, but not very well. I wanted to get them in the ground as soon as possible. My helper finished throwing the dirt in the holes. I plowed a ditch with the tractor to put the berries in, so the only work for me was amending and covering, but it nearly killed me.

    Jen, I understand about the lights. I am a pack rat, so I have a lot of light fixtures and bulbs, but many need repaired. so am trying a shelf of LED's. If I dont like them I will install them on the porch and shop. A lot of my fixtures would rotate from shop to light shelf, but I feel that I am getting too old to be climbing to switch lights out of the shop, or porch. I will rest a while and finish installing the LED's on the grow rack ( I only have 2 shelves) one will remain fluorescent, the other will be LED. I will compare the two, it I like fluorescent better I will repair some of my fixtures and go back to total fluorescent.

  • hazelinok

    For some reason Dawn's post just showed up.

    Dawn, have you started any tomato or pepper seed?

    I have oils and several herbal tinctures like echinacea and yarrow. I'm about out of fire cider, although I have things in the garden to make them, but not yet. I need the onions and garlic to finish up.

    Thing is, I work outside the home. I work with people. Germy children who do not know how to be careful with their "germs". The flu has been horrible at school even with the kids who had the shot. I don't get the shot. I'm suspicious of the shot.

    I'll be dealing with sick people--that will be my role if things get bad. I won't be able to stay in.

    The tomato press in the link is the one you like? I'll order it if so.

    For some reason I really like hominy and always have. My Mom would occasionally serve it with dinner. I like the chewiness of it. It reminds me of brown rice in a way that it's chewy like brown rice.

    Okay. I'm tired (and have a scratchy throat. uh oh.)

  • slowpoke_gardener

    LED shelf is ready,if I try any more led I will just buy the bypass bulbs and modify 3 of my old fixtures.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Sorry about the plcture, the light from the LED's may be playing tricks with my tablet. I will keep you up to date on how these Harbor Freight light are working. I think they are too pricey, but I wanted to be able to use them in other areas also.

  • hazelinok

    It's quiet here today. I like to imagine that you're all out doing gardeny stuff. Some of you are in an office, though. LIke me.

    I have dinner plans with friend in Norman, so I won't get to work outside any. Tomorrow, though. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice. Maybe I'll plant the new strawberries and clean out some beds.

    I did figure out something. The back garden is all onions, right? They won't be ready until the end of June...so what to plant THEN? Southern peas is a possibility but I want to plant them before the end of June. So...I'll just put the fall garden stuff in the back garden this year. Pull the onions and get it ready. Maybe build some type of hoop thing to hold shade cloth and then frost cloth.

    Josi is doing well. She only lost two teeth, along with the growth. We were afraid it would be more.

  • HU-422368488

    Hi Jennifer , I'm at work now too.

    The onions might be ready by around the 1st week of June. Least mine usually are. Then I plant my Southern peas by the middle of June or so after the onions are out. Peas are a late summer thing along with okra and should do ok if planted by then. They need to be in while there is still some moisture in the ground to get them up before it gets too hot and dry. It can all depend on how the season goes this time around of course.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    Hazel, one thing I like to do is just plant peas in an unprepared spot. I mow the area low, scatter the peas in a path about as wide as a push mower and water them in. The peas will sprout and grow in the grass..I will keep the area mowed till the peas get up high enough that the mower blade would hit them, then just mow along side of the peas. You wont get the harvest that you would from a good bed, but you only have about $2.50 a pound invested in the seed, and they will be putting nitrogen into the soil. I started this a few years ago along one side of my garden. I now plant it about every year, it grows a pretty good crop now. I think that if I had a chicken pen I would try planting along the fence. The chickens would grab any grass or insects that might get within reach. Then when you are finished with the peas just mow them down. You wont have anything invested other than the $2.50 for the peas, and, maybe a little water you will gain some food and organic matter.

    I have not done a lot today. I had a DR. appointment at 1:00, and got a lecture about excepting my limitations, plus blood work. I did water in my berries this morning. There is plenty moisture in the soil, but I also wanted to wash the soil in around the plant roots. I should have more berries here by this weekend.

    I feel bad about not being able to do any more work than I do. I think Madge does too much. I still try to keep all the outside stuff done, and maybe help in the house a little. Madge will be 81 years old this month and I feel like I should be helping her more. I was so tired that I ask her to drive me to the DR. office, we did stop and eat on the way. We are trying to spend more time together. We both seem to really like that.

    I think I will start more seeds tonight. I enjoy doing that at night while Madge is in bed. She does not stay up late, and I don't like to go to bed early. If I go to bed early I just toss and turn and keep her awake. I seem to hurt more at night, in the day if I am hurting I can go do something and feel better ( but I usually pay for it later) and sleep better that night.

  • dbarron

    I'm thinking it's time to plant the sweet pea seedlings into the garden tomorrow. Will move them out today to harden slightly...and in tonight (34, likely frost)...but warmer after tonight.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Ft. Smith showed that the temp dropped down to 39 for a short while last night, but we had frost when I got up. I almost always have colder weather than Ft Smith even though I am about 20 miles south.

    The Henbit is crazy this year. On the way to the DR.'s office yesterday, Madge said, " I want to show you a couple of pretty lawns". When we got about 2 or 3 miles from the house she said " look there" there were 2 houses with purple lawns, even along the hwy was purple. It looked like they had planted henbit, no other weeds in the lawn, just henbit. One of the housed set back about 400' from the hwy. There was about 3 acres of goat pasture between the house and hwy, without a sprig of henbit. Madge said "they must have planted that". I said maybe, but, "I think, a closer bet would be that goats love henbit".

    I have been out moving rocks with the tractor. A few Years ago Madge got on a lawn decorating kick with rocks. I told her at the time that I thought that she would regret that decision, along with the pear trees and Japonica and Maple. The wind has taken out one pear tree, I cut the other, wind has split one Maple. It looks like I will have to spray the Japonica to kill it. It is very easy to plant things when you are younger, that will be a pain to you as you get older. We are trying to make out place easier to care for, which means, that some day the garden has to go also.

    Well, I have rested awhile, time to go move some compost to the wildlife garden, more berries should be here today or tomorrow.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Finally got tomato seeds planted. Spinach seeds priming so grandkids can help plant Sat. Bought 6 packs of broccoli and lettuce at TSC. Our Atwoods is remodeling. No greenhouse. Inside everything was moved to the opposite side of the store. Got some more plain black trays and some with domes. I have lots of trays, but the number of domes had shrunk. Also a bag of seed starting mix. I need to find a small bag of vermiculite.

    H/J, the timing of onions is why I'm not growing them this year. I used to grow peas and okra afterwards, but last year the okra crop sucked, so will start it earlier. I was going to suggest you plant buckwheat where you take the onions out. It will keep the weeds down. I think it's 30 days to seed, so you might want to cut it in July. Or just let it reseed, it will winter kill. Or, I have read you can grow hairy vetch under broccoli in fall, but maybe that would be too much for greens.

    I've mentioned before, winter of 18/19 I grew potato onions. They are planted in the fall with garlic. They make a circle of small onions around each one planted. They were harvested last spring and still good. Got them at Southern exposure. They still take up space till June.

    The breakdown of the supply chain is worrisome. Told Ron to buy extra TP at Aldi's today. Apparently Walmart is out in some stores. The medicines are even more worrisome. Amazon is out of Cold Eeze, which is what someone recommended for viruses. Those are zinc lozenges BTW. I have 2 different brands in my cart. I've bought so much stuff on Amazon we have a big store of cardboard. This bugs Ron. He was going to take to the dump. Blasphemy! I told him he could grind it up in his chipper for mulch if nothing else. I should go clean the seed stuff off my counter before Ron gets back and gets mad...or I could plant peppers.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    The supply chain bothers me also.

    I moved a bucket of compost to the wildlife garden and the lift on the tractor is not working right so I stopped till I can add fluid.

    Pulled some turnips, they don't look good, but taste good. I told Madge that I would like to try some in a salad.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    If they taste good raw, Larry they make a nice crunchy touch in a salad.

    So I learned something today. Order from Almost Eden in January, because by march half their stuff is out of stock. Companion plants and Almost Eden. I cannot buy anything else!

  • hazelinok

    I haven't had time to keep up with the news, but a co-workers was talking about how Sams was out of water bottles. (they order online and then pick up at the store.). Another friend (at my second job) said they she was going to make a large order at Walmart and had heard in the news that we should all be taking extra zinc right now. She said it was sold out, but she was able to get water bottles.

    Apparently several of the parents are very concerned and are stocking up.

    We've done nothing. Tom has some meat in the shop freezer. I have some dried beans and peas (thanks, HU) and brown rice and quinoa...a little bit of pasta and other things. We may starve. Unless all the Seminole pumpkins can sustain us for awhile. LOL Yep, still have many of those sitting around. And eggs. PLENTY of eggs.

    But then, there's all the animals.

    Ethan's car broke down as he was heading out for a date last night. So, we are sharing a car and I get to leave work a little early so that I can pick him up at his job. He's working at the college now, which is good.

    I wonder if all this is going to affect his trip to Ireland in May/June...

    (the virus, not his car)

    Tom said we could repair/replace our broken down raised bed tomorrow. He might be repairing Ethan's car too. I hope it's something he can fix.

    All 12 jalapenos have sprouted and 8 out of 12 of the pimentos.

    I haven't looked at the tomatoes yet. They weren't started until Wednesday, though. Or was it Tuesday??

    I better finish up here later. Just realized it's after 2 and I have stuff to do at work.

  • HU-422368488

    I think we all need to be growing and canning.

    Jennifer , thanks for the eggs . .I had some for breakfast this morning . YUM!

    You won't starve. I'll bring you some more.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    I don't pay much attention to the news. I think most of it is for ratings anyway. I think more people have died from the flu than the virus. ) I am not saying that we should not try to protect ourselves, but getting in a panic may not help at all. I would think that most water will be safe. Taking zinc may or may not help most people. I think your overall health will play a big part in you staying well ( plus all the standard health practices ). If I have to have zinc, I may just have to go eat some of my garden soil. All my old soil test say I have above optimum P, K, and zinc. My new soil test has not come back yet, but I feel sure I will have too much of a lot of minerals. I live in an old coal mining area, and I think most of my neighbors will have a soil test much the same as mine. ( I am the only one around here that I know of that even gets a soil test )

    I had better shut up an get ready to go get our fur baby. He is in the doggy hospital. He has Cushing disease and other things that old dogs have, but he is our baby and we want to take good care of him. That little sweet thing sure is a money pit.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Humph. Just lost my post. I was looking back to see what it was besides arugula that you over planted, Larry. I did the same thing with basil. I have cardinal Basil, Siam Queen basil, and lemon and lime. A LOT of all of them.

    In fact, I over seeded most things this year, and I swear every single seed I sowed sprouted. What the! I have a dozen or so of every single pepper I grew, and I grew a lot. Especially tickled with chile Lombok, guajillos, and habaneros. Lots of Sweet n Pretty and Midnight again. Those are the ornamentals I grew last year, but are good eating, too. Both winners. Plenty of Big Red, Marconi, Aji Dulce and the rest. Same with tomatoes. The collection is right at 60-plus, but I still have 3 more varieties to grow. I'll try to hang on to them all, as I know I won't have any trouble unloading them.

    HJ, I'm so glad Josi didn't need any more stuff done that she did. And I DO hope Tom can fix Ethan's car. Yikes have so many more seeds to start. Glad you mentioned Ashe County. I had to order these. And just now remembered I actually have to PLANT them if I want them to grow. Right?

    Cardboard. Sigh. I have a whole garageful of boxes to break down. My SIL in Wyoming gets really upset with Amazon when they send something small in a big box. I love it when they do that. Ron=blasphemer.

    I don't watch news since I don't have TV. BUT my new favorite thing is to go to town by myself so I can listen to NPR out of Tulsa. SO informative. I love it. They were just talking about the supply chains and economies today. I hadn't even thought of that until then. I guess we won't run out of food with all these peppers and tomatoes.

    Hard work this past week and I haven't even started in our own beds and garden. Okay. I need to get these peppers and basils potted up.

  • HU-939938193

    Well I went plant shopping today and loaded up on cole crops. All the usuals , broccoli , califlower , cabbage of various varieties ,kale , collards,some bonnie spinach plants. Got all my seed in too. Another warrior day tomorrow for cool season plantings. I'll have to make a decision about my overwintered spinach. If it ain't gonna make , tilled under it goes. I got plenty of seed to try again.

    Jennifer , Elison's are getting in a new shipment of plants next Tuesday or so. I'll keep you posted.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    As for as supply chain goes, even as unprepared as I am I dont see a problem for me at this time, that is, a problem that I did not have a month or even a year ago. I do take a lot of medication, but I think food and medication will be at the top of the list to keep moving.

    I am like most of you, I have more seeds than I know what to do with. I have plenty of room to grow food. I will have to think about fuel because I am not able to do much work by hand. But if things really get bad I will have all the help I need, and I don't expect thing to get bad at all, other than the economy collapse, war, or some kind of disaster.

    I pulled my mustard today and tossed it over the fence, along with the trimmings off the turnips for the cattle to eat. I don't like to see hungry cattle, I wish the fellow that leases the land would feed a little more, I know he has to turn a profit, but I still dont like seeing hungry cattle.

    I had to get out and round up some plastic potting cells this afternoon. I have to get some things potted up and more seeds started. I have not started any tomatoes yet. I did say that I did not need more than 12 tomato plants, I can buy that many easy enough. I have 60 + peppers, I cant see me needing that many peppers, and I have more I want to plant, I think it is a disease.

    We have our little dog home now but he still does not feel well. It is hard to watch the little fellow when he is like this.

    Madge just finished cooking the turnip greens, the house sure smells good, my turnips have never been this tasty .

  • hazelinok

    Hey all. I want to comment on stuff, but am not feeling great tonight. I have a little cold, I think. It's nothing big...just makes me a little tired. I'll come back tomorrow and catch up. I'm going to sleep now.

  • HU-939938193

    Take care,Jennifer


  • jlhart76

    Had a little fender bender Thursday on my way home. The woman behind me wasnt paying attention and used my car to stop hers. I'm fine, just a little stiff, so yesterday I took off work. Gave me a chance to pot up a few things, and do some more planning for this year's garden.

    Today's plan is to get everything outside for a bit of sun. And get basil planted. Other than that, I should have everything started.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Since the grandsons are coming today, I moved the tomatoes and peppers to the light shelves. I plant in paper cups. The black trays are flimsy. The pepper tray wasn't full and half the cups fell over and spilled. So mad at myself. I'm sure I will have unidentified peppers sprouting in the tray.

    The plan is to work in the garden with the kids today. I have some lettuce seedlings to plant that the kids can help with. I could take one of those amazon boxes and put over the planter if it gets cold, LOL.

    I have to come up with a better place to start seeds. I've been sitting at the counter with a stool, and it's uncomfortable. Too windy to do outside. No room in the garage. I may have to get a folding table. Or a better stool.

    Feel better H/J.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    TMD has her grow list up. For those of you wanting Egg Yolk tomatoes, she will have them.

    Damn squirrels are digging up the peas.

  • hazelinok

    Thanks, HU and Amy. I feel better this morning. It is/was just a little head cold thing. Not bad enough to stay in bed, but just bad enough that you don't feel great. One of those types of colds.

    Larry and HU, thanks for your pea advice. My onions aren't usually quite ready by the first of June, but maybe the location change will make a difference and they'll be ready earlier.

    Larry, your place sounds amazing. I love all the things you're doing. I also like the idea of growing peas along the chicken fence. I wonder if the east side of the pen would be too shady. It gets plenty of sun in the morning and early afternoon. The west side of the pen is coral honeysuckle and probably zinnias this year. The front side (north) is herbs and flowers. It faces the back of house and I like looking at those things while I'm working in the kitchen, but the east side is empty still. I haven't even made a bed there yet. But, for this year, I could just put some peas there without a proper garden bed. We'll see....

    Amy, also thank you for the buckwheat and vetch suggestions. Those are things I want to look into in the future. I wonder if it was too wet for your okra? We actually dried out here (too much even) in July and August. The rain kept missing Norman even though everywhere else got it, SO our okra did wonderfully well. Even 13 plants were more than we could eat fresh. I shared a batch every week and put a few bags in the freezer. Hoping yours does better this year.

    dbarron, I might start sweet peas this week too. I let them just sprout indoors and then plant them outdoors. I'm only going to do a few in a very small bed in the back garden. Likely it will just give me enough to throw on my salads....but they are such a treat.

    Nancy, I hate it when my posts disappear! And thank you again for introducing me to Ashe County. Love that pepper. I'm a cardboard hoarder too!

    HU, I'm glad you enjoyed the eggs. Let me know when you want more.

    Enjoy your garden time today!

    Jen, sorry about your accident and soreness, but yay that you got a day off work.

    Amy, I started the tomatoes in small paper cups instead of the peat pellets. I could NOT find the extra large peat pellets in stores this year. It's been awhile since I've started tomatoes in those small cups. I hope they do okay. I'm so sorry that your peppers spilled. It's so easy for that to happen. Enjoy gardening with your grandsons!

    Ugh! Rebecca! Those squirrels won't leave you alone!

    Dawn, hope you're doing well and enjoying your Saturday!

    We've been out to Lowes already this morning to get the wood to replace that one bed. Waiting for it to warm up a bit.

    Lowes had a sign on their door, "We have NO paper masks!"

    We will be going to the grocery store today. It will be interesting to see what all is out of stock.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Amy, we must be related. I thought I was the only one that could really mess up the names on plants. I tell myself, " this year is going to be different", it seldom is. I also moved into the house to plant seed this year, because I dont really have a good place outside to do it if the weather is bad. I was at Ace hardware buying planting supplies, at the checkout they had 5' x 7' plastic tarps. I picked up one and tossed it into the pile of stuff I was buying. The guy ahead of me said " those are too thin to be worth anything ", I told him that I would pay $.99 to keep from getting a black eye anytime. I brought my tarp home and spread it out on the dinning room table, dumped my supplies on it, sit in that padded seat with a good light over head and planted like crazy. I then took my trays over to the kitchen sink and sprayed all the containers. I then took them into the center bedroom where the light shelf is set up. If the weather is nice I just drive my John Deere ( it has a 6' bucket, the Kubota only a 4' ) up to the edge of the deck and lower the bucket to the right working height , sit on the edge of the deck and work out of the bucket, which will already have compost and my other supplies in it. I will have the water hose or a pump-up sprayer to wet the potting mix.

    It is a little windy today, but I plan on going outside and potting up peppers, basil, and roselle. I will also check on what other seeds that I have here to start.

    My helper came over yesterday and I had him cut out boards to make a work/coffee table to use on the deck. I also ask him to mow the south lawn and garden. I forgot about the onions I had planted, I hope he did not mow them also .

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    I laughed so hard at your black eye comment, Larry. I decided if I put a vinyl table cloth on the dining room table I could sit there. But I still think I need a more comfortable kitchen stool. I can't decide if I should get one that converts to a step stool, a "medical" one that has arms that help you stand up (but might get in the way while working), and both of those have backs or a fold up stool with no back that is very light weight but says it supports 300 pounds, so it should be sturdy. I'm leaning toward the "medical" one because I may need it as time goes by.

    I always have mystery plants. If I label all the paper cups (and there's usually a few I forget), then I will forget to write on the solo cups when I pot up.

    Glad H/J feels better and I hope Jen does, too. How's the car Jen?

    Poor Ron, he had Worley's potting soil for me but when he put it in the wheel barrow the wood handle broke. So he took the boys in search of new handles. Couldn't plant lettuce because he was working right there, and I just tried to keep the boys out of his way.

    Hope the afternoon goes better.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy! You guys! We got the big (34-36 feet in diameter--we haven't officially measured it) bed done at the school!!! We were so excited we were dancing and giving high fives!! We had some lovely help this year--hard hard workers! I got home about 1. I'll be back, but just wanted to share a picture. We stacked up pavers, 3 high, and then added 14" of dirt and stuff inside. Lotta stuff. Heavy cardboard, old firewood, branches, lots of half-moldy grass (from last summer's mowing of the 3-5 empty lots), lots of leaves, wood chips (I snagged some city workers at the beginning of last week and they kindly dropped a load off to us), then a hill of top soil brought in last summer, and bags of top soil, and now we can top it off with a thin layer of compost. We certainly hope this will help the flooded bed situation.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    First tomatoes up! Fourth of July, Amelia, and Heidi. In pots in the tubs, not in the jugs. Hmm.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    I laughed at the black eye comment, too, Amy. But in the case of GDW and me, it's I who gets scowled at by him. I used big black plastic garbage bags on the dining table. This year I said I thought I'd plant them and pot them up on the card table in my office (junk room). He said, "Thank you, good idea!" (Fact is, we often watch the same TV series, but he's watching one presently that I don't like, so that was the real reason I decided to do it out here, and I can watch Growing a Greener World episodes or something else I like.

    Your "garden" and yours, HU, sound more like farming. Certainly hard-core gardening, anyway. I'm just a small veggie garden amateur. I agree, HJ, both Larry's and HU's gardens sound amazing.

    I hope Dawn's okay and look forward to hearing from her when she checks in.

    Amy, I hope your afternoon went better, too!

    I always mess up with labels on some plant or another. Well. my first mess-up of this year is a pint-sized container of sprouting seeds. NO clue. I remembered that it only called for 10 days of cold stratification. Easy peasy I thought, so put them in the container and into the fridge. I could (and might) re-read every single packet. I'm thinking it has to be some native plant.

    Out at the school a lady whose organization gave us a grant last year came out to do a check list on what we were supposed to have accomplished. One of the questions was signage. Did we have signage. John and I looked at each other and said, "Kind of." He explained that I'd made tags and they were all inserted next to the plants. (Haha--my little mini blind sections would be proud to know he called them signs.) So a few nights ago, I ordered actual little labels with HOLES in them, so I can affix them to the plant itself. AND I ordered 12" high x 1" wide craft sticks so we can make actual little signs, with various colors of markers. Do any of you have any ideas of other "signs" we could make?

    I didn't get that, Rebecca--pots in the tubs? What tubs? And, you need your "handyman" to come pay the squirrels a visit.

    I hope your cold goes away pronto, Jennifer! Ugh. I haven't found any egg sources around me yet. I NEED to. My mouth waters every time you mention them. After your conversations about the stores and what they might be out of, I was a little uncomfortable because our pantry wasn't at all full right now--in fact, needed lots of stuff. So I suggested to Garry that we run into town to see if Walmart had any empty shelves and to stock up on stuff. He thought that was a good idea, so off we went. There were several empty shelves, but we didn't know what normally is on those. Probably maybe bleach and detergents? Anyway, that's where those shelves were. And there were other empty shelves here and there--not a lot. Yet. Plenty of TP, hardly any paper towels. I forget what else. The only thing they didn't have that WE wanted was iceberg lettuce, but they had Romaine (which I prefer), so that was good.

    We loaded up on--Haha!--cat and dog food. We laughed about that. And I got a bunch of canned tuna, chicken, Spam, and salmon. At any rate, the pantry is now full again, so I'm quite fine now.

    Today was a long day. Was at the church by 8, and along with 6 other women, we got our giant 20-22 qt slow cookers filled with stew ingredients, for the stew dinner tomorrow. Then I headed over to the school garden, and we finished the bed, and I planted kale plants. Then home and then Garry and I back into town for groceries. Now dinner.

  • Rebecca (7a)

    Nancy, wintersowing in the Sterilite tubs, with pots/cups/etc inside. Like you did last year or year before.

    Anyway, I have zinnias out the wazoo right now. And morning glories. And hollyhocks. And poppies. Will be able to start harvesting lettuce soon. Potatoes are in.

    The squirrels did bother a few onions, but apparently didn’t like them. I had to replant several, but they weren’t harmed. Fixed the pea pots.

    My garden soil is hydrophobic. I can’t get it wet below the first quarter inch of soil. I water until its standing, let it soak in, and it’s still bone dry right below the surface.

    Also did some work on The Revenge of Godzilla. My big pruners and my bottle of brush killer. Now is the time to get to as much as I can of it, while I can still see it.

    Shastas and zebrinas are up. Hyacinths blooming. Spring has totally sprung in a big way around here.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Ladies, I can assure you my gardens are not much. I have had some pretty gardens back when I was able to work in them. My food gardens are less than 1000 sq. ft. each, plus I am making the rows farther apart. My wildlife garden is somewhat like farming. It is on land that my daughter owns ( I owned it at one time) and I am just trying to improve the land. I hope to make it a pretty home site, and maybe one of the granddaughter will want to build there so day. Until that time it is an area for critters. I have had dozer and excavator work done over there, I have also worked a lot with the tractors reshaping the land, and trying to improve the soil.

    I have known for a long time that my body was going down hill and I have been adjusting for that, that is the main reason I have the tractors. I wanted to make the 60 acres I live on and the 8 acres my daughter owns look as good as I possibly can while I am still able to climb on a tractor. This place was my mom and dad's dream at one time, but dad died when he was barely 35 years old of cancer, I am just trying to finish what my dad started back in 1952. I have fond memories of helping dad when i was just a kid, we had 2 tractors then also, a Farnall Cub and a F-12 Farmall.

    I got some more plants potted up this afternoon, and have more to go. I also want to start more seeds. I pulled my turnips and mustard and fed themto the cows, I think that I will pull more of over-wintered plants and have my helper change the Kubota back over to a disc, where I can work the garden. I just cant do anything with my mantis tiller, it bounces too much and hurts my shoulders. I think that I could get the job done if I could get the Poulan tiller running. Old age sure takes a lot of fun out of work.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Sure as heck does, Larry! I went to the school today, and there were 3 tough guys of about 50, and one super tough lady about 40. One young man of 10, who also is super tough and a great worker (his Dad was the big overachiever of the group, but he was loving it, and so obvious that he adores his Dad.) So by the time I got there (after stew dinner prep), and they knew I'd be late, they had SO much done. I felt like such a wimp, so dove right in and did the best I could. The 10-yr-old's Dad, the weight lifter, was obviously not comfortable with me packing 40-lb bags (like I WAS comfortable? LOL) He kept trying to lessen my load, while all the while doing 3 times the work of anyone else. I have come to love new friends with this work the past month, and to love how hard they're working. The youngster's Dad pulled me aside as we finished up, and told me he gardened some with his Grandma when he was young, and loved it. And as an adult, he thought he'd like to garden, but didn't know how to begin, and didn't have the money he thought he needed to have. And he said, "You showed up to be my teacher, and you are my champion! You showed us that we could use "free stuff" to start. He said, "I LOVE you, Ms. Nancy, and I will be working with you every week out here!" He certainly has been for the past month. He loves what good exercise it is. He's my new best friend!!

    Now if THAT isn't a testimony to spreading the love of responsible gardening, I don't know what is!!

    I got home from the stew dinner prep and then helping the workers at the school finish off that magnificent bed. . . And when I got out of the car, I could barely walk. I've been gimping around with a gimpy right hip the past couple weeks. I'm praying it's not a deteriorating hip. (Garry said today, Amy, "Now you know what Amy feels like." Indeed! Puts a whole new light on it, Amy.) Well, today, I relaxed in the laid back recliner for 90 minutes or so after taking a couple ibuprofen. That's when I began thinking how empty our pantry is and how ill-equipped we'd be if supply lines more critically affected our stores. So I got up, stiff and sore. But was in a hurry, so checked the pantry and freezer, then went out to tell Garry my thoughts, and though I was gimpy beginning our shopping trip, by the time we ended, I felt pretty good. And tonight feel just fine. What I'm thinking is/was causing the problem was sitting on my butt for the past 3 months, No. 1, and sitting in my wooden (but so cool) computer chair so much, sitting to sow seeds. Sitting to read. Sitting far far too much.

    I'm just happy I feel fine this evening!!

  • hazelinok

    Our store had toilet paper. Thank goodness! Not our usual Quilted Northern, a generic brand, but still happy to score a large package.

    Our store still had plenty of water bottles. Half of the shelves were empty, though. We don't buy water bottles. We refill our Primo jug thing every week.

    I was able to buy a bottle of bleach. There were only a couple of bottles left. Clorox wipes all gone. And half the cleaner aisle was gone. Zinc was gone...not that I was going to buy any. Hand sanitizer was about gone too.

    We just bought our regular groceries, but got giant bags of pet food...and a large bottle of Advil. I rarely use it, but don't want to NOT have it at home.

    All of the sudden everyone is saying, "we might have to start buying eggs from you if things get bad." LOL Well, we'll probably be eating all of our eggs if things get bad. OR trade them for other things. And suddenly everyone is very interested in what I'm growing in the garden this year. Y 'all, get some seeds and plant yourselves a garden!

    Our broken raised bed was replaced today. yay! We were able to enlarge that bed. It will home the crookneck squash and okra this year.

    Springing forward tomorrow. I better get to bed because work starts early.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jennifer, I have started seeds--about two weeks ago. Getting ready to pot them up to larger cups this week.

    I am so hopelessly behind on this thread, y'all, because we have had the granddaughters here for a few days and that is where all my time and attention has been going. I may be behind on gardening and everything else, but we have made slime of all kinds....color-changing slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, crunchy slime, glittery slime....you name it, we made it. I know all of you are jealous of our lovely slime collection. lol. I wish I could find a gardening use for slime since we have so much of it.

    Yes, the Weston tomato press is the one I've used forever. I watched for a good deal on it for a long time (you may not have that same luxury of time since we probably can assume it is imported from someplace and supply chain disruption is such an issue now) and got it with the set of 4 screens for basically the same price as buying it with just the one screen, which I think is the sauce screen. It cuts the time spent processing tremendously and I cannot imagine life without it. Back in the day when I still was trying to make Annie's Salsa for everyone who worked for and with Tim, I canned up to 600 jars per year of tomato products (not just salsa, but sauce, canned tomatoes, ketchup, chili base, pizza sauce, etc.) with it. That never would have been possible without the tomato press. Even though I can less now, it still is a big part of canning efficiently.

    Our Saturday was lovely. We took the grandkids out for lunch at noon before heading to the Y for Lillie's birthday swimming pool party. It was amazing to see how much taller/older all her friends have gotten since last year. She turned 11 and some of her friends are already 12 and look like they've grown 6" since last year as some of them (too many!) now are taller than I am. A bunch of giggling girls at an indoor pool party with a heated pool...they had such an awesome time....and we adults somehow survived all the laughter, screaming (hilariously), shrieking (poor lifeguard---having to listen to it all), giggling, and chattering. It was sort of sensory overload for our 5-year-old granddaughter at times and she had one meltdown before calming down and realizing all the noise and horseplay was in good fun and not mean-spirited.

    HU, I agree we all need to be growing and canning more this year as it the coronavirus is pretty much worldwide now and we don't know what effect it will have on the food supply or supply chain in 2020 or beyond. I've already been stocking up on canning supplies (vinegar, canning salt, Mrs. Wage's mixes, ReaLemon, pickling spices, citric acid, liquid pectin, powdered pectin, etc.) now before the stores run out like they did in 2008 when a lot more people planted gardens and took up canning during that little economic downturn. I've always got a lot of jars and lids, so have been focusing on the consumable items that you need once the canning starts. I remember how hard it became to find any canning supply item of any sort in 2008 so stocking up in advance will be a huge time-saver, and will eliminate a lot of frustration this summer.

    Amy, Despite my best efforts to keep things labeled, I end up with mystery plants too. They grow as well as the labeled ones and it is fun to see what you get. I switched from flimsy black flats to silver aluminum roasting pans long ago, and even those can get too flimsy once plants are potted up to 16 oz. or 20 oz. Solo cups, but then I just double the roasting pans to get a little more strength.

    Larry, I hope your doggy is doing well. All of ours had one health problem or another once they hit doggy old age, and we just dealt with each situation as it arose. It does get expensive. We only have one old dog now---Jersey is 13 and still healthy so far, but really slowing down and spending most of the day sleeping now. She still loves to go for walks with Tim on the weekends and it seems to put an extra spring in her step. The other three dogs are 5 and 1/2years old or younger. I still refer to the 5 year olds as 'the puppies' because they were puppies when they came to us and our other dogs all were so much older. It disappoints our youngest granddaughter when I call the two 5 year olds 'the puppies' because it makes her think we have brand new actual puppies, and then I have to tell her no, no new puppies, just the two younger dogs that she loves so much.

    Nancy, That's a gorgeous new round bed. I'd be all excited too.

    I'm fine, just busy with the grandkids. We waited a long time to have grandchildren so spend every minute with them that we can. Aurora still remembers living with us temporarily last year while they were buying their new home and constantly tells me she's going to come back and live with us again 'forever' one day. I'd love that, but it isn't going to happen. lol.

    Rebecca, Spring has sprung here, but we still are having a couple of nights a week with low temperatures around 33-34 degrees here in our cold microclimate, so I'm not getting overly excited and planting much in the ground yet. Soon, though, soon. What is truly awful is all the tree pollen in the air. I just hate it as our allergies have ramped up, but eventually all the trees and shrubs will be through flowering and pollinating and the pollen levels will decline. Blooming fruit trees are losing their flowers and putting out leaves now. It is amazing how quickly that happens. Soon tiny fruit will become apparent, and hopefully a late freeze won't get the fruit.

    Larry, Your place always is going to look amazing. I know it will. I agree that getting older takes all the fun out of work, but I know you'll keep going as long as you can because you love doing it so much. So will I.

    Nancy, I'm so glad you are there to teach your new best friend. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear, right?

    I haven't been in the grocery stores this weekend to see if we are having many bare shelves yet, but our Wal-mart has been out of hand sanitizer for weeks and weeks, and cold/flu medicine and OTC painkillers, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are very low and sometimes nonexistent on the store shelves. When I see some, I buy them, but I'm not seeing a lot lately. I've been trying to think of what we'll need for the summer months and have been buying it now while the stores still have it....sunscreen, insect repellent, swimming pool chemicals, Chigger Rid, cortisone ointment for itchiness, etc. Oh, and band-aids for all the kids' (and adults') little boo boos and owies.

    Jennifer, Thanks for the shopping report. I'll have to let y'all know what we find on the store shelves (or don't find there) today after our shopping trip. Bleach has been hit or miss lately, and the same is true with water. They never run out completely so far, but the stock gets low at times. Toilet paper has been low on the shelves at times, but not sold out yet in local stores, except for at Costco, which apparently is where America goes to stock up on such things. I have seen all sorts of photos and videos online of huge lines to get into Costco stores this week, especially in Washington state, New York and California and am thankful it is not like that here yet. We're not planning on going to Costco this weekend, so it could be bad down there and we wouldn't know it. We only have time to do local shopping today due to a full schedule today.

    I probably would stockpile eggs in case things do get bad. You can freeze them (without the shells) you know. Just crack each egg into one section of an ice cube tray and freeze the whole tray. Once the eggs are frozen solid, you remove them from the tray and they do pop out pretty easily. Put the eggs in zip-lock freezer bags and store them in your freezer, using as needed.

    Everyone should have a garden this year! You know, like everyone had Victory Gardens back in the WWII years. None of us can know at this point what coronavirus does now that it is here in the USA. Will it be relatively contained? Will it run wild? Will it affect our farmers? Will it affect the truckers who move the produce across the nation? Most of us here on this forum are spoiled because we grow our own produce during the garden season anyway, but I think hoarding of fresh produce will hit new highs among the general population if it becomes short in supply and people panic thinking that there might not be more produce on store shelves the next time they shop. If everyone had a veggie and herb garden, they'd know that they would at least have some fresh produce on hand. Unfortunately, a lot of brand-new gardeners may not understand how to plant for the weather they have, and may plant some crops too late in spring to get a new crop, so I hope they are researching as they go along and avoid having that issue.

    To follow onions, one can plant any type of warm-season crop. I tend to plant southern peas and lima beans heavily, but you also can plant more summer squash/winter squash and pumpkins, okra, roselles, cantaloupes, muskmelons, watermelons and other miscellaneous melons, sweet potatoes (a bit late if they follow onions but not insanely late), yard-long beans (which are more like southern peas than beans), more peppers, more tomatoes (for an autumn harvest), and warm season greens like Egyptian spinach, New Zealand spinach and red or green Malabar spinach. Swiss chard does well for me all summer as long as I remember to harvest the leaves when they are younger, smaller and more tender. I can plant kale late and get a great crop as long as I keep it in morning sun and afternoon shade, and keep the chickens away from it because they will devour it otherwise.

    Because of all the coronavirus cases on the west coast, I had become increasingly uneasy about Tim and some of his employees traveling to Las Vegas in mid-March for some sort of huge law enforcement conference, but I never tried to convince him to cancel the trip. They send a handful of people to it every year and I guess it is a big thing for them to go to it. I figure he's a grown man and he can make his own decisions, so I kept my mouth shut and hoped he'd make the right decision. So, Thursday night he told me he'd talked to his boss and cancelled the trip. Yippee! I felt relieved. Then on Friday he talked with his employees who were scheduled to go on that trip to tell them that he had cancelled the trip for all of them, and every one of them expressed relief that the trip had been cancelled as they had been feeling uneasy about attending a convention right now too. Then, later in the day, Tim got a message that the entire conference had been cancelled by whatever organization puts on the whole thing, which I think was a wise decision. This just doesn't seem to be like a good time to be hopping on an airplane and traveling anywhere. And, at his work, they are implementing the same stringent financial cutbacks they had to implement after 9/11 due to less planes flying (drastically less) which means a lot less airport income from landing fees. I think they are smart to have done this as early in the situation as they have and it indicates upper airport management is at the top of their game and being very proactive. Airline bankruptcies are not out of the question in the coming months as the airlines operate on fairly thin profit margins even in the best of times---it is a really tough industry to succeed in these days.

    So, it is Sunday and a new week, and now that I'm caught up on the old week, I'll go start the new weekly thread if someone else hasn't already beaten me to it.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    Dawn, I agree about things could get rough. My daughter was over today and I was asking her about shipping ( she has worked in shipping 30 some odd years). She was telling me that shipping could be better, especially in California, she says that it is tough to get drivers to haul to California because there is less freight coming out of California, of course a driver always needs a return load and cant afford for his rig to sit and wait days for a load to come up, or to buy fuel to go somewhere else to pick up a load. It sounds crazy, we get nearly everything by truck. Toilet paper may be one of our smallest problems, but maybe those of us that dont have a garden wont need a lot of toilet paper.

    I think that I have things covered from my end, I have a large bottle of Florida Broad leaf mustard seeds sitting just to the lift of my recliner. In a pinch that could cover for food and toilet paper if I would hurry and get the seeds in the ground.

    Two of my granddaughters came over with my daughter today. The younger one brought me a concrete brain. She is working on her masters in civil engineering, specializing in concrete. My new brain looks as tho it may be larger than the one I am using now. I thanked her for it and told her that maybe people would stop calling me a half wit, now that they can see the size of my brain.

    I have always enjoyed cutting up with my kids and grand kids. The kids were over two weeks ago and took a picture of my seed trays so I would remember where everything was located in the tray ( I did, and still have everything labeled). They were surprised to see everything up, and even potted up. They are now making plans on what they want to plant in their containers at home.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Larry, That is exactly what I've been hearing from folks in the trucking industry too. It is my understanding that some of the last container ships that left China finally arrived in the USA yesterday, but I think they guy who told me that said there were only 3 container ships and there's no more behind them showing up on the shipping traffic maps. That cannot be good. I wish I knew more info for sure about exactly what things are made in China, so I'd know exactly what to stock up on, just in case. For example, during Trump's trade war with China, some of the shoe manufacturers moved their production facilities from China to Viet Nam and kept on making and shipping the shoes to the USA. Great, right? Well, maybe not. It turns out that the Vietnamese factories still were using raw materials from China, which they now are running out of, so their production is going to grind to a halt if they cannot find an alternate source of materials until China is up and running again. The bad thing about a global economy is the way that we have concentrated so much production in one nation because of its cheap labor, and then discover what a mistake that is when that one nation has a pandemic virus sweep through and shut things down. Some of the things we should stock up on, like prescription medications, we cannot stock up on them because no one's doctor gives them a prescription written in a way that allows stockpiling. So, what happens to folks on various life-sustaining medications when they cannot get them?

    The concrete brain sounds awesome and what a lovely and imaginative gift that was! Two of our nieces, who live in Pennsylvania, are engineers and each of them spent several years working in China for Westinghouse, as that seems to sort of be a fast-track to success in their specific field and with their specific employer. I am so glad they have been back in the USA for a few years now though.

    I like the idea of taking a photo of seeded flats with the labels in place! I also label each flat, like Flat #1, Flat #2, etc. using duct tape to place a physical label on the flat. Then I draw a map on paper, showing how each flat is planted. This helps me keep track of stuff, as long as I don't lose my little maps.


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