okiedawn1

July 2020, Week 1


Houzz is very annoying this morning and I am getting all sorts of weird messages, some highlighted in blue and yellow, and then the whole post I had just written vanished completely while I still was typing it. What in the world is going on with Houzz this morning?


Y'all know I am not going to retype it all, but I'll try to hit the basics: it is hot, it is turning drier, the pests are rampaging and snakes are more active and more visible than previously. There, that's the synopsis.

Comments (73)

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    13 days ago

    Marleigh. . . thank you for the blackberry offering. I DO think next spring will be fine. As I said, I've realized the problem with planting along the fence is the Bermuda. Until we can hatch a plan to deal with it, we'll have to wait. I had all kinds of plans for it earlier--I was going to put all our vining produce up against the fence. But the Bermuda made it impossible.

    dbarrown, definitely fungus on the tithonia. PM always gets the scarlet bee balm. Always. The two light purple/pink clumps in the back of that bed have more resistance, but are beginning to get it now. And my zinnias almost always get powdery mildew, also, as did the rudbeckia. I got so tired of it with the rudbeckia that I just took it out.

    Dawn, I guess I do have quite a few flowering plants. Just that I tend to compare it to the school. Haha. However--when we were at the school yesterday in that HOT miserable forceful wind, I was reminded how I love the shade and protection from wind here. I agree about the hybrid echinaceas. I have the prettiest deep orange ones that are going nuts. And they aren't getting tall and floppy, so I LOVE them. I've not bothered to remember the names of the flower hybrids--but I should, in the event I want to buy them again. I need a Gloriosa daisy! Ammi majus was one of my wonderful finds (and visage). I love that plant. So do the swallowtails. But the caterpillars have plenty of fennel, parsley and dill, so I'll keep them off the ammi. Also. You might find it hard to believe that we will be having our FIRST BLTs tonight. We've had the small Heidis and cherry tomatoes for a couple weeks. . . but we'll be having Big Brandy F1s for dinner. They're a pretty deep pink. I thought they were Giant Belgiums, but they're not. The name tag clear tells me they're BBs. Then--the three small tomatoes that had the leaf-footed bug nymphs. I didn't fix fried green tomatoes, and they must have broken enough color, because they're nearly ripe now. I'm having the most fun with the Egg Yolks. My plant is just loaded! And though they're not quite as tasty as Sungolds (what is?), they are quite fine.

    We had BAD luck fishing today. I caught a small one. That was it. Three hours and one small catfish. Blach. So we were home by 1.

    Jennifer. Aren't you excited to be learning to can? I'm excited for. you! (Or did you already know?). At any rate, so nice that. you have the SG now.

    I'm feeling like we're never going to get back to "normal." Our church has started up by having "parking lot" services. But most of the folks bring chairs and set up outside the cars. I watched the service on the computer Sunday, and noticed that hardly anyone was wearing a mask, and most weren't doing the social distancing. I just want no part of it. We met John and Suzanne for dinner at Chili's on Saturday. It wasn't too crowded, which was good. I asked for a table that was sort of out of the main traffic way, and all the servers were wearing masks. It was fun, but I really wasn't even comfortable meeting them for dinner, or being in the restaurant; I hate the new "un-normal." Larry, I suppose Madge and you are holed up at home?

    Marleigh, I cannot believe you are going to have a baby in a month--and your fourth! How DO you have time for gardening. You are a rock star!

    Amy posted a "good, bad and ugly" garden stuff on FB. I'll call you, Amy, and raise you, re the bad and ugly. I have So much bad and ugly. I can see I have a camera outing to do. Meanwhile, here are the pretty deep orange echinacea (flanked by pretty but virtually worthless daylilies. LOL)


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  • hazelinok
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Yes, like a dream. You remember parts of it....and sometimes it resembles "real life" a little..sometimes not.

    Even dumb little things like going thru my closet and finding a couple of new "spring" sweaters---why didn't I wear those? Oh, because we were sheltering in place during the season of early spring.

    I am thrilled to be home today and have a lot to do. For one, breading okra and putting it in the freezer to use later. And shredding zucchini for fall bread making. And continuing to water with the soaker hoses and boring things like laundry. And fixing some food to take to a friend who had surgery yesterday. Then canning shell beans tonight with HU.

    HU, Tom got an email about the extra shelves he ordered. Hopefully they'll be in Friday.

    Trying to stay cool and keep the animals cool will be a project for all of us.

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  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.
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    Woke up this morning to the sound of thunder, and surprise, surprise, we are in the middle of a pop-up storm! It’s dumping pretty heavily, so hopefully we’ll get half an inch or so before it moves on. (Final result: solid half hour downpour. No complaints!)


    The garden looks pretty good, all things considered. I’ve started to pull ripe cherries and salad tomatoes, and some of the slicers are starting to turn. Beans are still producing, peppers are coming along, and squash and melons are pumping out blossoms and baby fruits. I’ve started all my fall transplants, and will be direct seeding some more in a few weeks. Weeds have been manageable this year with constant attention, and I’ve been picking dozens of stink bugs to drown. Jerks. Caught a ton of squash bug eggs and nymphs with tape yesterday after a long pause in SB activity. Still no hornworms (knock on wood) and there are at least half a dozen orb weavers setting up shop in the garden.


    Nancy—Happy to share! They do so well it’s hard to deny any other gardener a plant that is virtually impossible to kill! I mulch mine every year with cardboard and then a layer of straw, which keeps 90% of the weeds down. Bermuda isn’t any more of an annoyance there than it is anywhere else, though some grasses always find a way through the cracks. Blackberries are just so tenacious they outgrow even prairie grass. Gardening is the thing I do for myself because I really enjoy it, so it goes on whether I’m pregnant or not. 😉 Fortunately my kids and husband enjoy the results, so no one complains much about the house full of seedlings and drying seeds, or the time spent on pest patrol. My boys really enjoy hunting for squash bug eggs and helping dad set traps for gophers, so there’s that!


    —Marleigh

  • Larry Peugh
    12 days ago

    I feel worn out, and I need some of the optimism like dbarron. I am tired, I want to take my wife out to eat, visit with family. But instead, I fight bugs, hot weather. It seems as though I water, water, water, and still dont get the produce I should be getting. There is a ton of things I need to be working on, but I spend too much time in this recliner. I have health issues that are not getting better, nor do I expect them to get better. I feel like everything is going well for me, considering all the junk that is going on in the world. I dont understand why there is so much hate, why is everyone offended about something?


    I need to haul some water over to the wild life garden. The wildlife project is something I should not have started this year. I enjoy it, but, it is a lot of frustration and work. Sometimes I feel that my goals are all screwed up. Do the loved ones I try to help, really try to help them selves? I sometimes back off and it seems as though everything go on as normal. I have got to learn that I cant even control my world, let alone someone else's world.


    Thanks for listening to me whine, now I got to go haul water, and maybe plant a few pumpkins for the deer to eat. The deer and groundhogs are trying to eat me out of house and home. Do you think, that, maybe, an old man that hauls water to water plants that the deer are going to eat, when mother nature still has plenty of food for them to eat, should be in the Nut House letting people care for him?


    This whiny post is all chopped up, but I am too tired to correct it. Have a nice day, and if you have any extra time, grab a water bucket and come help me water.

  • HU-422368488
    12 days ago

    Has anybody used "Spinosad" ? It's an organic insecticide .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E-aRbysd0M


    Might be good for spider mites as well as corn earworms.


    HU


  • hazelinok
    12 days ago

    Larry, you can "whine" anytime. I wish I could help you with the watering.

    HU, I've never used spinosad.


  • HU-422368488
    12 days ago

    I'm looking around to see if "Spinosad" is available in town.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Spinosad&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=Spinosad&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


    I picked up some mineral oil this morning but have to wait till the corn silks turn brown to use it.


    HU




  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    12 days ago

    Sometimes whining is what we all do best, Larry. Sounds more poetic if we say we're singin' the blues. Sending prayers for energy your way. You might send some this way, too. And Amy's way. Who else's? LOL

    The Big Brandy F1s are delicious. Sweet and ever so juicy. Well. I just took a walk down OKGW memory lane. I was googling a question about tomatoes. Can't even remember what it was now. Took me back to Dawn's 2008 thread about Tomato Growing. Great information, and I saved it as a document. Then I was looking for Part two and ended up in 2017. Read a bunch of those. I was just sitting here thinking about how much I had to learn--both about vegetable gardens AND about gardening in OK. I laughed. Gardening in Minnesota was far easier. Unless one had a heavily insulated greenhouse, the gardening only took 5-6 months out of one's life! I had a couple good friends who raised beautiful vegetable gardens AND flowers. One was a master gardener, and her husband and she knew SO much. I was lucky to have met them, We worked together at a law firm. We still stay in touch. I didn't try. to grow vegetables because my yard was shady; there was some sun but I chose flowers over vegetables. (Story of my life. At least here, there IS sun in one area for vegetables, behind the shop. If I were 30 years younger, I'd be able to expand that bed another 20 feet with hugelkultur-type beds.

    I know I've heard Dawn mention Spinosad for treating certain things. . . here's a recent discussion from her: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5887601/march-2020-week-5#n=132

    I've spent a good bit of time in the past hour looking up summer squash recipes and cherry tomatoes. I've done no garden work, despite my weedy flower beds. After all. . . head advisory. Now the truth? The forecast was WAY off. It was supposed to be sunny and HOT. It has been mostly cloudy all day and mid to high 80s. And quite comfortable on the deck with the fans going. So we're just being slugs.

    I made the mistake of putting five pepper plants in the potato bed--well, the potato plants got so tall, the pepper plants didn't have a chance. Now we've pulled the potatoes out, so I gave the peppers fertilizer and I'm sure they will be VERY happy now. The peppers in other places are doing well, but are a bit slow.

    Rebecca, I'm not overly optimistic about the chance for the hollyhock(s) surviving a transplant, but you're welcome to try. I'm taking out the tithonia in the next few days. I think I'll make a trip to Muskogee and see what Lowe's has in the way of plants I can put in that bed.





  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Marleigh, In case you suddenly go into labor early and we don't get to wish you well before the baby comes, I want to say now that I hope you have a splendidly perfect labor and delivery!

    If you're in northeastern OK, y'all should have ready access to mushroom compost from the mushroom farm in northeastern OK. It is a big one. I sometimes can find their bagged mushroom compost at stores down here, but up there in NE OK, at one point, you even could drive to the farm in a pickup and get it by the truck bed full. I'm not sure if that still is possible....or even if it is something that parents of 4 children would have the time to do. I would imagine their bagged mushroom compost probably is available at some stores in your part of the state though.

    Here's the farm's website:


    J & M Farms


    Bruce, While blackberries do well in pretty much all of Oklahoma, raspberries are very iffy here and generally only do well in a few northeastern OK counties that have very rich, humusy soil and maybe kinder summer weather? I don't know. I know a ton of people who have tried raspberries, and only a few in the far northeastern counties have had success that lasted for years instead of months.

    Jennifer, Yes, hosing off aphids upsets and displaces the lady bugs. It usually is just a technique to keep the aphid population down until the lady bugs show up.

    I cannot believe fireworks started already in your neighborhood. The only ones in our neighborhood so far were the few we did on Saturday night with the girls, but since they were for little girls, they weren't even loud enough to upset our dogs...who likely couldn't even hear the tiny pops. It will be different this weekend when everyone is firing off the big stuff. This weekend our dogs will be miserable, especially Jersey, who will spend the whole night hiding in the walk-in closet in the master bedroom. That is her safe spot when she hears thunder, fireworks or gunshots during hunting season.

    Nancy, I'm excited about y'all having your first BLTs. Now it really and truly is summer at your house and I hope you enjoyed/enjoy them. Lately we are eating them every day just to try to use up tomatoes. Eventually we'll tire of them, but we've been eating them for quite a while yet and we still enjoy them each night as if they are the first of the season. Let me know what you think about the Big Brandys. I think I have grown them twice---they are from the same heirloom marriage series as the Cherokee Carbon, which has earned a permanent place on our grow list.

    I think it would be easy to love whichever garden you're in at a given time. The sunny site at the school has some advantages, but so does your more shady site at home....so you really have the best of both worlds.

    I hate the lack of social distancing I am seeing too, and we had 3 new cases here yesterday in our county, which might tie the most we've ever had in 1 day. We're a tiny county with a tiny hospital though, so 3 new cases is a lot for us. It was better than Chris and Jana's county, which had 10 new cases today....and better than the Texas county to our south where they had 12 new cases yesterday plus 7 more that are counted separately from the Cooke County because those 7 are at a state juvenile correctional facility. We can grocery shop in our county, but never do because the store here is hideous. So, we either go north one county or south one county, and we choose based on who has the fewest active cases. Is that our new normal? Does it eventually get better? I don't know. We really have been wanting to go to a steakhouse in Ardmore for a real dinner out, but hesitated to go last week because there's still so many cases popping up randomly, and now I'm glad we didn't go because they just announced one of their employees has tested positive. Maybe 2021 will be better, because I think I have given up on 2020 getting any better.

    Love your coneflowers! I have added tons of them to the temporary bed in the front garden this week, and look forward to moving all of them to the landscaping beds in the fall so we get off to a good start for 2021. I also ordered seeds of several echinacea varieties to add to them including Mellow Yellows, Cheyenne Spirit, Green Twister, Ruby Star, Primadonna Deep Rose and White Compact Prairie Spendor. I'm going to start these indoors under lights soon, then grow them on outdoors in flats for a while and hope we have transplants ready to go into the beds this fall.

    Jennifer, We know several in Texas who have the virus but none of them have had the bad version that requires hospitalization and a ventilator, so far. One of Jana's coworkers came down with it after working on the Covid-19 floor at the hospital for all of one single shift, although none of us could say she caught it there because we don't know---she could have been exposed to it anywhere. I haven't remembered to ask Jana how she is doing. With case loads and hospitalizations exploding in Texas (1000 new cases just in Tarrant and Dallas counties combined yesterday and more than 5000 for the state), I assume we soon will know more. Most of Tim's employees who were exposed to his first Covid-19 employee tested negative, so it ended up that out of at least 9 potential cases, there were only 2. Neither one of them is recovered yet.

    I am sorry about your daughter's wedding plans being so disrupted. I fear that this disruption of normal life is what we'll all remember about 2020. I am worried my sister's stepdaughter will have to make changes to her wedding, but haven't heard that yet. She chose a location halfway between her home in the DFW metro and the college town in west Texas where she has lived the last 4 or 5 years, so we are assuming a lot of her college friends will be there. We still are on the fence about going and haven't sent in our RSVP yet because we cannot decide what to do. Every time I am around my sister's family I catch the flu from them. Every single time. It was at her house last Thanksgiving week that her mother-in-law and I both caught that horrible Covid-19 like illness that we had for all of December. If it was not Covid-19, it was enough like it that it was horrifying because it was so different and so strange and hard to get over. I still don't feel fully recovered from that and just have to pace myself physically and do things more slowly at a more measured pace. That alone makes me want to avoid this family wedding because I can just bet that someone there will be a Covid-19 carrier. Otherwise, in normal conditions, I wouldn't miss the wedding for anything.

    Rebecca, Are all your tomato plants in containers? If that is the case, that's the issue---BER is so much worse in containers because the roots are trapped inside the container and cannot spread out far and wide. When I grew tomatoes in smaller containers than the ones I have now (30 gallon), I had to work so very hard to avoid having BER develop and was not always successful. I do understand your frustration. When I pull out tomato plants in the fall from the raised beds, their roots often run 3-4' in literally all directions, and sometimes farther...so you can see why tomato plants in containers will behave differently. You always grow in containers, though, right? So what is the difference between this year and any previous year that is making it worse this year? Heidi never has BER in my garden, so I am inclined to think they aren't as happy in a container and that probably is the answer for you. Even in years when we only have 20-25" of rain for the whole year, they don't get BER but I do pay more careful attention to watering them in a year like that.

    Yes, trying to keep the animals and people cool is the challenge this week. I put ice cubes in all the pet watering bowls and chicken waterers in heat like this, especially when the heat index numbers are so high.

    Spring wasn't much help because it stayed too cool too long and was too rainy. We have had some nice springs, but I don't think we have had them in recent years.

    Larry, You weren't whining, you were venting....and we all need to vent! I would like a return to normalcy just like you would. I also hate all the time and attention we have to give to watering now after we struggled through a flooded spring with far too much water. Why in the world can't Mother Nature even out the water?

    Is it October yet? I look forward to October. I used to look forward to September because that is when the hot weather broke, but in recent years, we haven't gotten a break from the heat until October. Right now October seems light-years away.

    HU, I used Spinosad for something when it first came out. Maybe for Colorado potato beetles or maybe it was for blister beetles on the cucumbers. It works, but I decided after that that I would not use it in my garden as a spray because it is broad-spectrum and will kill beneficial insects. I just ignore spider mites and patiently wait for the lady bugs, green lacewings and predatory mites to clean them up, which they always do. If I sprayed anything that would kill the spider mites, it also would kill the predatory mites that otherwise would eat and kill the spider mites. Avid is a miticide that works pretty well for the people I know who use it, but it also would kill your predatory mites. Its active ingredient is Abamectin, and I bet it is a lot more costly than Spinosad. I have bought Spinosad at Home Depot. The brand they had the time I bought it was Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew, a reference to the discovery of spinosad's active ingredient in the ruins of a rum distillery in the Caribbean in the 1980s. I would have bought Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew based on the name alone!

    This morning I planted most of the plants I bought on Saturday, so now they sit in their temporary home until the landscape project is ready for them. Tomorrow I'll plant the rest of those plus the plants I bought on Sunday. It is hard to get anything done working around this awful heat and humidity. We get so miserably hot so early.

    Another death of a much beloved, key member of our community was announced this morning. Like our next-door neighbor, he had been fighting Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and died far too young. Our entire county has had far too many deaths the last two weeks and everyone is pretty bummed out about that. One thing I've learned about living in a really small community is how much any death touches the lives of so many, many people. Even if it isn't someone you know personally, it is likely your kid went to school with their kids, or you know 47 different people all related to them, or you've worked with them on volunteer community projects, etc. It is so different from living in a big city where people seem more anonymous.

    The downside to buying and transplanting new plants into the ground in June is you have to hand water them daily to keep them happy until they can settle in. I don't really mind it though as watering is more fun than weeding!


    Dawn

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    11 days ago

    What day is it? Where am I? WHO am I? LOL. I fell asleep in the recliner. . . GDW just told me goodnight half an hour ago. I asked him how long I'd been asleep--2 hrs? He laughed and said yeah, maybe 3. Well. That's good! I hate it when I can't fall asleep at night.

    I like that thought, Dawn. I'm goin' with it. "Watering is more fun than weeding." You saw my new flowers. I was so despondent after taking out the Mexican sunflowers earlier today. So about 3 pm while I was mourning, I remembered your plant shopping. I said to GDW, "Honey! I have to go to Lowe's and get some flowers!" He looked at me like I was crazy. "You need more PLANTS???" "Yep. I am in DEEP mourning." He said, "Well, let's go." And off we went. I said to myself that I would limit it to $100. These were for the sunny raised flower bed next to the car/boat port. Three pretty salvia, three pretty phlox, a wonderful rudbeckia that looked like your gloriosa daisy, Dawn, three pots of orange/yellow zinnias (elegant), and 2 pots of various pink zinnias (elegant). (I don't remember other variety names.) I planted zinnias here, by broadcast--and at the school. The school ones are coming in--mine here aren't. This is crazy! Who can't grow a zinnia! We zipped into Lowe's gardening section and zipped out like half an hour later. I told him I wasn't in deep mourning any longer. It was so much fun I would have spent another $100, except I don't know where I would have put them. Then we stopped at Chile's for a quick dinner. . . it was early, and there was hardly anyone in there. Perfect. Nice day. I shall dump more soil into that bed and then put the new color in there.



  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Nancy, I love all the new flowers you bought! Normally I totally abhor planting in the summer months because we're usually in drought and it is hard enough on well-established plants, much less on new ones, but with the spring planting season obliterated by constant heavy rainfall and also by the fact that the stores were pretty dead and weren't even getting regular plant shipments, it seems like summer planting is required this year. I also stayed out of the stores for a long time and you cannot buy plants if you aren't in the stores. Friends of ours who were venturing out kept me filled in back then on how poor the plant selection was, so at that point in time I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Once the plant shipments flooded tons of plants back into the stores in mid- to late-May as TX and OK opened back up , the stores filled up with a huge backlog of plants. I have been out plant shopping for the last two weekends, but only locally here along the river, and only outdoors in the open air part of the garden centers. With cases of the coronavirus exploding daily (over 1200 new cases just in Dallas and Tarrant (Fort Worth) counties yesterday, up 200 for them from the day before), I feel like visiting nurseries down there would be risky, and yet I am dying to do it anyway. Well, I probably won't visit those nurseries, but I really, really want to. One of them starts its summer clearance sale today or maybe it was yesterday and I am sure the locals who live nearby will wipe out the plant inventory by noon. It is in a pretty ritzy neighborhood in Dallas that was hit by a tornado a while back and I bet everyone there is far enough along with clean-up repairs that they are replanting their landscapes now. Oh well, plant shopping can continue locally until at least October here, so maybe I'll gradually find more stuff I want for the new landscape. Meanwhile, the front veggie garden is filling up with more and more plants temporarily occupying the raised beds until they can move to their new home. The bees are all over the newly purchased Echibeckias and Echinaceas daily, and also visit the new veronica and the dwarf chaste trees quite a bit. We have lots of other flowers for them, but they really are favoring the new ones right now---perhaps they love new plants as much as we do.

    We only have been out to the Cracker Barrel in Gainesville because it is practicing social distancing so very well, and like you and Garry, we like to slip in there for dinner very early when the place is quite deserted. On the news last night they said a lot of bars and restaurants up in Ardmore are shutting back down because employees are testing positive, so it looks like folks up there will have fewer places to eat out for a while. There's also a lot of issues within schools that recently reopened their summer athlete training programs---in a lot of the little schools scattered around our area, either student athletes or coaches or both have tested positive for the virus, shutting down those schools again. It isn't a lot at once, just another school or two on the news daily....drip, drip, drip like a faucet. I don't know how the schools are going to be able to have fall athletics at the rate this stuff is going.

    I have about 8 or 10 plants to transplant into the garden this morning and am about to head back outside (I already was out earlier) to do that now. These are plants in trade gallon sized pots or in 2 or 3 quart sized pots. The really big ones that are in 3 gallon pots, which are either shrubs or small trees, can wait another few days for a cooler batch of weather. I'm not digging holes that big in this heat. I'll just water them daily and I have them placed where they get shade beginning about 1 p.m.

    I have been watching for more red hot poker plants because the ones I bought last fall are so gorgeous and keep putting out new flowers as long as I deadhead them regularly. These newer hybrids bloom a lot better than the older one I had, which seems cantankerous and cranky and not prone to blooming very often. I haven't seen any, but since I bought the current ones in the fall, maybe more of them will arrive in the stores this fall.

    Lillie and I popped into HD on Saturday while Tim took Aurora with him to TSC to buy hen scratch, and she got to see baby chicks while they were in TSC, so she considered their shopping trip a perfect success. Lillie and I found more plants to add to the already purchased ones piling up in the garden awaiting planting. We bought these: another dwarf chaste tree called "Blue Puffball" to go with the one we bought a couple of weeks ago. I'd like to find one more of those. Two Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) to replace ours that froze in last October's early freeze. I hoped the plants would come back, but they didn't. They are marginally hardy here, but I love them enough to keep buying them. We found five blue meadow sage, 2 echinacea Sombrero Yellow to go with the red and orange ones we had bought that are in the same Sombrero series, a Hardy Hibiscus "Luna Swirl", a pink and white swirled bicolor, which actually is intended for the garden to go with the Luna Red and Luna Pink I grew from seed, and 5 more gauras, these are more of a pink whereas the earlier ones purchased veered more towards a rosy red. I really, really need to stop purchasing perennials and focus more on finding shrubs the next time we're out plant shopping, but it is the hot-season perennials that are packed into the garden centers right now. Lowe's had a ton of shrubs and vines, but a lot of them had gotten too dry and look pretty dead....if they put them on clearance for super low prices, I might risk buying some dead-looking plants to revive, but I'm not spending full price for anything that looks more dead than alive.

    Tim just told me last night he is off on Friday the 3rd because staff normally would have the 4th off and it falls on the weekend, so I need to be figuring out what we'll do on the third. On the other hand, he is on call this weekend, so his day off probably won't feel like much of a day off. Sometimes whoever is the Asst Chief on call spends much of the weekend on the phone putting out fires, so to speak. I wonder if lunch out on Friday could be followed by a quick stop to see what plants are in the stores this weekend? Hmmm. Texas is shutting down things so fast that if we want to shop for anything else, we need to do it soon. I just hope a new round of panic buying doesn't hit the stores as things shut down. It was ridiculous to see the stores emptied of merchandise overnight back in the spring when the original shutdowns were beginning. Mask wearing is becoming mandatory again in many places in Texas, and I don't mind that at all. You know, if you mask up as we have been doing, often people look at you like they think you're sick and perhaps that will stop happening now that more businesses are making masks mandatory again. I have no problem wearing a mask but I hate it when people look at you with suspicion just because you wear one. If we all were wearing masks all the time we are out anywhere or have people at our homes, I bet OK wouldn't be seeing the higher growth rates in new cases that now is occurring.

    Peppers and tomatoes are piling up everywhere in the kitchen and I am going to have to do something with them today. I should have stuck with my original intention to plant a lot fewer tomato plants. You know, if I went plant shopping and found a dozen or so shrubs, I could pull out half the tomato plants in the main garden and use their space as a holding bed for the new shrubs and I wouldn't mind that at all. We have too many tomatoes and I don't want to deal with that many plants all summer long. I really only wanted to have enough tomatoes for fresh eating and we have more than that. It becomes stressful trying to figure out how to use them up before they get overly ripe. I guess I could can some, but I've been trying to avoid that. Being semi-retired from the drudgery of canning has been fun. I think I've just done so much of it over the decades that I am sort of over it.

    Oh, the new drought monitor map is out this morning and the spread of the dry conditions continues marching northeastward. I think most of the growth in the map this week is in the "Abnormally Dry" category, which technically is pre-drought, but it only takes a couple of dry weeks at this time of the year for Abnormally Dry to progress to Moderate Drought. The panhandle is looking pretty bad, and that is fairly typical. Here's the map:


    Oklahoma Drought Monitor


    Today is going to be dreadfully hot again with even worse heat index numbers in some areas today than yesterday, and yesterday's were pretty brutal. I don't expect to stay outside long this morning. I'm putting off going back out there, and I just need to get off this computer and do it, so I shall.


    Dawn




  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    11 days ago

    I believe the mushroom place has certain hours every week you can get compost, but Vinita is still a good trip from Marleigh. I suppose you wait a few weeks until you are at the "I want this baby out NOW" point and make the trip in an old truck with bad springs. My SIL went and rode a roller coaster at that point. I do not envy you being pregnant in the heat of the summer. My daughter is due Oct 7.

    The cucumbers Ron planted are up. I'm going out in a minute and plant the rest of the okra. If I cut bush beans back will they continue to grow? That's where I'm planting okra. I was going to pull them out, but then I thought what should I plant there under the okra. Not melons. can't bring myself to do squash. There are probably enough cosmo seeds in there from last year to cover it.

    I had to make a spreadsheet to help me remember which beds I watered, LOL. I told Ron I needed some stakes, Dawn, but that hasn't happened yet.

    Ron brought in the first purple tomato today. I made him show me which plant it came from. Indian stripe. He thought it was a Cherokee Purple, but I didn't plant any. Then I found another turning red, Herman's Special, which I have not grown before and marked it so I would know when we ate it. The Heidi's, the Ramapo, a Heinz VF are in another bed and being strangled by volunteer cowpeas. They have spider mites I think, and some blight. I'm sorry about the Ramapo, I grow them for Ron because it's a NJ tomato.

    The cardinal flower is finally blooming. Do they drop seeds? Will I forever have them there? Should I dead head?

    I wanted to say more, but if I don't go out now it will be too hot.

  • Rebecca (7a)
    11 days ago

    Dawn, I have 5 Heidi in a 100 gallon fabric bed. Bed was amended in spring with mushroom compost and Black Kow, and plants were planted with MG tomato food pellets. In previous 2 years, they were in 5 or 10 gallon grow bags, and I maybe had a couple of the first fruit with it, before the plant was fully mature, but not after. They literally handled any level of water with no trouble. This year is totally different. Only different thing I did was wintersow the seeds. The Fourth of July has also proven itself as a tomato that can handle anything, and this is the first time ever I’ve had BER trouble with it. They’re in 15 or 20 gallon grow bags, same amendment and fertilizer as the Heidi. The lone Big Beef in a 25 gallon bag has even had one.


    in contrast, I have 2 Amelia and 3 (wrong) Porter in another 100 gallon fabric bed, and not one single tomato with BER. They are gigantic plants and loaded down. The Heidi are every bit as big and loaded. They all get watered and fertilized at the same rate.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Rebecca, I am surprised the plants are giving you that much BER trouble in bags that big. It has got to be related to the crazy weather we have had, and I hope the BER stops happening. Is the soil in the two separate 100-gallon bags the same? It seems odd that one bed is having so much and the other none at all. Sometimes crap like this just happens and we never can figure out why though--just one of those mysteries of gardening.

    Amy, I feel sorry for anyone pregnant in the hot summer months. I had Chris early in June, so escaped most of the summer misery, but my sister and some of my sisters in law had late summer and early autumn babies and had to endure the summer heat while pregnant and fairly far along.

    Usually bush beans that are cut back will regrow as long as you leave some foliage on them when you cut them back. I don't think I've ever cut them back when it was quite as hot as it is now though. In fairness to Ron, many people believe Indian Stripe is just a variant of Cherokee Purple that has more pronounced striping, and even Carolyn Male seemed to accept that theory fairly well though she wasn't a fan of calling any tomato variety a 'strain' of any thing else---she just thought of them all as separate varieties. When I grow those two varieties side by side they are very similar, but you still can tell them apart most of the time because IS has slightly smoother fruit and more pronounced striping.

    By cardinal flower, if you mean the upright perennial from the Lobelia family, mine never has dropped seed. If you mean the climbing annual called Cardinal climber, they definitely drop seed. I planted them long ago on purpose to climb the garden fence, and now they pop up in literally every bed and every pathway every spring and summer. One nice thing about them is that they do reseed so you never have to plant them again.

    I hope you made it outside in time to do some work and then come back inside again. It got really hot really quickly this morning, though it is the heat index that was so bad so early here (100 degrees when I came in around 10:45 a.m.) and not really the temperature (it was only 87 degrees when I came in). We didn't cool off much last night, only down to 80 degrees at our house. What's up with that? We usually don't stay in the 80s overnight until the first week of August. I do not like this much heat this early.

    I got 13 plants transplanted into the ground this morning, 8 gaura split between 2 different varieties, and 5 meadow sage. There's about that many plants left awaiting being transplanted, all but 2 of them in either 2 gallon nursery trade pots (nursery trade pots are not necessarily true to the gallon) or 3 gallon nursery trade pots. We'll see how far I get with those tomorrow. I dread digging those deeper holes in this heat, but it could be manageable if I could get myself moving more quickly in the morning and get out of the house earlier. I also got a small amount of weeding done, and tons more needs to be done but that's a chore for some other day when the HX values aren't so high.

    No one is happy in the heat. The cats fight more and the dogs are offended if you leave them out in the dog yard for more than 5 minutes, not that I blame them. We're all inside chilling for the rest of the day. I need to do some laundry and some housework, but I have to cool off and recover from roasting out in the heat for a while first.


    Dawn

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    11 days ago

    My Heidis aren't very happy this year either, Rebecca. I've blamed it on cowpeas and late planting They were the last of the tomatoes planted. Maybe they hated the cool start to the year.

    We went to Andolini's pizza after voting yesterday. Ron said there was no one inside. I sat outside while he went and got a couple of slices. It was surprisingly comfortable as long as the sun wasn't out. Today on the other hand, I got real hot.

    I pulled bush beans out of half the bed and planted okra. We'll see what happens.

    Nancy, I laughed at you telling Garry you need more plants. Did he roll his eyes? LOLOLOL


    I need a nap.

  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.
    11 days ago

    Thanks for the compost tip, Dawn! They ARE still selling it, and I have friends down the road just putting their garden in this year who are crazy enough to drive up and pick up a huge load of compost with us. Sometime in the late fall. When it’s cooler. 😆 We wound up not putting in new beds in the spring, which has sorted itself out in the form of our porch needing to be replaced. Plenty of usable lumber we can recycle into beds, so a big load of compost will come in handy after those go in.


    I don’t envy me, either, Nancy, but my other three all came during the cool parts of the year so I can’t complain much about this one. Besides, my mom had me at the end of July and lived in a house with no AC. It’s only fair.


    Stay cool out there, everyone. It’s definitely gone brutally hot. I couldn’t even stay out long enough to properly contend with the pests this morning. Days like these make the life of an organic gardener seem like the unnecessarily hard path!


    —Marleigh

  • Larry Peugh
    11 days ago

    Marleigh, I use to buy composted cow manure at Ace hardware, it looked like the stuff that I bought from Mulch and More in Ft. Smith, that was supposed to come from Miami OK., it also said it was from Miami. I use to get the compost for $1.00 a bag, but the last I bought was not on sale, and cost $1.59 a bag. I only mention this because you or someone else may have a small project and does not want drive a long ways.


    My wife is running around here trying to find something for a stray cat to eat, and she does not like cats. I have to love her kind heart, and if something dont kill it, we may have a cat for a long time.


    I was wanting to plant some pumpkins today. One of my Dr.s lives about 2 miles from me, and has big Halloween bash for the kids at church. I thought that might be a good place to take the pumpkins, if I can get them ready in time. The only other time I grew pumpkins, most of them went for kids at school and at church for decorations. I was told they were a big hit, but they were painted, rather than carved.


    I mixed up a 55 gallon drum of fertilizer this morning to feed squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, water melons, and pumpkins in the wildlife garden. I cant have the deer going hungry. I can carry the liquid fertilizer over to the wildlife garden with the tractor and let it run out near the base of the plants, it would be much harder for me to walk over there and put out dry fertilizer, and I have to carry water over to the plants anyway. I hope I dont burn the plants. This watering is going to get old in a hurry. I feel like I dont even have time to water the gardens at the house. I feel like I will have to push the pumpkins to have them ready by Halloween, I have no idea how long a jack-o-lantern pumpkin to mature. To make matters worse, I see no way to come up with the compost of mulch for this pumpkin project, but it will keep me off the street, except when I am hauling water.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    11 days ago

    Marliegh, I had 3 fall babies and a January. My husband was born in Louisiana at an air force base. He was the first. Also no AC. He got heat/diaper rash bad and the doctor told his mom to leave him naked for a while each day. She put him in the crib without a diaper for a nap, then she lay down several feet away. She woke up to a shower. It was only the beginning of stories about this kid, but that's for another time.

    I got too hot this morning, so I spent the afternoon watching movies.

  • hazelinok
    10 days ago

    I hate finding this even though I’m always prepared for it. It’s funny how it looked so healthy yesterday.



  • HU-422368488
    10 days ago

    Get rid of it . It's the heat. Probably the same problem with the watermelons (:


    HU


  • hazelinok
    10 days ago

    I"m pretty sure it's SVB--it's what they do. And this is what it looks like when it happens. :(

    I'll pull it out tomorrow and look in the stem. I'm too tired and hot right now. The plant next to it (it's the two squash plants that are in the raised okra bed in the kitchen garden) still looks glorious. But it was bigger and more established, however it's days are numbered too, I'm afraid. I didn't even look at the squash in the SG. Just picked the okra and a few tomatoes. And watered the peas and the back garden. Oh, and the front and side flowerbeds. And walked the dogs and exercised. Now, I want to sit.

    Larry, I like your pumpkin idea! Do y'all struggle with SVB?

    And we need to name your new cat! What color is it?

    Marleigh, my oldest was born in September. The AC went out in my car (I know-first world problems) and I had a long commute to work. I would actually take clothes to change into when I left the office every afternoon. I didn't want to sweat on my office clothes and I didn't have many maternity outfits.

    Nancy, I hope you got your nap. Sometimes a nap makes everything so much better.

    Dawn, I agree, no one is happy with this heat! (Except a co-worker of mine who is only really happy with the weather when it's 100+) We "felt like" 111 here in Norman today. Actual temp was a high of 96, I think. I left notes for Ethan to bring the dogs in when he left for work at 11. I feel badly for the chickens....but there's not a lot I can do for them. They have a fan tonight.

    Amy, do you ever do fall bush beans?

    Alrighty, I'm hungry and my "healthy" pizza is ready.


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    When a squash plant collapses like that it almost always is 1 of 2 things: SVBs as you suspect, Jennifer, or bacterial wilt spread by squash bugs. I do not have plants collapse and die suddenly in the heat unless I am not and have not been watering them at all.

    Your co-worker can have your heat and ours too! I don't like being cold, but I also don't like roasting in the heat. Our max heat index yesterday was 112, and the high heat indexes held on well into the night. This morning, when I checked our relative humidity it was 90% and my instant reaction was ugh, I don't want to go outdoors into that. I guess I'll do it anyway. Even if I only get 4 or 5 more plants settled into their temporary beds in the garden, at least that will be a bit more progress. I just make a little progress every morning without staying out so long that I get sick from the heat. Hydration is important too!

    Our chickens spent their day hiding in the deep, cool spots beneath tall shrubs. They were only really active for an hour or so early in the day, eating and drinking, and then the rest of the day was just about beating the heat. Sometimes I turn on a soaker hose to wet the ground around the house's foundation for them, and they'll lie down on the cool wet soil. Or, I'll put a sprinkler in the front yard for them and turn it on and they'll stand beneath its spray sort of like kids playing in a sprinkler. I think today is supposed to be not quite as bad as yesterday.

    Amy, I'm sorry you got too hot. I really am trying to avoid that, and it forces me to come back inside far too early in the day. Today I cannot even make myself go out!

    I was about to start cooking dinner last night and Tim sent me a text message that he was tied up at work and would be home late. Woo hoo! I didn't have to cook dinner. I just made myself a bologna sandwich and was happy with that. He ate fast food on the way home since he basically was arriving home near bedtime. This job in this new group is eating his lunch, so to speak, and he is putting in some awfully long days. He said he hopes to leave early this afternoon to make up for working late several nights this week. I'm fairly sure he won't leave early---every time he thinks he might leave early, some crisis breaks out and he ends up working late---like just thinking about leaving early makes him jinx himself. Yesterday was the first day of the airport's new mandatory mask-wearing policy. It seems more stringent than the one they had back in the March-May time frame, when it was more voluntary if you were in your office and more of a requirement if you were dealing with the public or with groups of people. Now it is essentially that you wear a mask all the time, even in your work vehicle. Tim did tell me that after tons of people contact his first couple of weeks in the new group, he now is pretty much isolating himself in his office and just sending for whomever he needs to meet with and having them come into his office, instead of him going out into their work area where there's a lot more people around, and constantly coming and going, etc. He says he now spends most of his time in his office alone, as a form of social distancing to the extent that he can at work. The skyrocketing case load in the D-FW metro is making him increasingly uneasy. We gardeners have no problem social distancing when we are in our gardens....just us and the birds and the bees and all the other little insects.

    Larry, I have no doubt the deer will not go hungry on your watch, nor on mine. I am sure that the deer spend more time in our yard than I do.

    I've been feeding feral or stray cats for about a year now. The first one was the mama who had kittens here and was raising them outdoors around our detached garage/shop. Once I started feeding her and the babies, a lot of others gradually showed up. Some truly are feral....won't come near you and are wild and untamed. They sit at a distance and watch me put out the food, but won't come to eat until I've come back indoors. Some are just barn cats or neighbor's cats who wander over to play or have a meal. I am seeing a lot less voles and, consequently, fewer snakes since the feral cats showed up. I keep our own cats indoors most of the time now as they are older and are fairly happy just lying in or near the windows watching the feral cats and the birds. I like knowing they are not at danger of being snakebitten or grabbed by a coyote. I used to let our cats out every day, but they got so used to being stuck indoors during all that fall, winter and spring rain that now they don't even act like they want to go out.

    Marleigh, You're welcome. Sounds like y'all have a good plan in place for fall.

    My parents never had air conditioning in our home and we largely grew up without it. Eventually, like around our high school years, they gave in and got a couple of window units so we finally had air conditioning instead of swamp coolers. It was only after Tim and I got married in 1983 and bought a house up the road from them and put in central heat and air that my parents finally decided to do the same thing. I don't know why they hadn't had central heat and air installed earlier. They were savers and not spenders, having grown up in the Great Depression years, so they probably had the money in the bank all our lives to have central heat and air and just wouldn't spent it. After they finally got it, they couldn't believe they had lived in that house for about 35 years without it. Looking back, I remember how delighted they were to have a house that was cool in summer....and they were in their 60s when they put it in. I don't know how they lived so long in the summer heat without it, but my mom said you don't miss what you've never had.

    I need to go and get out into the garden now, or skip doing it altogether (which sounds like a pretty good plan). I'm not looking forward to that heat and humidity and am stalling as long as I can.


    Dawn


  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.
    10 days ago

    Dawn—You really don’t miss what you never had! I grew up without AC and only fireplaces for heat in the winter. My first experience of AC was after I moved away to college, and to be honest I’ve never liked it much. Or more accurately, my sinuses have never liked it much! That being said, life in a dry climate is very different from humidity, so I have been thankful for the AC to help me get used to Oklahoma summers. 115° with extremely low humidity is a much different experience than 96° with 85% humidity!

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    10 days ago

    I have done fall bush beans, H/J. If I plant for fall I do George's Woods Mountain Crazy Bean. https://seedsavingnetwork.proboards.com/thread/64/woods-mountain-crazy-bean

    It appears that Sand Hill sells them.

    It is sultry out there already. I want to go throw buck wheat seeds in the onion bed, but I'm not sure I want to go outside again. We're having the garage door replaced today. Ron had me take a "before" picture.

    I just checked the weather. There is actually a chance of rain the next few days. We didn't get any when the rest of you did.

    Ron goes back to work next week.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    I confess: I went outdoors. I filled up the deer waterer (an old Little Tykes turtle sandbox place out west of the detached garage, where the deer and other wild things roam), put out some deer corn near it, fed the feral cats, let the chickens out to free range and put out feed for them, and checked the water level in their waterer, put out cracked corn for the mourning doves, and sunflower seeds mixed with hen scratch for the song birds. I felt the humidity, felt the heat, tried to stay in the shade and out of the sun, and vetoed my own idea of working in the garden for a while this morning. If I just wait a couple of days, the weather should be a bit cooler. Every little bit helps at this point. I decided Jesse and I were better off chilling indoors today, so he is on the sofa beside me, chewing on a rawhide bone and playing with one of his Kong dog toys. He lasted half as long outdoors as I did, but he has a lot of long dog hair so he seems to get hot pretty easily.

    Marleigh, I agree with you! Dry heat is just so different. Sometimes in a drought year here in our county, I've seen the dewpoints in the single digits and the RH in the single digits as well, and it feels incredibly good despite much higher temperatures than what we have now. Growing up in Fort Worth, it was fairly common to hit 102 or 103 as a summertime high, and maybe once in a blue moon we'd have a horrible day when we hit 105. Of course, we had a lot of humidity. In our first summer here, in 1999, Tim's sister and her family came to visit us and we hit 111 or 112 on the first day of their visit. It was miserably hot but we were in drought, so it still was a dry heat. They were here from Pennsylvania and found the heat to be a bit much compared to what they were used to. We loved having them here but wished the weather could have been better, and it was better the next time they came to visit.

    When I was a child, I'd go spend a week every summer with one of my cousins who lived about an hour away. Her parents weren't frugal like mine, and their new home had central air. They kept the thermostat on about 63 or 65 (I'm guessing) and their house was ice cold and I was freezing to death the whole time I was there, day and night, because I wasn't used to that at all. I loved going to stay with them but I dreaded knowing I'd be a walking popsicle the whole time.

    Amy, Well, stay in if you can because it is horrible out there already. I did not like it at all and totally changed my plans. Now, I should do something productive since I'm indoors. I guess eventually I'll clean house. Maybe. It isn't my favorite thing to do, but it would be nice to sweep, mop, vacuum and dust and get that chore out of the way. The house really isn't dirty, it just needs the top of all surfaces cleaned. I can't help thinking I could do this chore less often if we didn't have dogs and cats indoors, but I l love them, so the extra cleaning is just one more little chore to do. I have a pile of hot peppers to process or to eat. I think I am going to make jalapeno poppers for tomorrow. We're celebrating the 4th on the 3rd because Chris works on the 4th, and Jana might. I don't think she is scheduled to, but she's been picking up a lot of extra shifts lately whenever she has someone to watch the girls. Lillie is excited we are going to celebrate the 4th one day early, but I wonder what she thinks she'll be doing, then, on the 4th?

    We are having more fires lately, mostly at the northern end of the county. The southern end of the county has been fairly quiet. Up north they have had drownings in Lake Murray, travel trailer fires, grass fires, pasture/hay bailer fires, vehicle fires, etc. and in the same time frame I think we have had one grass fire (it was a pretty wild one) and one vehicle fire. I don't know why our half of the county is so quiet, but I hope it lasts. Tim has been running on quite a few medical calls and has to mask up for all that, but those medical calls are not nearly as time-consuming as the fire calls. We are, of course, expecting more grass fire calls on the 4th, as usual.

    The chances of rain are better for some parts of the state than for others. I am sure everyone could use some rain, and everyone won't get it. Y'all need it worse up there than we need it down here so I sure hope you get some.

    Here's the 7-day Qualitative Precipitation Forecast. It doesn't show a lot of rain for anybody but any rain is better than no rain once the July heat sets in:


    7-Day QPF


    And, here's this morning's release of the weekly Oklahoma Drought Monitor. Some of you who only were "Abnormally Dry" before have advanced more deeply into drought.


    Oklahoma Drought Monitor

    I did not look at he updated outlooks that accompany the monitor. I think I don't really want to know what they show for the rest of the summer.

    Dawn


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    10 days ago

    We didn't get it either, Amy. Wait. Thought he had it figured out that he wouldn't be going back. But he's retiring in August, right?

    It IS sultry out there. Out here. I'm sitting on the deck with the fans blowing, to dry my hair.

    I loved George's story. I think I might order some, along with Georgia Green collards, and Red Russian and Flowering kale. Thanks, Amy! Kale is so much fun! And I owe it all to you. Red Russian must be what I have in the flower bed--it is so enormous.

    Marleigh, me too. I've never been a big fan of AC, but confess I'm glad we have it. We keep ours set at 76. My complaint about businesses and AC is that I have to carry a shirt jacket with me all the time.

    Hahaha, Dawn. Garry was just commenting that he should do something but he was stalling. Me, I'm doing something. I'm drying my hair and typing. Titan spends most of the day inside, but the cats are in and out. It's so noisy now with cicadas, tree frogs, fans. I need to get the new plants in. Uhhh, I don't think I have enough room. RATS. I suppose I'll have to take some to the school. Not. I can squeeze them into some of my containers.

    Tim is really in the thick of it now, isn't he, Dawn? I'm thinking of you all. Makes me uneasy just thinking about it.

    I tell you all . . . speaking of stalling! What time is it. . . 11:54. I started this an hour and a half ago. First had to check out Sandhill Seeds; then had to read up on the origin of "dog days of summer"; next out to plant of couple of the new plants, then decided to water stuff. Then noticed a beautiful tiger swallowtail on the ammi! Agghh. Laying eggs on it. They have a whole gigantic clump of fennel, but NOOO, she preferred the ammi. I have a feeling we'll be having Swallowtail caterpillars everywhere very soon. Back to the table.

    Larry, you have some mighty spoiled deer, sounds like. Nice fat little deer. . . hmmmmm.

    Dawn, you had asked what I think of the Big Brandy. I said it was delicious and juicy. But I could do better and say it might be the most delicious tomato I've tasted. In fact, probably. I'm just glad there there are 9 more of them. Today I got the first Giant Belgium, which is not as giant as Big Brandy, but a very nice looking tomato. Picked the first Arkansas Traveler, Mr. Snow and first Homestead 24. I don't know about those peppers. I see some Chile peppers but no nice bells. Agghh. Nice peppers at the school. I better get water on those vegetables. Later, all.

  • Larry Peugh
    10 days ago

    Dawn, thanks for posting the links, although I live in Arkansas, I go by most of the links you post. I am only a few miles east of the AR. OK. line.


    I have been out watering. I had rather not water in the heat like this, but it seems as though I just cant get the things done that need to be done. I cant stay out long, and when I come in to cool off, I often go to sleep in the recliner. I try to do the heavier things in the morning or evening. I must dig out my irrigation tubes, or just let some of this stuff die. It may get so hot and dry that letting them die makes the most sense, but I feel I must save seeds from the hard to get items.

  • farmgardener
    10 days ago

    Larry you are such a softie! And a dear heart! Between the wild critters and the kids at church you have your work cut out for you ❤️ I admire that. Our youngest daughter decided a few years ago to plant pumpkins and gourds for a little extra money in the fall. Spent a fortune buying different kinds of unusual ones plus all the regulars. She and the kids picked them all and posted pictures of what she had “ for sale”. She is a kindergarten teacher- between taking all of her students one and all the friends from school and church showing up then she gave them free ones I don’t think she actually sold even enough to pay for the seeds. 😁 But it made her happy and she loved sharing with everyone . Sometimes it’s not about the money ❤️

    Today was the deadline for powdering my cowpeas if ladybugs or lacewings didn’t show up because the aphids are covering the plants. Guess what was there this morning?

    Lots of ladybug larvae! Yea!!!!

    Dawn I laughed about the swamp cooler. We had one when I was a senior- until then we only had a couple of small oscillating fans that we moved from room to room. It’s true you only miss what you had. We used to put a mattress on an old bedspring and sleep outside at night When it was unbearably hot. Funny I never remember mosquitos or bugs or anything bad. We’d lie there and watch the lightning bugs. We lived way out in the country and I was oldest of five. All us kids would sleep sideways on the same bed- those were good memories.

    Today for lunch I thin sliced zucchini and squash and long sliced okra pods and added onion, no salt- just a little salt free herb seasoning and air fried them all together. Delicious!!

    Since all my early tomatoes got herbicide damage my tomatoes are just now blooming and not setting very well. I have very few tiny tomatoes on the vines. Oh well, maybe they will make a bumper crop for Fall. My nephew at Wellston just sent picture. They are getting good rain there. Glad someone is, we could all use some. Worrying about this weekend, we always have a lot of problems with fireworks because we are in Logan county and not in city limits so everyone in town comes out here. We spend our holiday watching for fires.

    Stay safe and cool everyone. Happy 4th - remember what it actually stands for. Terrible thing is some people think independence just means they can do anything they want without consideration for others.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    9 days ago

    Nancy, I believe Big Brandy gets its flavor from the Brandywine half of the heirloom marriage, although I've always liked New Big Dwarf too, and Big Dwarf is part of Big Brandy's hybrid heritage. For flavor alone, Brandywine is my all-time favorite (and Tim's too) but some years it barely produces any fruit here, no matter how early you plant it. So, Brandy Boy from Burpee has been a reasonable facsimile of Brandywine. It produces better and has great flavor but not as great as Brandywine's or Big Brandy's. By giving us Big Brandy, they have made it possible for real people in tough southern climates to have a tomato with Brandywine-like flavor. When they first came out with the Heirloom Marriage line, I was prepared to not like them because most hybrids created from a heirloom have been disappointing, except for Brandy Boy. However, when I finally planted Cherokee Carbon and Big Brandy after ignoring them the first couple of years the seed was on the market, I found they were better than I had expected.

    If I think too long and too hard about what Tim and Chris face daily at DFW Airport in terms of the Covid-19 mess, I worry too much, so I try to brush it away and keep it out of my head. I've said all along, and I still believe this is inevitable, that they'll get it at some point and bring it home to me so we just try to be as careful as possible, but there is only so much you can do. The same is true for Jana working in a hospital as she finishes up her final year of nursing school. Dallas County reported over 700 new cases today and expects to report about 1000 tomorrow. It was just a few days ago---maybe a week or less that Dallas and Tarrant counties combined to report 1000 cases and I was pretty freaked out. Well, now Dallas is about to do that all on its own. My big worry is that the TX cases are bleeding over the border into OK, and I think they are, and this is reflected in the rising numbers in the counties along the Red River. It is what it is.

    By the way, if any of you are traveling to Texas, they have a face mask wearing mandate going into effect beginning tomorrow. This is what happens as a result of reopening too early and everyone acting like the virus was gone.

    It is cloudy and thundering here but no rain yet. So, our forecast today was for heat index values "as high as 107" .Or maybe it was 105. Well, either way, our weather overachieved and our Max Heat Index hit 114. I don't care if the rain hits us or misses us, I just want for it to cool off the air. I'd also love to see our temperature drop below 80 before sunrise. Lately it hasn't done that, though it sometimes has dropped to 79 or 78 just as the sun is rising on the new day.

    Woo hoo! Just got a Severe Thunderstorm Warning with a chance of wind gusts to 60 mph and quarter-sized hail. I shouldn't be excited about that, but I keep thinking of the cooler air.

    Larry, I always mean to come back and add the USA Drought Monitor map for you and today I forgot. Here is it:


    USA Drought Monitor Map

    Farmgardener, I'm glad the Lady Bug Brigade showed up!

    We will be staying home on the fourth, but then we always do. The public fireworks displays at the casino and the lake are too crowded for us and I do feel like everyone forgets the meaning of the 4th of July---it isn't about going to the lake, etc. We fly our USA flag every day and are trying to teach the girls what it means to be patriotic and to love our country. I believe they do understand that but we want to keep reinforcing it.

    I'm sitting here with darkening skies and dropping temperatures---down from 95 to 84 in the last hour. Hopefully the AC won't have to work so hard tonight to keep the house cool.


    Dawn


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    9 days ago

    Well, somebody in our county got good rainfall, over an inch and a half, but all we got was about 30 seconds worth of sprinkles and two hours of thunder. It did cool us down. We were below 80 degrees before midnight for a change and had what probably was our coolest night of the week because it was down to 77 degrees before sunrise this morning. Our mesonet station got all the rain and even cooler temperatures than we had, but we were just relieved to see our dewpoint drop from 79 to the lower to mid 70s.

    The forecast includes rain for some parts of OK this afternoon again. Longer term, the next couple of weeks are expected to be warmer than average. I suppose the use of the term hotter than average would be more appropriate.

    This is the 6-10 day outlook, showing above average temperatures and the 8-14 day is about the same, so at least we know what to expect beyond our current 7-day forecasts:


    6-10 Day Outlook

    I went out early and hand-watered the plants still in their pots from the store, as well as all the ones I've gotten into the ground in the last two weeks. While they only are in temporary holding beds, they are looking really good for plants transplanted in awful heat and I can stand and look at them and visualize how they'll look when they are in their proper place in the landscape.

    The kids and grandkids are coming this afternoon, so I need to get some grocery shopping done to get a few things for our July 3rd cookout and then prepare for it. Some plants that Lillie and I bought last weekend were not in bloom then but are blooming today so she'll be thrilled to see them. It is going to be too hot to expend any amount of time in the garden today, but at least I watered early and got that much done.

    Last night, Tim was on the phone with a co-worker who lives south of the DFW metro, and while they were talking the guy suddenly blurted out "I think my neighborhood just had a tornado or something". I don't know what happened, but I don't remember them being under a tornado warning, so I'm going to guess it was straight line wind or a microburst or something. As they were driving into their neighborhood, they abruptly came upon fences down, trampolines thrown around, power lines and trees down, etc. in the midst of a thunderstorm. When they reached their own home everything was okay, so they went out checking on all their neighbors. That is the sort of afternoon storm surprise that nobody needs or wants.

    Have a great day everyone and remember to stay hydrated.


    Dawn



  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.
    9 days ago

    Dawn—Some of that was us, this time. We got at least an inch, but probably more like an inch and a half. The late afternoon and evening yesterday were glorious—high seventies, overcast, with the plop-plop of dropping rain in the garden. It felt like spring again. We have a 40% chance of rain later today, so here’s hoping for one more cool, beautiful afternoon before the normal July conditions return.

  • Larry Peugh
    9 days ago

    We got some rain yesterday, not a lot, but a nice shower and strong winds to go with it. I had to tie up some plants in the garden, but little damage.


    If anyone is missing some grasshoppers, I think I have them. I will ship them back to you for free, but I would like to keep the large ones for breeding stock, I cant catch them anyway. They all seem healthy, and eating very well.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    9 days ago

    I tried to coax that storm to my house, but it only offered .03 of an inch. I did not water anything. Not even pots. I will check on them soon.

    I didn't even go out to take an "after" picture of the garage door yesterday.

    I impulsively bought seeds for an agastache hybrid called Heather Queen that is doing well and blooming lovely purpley pink. I think I have tried to grow agastache before without success. In fact, I think I planted seeds for other varieties this year that didn't make it to potting up. We're bringing in a few tomatoes, I think it's time for BLTs.

    Okay, the bush beans are Royalty Purple Pod and I don't like them. Don't get me wrong they're edible (unlike the Cherokee Trail of tears) but I'm not getting the flavor I remember. Now sometimes I think my taste buds are not what they used to be, but I'm disappointed.

    Ron made this wonderful pot of beans, potatoes and ham yesterday, the potatoes were melt in your mouth good. The beans only meh.

    Ron's cucumbers have all sprouted. Hoping the okra is next. Need to go research, Does okra need fertilizing?

    Hope you all have a lovely 4th of July.

  • hazelinok
    9 days ago

    We didn't get rain. That's pretty normal for us at this time, though. It's something I've noticed in the few years we've lived here. Even when OKC or Moore get rain, we don't. It's a weird thing.

    But, we were at a splash pad with the K yesterday--sitting there in a "feels like" 102 (better than the day before), when a strong and cool wind came in around 2 knocking the temperature way down. It did help make mowing and yard work last night much more tolerable. Not cool, but not "feels like" 111 from the day before. Still wish we could get a little rain.

    Gardening will be put on hold today. Cleaning and preparing for our family is what we're doing instead. We will probably run to Lowes to pick up a couple more outdoor chairs and maybe a couple of flowers to fill in some little pots where I had pansies from September that were holding on, but finally gave up.

    HU might come over to pick the peas and okra. If I get all my other stuff done, I'll help. I need to find my July box in the shop and put up a few decorations. I can't believe I haven't done that this year.

    I also can't believe how out-of-sorts I am. Nothing feels right. It's not bad...just not right.

    Today I'm grateful for a small house. The cleaning is about done.

    What's everyone fixin' for their holiday meals? We're keeping it simple and doing taco salad, salsa, guac--stuff like that. It will be good to use a lot of stuff from the garden too.

    Happy 4th. (why didn't I get some Valium for the dogs?!)

  • hazelinok
    9 days ago

    Amy, I've never fertilized okra.

  • HU-422368488
    9 days ago

    You can use 10-10-10 fertilizer or just whatever compost or mature you have.

    When I grow okra as a follow up crop I don't even bother fertilizing it.


    https://homeguides.sfgate.com/fertilize-okra-23104.html


    HU


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    9 days ago

    Hi all. We got the darkened skies and temp dropped 10 degrees, to 84. That was nice. But not a drop of rain. So you got us beat, Amy. Suzanne called this morning and wondered if I was at the school yesterday. I said no. John told her the garden was "ON FIRE" growing and he thought I'd come and put in a bunch more stuff. LOL. I guess I best go look at it today. Whichever one of the 3 or 4 of us is over there on any given day, we walk around and pull little weeds. We have hardly any weeds there--unlike here.

    HJ, I need to figure out something to fix for Sunday--we're having a small number of friends over about 4. I can't bear the thought of anything substantial or heavy. . . Salsa/guac/taco stuff sounds good. . . I'm not sure I can even manage that. Maybe a charcuterie set-up. Blach. Maybe just a lot of fruit and cheese. Not in the mood to eat or cook. Or mow. Or weed. But I started the mowing. It might be a 3-day job in this weather. I'm trying to mow only in the shady parts. And. if there are parts that aren't very long, they won't get mowed. And there ARE. A couple more Big Brandy tomatoes, a couple more Homestead 24, and a Baker's dozen egg yolks. Nothing else.

    Do you remember when I was talking about Tiny getting so big and stocky/chunky? Take a look. Must be too hot for him to want to eat, too. He just gets so much exercise. He's not sick at all--and in fact very active. It's sort of funny. He can eat at will. . . but has to come in then house to do it, and much of the time he is not interested in coming into the house.




    Also the pear tree in the back has a few small branches like this. Is GDW not watering it enough? The other pear tree and the apple trees look fine. I told him I'd ask you all.


  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    9 days ago

    I don't know if Houzz locked up my tablet or if the tablet is on it's way out. I had a panic attack about fighting Ron for the desktop until I remembered I had a phone! I looked up how to force a restart.

    Nancy, my favorite collard is Yellow Cabbage collard from SESE, if you can find it. I admit to growing kale and not even eating it because there are so many kinds.

    Ron was planning to retire in August, but there are rumors of retirement incentive packages soon, so he's holding out till Oct.

    I went out and threw some buckwheat seeds in the onion bed. I used BC's from last year which had red flowers and weren't as pretty as the catalog made them. I ran out. I have more seeds somewhere, but I may put some flower seeds out later. Chance of rain, but not going to depend on it. I took some pictures, but sun was hot.

    The volunteer cucurbit has a fruit starting. It is elongated, but really doesn't look like a cucumber. I wonder if it could be the Asian melon I grew last year. It would surprise me, since Ron kept picking them too soon, thinking they were cukes.

  • Larry Peugh
    9 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Amy, I dont fertilize okra either. I have trouble with okra getting too tall to pick easily. If the plants looked unhealthy and were getting plenty water, I might feed them some of what ever fertilizer I had. My P and K run high in my garden. I dont ever recall one of my gardens that was low in P and K, and nitrogen can vary so much that the state of Arkansas does not even test for nitrogen on their free soil test.

    We are getting squash, peppers, green beans, and a small amount of okra, I forgot to mention tomatoes, we been tomatoes and green peppers longer than any summer crop.

  • jlhart76
    9 days ago

    Raspberries...as HJ said I gave her some of mine. I planted them 2 or 3 years ago, they were a container with a couple of canes from Lowes. I knew I probably wouldn't get any berries the first year so I didn't think about it, then the next year I didn't get any either. Last year when my dad's were getting ripe, I looked them up and learned they only fruit on old canes. I had cut them back in late winter, so that explains why I haven't gotten any fruit from them yet. This year I dug out about 4 dozen tiny sprouts and a bunch of larger ones, so they're definitely prolific; I just haven't gotten any fruit from them so I have no idea how they taste.


    I got a couple of purple coneflowers 2 years ago at SF, and this year have dozens. I also planted some white ones last year & they came back up again (only 1 plant so they aren't very prolific).


    Our goal is to be out of here late next fall, so I'm planning on redoing the beds with that in mind. I need to move the coneflowers back closer to the fence & the shorter flowers in front; pot up the daylilies and iris that I want to keep; and make it look nicer for puting on the market.


    Tomatoes are crap this year. One got eaten by a hornworm (I got my revenge though). Another had some sort of black spot on all its leaves. I cut off all the bad leaves and it seems to have somewhat rebounded, though it still looks bad. And another died overnight. The only ones that look good are the volunteers, which is why I always hesitate to pull them. I get such a bad harvest I can't afford to pull up plants that may produce.


    Roommate had her first run-in with squash bugs. She's asked a couple times what she can do to prevent them & doesn't care for my reply that the only solution is to not grow squash.


    If our dog sitting is any indication, the whole quarantine "safer at home" lockdown is over. The last guests arrived today and we have wall - to - wall dogs. Which will be followed with wall - to - wall dog hair next week. We have a standing policy that returning clients get priority & we'll squeeze them in even if we're booked...only they all decided to leave for the fourth. We finally had to say enough and turn away the last one that contacted us. We have one that freaks over loud noises, and at least 2 guests are skittish, & the kids in the neighborhood have already started setting them off. I can't wait for next week to be over, then most of the loud boomers will b e over.



  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    9 days ago

    Why does Houzz keep taking me up the page to H/J's post from 3 days ago and putting a green box around it? Mutter mutter.

    Marliegh, did you get my rain again? Watering now, sigh.

    The passion vine bloomed today, I didn't see it when I was taking pictures. They look like pale lavender. The coral honeysuckle is poised to bloom, too, but I killed the lavender. I also have a black and blue, some blue/purple salvia and celosia blooming. I mentioned the agastache earlier. But no hummingbirds.

    Thanks for okra info. I have never had trouble growing it untill last year when I planted several varieties and the only one that thrived was Beck's big buck.

    We have the grand kids tomorrow. Food is Ron's job, LOL. Bummer, I'll have to go back to cooking next week.

  • Larry Peugh
    8 days ago

    I just got in, we had a pumpkin planting party. I think it is a little late to be planting things like that, but my neighbor was wanting to do something like that with his grand kids. He bought a new tractor 2 or 3 weeks ago and I think he was wanting to play with his tractor.

    We had a ball, I dont think that I ever had that much energy. The kids were so excited. They were just 2 little girls around 10 years old, but they were running around like litter of kittens. I didn't know planting seeds was so much fun.


    I am still trying to get all my little gardens protected with an electric fence. I have 8 small areas planted now, my neighbor wants to add another larger area to plant grain in. I dont see how I can keep these areas watered. The area we added today is 32 x 82, the we planted an area that I already had ready to plant. It is a row 150 or 200 feet long, I only wanted enough room to plant my final 10 Seminole pumpkin seeds.


    I am so excited about the pumpkin party that I may not sleep tonight.

  • Larry Peugh
    8 days ago

    Happy 4 th of July everyone, we have a nice rain falling now. We dont really need the rain for couple of days, but it it is still a blessing, it may keep someones house or field from burning because of fireworks. I never did enjoy fireworks like most people, I thought they were pretty, but if I smelled much of the smoke from them I would get a terrible headache, and I thought they cost too much money. I did do a few for the kids sake, but I think they grew up much like me, if you want bang for your buck, you can invest in something better than fireworks.


    It does not look like I will be doing much in the garden today, but that's okay. I have been behind all year, and now is a good time to be thinking about a fall garden and maintaining what I already have. I need to pick green beans today, George sent me some Ruth Bible pole beans. I have had a hard time getting pole beans to preform in the past, but these beans are going like a house on fire. Madge does not like them as well because they are harder to process, but they growing and producing better than any pole bean I have ever tried. The Heavy Hitter okra is doing very well also. I have 30 plants, which should be enough for us, if they produce as well this year like they have produced in the past, we will have more than enough, I will have to give some away, but it looks like that will be true of everything I have planted. My biggest concern now is, can I push the pumpkins into producing by Halloween? Right now there are two little girls really excited about THEIR pumpkin patch. I think their grandpa is excited also. He wants to keep it mowed around it, pick up all the wood chunks left by the brush hog. Matter of fact, he wants to buy the 8.2 acres so bad he can taste it, but my daughter does not want to sell, but she may sell when I am gone. My daughter has 20 acres where she lives about 12 miles from here in eastern Oklahoma. That is much more than she can care for.


    Well, I am rambling, but it feel good to know that I have gone as for as I can with the gardens for now, so I can just sit back and watch it rain. I think I had better enjoy this time, because it looks like we have some really hot weather ahead.

  • hazelinok
    8 days ago

    We got about 5 minutes of rain. I doubt it registered in the rain gauge. I was hoping it would rain for about an hour or so. Typical. I'll probably drag the hose out to water a few things if I can squeeze it into the day. I've just sit down to look at a recipe and decided to check in here. Everyone in our neighborhood who is doing major fireworks have been watering their yards and fields. We will be picking up debris for a week. For some reason we get all the trash from everyone's fireworks.

    I sure was hoping for a good soaking.

    In good news, my garden salsa is delicious. I made it too hot, though, so had to make a milder batch. Pretty sure everything came from the garden except the cumin and cilantro. My cilantro is now coriander seed.

    I wasn't paying attention when Tom put the groceries away Thursday night. He put all of the avocados in the refrigerator. :| So....I'm trying to figure out that issue. He went to WM to see if they had ripe ones. No. These would have been perfect. Why didn't I notice? I actually woke up and thought about it last night..."hmmm....I didn't see the avocados on the counter. I hope he didn't put them in the fridge."

    This is why I don't sleep well. Random weird things that I should have remembered or addressed, weren't remembered or dealt with...and for some reason I remember in my sleep.

    HU and I harvest a lot of stuff last night--mostly peas, but okra, tomatoes, squash and zucchini too. Oh and contender beans. More than likely, I'll can the green beans and bread/freeze the okra on Tuesday. We'll can peas tomorrow night. I want to can some jalapenos too. But, they can wait a bit longer.

    Larry, HU planted Heavy Hitter at his Okmulgee garden and I put a few seed into our back garden. It looks like a really interesting plant.

    Amy, that's weird about my post. Did Houzz fix the situation for you? Or rather, did it work itself out?

    Okay. I could be out watering or cooking, instead of typing. My clean floor is already dirty again.

    Robot vacuum is in my future.


  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    8 days ago

    We got rain. .57 last night and a little shower that brought us up to .7 this morning. Of course that came minutes after Ron took the boys to the park. They must have gone to lowes, they're still out.

  • farmgardener
    8 days ago

    Happy 4th everyone. We were blessed with 1 8/10” rain last night. Perfect timing for all the fireworks we will have around tonight. I had planned to get up and water for 2-3 hours this morning. So nice to be able to do something different indtead.

    Larry you should try the Baby Bubba okra in a raised bed. I too have had to bend the plant down to pick okra, then use the tractor to pull the plant out after frost because it was like a little tree. I have some Louisiana Green okra at back of a lower raised bed with a panel behind it for stability. I’m short so the little okra suits me fine.

    New green beans have just started making and several small cucumbers.

    How I envy the ones who have fresh tomatoes now.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)
    8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    Do any of the rest of you have a Roomba? I came very close to getting one last year to torment the cats and Titan as much as anything.

    Speaking of cats, I heard Tiny coughing this morning. NOOO. Jerry seems to be fine, though. Please don't get it, Tom. Please!

    It is so humid today. We had a little less than 1/2" rain sometime last night. We didn't go to the fireworks show at the marina because of the crowds. We had talked about taking the boat and watching them from the lake, but it was just too blamed hot. Instead, we went in to see the school garden about 7. Then we stopped to get a Subway, but none of the Subway employees were wearing masks--of all the places it seems like they should be wearing masks seems like it would be Subway. So we left. But I had taken pills a little while before that and needed to get some food in my stomach. So we went to Lopez--none of them had face masks either. But we found a corner booth, ate quickly and got out. We won't go back to any of the restaurants here. We've been to Broken Arrow twice and Muskogee twice in the past couple weeks, to restaurants, and servers in all 3 of the separate restaurants were wearing masks and had hand sanitizers sitting out.

    Haha, Larry! A pumpkin planting party sounds better than going to fireworks. I need to find a kid or two to help me plant stuff at the school in a couple weeks. I'll have to tell Suzanne a couple names and she can round them up for me.

    I LOVE Burgundy okra, for the plants. The ones at the school have huge leaves, but are only a couple feet tall so far. There are little watermelons both here and at the school. Green beans still at the school. The tomatoes here are ripening faster than the ones at school--but the tomatillo plant at school is awesome--here, I'm not going to get anything, I don't think. I

  • hazelinok
    8 days ago

    Burgundy okra is so pretty, Nancy. This is the first time I've grown it.

    farmgardener, I have tomatoes, but I'm super jealous of your rain--and everyone elses!

    I just spent 2 hours watering. Wasn't going to do it because I have other things to do, but am SO glad that I checked the garden. The kitchen garden--mostly raised beds--was struggling bad.

    I forgot to mention our watermelon issues in the Survivalist Garden. They were rotting. HU researched it (end rot), so we removed the rotting ones and mulched the plants. I watered this morning. I hope that helps. We threw the rotting ones to the chickens and as they broke open, we could see that they were turning pink inside and that was good to see. The chickens enjoyed them even unripe and with the rotting spots. The tomatoes a couple rows over have had no end rot.

    I ran out of time to water the Survivalist Garden (and am exhausted from the heat) so will work on that tomorrow after work. It had soaker hoses nearly a week ago, though. The sweet corn is filling in so we want to water that well tomorrow.

    I found all sorts of critters. Killed a stink bug on a southern pea plant. Killed baby leaf footed bugs on the eggplants, as well as some odd looking bugs that I've never seen. Fuzzy gray things--small. I didn't have time to look it up, so just killed them. Normally I don't do that, but time is a factor today.

    There's lots of eggplant fruit! Super excited. I wish y'all could have seen these anemic looking plants that we put in. At one point each plant only had 2 leaves left and those leaves were sick. Once it got hot, the eggplant perked up and began to thrive. I was so certain they wouldn't make it, that I surrounded them with leftover tomato plants. The area is a little crowded now, but everything in that bed is looking good except the random Fowler bush bean. It's dead.

    The PDCN squash had a few squash bugs that I smashed, of course. Luckily they'll outgrow the squash bug damage, being a C. Mos. It's making fruit. Between the butternut in the SG and the PDCR in the KG, we should be good on winter squash. And IF the Seminole plants get with the program, we could have a few more of those too. They are around the burn pile and aren't doing well.

    Grasshoppers are everywhere. I'm getting pretty good at killing them. You have to be fast though.

    The southern peas still have major aphid issues. I'm waiting for the ladybug babies to show up/hatch. Their parents were mating last weekend. How long does this process take? I'm trying to be patient.

    Oh, do wasps eat ladybug eggs? There's a lot of wasps in the garden too. I hope they didn't eat the baby ladybugs!

    Yes, I did check property/homes for sale in Flagstaff last night. It's an annual thing I do when it gets to be July. It's a lovely 81 there right now and it feels like 81. Nice.

    About to check the avocados and see if they've ripened. Put them in a paper sack outdoors.

    Larry, I'm rambling too.


  • Larry Peugh
    7 days ago

    Jennifer, I love to hear you ramble, as well as all the others too. This forum, Facebook and Craigslist is my contact with the outside world. I have been retired for a long time and have few friends left. Plus this covid 19 has us pretty well shut down anyway. I go out a and work a while, come in and rest a while. While I am resting, I am reading about all the things all of you are doing. I also especially enjoy the pictures, its sorta like going to see everyone's without buying the gas to get there, plus I dont have to wear a mask.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Marleigh, Your rain news is so exciting! I always think that rain in July is something to be thrilled about, because all too often, it is rare.

    Larry, You're not only raising a fine herd of deer, but also a wonderful crop of grasshoppers. This must be your lucky year. We have a stunning shortage of grasshoppers here. Perhaps I should offer to buy all the heifer grasshoppers you can send me, and then they can produce a herd of hoppers for us.

    Amy, We had about your luck with our rain today. By the time we noticed it had started raining, it probably was almost over. I was hoping it would rain enough to water the plants-in-waiting in pots in the garden, but the 0.05" in the rain gauge told me it did not. I watered all the plants in pots and gave a quick little drink to anything planted in the last two weeks, but the weather was cooler---when I was out there this evening our heat index as already below 100 degrees, making it the most pleasant evening all week.

    Amy, Okra generally doesn't need fertilizer and I don't fertilize ours. Fertilizing okra can give you big leafy monsters with tons of foliage that are slower to start producing pods. My soil is like Larry's--maybe it is a clay thing--naturally high in P and K and I suppose our continual composting must provide enough nitrogen.

    Larry, I agree with them not testing for nitrogen since it can vary so much just because of temperatures. When folks get their soil tested in cool weather it can test low in nitrogen, even though it has plenty. There's just some reason the nitrogen isn't available in cooler weather, though I don't remember what it is. Neil Sperry, about 2 decades ago, came out with a nitrogen-only fertilizer formulated for Texas soils that only need N and not the P and K. He was probably two decades ahead of the rest of the world to acknowledge that all the soils in N. Texas where he works as a horticulturalist have plenty of P and K and only need nitrogen. He used to sell it at his annual All-Garden Show, which went away years ago I guess, but now some of the Texas nurseries carry it.

    Amy, Why does Houzz do anything that it does? It drove me nuts trying to get this thread started last Sunday and it was putting up weird colored boxes and stuff---I had no idea why they were showing up or what they were doing, but then Houzz deleted everything, including every word I had typed, so I didn't have to worry about the odd colored boxes. I swear, it is like they are trying to drive us away on purpose.

    I hope you're having fun with the grandkids today. We had fun with one of ours last night. The other one is at her father's house this weekend.

    Larry, The pumpkin party sounds grand. I hope you can calm down after all the excitement and get some rest. You'll need all that energy (yours and the two girls' energy combined) to harvest those pumpkins in the autumn.

    I'm glad you got the rain.

    Jennifer, Hopefully the rain, scant though it was, and the watering everyone was doing will be enough to help prevent fireworks-related grass fires. We'll be picking up debris forever too. Chris and Jana picked up a huge trash bag full of debris last night after a spectacular show of a lot of really huge, really loud fireworks, but Tim and I will be finding and picking up scattered bits and pieces from the fields for a couple of weeks at least.

    At this time of the year, I feel like nothing I do can keep the floors clean for more than a few hours. You'd think it would be harder in winter but I guess since we rarely if ever have snow or ice, and rain is scarce most winters, they are not too hard on the floors. Spring and summer have me wearing out brooms, mops and Swiffers trying to stay on top of things.

    Farmgardener, I like Baby Bubba too because it stays manageable. Long ago there was a dwarf variety named Little Lucy that I loved to grow, but then its seed disappeared during those years when larger seed companies were swallowing up smaller seed companies and dropping their entire seed lines, and the Little Lucy seed I had saved didn't sprout and grow. It does sound like your rainfall was perfectly timed. I wish you had fresh tomatoes right now--they are so good. We're still struggling to use them up fresh as I'd rather not have to can them. I'm enjoying having a break from the bigger garden and all the canning. I've planted far too much for far too many decades, and it is such a break to not have such a huge amount planted this year. I guess I'm burned out on doing too much of everything and don't know if my love for canning even will return or if I'm just over it.

    Nancy, We don't have a Roomba because I feel like our 4 dogs would eat it or otherwise destroy it. Chris and Jana have one and love it, but they only have one dog and he weighs about 6 or 7 lbs so isn't a threat to the Roomba.

    All employees in the restaurants we've been to are wearing masks, and I get the impression it is mandatory and they have no choice, whether they like it or not. I like that they are wearing them.

    Burgundy okra was probably the first non-green okra I ever grew, and I liked it. Nowadays there are tons of other red and burgundy okra varieties available, and they all look pretty much the same to me. Even a variety called Jing Orange that I grew one year was burgundy, not orange.

    Jennifer, Sorry about the BER on the melons. They must have run short of water at some point and that is all it takes.

    I'm not sure how long ladybugs take from eggs---maybe 3 to 5 days? If yours were mating, you'll have larvae soon as long as something didn't eat the eggs. What eats lady bugs and their eggs? Practically everything: many bird species, praying mantids, spiders, assassin bugs, ants, tree frogs, lizards, skinks and anoles, dragonflies and some other kinds of lady bugs. I don't think the big wasps eat ladybugs or their eggs, but there is a species of tiny parasitoid wasps that use their eggs to raise their own larvae. I just don't worry about the lady bugs too much---they are a part of the ecosystem and everything in the garden ecosystem eats something and is eaten by something. We always seem to have enough lady bugs that survive the predators so it must balance out somehow. Lady bugs actually taste bad, so that deters predators from eating them up to a certain point.

    I hope you all are enjoying your Fourth of July holiday. We had a great celebration last night with the kids and one grandkid, with a spectacular fireworks show that Tim and I just sat and watched while they did all the arranging and setting off of the fireworks. It was a pretty decent night, though the heat index still was 100 degrees at 8:30 p.m. or so when we started. I don't know how much money Chris spent on those fireworks and I do not want to know. Some of them were big boxes of 20 shells, and you left all the shells in the box, lit the fuse and then watched for several minutes as one spectacular firework after another went off. Someone on the property behind us was setting off fireworks but (grin) ours were much better. It took the kids about 2 hours to set off everything they had brought with them. I think that after tonight, most of the residents here will have set off all their fireworks, and the folks visiting from Texas will be headed back home to get back to their jobs on Monday. It all should quiet down here in our neighborhood quite a bit after tonight. One family to our south has a huge family reunion/campout with dozens of people attending and they always do a big show. It isn't always on Fourth of July weekend, and seems like sometimes it is the next weekend, so I don't know if we'll have that in our neighborhood this weekend or later. The older couple who were the driving force behind the reunion passed away a couple of years ago and I don't know if all the younger ones are carrying on the reunion with the same enthusiasm.

    There was no gardening for us today, just me watering the plants in containers. I would have loved to go plant shopping like we did last weekend, but it is just so horribly hot.

    We did mask up and go to Sam's Club to stock up on products we're running low on, like pet supplies. We got there as early as we could---around 9:30 a.m. and that wasn't early enough to beat the crowd, although we were ahead of a lot of it---the store was much more crowded by the time we left than it was when we arrived, and we weren't even in there that long. It was crazy busy, judging on how full the parking lot was as we were leaving. The unexpected find? A multipack of Chlorox cleaning wipes, the first ones we've seen in the stores since we stocked up pre-Covid-19 in about February. There was a limit of one, but who would need more than that? They were in six packs and six of those cannisters will last us for months. We still have one intact six-pack from the pre-Covid shopping days, so I'd say that we have enough to last the rest of this calendar year and possibly beyond. The item they were out of that kinda sorta surprised me? All paper products. This was not totally unexpected (and we didn't need any) and I had joked to Tim as we were driving down that with Dallas now reporting 1,000+ new virus cases daily, the toilet paper panic shopping might have started up in earnest again in the metroplex. I was mostly joking about that, but then it turned out to be true. Unless you wanted the commercial paper towels that go into wall-hung dispensers, there was not a single paper product to buy---that row was glaringly empty, although they had tried to fill it with cases of water, spaced out one deep all along the row. Otherwise, the shelves seem fully stocked and they had all the same stuff they've had all along. The only thing we haven't seen on any store shelves (and we don't need any, but I watch it as a barometer of how well the supply chain is working) since Covid arrived is rubbing alcohol. I am not sure if it all is going to hospitals and nursing homes or if people are hoarding it, but the store shelves remain empty of that product.

    I wonder if I can twist Tim's arm and get him to go plant shopping with me tomorrow? It might be possible. I feel like the window is closing to buy anything to plant in July. The stores down here strip their garden centers pretty bare, clearing out plants soon after the July 4th holiday, and then they don't get planting stock back in the stores until probably September. Usually, on July 4th weekend, they are pushing summer merchandise aside to start stocking back-to-school supplies and clothing. I wonder if that is happening on schedule this weekend? I need to find more shrubs, and I have a list of what I want if we do go plant shopping. I might not find them until autumn though. Ardmore's Covid-19 numbers soared dramatically over the last week and we talked about not going shopping up there at all, but it is tempting to go to Lowe' and see what they might have. I feel safe shopping outdoors in a garden center wearing a mask, especially when we get there early and avoid the larger crowds. The Lowe's in Ardmore is only about a 40 mile round trip for us, which is a lot less than a trip to the second closest Lowe's. That's the only drawback to moving to the middle of nowhere---you have to drive so far to go anywhere.


    Dawn

  • jlhart76
    7 days ago

    Nancy, we have a roomba. Cliff got it for me for christmas this year. When we don't have a houseful of guests I set it every night when we go to bed & wake up to clean floors in the living room. And with working from home, I turn it on & let it do the majority of the rest of the house while I'm "at work". It does an ok job for daily cleaning, but not what I'd call "company's coming" clean.

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