30 June 2007
If someone is coming over to check on the potted plants for you - they dry out in a couple of days even if the ground is a sponge - gather them together under a tree or on a hard surface and definitely near a water source. Move all hanging baskets to one location so none will be missed by the good Samaritan who is caring for them.
To the extent possible, put houseplants in the bathtub or on a kitchen counter where they will be noticed. For some reason one plant is always missed if visitors are left to their own devices.
Add to your planning list a thorough bug and disease check. Look under the leaves of plants that tend to be vulnerable, like new trees and shrubs or pot bound houseplants.
Since you won't be home to watch them for damage, use a gentle spray for insect and fungus protection. Safer Soap is great for many plant problems and rarely burns the leaves.
Invite your plant-sitter to pick produce that matures while you are gone to keep the trees, vines and bushes producing and healthy in your absence.
27 June 2007
26 June 2007
This rain is a ridiculous abundance. Many of the squash plants are yellowing from the lack of sun. They all got a snack-size portion of Earth Smart composted chicken manure to help them out.
The blackberries bushes are loaded but can't ripen. The six ripe ones yesterday had little flavor.
I was out for an hour this morning pulling weeds but had to come in when I was drenched and dripping wet.
Duke Blueberry, at KSU
The Region V Garden Writers Assn meeting in Kansas City was a feast for plant lovers. Many of the attendees seemed to be long-time friends. For us, it was a new experience, new friends, wonderful public gardens, two garden centers and Kansas State University All American Selection Trial Grounds.
Ouchita Blackberry at KSU
The national GWA started Plant a Row for the Hungry in 1995 to help meet the needs of the homeless and other citizens who don't have access to fresh food. In Muskogee, Doug Walton at the Farmer's Market and Wren Stratton's Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness are working to jump start a food sharing program. The health benefits of fresh produce cannot be overestimated.
If you have something extra to share out of a bumper crop, drop it off on Saturday mornings in front of the Muskogee Civic Center (4th and Okmulgee). Look for a "Plant A Row" banner. (Doug Walton 918.686.6939 or 918.360.2012 cell)
Donations will be distributed in rotation to Ark of Faith, Community Action Nutrition Center, Gospel Rescue Mission, Monarch Community Living Center, Salvation Army and WISH (Women in Safe Homes).
23 June 2007
Eat more fruits and veggies and buy them from local producers. Without our business they suffer and then we are stuck with only the picked green and shipped a thousand miles stuff.
20 June 2007
Pulling weeds today was a breeze if you don't mind standing in 2-inches of water. The fun part was pulling small trees out by the roots simply by tugging on them and sliding them out of the mud.
PESTICIDE INFORMATION RESOURCEThe PAN Pesticides Database is a one-stop location for current toxicity and regulatory information for pesticides. This resource is a project of Pesticide Action Network North America.
The Pesticide Chemical Search page allows you search for individual chemical active ingredients. Formulated pesticide products typically contain mixtures of active ingredients and other ingredients. Active ingredients are listed on the labels of all U.S. pesticide products. If you wish to search for a product by trade name instead, use the Product Search Page. Some of our top chemical searches: 2,4-D, atrazine, carbaryl (Sevin), chlordane, chlorpyrifos (Dursban), cypermethrin, DDT, dioxin, DEET, deltamethrin, diazinon, fipronil, glyphosate (Roundup), imidacloprid, lindane, malathion, methyl bromide, paraquat, permethrin, pyrethrins. You can view an alphabetical list of chemicals.
Kitchen Gardeners International and Mother Earth News joined together to put on a contest with a $500 first prize. The guidelines and rules are open or fuzzy, depending on your point of view. Grow-Off Show-Off
invites gardeners to submit photos, songs, video clips, stand up comedy skit, art - whatever represents your gardening skill. Entries must be sent by November 1, so you still have time to think, create, emote and submit. You have to use an official entry form available at the link above.
19 June 2007
BOOK OF NOTE
TULSA MASTER GARDENERS HOME TOUR JUNE 23RD 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M.
At the fairgrounds in Tulsa, the Master Gardeners staff the phones to answer questions and they have planted the area around the building. The photos below are from a recent trip there. The members are active not only in gardening on the grounds, they run classes and have a great website.
This coming Saturday, June 23rd is the 2007 Tour of Tulsa Master Gardener Homes. A home built in 1926 will display shade gardens, a 1948 vintage home will have unique plants and container plantings, another features water gardening and wildlife and just west of Sand Springs a vegetable garden will be on tour. Tickets are only $5 in advance or $8 the day of the tour, June 23. Call - 918.746.3701 - for tickets and information.
Quince tree at the OSU Master Gardener Gardens at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
17 June 2007
Many of us met Lisa through her father, Darrell Merrill who most people know as Tulsa's Tomato Man. Merrill is retired now but after a successful career as a banker he moved to his family's land and grew heritage tomatoes and garlic galore - for decades, it seems. People flocked to Merrill's little place with the old farm house to buy tomato plants and garlic out of bushel baskets that he set out and sold on the honor system.
Living Kitchen is a unique experience of some of the best food in the area. A cocktail was served for the tour, the cheese was made at Living Kitchen, local wines were poured. The produce came from the farm or from other local growers and the farmer's market.
This weekend's dinner theme was garlic because of the harvest. The next dinner is a lavender theme.
The drive is an hour and a half from Muskogee.
You have to go to the website and click on the various links to see photos of baby goats, the garden before and after and click on the "Menus" link to see lists of dishes Bibi has prepared for guests.
14 June 2007
On the left - In a backyard bed - daisies and black eyed Susans.
Heliotrope returned from last year's planting and covers a sunny flower bed.
This is one of my favorite daylilies blooming now.
New Organic Method
On the day of harvesting, Granny Smith apples were sealed with a flush of low-grade nitrogen in an experiment to discover reliable and low-cost methods of keeping them fresh. The study was reported in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.
The treatment worked by reducing ethylene during storage. Ethylene is produced when apples react to oxygen in the environment and advances ripening. After six months in cold storage, 90 percent of the fruit treated this way showed no sign of scald. All the untreated control apples were lost after the same amount of time. The advance is being welcomed by organic apple farmers and could result in lower costs for organic produce.
Check out this British blog and website for Colour Lovers
The blog describes itself best - "check out a world of color, compare color palettes, submit news and comments, and read color related articles and interviews."
Take a look at the butterfly photos - talk about color photography at its finest!
Everyone Talks About It
Real Climate is a website for anyone who is interested in climate and climate change. Climate scientists blog about their favorite topic from every angle.
The May 22, 2007 blog entry serves as a good example of the content -
We've often been asked to provide a one stop link for resources that people can use to get up to speed on the issue of climate change, and so here is a first cut. Unlike our other postings, we'll amend this as we discover or are pointed to new resources. Different people have different needs and so we will group resources according to the level people start at.
For complete beginners:
NCAR: Weather and climate basicsOxford University: The basics of climate predictionPew Center: Global Warming basicsWikipedia: Global WarmingNASA: Global Warming update
12 June 2007
Here's a closer photo of the petals. Not visible is the constant covering of honey bees, butterflies and moths.
Gnarled, distorted, arthritic looking leaves can be caused by aphids, according to plant pathologist Margery Daughtrey at Cornell University. Link here to full article.
10 June 2007
09 June 2007
Muskogee Garden Club's tour attracted hundreds of people today and tomorrow will be as busy. The plant sale allowed attendees to take home flowers, vegetables and herbs from club member's gardens for a small price.
This is the time to check on fruit trees, grapes, kiwi and plants such as hydrangeas that might need watering - they won't show any signs of water deprivation but we haven't had any rain for a while so if the soil is dry two inches down, give them an inch of water.
At the district Master Gardener Conference in Claremore, Mesonet gave a presentation - they have new software for gardeners that will be available in 3 weeks. You will be able to go to their website for specific watering advice. The idea is to use as little water as possible while still keeping plants healthy. I'll give you the site specifics when it's online.
06 June 2007
Athens Select is responsible for one of the best heat and sun tolerant ground covers I have in my garden, a type of Heliotrope. (Heliotropium amplexicaule 'Azure Skies'). Last spring it started out as a 4-inch pot. It spread over the small bed it was in and then spilled out onto the sidewalk. It bloomed every day until the first hard freeze. It is already back and blooming.
The sweet scented flowers are magnets for pollinators so keep it away from the swing set if you have small children.
05 June 2007
It's easy to get into looking for new plants in new places. It may come as a surprise that the wonderful whirl of a succulent in the planter came from good, old, reliable Park Seeds and not one of the many new companies. The information on the plant predicts growth to a 12-inch wheel at full size.
03 June 2007
This was a big weekend in our yard - the piles of limbs from the ice storm are all burned now - it took 6 days of burning to dispose of them. All manner of wildlife had taken up housekeeping in those piles - box turtles, rabbits, snakes - all were displaced by the cleanup.
The red onions, pak choi and some mystery green were pulled yesterday and today. The greens were fabulous as part of our meals and the red onions are cleaned and spread out to dry.
The cool weather garden had to go in order to make room for edamame. The plants grew to 6 or 8 inches tall. I amended the soil with a variety of things and completed the transition from spring to summer. If the bunnies don't eat the heads off the edamame again this year we will be enjoying them as a great summer treat.