Showing posts from February, 2011

Veggies - end of February

The vegetable garden is getting its spring cleaning and the little plants from the shed are finding their new home out in the dirt. Austrian peas made it through the winter and now will be soil organism food.
Inside the shed, there are hundreds of plant babies waiting for the weather to warm a bit more.

And in the cold frame, the lettuce is thriving. 

The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden

Ellen Ogden, the co-founder of The Cook's Garden, sold her seed company to Burpee and moved on. Her most recent accomplishment is the publication of this new book for foodie gardeners like me.
I've made no secret of the fact that the reasons I became more interested in gardening include: Food safety scares and the fact that the move from CA to OK sharply cut into my ability to buy vegetables I would eat.
Our dozens of local farmers markets and growers do a great job of bridging the gap and yet, many of us want to grow a bit of our own.  Many of us are growing vegetables in order to have the most nutritious choices and the prettiest tables available, right at hand.

The Cook's Garden - Seeds and Plants for the Gourmet Gardener puts the focus on us foodie gardeners in its name. We want delicious food with its nutrients still present.

Ogden's book, The Complete Kitchen Garden is just right. She had a team of contributors put together an easy reference on garden styles plus …

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History by Bill Laws

“Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History” is historian Bill Laws’ new book that identifies fifty plants that influenced civilizations.

To illustrate the importance of these plants, Laws wrote, “If the world’s plants suddenly expired, we would have no tomorrow.”

The book is well researched and beautifully illustrated with photographs, art reproductions, and botanical illustrations. Each entry is described with its native range and function, as an edible, medicinal, commercial or practical plant.

The list includes plants you would expect to find such as coffee and wheat and others that come as a surprise such as ginger and pineapple.

Camellia sinensis, or tea, has grown wild for 5,000 years from India to China. To encourage fresh leaves, tea trees were harvested by hand pinching. The green leaves were withered, fermented, dried and graded. Expensive tea was bulked up with elderberry flowers, ash leaves boiled with sheep dung, clay or iron filings.

Monks living in Africa in the…

Look what's coming up

There isn't much to say since each of these photos has the name of the plant on it. Today, a young neighbor girl looked at the seedlings and said that it amazed her that each one has a different shaped leaf. I agree. These plants are a wonder. Every one is unique.

The wind was 35 miles an hour on a 73 degree, sunny day today. After a few hours of pulling leaves off of daffodils, pruning perennials, pulling down last fall's morning glory vines and generally being a joyful gardener, I was tired of the wind, physically tired and renewed with garden spirit!

February garden to do

Some February garden task reminders from Tulsa Master Gardeners

Spray fruit with dormant oil when the air is 40-F

Spray peaches and nectarines with lime-sulfur fungicide to control peach leaf curl. Lime-sulphur spray is not available in OK so use copper or other fungicide on a day that temperatures will not drop to freezing.

Fertilize house plants, trees, Crape Myrtle with high phosphorus fertilizer (middle number)

Prune fruit trees, grapes, shade trees, plus any ornamentals that do not bloom in the spring. Do not prune crape myrtles yet.

February is a good time to plant trees, bare root roses, berries, asparagus and cool season vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, cabbage, peas and potatoes.

Plant seeds of flowers that need a cold period, including: snapdragons, calendula, coreopsis, strawflowers, cornflowers, larkspur and California poppies.

Take cuttings of the tender plants you overwintered indoors and grow the cuttings into plants, placing them in moi…

Skip West from Cohlmias speaking in Muskogee today

Skip West, the plant buyer for Cohlmias in Tulsa, just returned from a plant buying trip in Ft. Lauderdale and he is bringing several new selections to his talk today at Muskogee Garden Club.
When his talk was scheduled last year, the topic he chose was, “Preparing the Garden for Spring”. West said that while we are all eager to be out there, the recent weather will slow down some spring activities.

“I’m a Tulsa Master Gardener so I can answer any questions gardeners have,” West said. “What you can do now is turn under the green manure cover crops you grew and clean up the beds.”

When doing early spring cleaning, keep an eye out for desirable volunteer seedlings, perennial plant crowns and new growth.

West said that if you brought perennials indoors in large pots, you can prune and water them now. If the plant’s pot is not full of roots, you can just re-use it without changing the soil. Annuals that you may have had around the sides of the pot will have to be replaced.

West and his wif…

OK Native Plant Society Indoor Outing rescheduled Feb 26 2011

The Indoor Outing that was scheduled for earlier this month has been rescheduled to Feb 26th.

Visit the ONPS site to get more details.

The basics
Sat Feb 26th in Stillwater

$3.00 plus $7 for lunch
8:30 a.m. registration/ 9:20 Welcome

See the online pdf for speaker information

Registration Form

Registration: $3 Lunch: $7 _____ Number of Persons

Vegetarian Requested ___ _____ Total Amount Enclosed

Reservation required by Feb 18 Make checks payable  to ONPS

Name(s): ________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________

Email address: _________________________

Home/Cell Phone: _________________________

Mail this form to: Elaine Lynch, 1502 E. Frontier Drive, Stillwater OK 74075-7306.

Questions: Contact Ron Tyrl (405-744-1559) or Elaine Lynch (405-624-1461)
Elaine Lynch
Ron Tyrl
Getting Here
The Oklahoma Botanical Garden &…

Even blizzards melt

Here's a property line marker at the bottom of a snow filled creek on Old Taft RD in Taft OK.
This is the Arkansas River with chunks of ice floating on the surface.
A bird's nest left from last year. Do they return and reuse the same nests?
I'm not sure what this road is other than it being the road to the prison in Taft. It was cleared, salted, sanded and kept that way throughout the snowfall.
Closer snaps of the icy waters around here - and this is after a couple of sunny days.
Thankfully, we are getting warm weather. Dozens of flats of seedlings are spending the night outside tonight because ta da no freeze tonight!

Transplanted plants can endanger their new environment

Thoughtful gardeners have read about this problem and some have stopped bringing potential problems home from the store
from the LA Times Rare plants are increasingly finding their way outside their normal habitats because of commercial sellers and citizen conservationists, two ecologists warn. Unless the movement of such plants is better regulated, it could spell trouble for endangered species as well as the environments to which they are moved.

The caution, written by Patrick Shirey and Gary Lamberti at the University of Notre Dame and published in the journal Nature, warned that rare plants grown outside their native territories can disrupt their new environment, hybridize with related plants and blur their genetic individuality, or carry pathogens them that devastate other plants. They called for more uniform and rigorous regulation of Internet trade in rare plants across the U.S.

The scientists noted that about 10% of the 753 plants federally listed as threatened or endangered …

Feb 2011 Blizzard in NE OK

So, everyone has heard about the double blizzard in OK.  Photos from around the house and in town will help illustrate.

What to do with herbs? Learn at the Feb 19 Flower Garden and Nature Society Meeting in Springdale Arkansas - speaker Karyn Zaremba-Culver

Karyn Zaremba-Culver, owner of Bean Mountain Farms and Herbal Simplicity, will give a hands-on program entitled: "I've Grown These Beautiful Herbs, Now What Do I Do With Them?" on Saturday, February 19th.It will feature making herbal sugars, vinegars and oils and other herbal uses.

The program begins at 10:00 a.m. with social time at 9:30, in the Student Center of the Northwest Arkansas Technical Institute, 709 S. Old Missouri Rd, Springdale, AR. (redlight at Ford Av. and Hwy 265) The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call 479-521-9090
Lynn Rogers, Program Chair
Flower, Garden and Nature Society of NWAR
President: Joyce Mendenhall

March 2011 events for gardeners

There are many events for gardeners coming in March to help us think spring.

March 2 to 6 Wichita Garden Show

March 4 Will Rogers Garden, Oklahoma City, Creating Colorful Containers, 9:30 to 12:30. Register by calling 405-943-0827.

March 4 to 6 Dallas Spring Home and Garden Show

March 11 to 13, Tulsa Home and Garden Show at Expo Square, 918-663-1100

March 16, Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, St. Louis, Morpho Mania with 3,000 blue morpho butterflies. Reservations required 636-530-0076 ext 10

March 17, 6 p.m. Muskogee Garden Club meets at Blossom's Garden Center, 3012 E Hancock – “What's New for Spring" by Matthew Weatherbee. Information 683-0581.

March 17, Norman Public Library, 9 to noon, Bug Fest with the Oklahoma State University Insect Adventure petting zoo. Worms, butterflies, termites and more.

March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 South Peoria, the Oklahoma…

Gardening for a Lifetime by Sydney Eddison

Let me begin by saying I read "Gardening for a Lifetime" by Sydney Eddison in 2 days. Yes, we are snowed in and there isn't much to do but read, work in the shed, go to the gym and clean out closets - but, still - it is a lovely read.
Eddison is an east coast gardener, at least 78 years old, and this, her 7th book is a summary of her garden helpers, her helpmate hubby, and her many garden transitions. They lived on the same property for 50 years, a property that fronted public lands, affording them considerable privacy.
The subtitle of the book is, "How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older" and Eddison talks about reducing the number of perennials and replacing them with shrubs and small trees.
It is indeed a lovely read for those of us who can no longer put 16 hours a day into the garden. Our garden work days end long before that.
Here's what Timber Press has to say about the book - "The garden has been an everyday part of Sydney Eddison's life for over f…

Groasis waterboxx - to help nourish the planet

Nourishing the Planet by Danielle Nierenberg had a fascinating article on Jan 27. Be sure to go to the waterboxx principles here and click Continue to see how this could work.

Andrew Boys wrote
Nature is full of examples of efficient solutions, and an unlikely model for success in retaining this moisture has been found in bird feces. When a bird consumes a seed and excretes it onto the dry soil of a desert, its excrement serves as a retention system for moisture, allowing roots to grow. The nascent root systems immediately begins penetrating the soil and growing toward the water below.

The vital role that bird excrement plays in the germination of plant seeds is the central inspiration for the Groasis, a deceptively simple invention that promises to revolutionize aforestation efforts in arid climates.

The Groasis uses incubation to deliver water over a time-period in tune with a seedling’s demand for water. Any precipitation from rainfall or evening condensation is collected from the f…

Year-Round Gardening by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson

I came to the party late on seeing "Year-Round Gardening" by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson - it was published and widely reviewed last year.

But, it is still worth talking about because it is terrific.

The authors have written an all-you-need-to-know paperback that will be appreciated by new gardeners of all ages.

Even if you do not have a need or desire to garden year-round, this is one of the best books I've seen on basic growing techniques.

It covers every one of the topics a new gardener needs to consider and it is clearly written without being dumbed down (despite the "Idiot" in the title). Each subject is covered in enough depth to get you through the first few years of gardening.

"Year-Round Gardening" is in the usual "Idiot" format: black and white on newsprint, with boxes of tips scattered on the pages.

Take a look at it next time you are in a bookstore. Used copies are only a penny on Amazon. Buy one for yourself or a y…

The Canebrake Restaurant - food grown on site or within 50-miles - a delicious retreat

Whether you go to The Canebrake Restaurant/Resort near Wagoner for Saturday lunch, Sunday brunch or dinner any night, chances are that you will be served something either grown on the 400-acre property or from a grower within a 50-mile radius.

Owner and chef Sam Bracken said, “In the four years we have been here, there has been an amazing uptick in the local, seasonal and sustainable practices and food sources we have found to use. There are so many high quality ingredients available here.”

The Brackens grow many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs used in the preparation of the food served in the restaurant and plan to do more. Right now, Kurt and Melba Bowman tend a fenced vegetable garden and greenhouse.

“We grow our own tomatoes, peppers, scallions, cucumbers, summer squash, wax beans and peas,” Bracken said. “We use the wild persimmons, pears and blackberries that grow naturally on the property.”

They grow the vegetables both from seed and from purchased seedlings and the kitchen …

Gryphon Begonia

Darn! I thought my seed purchase process was complete and then I saw this on the Harris Seed site. Since I've never seen it before, I'll pass along what Harris said about it and provide the link  - just in case your shopping isn't quite over yet, either.
Harris Seed - 50 seeds $9.80 A Fantastic Foliage® selection. The superb foliage of this begonia combines majestic beauty with strength and durability to make an outstanding presentation in single or combination containers. The multiseed pellets germinate easily and will produce plants that are more tolerant to stressful conditions than Rex begonias, and size up more quickly than vegetative foliage type begonias. Easy-care Gryphon has low water needs and produces showy displays, making it a great item for both outdoor and indoor gardens. Height: 14-16"; 16-18" spread.

It is named ‘Gryphon’ because according to the breeding company that produces it, "The Gryphon is a mythical creature with the head and wings of an …