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Showing posts from November, 2017

November Gardening in Muskogee

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Because the weather has been so wonderful, I'm spending 3 or 4 hours 'out there' every day. There are lots of tasks to accomplish inside the shed and the perennial beds had grown out of control since I didn't do much out there last year.
The tender tropical plants that are in the shade outside in the summer were desperate for pruning, pup removal, fresh soil and larger pots.

Some of the succulents I've been starting with a leaf were ready for pots of their own plus pruning.
 The tiny seedlings needed to be transplanted to six packs, separated in the 72 cell trays and checked for true leaves and root length.









 Outside, I've been working on two large perennial beds that had become overgrown with phlox and other well-intentioned plants that need to be thinned regularly.

I can't put photos of everything here because of space issues, but you get the jist.

Daffodil and Iris bulbs have become thick and in some cases three layers deep, so I've been digg…

Progress on Tree and Shrub Cuttings

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Cuttings taken from cold hardy perennials strike roots in weeks or months after being planted in potting soil, perlite or vermiculite and kept moist. Their containers need drain holes and the plants need a protective top until they strike roots and begin to grow.

Here are some examples from my garden shed which is minimally heated and lighted. The Plums are considered practically impossible to grow from cuttings but I had to try.
Forsythia, of course, is easily rooted to extend a green row with yellow spring flowers.
Fig cuttings are a 50/50 deal for me so I plant more than I need/want.
Lavender is also fairly easy to grow from cuttings. These will be replacement plants.






Sand Plum is Chickasaw Plum, Sand Hill Plum, Mountain Cherry, Prunus angustifolia

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Prunus angustifolia has many names but is delicious both for wildlife and human consumption.

We drove over to Arkansas a few days ago to visit Pine Ridge Gardens and buy a few shrubs for our back acre where we have fruit and food for wildlife.
 Sand Plums are a great source of jelly making fruit if you can get any before wildlife takes them all.

Chickasaw plum plants grow 15 feet tall and wide in a twiggy form.
The bark is black and the stems are reddish.

 Feb through May, small white flowers and little red plums appear. The flowers have five white petals with reddish or orange anthers. The plums are cherry-like and tend to be quite tart until they fully ripen later in the summer.

Chickasaw Plums thrive in low water, loose, sandy soil with sun to part-shade. The ones I planted two years ago have died without forming clumps because the area became too shady.
In 1874 they were cultivated by Native Americans and early settlers to be used as a food source, cover for livestock, win…

Leeks - order seeds or starts now

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Lancelot Leeks are those beautiful, mild-onion-like vegetables that are easy to grow in our zone 7. And, they don't require the deep, fertile soil that beets and other root vegetables need. We live on a rocky hill and have had zero success with beets, turnips and other roots but leeks work just fine.

In years passed I've allowed one or two to go to seed and kept the same crop going for four or five years before the seed failed to return.

This year I've ordered one bunch of starts (30 seedlings $14) from Dixondale Farms. They won't be delivered until mid-February 2018 - at planting time. I ordered now because by then they will be hard to find.

Like all vegetables, Leeks need lots of organic matter in the soil. Since I'm emptying one of the compost bins right now, I'm putting buckets of compost into the bed where they'll be planted.

At planting time, an 8-inch deep trench is made and the leeks are planted at the bottom of the trench, 6-inches apart.  Rows can…