Showing posts from June, 2018

Egyptian Walking Onions are Allium cepa profilerum

Egyptian Walking Onions are neither Egyptian nor able to walk. But, they are an easy-to-grow onion that can be used from top to bottom. 
The underground part of the onion resembles a leek and can be used in cooking just like leeks. The hollow stem is used as a substitute for green onions when it is small. The seeds that form on the top of the stalk are harvested and used as pearl onions or shallots. 
Once you have planted a row, you can watch them grow and spread as they ‘walk around’ your garden.  If the small onions on the top of the stalk are left un-harvested, the stem will fall over from their weight. Wherever those little onions touch the ground, new plants are formed. Plus, the underground bulb will multiply. Soon you will have as many onions as you can use.
Gardeners who have a patch of Egyptian walking onions are happy to share roots and seeds to get you started. If you want to purchase the seeds though, there’s a website for that,

 Their Latin …

Astilbe for Shade with Red Pink or White Flowers

Shade gardens are a treat in the summer. Walking through or just looking at shady places with a collection of thriving plants can make us take a deep breath and relax.
Astilbe is one of the shade and moist-soil plants that looks great long after its flowers have faded. Most Astilbe varieties are originally from Asia. They are cold hardy from zone 3 to 9, as well as rabbit and deer resistant. Very few insects or diseases bother them and Astilbe tolerates being near black walnut trees.
The key to keeping them growing well is to never let them dry out and divide them every few years. They form clumps with long underground rhizomes that have to be dug and separated into more plants. A thick mulch will help keep their roots from drying and keep the leaves green all summer. Fertilize them annually with a balanced product such as 5-5-5.
Shop around as there are many variations in size, leaf shape, flower colors, etc. For example, Astilbe Bridal Veil is 3 feet tall when its white flowers are in …

Tomato Diseases to Watch For

Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University 127 Noble Research Center, Stillwater, OK 74078 405.744.5527 Vol. 17, No. 19 6/22/2018

Tomato Disease Update
John Damicone, OSU Extension Plant Pathologist
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology Oklahoma State University


Tomato diseases are rearing their ugly heads as fruit are set and some rainfall and a lot of humid weather has returned. After visiting some market farms last week and putting another string on plants in my garden, this is what I saw: Bacterial spot and speck These diseases are very similar in that they cause defoliation of plants from the bottom up and cause fruit spotting. They are difficult to separate in the field as their symptoms are very similar and may occur together. They are also difficult to separate from Septoria leaf spot, a fungal disease. 
Entomology and Plant Pathology,…

Japanese Beetle Alert

Extension Entomologist Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) has begun emerging this summer and our earliest reports are coming from Ottawa County.  
Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University
Vol. 17, No. 17 June 20, 2018

Scout Now for Japanese Beetles in Ornamental, Fruit, and Row Crops Eric J. Rebek, Extension Entomologist Tom A. Royer,

Although this exotic, invasive pest has been steadily expanding its range westward, it is primarily a problem in the eastern half of Oklahoma. Japanese beetle is becoming one of our most significant insect pests because it congregates in large numbers to feed on the foliage, fruits, and Distribution: Japanese beetle is native to Asia and the first U.S. report is from Riverton, New Jersey in 1916. The beetle was likely introduced as white grubs hitchhiking within the root zone of irises shipped from Japan.

The beetle is common in all states east of the Mississippi River, except Florida, and is stea…

Achilleas Love Heat

Achillea or Yarrow is a friend of the summer garden since it blooms consistently throughout the hot months. 
Yarrows are part of the Aster family which is very well represented in Oklahoma gardens during the summer and fall. Achillea was named for the Greek mythological Achilles whose soldiers used yarrow to heal their war wounds. Yarrow has two common names that refer their healing properties:  Allheal and Bloodwort.
Yarrows grow to about 2-feet tall and wide in a sunny border. The naturalized-native and most common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, has white flowers and has been known to pop up in gardens and yards without any effort on our part.  A. millefolium can spread by seed and by rhizomes.
Achilleas do well in unfertilized, moist to dry soil, in full sun to part-shade. Poor soil is fine if it does not stay wet. They even tolerate humid nights and late-summer droughts. If they get tall enough to flop over, just prune the stems back so they will bush out.
 The most colorful Yarrows, t…

Muskogee Land in Trust

Sustainability, conservation and preservation have been trends in gardening  for several decades and many gardeners make an effort to use best practices such as fewer chemicals to improve the bit of earth they have to work with. 
Imagine being the environmental steward of 170-acres of natural landscape with rock formations, native plants, waterfalls and a manmade lake. Over the past 30-years, Ken Laubenstein has worked to sustain the legacy of his land, making improvements that continue the progression toward sustainability for wildlife.
Laubenstein’s property, Forest Lake Preserve is in Muskogee’s Gooseneck Bend. He is professionally retired but is an active Oklahoma State University, Muskogee County, Master Gardener. The land he lives on is permanently protected from destruction and development because he put it into trust with the Land Legacy which is a regional version of the Nature Conservancy. Land Legacy has 30,000 acres in trust in OK.
The 6.5 acre lake was on the property when L…

Prune and Water Thornless Blackberries Now

Thornless Blackberry plants are beginning to make fruit even as the plants continue to produce more blossoms. They are also sending up the canes that will bear next year’s fruit. All this activity on the plants’ part is a signal to home gardener that it is time to do some maintenance. 

There is plenty of advice available about selection, planting and care. Oklahoma State University Fact Sheet 6215 about growing blackberries in the home garden is at Another good resource is at
During fruiting season blackberries need 2 to 4 inches of water a week. Their roots are shallow so watering more frequently at ground level rather than a deep soak or watering overhead will give the best results. A mulch made of organic material such as straw can be spread around them to keep the moisture level consistent.
The fruit should be harvested every other morning and only the dull-black ones should be picked. Shiny berries aren’t ripe yet. The fruit from thor…