Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eye Candy...








The first two shots are wildflowers that I've grown from seed collected along our vacation route last summer. Some were gathered in Arkansas, some in North Carolina. I have no idea what they are, but they are just phenomenal colors and I'm pleased that they are blooming so early.

The last shot is of a small, heirloom rose I have planted in a pot on the front porch.

Ready...Set...GROW!!













Wow! What a difference a month makes! We've gotten several inches of rain in the past two days and everything here on the OAH is green, green, green!

The first photo is a tiny okra plant tucked in with a small bed of thyme sprouts.

My good friend Rosemary! Isn't she lovely? Seriously, I'm amazed at how hearty and healthy this plant is. I'm thinking of adding more Rosemary to the front bed...it's beautiful and useful! Can't beat that!

The wando peas...crazy! I'll be planting those again for sure! They are looking great and are full of peas and blooms!

The lettuces are looking full and healthy. I love to plant a mix of lettuce...the contrasting colors and leaf shapes are so pretty.

Finally, a view of one of the gardens. In this garden, there are carrots, lettuce, spinach, onions, okra, thyme, squash, and potatoes. In the raised beds in the back, tomatoes, garlic, basil, Egyptian Walking Onions, peas, more peas, lima beans, and a pot of chives. There is also a tea pot planted with mint sitting in the raised bed on the left.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things I learned today...

1. Blueberry blossoms smell like heaven...truly. Wish I could send you all some smell-o-vision.

2. Ladybugs love Yarrow. They are crawling all over the Yarrow plants that pop up everywhere here and the Yarrow is just about to bloom. I wonder if more ladybugs will come when it is blooming? Here's the equation yarrow = ladybugs, ladybugs eat aphids, aphids eat lovely leaves. What does all this mean? They ladybug/yarrow connection is of particular interest to gardeners everywhere! Am I the last one to know about the attraction these beneficial bugs have to Yarrow, or did you all keep it from me? Fess up!

3. The first red, ripe strawberries last only seconds when two small children are close by, so don't hesitate.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blackberries



The blackberries have really filled out this week! It seems that they grow quite well in our Oklahoma growing conditions...they are not bothered by heat or wind; however, they are bothered by chewing little puppies! I'm doing my best to keep Zoe's latest litter of pups away from the bushes. Speaking of puppies, if any of you are within driving distance of S. Oklahoma and would like a Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy, shoot me a comment! They're 8 weeks old this weekend. They are cutie pies!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blueberry Blooms



Growing blueberries has been a real challenge here in Oklahoma, lemmetellya. I know I've murdered at least 4 plants with my hard-headedness. They like full sun, so I always tried to put them out with full exposure to the glowing orb that seems to light Oklahoma on fire in July.

This year, I have a new strategy! I planted three blueberry bushes in the fall right up next to the west end privacy fence. This will give these little beauties a morning of full sun and shade during the hottest parts of the day. They seem very happy here and are just full of blooms! Let's hope these three plants thrive and we are munching fresh blueberries while we tend the flock and weed the garden...yum yum!

I've also heard that they like acidic soil and that you can make them happy by pouring pickle juice on the surrounding soil when you finish a jar. Seems like a great way to add acid and it's FREE! Love it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

Check out my chives!! They're just about to bloom!


The onions are doing very well. I dug down a bit to investigate and there aren't any bulbs yet, but the tops look nice and healthy. I'll be snipping some of them to use when cooking beginning this weekend.

Hey....you there!!


The girls are waiting for their treats...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finally! A warm windless day!!

I planted 6 rows of corn this afternoon! I do hope the corn does better than last year, nonetheless...it will provide a "trellis" for my pole beans as I plan to use the "Three Sisters" Native American planting plan. As soon as the little stalks of corn are about six inches tall, I'll plant the pole beans and squash. The squash will shade the ground around the corn and beans as well as keeping pests away with its prickly vines. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil to benefit the corn and squash. Last year, I had tall corn stalks, but the corn didn't fill out...verrry disappointing.

I'm also thinking of planting okra with blackeyed peas. My theory is that the peas will provide shading and keep the moisture in the ground. Anyone know if these two make good companion plants?

If the weather is nice tomorrow, no doubt I'll plant another row of carrots as I've got seed left over. I'm still not sure enough about the weather to put out my tomatoes, but I'll be watching the forecasts carefully and putting them out soon. They're still so tiny...with only one set of true leaves. I'd like to see them grow a bit before putting them out in the garden.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holding pattern...

The weather has me in this frustrating holding pattern. We're expecting 29 degrees tonight and 26 degrees tomorrow night...followed by 85 degree highs on Wednesday. ACK!! Every few days I think..."Today's the day I'll plant the corn, beans, blackeyes, and squash." Then I check the 7 day forecast...and my plan is foiled!! I'm really thinking these next two nights will be the last freezes of the year and I plan to plant some seeds on Thursday.

The chickens keep growing and I've learned that they LOVE ripe bananas! I go out beside the compost pile each day to pull some of the beautiful green grass that grows around its edges (testimony to the power of compost!) and take it to their coop, along with any fruit & veggie scraps we have from a day's cooking and eating. Still working on them coming to me and enjoying my company, but I enjoy theirs! I love to watch them scratch around, fly up to their roost, and climb into the bunny hutch to steal her food. They really are entertaining.

I did end up getting a barred rock chick and she continues to grow inside...under the heat lamp. I'll put her out with her "sisters" when she is big enough to defend herself. She'll top off our flock nicely and maybe be a good 4-H showing hen for the big girl.
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