Dig This – Hydrangeas Edition 2017

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Well we got a good amount of unexpected rain last week.

Anytime they are showing 40% or less of a chance, I don’t bank on it, but we ended up with several inches.

And with temps in the low to mid nineties, it couldn’t be more perfect, I could live with this all summer, how about you?!?!

With the pleasant spring/summer we’ve had, I have thoroughly enjoyed my hydrangeas. 2017 Hydrangeas at Grand Lake

I get a lot of questions about them and came across useful information in Southern Living’s May edition.

There are many kinds of hydrangeas but the most common are French (Hydrangea macrophylla).

All of them prefer moist, well-drained soil and although we think they love shade, if planted in full shade they will struggle.

They need some sun, preferably morning sun, but mine get a few hours of afternoon sun and they seem to be happy.

I mentioned before that you can coax the pink blooms to more blue by adding acidity.

I found Miracle-Gro Miracid fertilizer is easy to use and I got it right here in Langley!

Just feed your hydrangeas with it every two weeks when you are fertilizing your other veggies and flowers.

I love the result because you will have blooms from pink to lavender to blue, all on one bush! White French and Mountain hydrangeas will not change color. Sorry.

Hydrangeas need lots of water in the summer, but can easily get powdery mildew and leaf spot.

So water in the morning and don’t use sprinklers. Try to water the root area only so the leaves don’t get wet.

You can also spray healthy foliage (before diseases show up) with Daconil or Immunox. Read the label.

Finally, let’s talk pruning.

They actually need very little pruning other than to remove dead wood or shorten a branch.

Most hydrangeas bloom on old wood so whacking them down in the winter will destroy your chance of blooms.

I know the sticks look ugly all winter, but you will be glad you didn’t prune when the leaves start popping out of those ugly sticks next spring!

The Saturday Morning Market is getting better and better.

This week we will have tomatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard, garlic, onions, squashes, beets, turnips, grass fed beef, free-range eggs, tamales, hummus, tabouli, yogurt dip, baked pies and bread…Come and shop with us Saturday 9:00 to 1:00.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Saturday Morning Market 2017

 

Dig This – You Can Still Plant Those Warm Weather Crops

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

We are moving right along from mid 80’s last week to mid 90’s this week, with not much chance of rain.

Great weather for boating on the lakes and that means folks come to the lake, spend money with us, and everyone benefits! Yay! It’s Summertime!

Well, the warm weather crops are loving this weather as well. Potato harvest at The Artichoke

The squash and cucumber plants are huge and starting to produce.

I harvested about 65 onions and dried and stored them, leaving about another 50 in the ground.

I got 5 pounds of potatoes from the boat garden and still have four plants in the regular garden. AND, we had BLT’s with our first home grown tomatoes this week!

Yep, it’s Summertime all right!

Some of our favorite vegetables are warm weather crops and you may think it is too late to get your veggie garden in, but it isn’t. (I’m just planting peppers this week and there will be an empty onion bed needing new plants).

According to OKLAHOMA GARDENER magazine, many of the heat loving vegetables will thrive when planted in June.

Okra, bell and hot peppers, squashes, melons, cucumbers and tomatoes can still be planted.

You will be surprised how quickly they grow when planted in warm soil and good sunshine, versus cool soil and short days in the spring.

So the official first day of summer is when the summer solstice occurs, which is June 20, 2017, beginning at 11:24 p.m.

The summer solstice is when the sun is at the northernmost point from the equator and is the day with the most hours of sunlight.

In northeast Oklahoma, dawn will break at 4:16 a.m., sunrise will be at 6:07, sunset will be at 8:44 p.m. and dark descends at 10:34. Total day length: 14 hours and 37 minutes. WOW! That’s a good reason to have a party, huh?

We have a good selection of goodies at the Saturday Market. Veggies, eggs, grass fed beef, baked goods, hummus and tabouli, crafts…Come and shop with us Saturday 9:00 to 1:00.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – It’s Summer So You Better Be Watering

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Well folks, summer is here! The temperatures are in the mid to high eighties and as for this week, the rain has been turned off.

Fortunately it is cooling down in the evenings with overnight temps in the 60’s. Enjoy it while you can, because we all know what Oklahoma summers are like!

So it is very important to pay attention to watering right now. squash and carrots

Everything has been doing so well with our frequent rains and it would be a shame if everything got toasted this week.

Don’t get me wrong, the warm weather crops are loving this heat, but they have to have water to thrive.

So I am watering the gardens every other day, and most of the pots every day because they dry out much faster. Don’t wait until the plant tells you it is dry by slumping over.

With the cool and wet spring the pests have been minimal.

But as the dry hot weather comes on, you need to start watching for those squash beetles because the earlier you detect them, the easier it will be to control them without using insecticides.

The minute you see one, you know there are more so don’t put off doing something about it.

Yes, get out the bucket of hot soapy water and start picking them off.

I put on latex gloves so I don’t have to touch them.

The best time to do this is right after you have watered in the mornings because they don’t like water and they crawl to the top of the plants making them easy to get.

Then check underneath the leaves for eggs. They are brown and about the size of a pin head and in clusters of 12-15 eggs.

I carefully tear off that a piece of leaf and throw it into the scalding water along with their parents. It is gross, but just do it!

We are getting more vegetables available at the Saturday Market.

Last week we had potatoes, broccoli, onions, garlic, lettuce, chard, beets, turnips, cucumbers, squash and a few green tomatoes.

Come and shop with us Saturday 9:00 to 1:00.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – A Great Memorial Day And Ready For Summer

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

What a perfect Memorial Day weekend it was.

The weather turned out beautiful every day and that storm Saturday night was incredible, thunder, lightning, rain and all.

Our whole group was out on the screened in porch enjoying the lightning strikes, and the loudest thunder ever! It was so cool!

So our company came in Thursday night, Donnie, Becky and her mom, and four boys, 8,9,12 and 13 years old. No, they were not a burden, quite the opposite.

They took very good care of me and my new hip. I hardly had to lift a finger all weekend!

Friday morning the two younger ones helped water and do my gardening chores for me before they went out on the lake to play and Becky’s mom stayed in and was my driver all day so we got all my errands done!

Not only that, I got to spend plenty of time outside in the sunshine.

Everything is just exploding out there!

Hydrangeas at Grand Lake

The hydrangea blooms are looking gorgeous and the foliage is nice and green.

A couple of years ago I started letting the petunias seed out at the end of the season, and now there are petunias popping up everywhere!

The dahlias I planted are sprouting up and the day lilies are blooming like crazy.

And all the flowers I planted three weeks ago are doing great.

So I’m sure you are enjoying the same in your gardens, and with all this activity going on out there, we need to remember that the plants need their energy to keep producing all those gorgeous blooms.

So while they are working hard, start a regimen of fertilizing them every two weeks, gardens and pots.

And if you have a pot that has kind of pooped out, cut it back, give it a little fertilizer and it should snap out of it in a week or so.

I recommend MiracleGro All Purpose Fertilizer, the blue stuff you mix with water, because it is easy to use.

Summer is here and The Saturday Market is doing great so come and shop with us before your go to the grocery store! Saturday 9:00 to 1:00. Enjoy the Earth! Diana

P.S. Happy 70th Birthday to Jim, May 31st. I couldn’t ask for a better husband!

Dig This – So Where Does The Water Go?

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Happy Memorial Day Grand Lakers! Spring is moving out and summer is on the way! And what a prosperous spring it has been.

Right now the gardens, lawns and fields are lush and green with the warm sunny days and plenty of rain we have been getting.

The plants are soaking it all up, which enables them to do the necessary biological functions to exist.

Nature will continue to provide all these things, except the rain will begin to wane at some point and we have to jump in and water.

So where does that water go when we pour it into the pot?

Boat Garden Grand Lake OK

Well, the plant turns water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugars by a process known as photosynthesis.

The water starts a slow upward trek inside the stems to the leaves and then evaporates through tiny pores in the leaves (this is called transpiration), allowing the carbon dioxide into the plant, and photosynthesis to occur.

This process of transpiration also helps keep the plant cool, kind of like when we perspire.

Of course a good amount of the water is used to keep the stems filled and rigid to hold the weight of leaves, flowers and fruit.

So if you don’t have your veggies planted yet, according to the Oklahoma Gardener magazine, you can still plant the following vegetables in May: beans (bush, Lima, pole), cucumber, eggplant, cantaloupe, okra, pepper, pumpkin, summer and winter squash, sweet potato, tomato and watermelon.

WOW, that is a lot of options there.

Once planted, mulch to cool the soil, hold in moisture and keep the weeds down. Make sure the mulch is not touching the stems, keep it about an inch out.

The Saturday Morning Market is going full speed ahead.

We have a beautiful array of vegetables, tamales, free-range chicken eggs and grass fed beef.

Come and see us from 9:00-1:00 Saturday Morning! Enjoy the Earth! Diana (Oh, and that picture…it’s the Boat Garden on May 23rd – WOW!)

Dig This – A New Hip For Mother’s Day!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

I hope everyone had a good Mothers Day Sunday. Mine was awesome.

Donnie and Donovin came up Saturday night and had dinner at The Choke, then Jim and Donnie fixed a delicious lunch Sunday of Grilled Salmon, asparagus from the garden and Caesar salad.

Then Jim took me to the River Spirit in Tulsa since we had a 5:30 check in for surgery the next day…yuk.

But I got a new hip for Mother’s Day so what a gift!

So they only kept me for one night in the hospital, which is fine because there is nothing like coming home to Grand Lake to recover.

We are so fortunate to live here folks!

The Boat Garden April 2017

And all that work getting the flowers planted is paying off. I am thoroughly enjoying the happiness in the garden.

Best therapy ever, right?

Speaking of planting, according to the Oklahoma Gardener magazine, you can still plant the following vegetables in May: beans (bush, Lima, pole), cucumber, eggplant, cantaloupe, okra, pepper, pumpkin, summer and winter squash, sweet potato, tomato and watermelon.

WOW, that is a lot of options there.

Once planted, mulch to cool the soil, hold in moisture and keep the weeds down.

Make sure the mulch is not touching the stems, keep it about an inch out.

You can also use the mulch to define pathways.

We got lucky this week with some gentle showers so that leaves more time to stay up with the weeding.

We are also lucky that we have several places to buy plants right here in Langley, as well as an arborist with lots of trees and landscape stuff.

And we are REAL LUCKY we have a Saturday Morning Market where you can find green onions, broccoli, garlic, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, squash, free range eggs and plenty of Sara’s Grass Fed Beef.

Come and see us from 9:00 to 1:00. Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – It’s 80 Degrees and The Market Is Open

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

How about these 80+ degree days? We went from below normal temps to slightly above normal, but hey, the plants are happy campers so what the heck!

Who knows what our summer is going to be like! Our crazy Oklahoma weather certainly keeps us gardeners on our toes.

So I have been planting stuff like crazy.

Gorgeous petunias in Oklahoma

Russell helped get all the raised gardens cleaned out at The Artichoke and we planted two big Better Boy tomatoes, two Sun Sugars and two Early Girl tomatoes.

We put in the zucchini and summer squash and two cucumber plants.

I haven’t found any good size pepper plants but I will get some this week, one way or another.

I also planted lots of flowers last week.

Lantana, Petunias, Blue Daze, Purslane…everything is so beautiful!!

Every time I spent a couple of hours outside playing with my flowers, I would have a big smile on my face the rest of the day.

How can you not be happy after hanging out in the sunshine with the birds and bees and having your hands in the dirt? It’s awesome!

Now all this stuff is planted and Jim is going to have his hands full doing all the watering.

Yep, when the rain stops you better have that hose hooked up and ready to water because at 80 degrees, things will dry out fast, especially in pots.

But that is just part of the therapy of gardening, right? It’s worth it!

So get out there and soak up the warmth of the sunshine!

Oh, and come and see us at the Saturday Market this weekend.

We have spring vegetables, eggs and grass fed beef.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – Growing Herbs

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Well Mother Nature sure threw us a curve ball last week. Dropping down to 38 degrees did not make those newly planted warm weather crops happy.

Fortunately it was short-lived and didn’t do much damage and I think the lowest this week is going to be 40-ish. That still isn’t good but that is spring in Oklahoma. Right?

Anyway the cool weather crops are thriving with this weather and the chickens are laying eggs like crazy.

The Boat Garden April 2017

This week Wang brought by some beautiful lettuces, spinach and green onions, Jon Ann had some broccoli and eggs, and Sara is getting plenty of eggs and grass fed beef ready.

We have some of these items available for purchase at the restaurant until we open the Saturday Morning Market, which our goal is to open on May 11th.

So while we are waiting for tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and other warm weather crops, the herbs are thriving right now.

If you don’t have herbs in your garden there are lots of herb plants available for purchase.

They provide wonderful scents, textures and flavors to add to your summer meals and herbs are so easy to grow and practically pest free.

And deer won’t bother most herbs because of their strong aromas.

Another benefit is they attract pollinators that are needed for the vegetables, and they can be planted in pots if you don’t have a garden space.

Some easy ones to grow are Rosemary, Sage, Chives, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro and Mint.

Most of these will come back year after year either by being perennial or by dropping seeds.

Besides using them in cooking, chives are great on potatoes, cilantro in salsa, mint or dill makes a great flavored water, dill and chives are delicious added into a salad.

Or snip a bouquet of their blooms and leaves to put in a vase in the kitchen.

So if you don’t have a veggie garden, try growing some herbs.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – Some Gardening ‘Hacks’

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Well Mother Nature sure gave us a little scare last Thursday night.

Boat Garden 2017

It was predicted to get as low as 36 degrees with frost warnings in some areas. Yikes!

I contemplated bringing in the citrus trees and decided not to.

But, we didn’t see any frost so it must not have stayed cold very long because the trees looked fine.

Fortunately I haven’t planted any warm weather crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.

They would have been very unhappy.

I found a book called “100+ Gardening Hacks” and it is full of fun, helpful ideas to make your gardening chores easier.

I wanted to share a few:

 

 

  • Make weeding easy by sitting on a 5 gallon bucket instead of kneeling. I bought a kid’s plastic footstool at the $$ store years ago. Saves the back!
  • Feed plants with banana peels. Cut them into small pieces and spread them at the base of the plants. It can prevent aphids, and adds phosphorus, which promotes root growth, and potassium which is needed for plant functions like respiration, transpiration and nutrient absorption.
  • Get rid of broad-leaf weeds like henbit and dandelions by filling a spray bottle with vinegar (as close to 10% acidity as possible) and thoroughly spray the leaves and base of the weed. Be careful not to splash onto grass or other plants.
  • To get rid of weeds in sidewalks or driveway cracks, pour boiling water on them, again, be careful not to splash onto good plants or turf. Boiling water will also get rid of ants by pouring it down the center of the nest.
  • Pour Some beer into a frisbee or a small butter dish and set it in the soil so edge is level with soil. Slugs love beer and they will fall in and drown. Check it often because you will be amazed how quickly it fills up.

Watch for more tips as we work our way through the spring season!

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – Loving The Spring Herbs!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

March 30, 2017

What a difference a week makes.

I’m sure the Rock Crawlers would have preferred the weather we had the weekend before, but it looks like a good time was had anyway.

My sister and brother came to visit this weekend and we went over Sunday to check it out.

It was a lot quieter Sunday, but there was still a lot going on.

The rain and chilly weather didn’t stop them and the rain was such a blessing. We have a lot of catching up to do on rain!

So we are seeing some action in the garden as well.

Flat leaf parsley Oklahoma garden

The potatoes that were planted almost a month ago are finally coming up.

The carrots, spinach and beets have germinated and the onions are looking great and with the rain, things will really take off.

The asparagus is looking much better too. We have had fresh picked asparagus a couple of times and oh my gosh, it is so yummy!

The herbs are going crazy too. The sage, parsley, mint, chives, thyme and oregano are springing to life.

I love this time of year because the herbs are so fresh and lush.

The dill and cilantro should start sprouting from last year’s seeds.

If you don’t have any from last year, go get a packet of dill and cilantro seeds and scatter them where you want it to grow.

You should start seeing little sprouts in a week or so.

Speaking of cilantro, I have people tell me they can’t grow cilantro and ask me what they are doing wrong because it does well at first then dies out.

Well, cilantro prefers the cooler weather, so it thrives in the spring, then begins to wane as it gets hotter and it will start flowering.

Let the flowers go to seed and they will drop to the ground.

Then when it cools down again in the fall, they will sprout up again and you will have cilantro until a hard freeze occurs.

You won’t need to buy another cilantro plant, you will just have to buy store bought in the summer.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana