Dig This – The Heat Is On!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Now this is more like a typical Oklahoma summer! Hot, humid, oppressive, and no rain!

And it sure is taking its toll on the landscape. Sunset from the Artichoke in Langley Oklahoma

We know it is going to happen every summer, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

So it is a daily struggle to keep the plants going.

Fortunately, we have had great summer weather a lot longer than normal. This kind of heat is usually here by July 4th, not the end of July.

So our tomato plants at The Choke are big and lush and loaded with tomatoes.

They will likely stop making new tomatoes with the heat but there are so many that we will have tomatos for a while.

The squash and cucumber plants are huge also and they love the heat.

As long as you keep them watered and keep the beetles at bay, they will keep producing.

And keep the dead leaves cleaned up…on everything.

With the heat and humidity, all that dead debris can bring on disease, so take the time to do this chore. The garden will look better too.

As far as the potted flowers go, some of them are starting to look poopy and droopy.

So it is a good time to give them a hair cut, trimming back the yucky foliage, then give them a dose of fertilizer.

They won’t look any worse than they did, and believe it or not, they will recover in a couple of weeks and start blooming again on fresh growth.

We had plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers at the Saturday Market, and okra, another hot weather crop, is becoming available.

Along with Sara’s grass fed beef, tamales, eggs, and you never know what other goodies will be available!

Come and see us, 9:00 til about noon, due to the heat.

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Dig This – Dealing With Those Summer Pests

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

We’ve been so lucky this summer with pleasant weather, but the heat is coming on so we really have to start watching for those pests.

Starting with the Crape Myrtles we just trimmed up last week.

After working on the Crapes at home I went to the restaurant and the Crape Myrtles around the kitchen all had signs of aphids.

The signs are sticky leaves, which is basically aphid poop. Trimmed Crape Myrtles

Aphids are on the bottom side of the leaf and their goo lands on the top of the leaves.

So instead of spraying with chemicals, I hosed all the foliage with a hard spray of water, tops and bottoms.

That cleans off the goo on top and knocks the aphids off the bottoms.

Do this once or twice a week and it will keep your Crape Myrtles healthy.

We haven’t seen squash beetles yet because they don’t like cool and wet. But with the dry and hot weather, they will start showing up.

Our squash plants at the restaurant are the best we have ever had this year.

The leaves are so big and full that it would take a lot of beetles to kill the plants.

So the minute I see a beetle, or signs of eggs, I will start picking them off and hopefully they won’t destroy my plants.

Also watch for white fly on the tomato and cucumbers.

They are teenie tiny white flecks on the foliage.

Again, a hard spray of water will knock most of them off so if done frequently, you can avoid using chemicals.

We have had a nice selection of veggies at the Saturday Market with grass fed beef, eggs and tamales and baked goods.

We open at 9:00 so come and see us!

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

Caring For Your Crape Myrtles

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Well it is turning out to be a wonderful summer here at Grand Lake.

I hope everyone is enjoying the perfect weather we are having…knock on wood. I hope I don’t jinx us with Mother Nature.

Anyway, there are lots of things blooming everywhere! Trimmed Crape Myrtles

And the Crape Myrtles are popping out like crazy. They love the heat so they are happy campers right now.

So the Crapes are loaded with blooms on top, but they probably have some unwanted growth at the bottom.

Unless it is a dwarf or ground cover Crape, it is about this time of summer that they need a good grooming.

If you look at the base of the plant you will probably see a bunch of suckers and unsightly growth that is hiding their beautiful trunks.

Crapes are a multi-trunk tree so you have to keep removing those suckers and branches that clutter up the base of the plant.

First clean up the suckers coming out of the very bottom of the plant at ground level.

Then start working your way up pruning off the smaller twigs so the beautiful bark can be seen.

It takes a little time (I spent a couple of hours Monday cleaning all of ours up), but this will help the Crape become a tree rather than an unkempt bush.

And you may have to do it again before the summer is over because those little sprouts keep coming up at the base.

Check out the pictures below.

We are still having a great time at the Saturday Market. We open at 9:00 so come and see us!

Enjoy the Earth! Diana

These Crapes are too close together and getting overgrown…

Crape Myrtles before trimming

 

But after trimming some branches…

 

Cut Crape Myrtles Branches

 

You are left with this:

 

Trimmed Crape Myrtles

 

Check out the base on this one before trimming:

 

Crape Myrtle needs trimming

 

And look how clean that bark is now!

 

Crape Myrtle smooth bark base

What a Super 4th of July on Grand Lake

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

What a super 4th of July we had on Grand Lake!

The weather was almost perfect, except for a little sprinkle Monday night. But it didn’t stop the big show! Grand Lake summertime sunrise

Then it was only 74 degrees at noon on the 4th, unheard of this time of year. But that didn’t stop people from getting on the lake.

The whole area was buzzing with activity from Thursday on through the holiday. Love it!!

Getting a little rain over the weekend was a summer blessing.

Not only did it do the watering for me, it is keeping the temperatures from becoming sweltering.

Well, I say that, but I spent a couple of hours weeding on Monday.

Even though it wasn’t 90 degrees, I was dripping and had to make several trips to the house to cool down. Between the humidity and absolutely no breeze, it was pretty mucky.

So everything is looking pretty good for July. It isn’t unusual for everything to be looking stressed from heat and dry by now, but we’ve been lucky.

There isn’t a whole lot to have to tend to in the gardens other than weeding and keeping dead stuff pruned off.

I finished harvesting and storing all my onions and potatoes and I think I will let those beds rest until fall.

Speaking of fall, it isn’t too early to start thinking about a fall garden.

Some things are planted at the end of July to Mid-August. I know, you think I’m nuts.

But I will be giving you planting times in the upcoming weeks to make a successful fall vegetable garden.

Meanwhile, come and see us at The Saturday Market. These guys work hard at baking, harvesting, preparing food items, etc. and appreciate your support.

Happy Summertime! Enjoy the Earth! Diana

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