GARDENING 2016 OKLAHOMA

It’s February here in Oklahoma and it has been gloriously spring-like.


And even though it’s February…

It’s Gardening Time Ya’ll!

One thing I never learned in my early years is to take advantage of all the nice days that occur here on and off through the winter months to prepare for next year’s garden.

One thing we really wanted was to convert our big back garden into two more raised beds. After the two we used last year, it wasn’t long before we wanted to convert to just using raised beds.  The weeding and maintenance are so much more convenient on our backs and no more tromping around in the dirt and mud to weed!

 

Oklahoma gardening raised beds

So last weekend we made two more raised beds and got dirt from our favorite place (Minick Materials) to fill them. We also made a small planter back in the corner.

And by we…I totally mean Mr. Wonderful made them while I stood and clapped my hands.

Now look up in the top right corner of that picture ya’ll.

See that bright green stuff? That is Buttercrunch lettuce, also known as Bibb. We discovered last year that if we sprinkled Buttercrunch seeds in November that lettuce would continue to grow all winter.  It’s undeniably hardy here through even ice and snow.

 

Buttercrunch lettuce

This weekend we stuck a shovel under the seedlings, thinned them out, transplanted them into the raised beds, and we now have 160 heads of lovely green lettuce growing!

 

planting lettuce oklahoma

No that wasn’t a typo. We really have 160 heads of lettuce.

Don’t ask me what we’ll do with all of that but I think our neighbors and friends might be gifted with some.

Or we’re adopting some bunnies for Easter.

Also we managed to get seeds planted in the beds for cool crops like carrots, spinach, kale, arugula and we also stuck a mess of onion sets in to start growing.

I was talking to a fellow garden lover recently and I commented on how gardening is an ever on-going learning experience. We are going on ten years of learning now and know without a doubt, there is always a new trick to gardening that we can learn.

This has been our first year to compost and while the rotating compost bin from last year was ok, it involved some issues so Mr. Wonderful tackled a new one last weekend using a recycled crate.

 

making a compost bit from crate

I love this bin because the top can open to dump stuff in.

DIY compost bin

But he made a door that can also be opened to use a shovel to scoop it out if needed.

Photo Feb 20, 5 21 23 AM

I spent part of Saturday planting seeds in the greenhouse.

Photo Feb 21, 3 11 32 PM (1)

I have all my herb and vegetable seeds planted and a few flowers. This year, I learned that I would actually listen to the experts on breeds of plants that like to grow in Oklahoma, so my vegetable seed suggestions came from Oklahoma State’s gardening expertise. I perused their many Cooperative Extension Services documents available for free online (check with your state services if not from Oklahoma) and instead of randomly buying pretty seeds that  I wanted to plant, I took their suggestions and bought my seeds that way.  If you’re from Oklahoma, you can find complete and wonderful gardening guides by clicking here with info on everything from planting dates for various vegetables to disease care and even mulching products to use. There are also plenty of other gardening tips for lawn, flowers and much more!

We have some more new plans for this year including planting potatoes in towers and trying a “squash arch” (thanks Amanda Kerley for another project idea!) and we are also devising a way of curving PVC pipe to use as a frame to attach plastic sheeting for insulating against possible freeze threats in late spring or even fall to extend our growing season. Oh yes, and to protect from the almost certain threat of hail in the spring!

I am also dreaming of prettying up our garden space into a potager style garden eventually because after all, when you pour blood sweat and tears into a beautiful garden full of stuff, why not sit in it and enjoy it?

Happy Gardening Ya’ll!

Are you gardening yet? Share with me what you’re doing in the comments below!

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