2018 Almanack Garden Journal

Unfortunately, I will not have the 2018 Almanack Garden Journal ready for release by Labor Day, as I have historically done. We are currently supporting the hurricane relief efforts in Texas and this has put me behind schedule.

I will release the 2018 Almanack Garden Journal just as soon as I can get it ready.

August 21st Eclipse

Using a solar filter, a small pair of binoculars, and my phone’s camera, I managed to capture some decent photos of today’s solar eclipse. We did not have total darkness where I live, the Sun was only about 85% obscured by the Moon. Here are some of the photos I took:

The solar eclipse begins

The Moon begins moving away again

You can’t really tell from this photo of my garden, but the daylight was noticeably subdued during the height of the eclipse.

Speaking of the garden, not much new to report. The okra is loving the hot, humid weather and is producing abundantly.

Mid-August Update

After a hot and dry summer, we got about 3″ of rain over the weekend. With the ground suddenly saturated, my sunflowers and corn started falling over. I braced up the corn with a couple of large garden stakes, but that wouldn’t work for the sunflowers:

The rain saturated ground caused my sunflowers and corn to fall over.

The solution I found was to use the fence posts from my rabbit fencing to prop up the sunflowers.

Using steel fence posts to prop up my sunflower plants.

The sunflowers still look kind of sad, with the summer coming to a close:

The top-heavy sunflowers are drooping after the recent rains

I’ve known all summer that there was a toad living in my flower garden, just from the signs of his digging, But since he only comes out at night, I never got a picture… until now!

The toad living in my flower garden beds.

I also found a toad hopping around amongst the corn stalks in my vegetable garden

A toad amongst the corn in my garden

A recent day’s harvest

My one pie pumpkin is beginning to turn orange

 

 

Lammas Day

In the old agricultural calendar, August 1st was known as Lammas Day and it marked the start of the harvest season. To celebrate the event, I am posting a selection of photos from my own garden, taken during the time since I last posted.

A view of my garden from around mid-July

Okra beginning to form

First harvest, around mid-July

Ornamental corn

A bloom on the potted hibiscus which spends the summers living on the back patio

Another day’s harvest

I planted this crepe myrtle in the front yard a few years ago.

It’s been a hot summer here in central Oklahoma. This is the display from my backyard weather station. The actual temperature is in the upper right corner, the “heat index” is displayed near the middle of the screen.

Another day’s harvest

Nothing says high summer like deep blue skies, white clouds, ripening corn and sunflower blooms

A more recent view of the garden

I made a small batch of pickled okra for the first time this year

I planted a few pie pumpkin seeds among the corn and so far one is coming along nicely.

This watermelon is actually a “volunteer” plant (I did not plant it on purpose). It just sprouted on it’s own last spring and I’ve let it go ever since.

Ripening ears of ornamental corn

That’s it for now! Watch for updates on my 2018 Almanack & Garden Journal! As usual, I plan to release it over the Labor Day weekend, in early September.

Summer Solstice 2017

It’s the summer solstice, and the longest day of the year. So I thought I would mark the occasion by updating the page with some new photos of the vegetable and flower gardens:

Okra, melons and corn are in the nearest garden bed. Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes are in the middle bed, and corn, sunflowers and beans are in the far bed.

Another view of the vegetable garden

The front yard flower beds. I mostly grow zinnias and marigolds, since they do so well in our hot climate.

I have a few volunteer pansies and violas growing in the flower beds. I keep potted plants of these types out here over the winter, and sometimes their seeds sprout the following summer.

The crepe myrtle started blooming this week too

Later this summer I will be posting updates about my 2018 Almanack and Garden Journal, so be watching for them!

June 2017

The gardening work continues, and a lot has happened in a short amount of time:

One of two patches of Ornamental Corn

The tomatoes are growing nicely!

Bean patch. For some reason, a strip right down the middle did not sprout

Pepper plants, surrounded by lots of Marigolds!

Sunflowers, interspaced with some Zinnias

The front sidewalk flower bed

My backyard weather station

A pair of robins nested in the rose bush and hatched 2 chicks

When the robin chicks left the nest, the cats became very interested

Spring 2017 Update

Here are a few photos from my spring gardening activities. Nothing in the vegetable garden yet, it’s still a bit early in the season for that because everything I am planning is hot weather. However, there’s been a lot going on in the flower garden beds. I suffered a minor setback when a pocket gopher showed up, but that problem was dealt with.

It was a very mild winter and early spring, so the daffodils bloomed very early. These are the descendants of some daffodils that were growing at a rental house I lived in back in the ’90s. When I moved out I dug a few of the bulbs and took them with me. Those spent about 6 years growing at my mother’s place while I lived in an apartment and then I dug those bulbs and planted them here in 2009.

I now just purchase flower seedlings, rather than trying to start my own. I have found that I have much better luck that way, the ones I start indoors always have a hard time making the adjustment when I put them outside.

I lost some of these flower seedlings when a pocket gopher turned up in the yard. After resolving that problem, I had to replace the plants it had eaten down to nothing.

Here are some of the seed packets I ordered for this year.

I did start a couple of the Bullnose pepper seeds, here they are coming along nicely. I put them outside whenever possible, so hopefully they will adapt well when they get transplanted outdoors.

Winter Plowing 2017

The weather was so mild this weekend, I completed what I refer to as the “winter plowing”. In other words, I turned over my garden beds and added some composted manure to the soil. I actually started over the Christmas holiday break, but have only just now completed the work.
Turning the soil

Smoothing the soil, breaking up clumps

Adding the composted manure

Meanwhile, in my flower beds, my daffodils are already coming up. We’ve had a mostly mild winter so far, so it’s not surprising. However, now I will have to be careful to cover them if we are expecting to get any kind of frozen precipitation. I have learned from experience that the daffodils can handle cold, but not ice.