New around here

heilmanbwJanuary 30, 2013

I wanted to say hello to everyone. I am new around here and have been out of the gardening loop for some years. I am looking to get a garden started this year and I am ready for the weather to get a bit warmer, just not the summers. I grew up in Oklahoma and recently moved back from Florida. I am still going through an adjustment period with the weather. My wife and I bought a house on the outside edge of town and now a ton of backyard space. The only downside to it is the best spot in the yard to plant is where the lateral lines for the septic tank are located. I am looking forward to talking to everyone and getting the garden from planning to reality. Oh, I am located in the south central part of the state, a humble little town called Duncan.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Hi. Welcome to the forum and welcome back home to Oklahoma.

I'm not too far from you---just a couple of counties south and slightly east. I'm in Love County midway between Marietta and Thackerville.

What kind of soil do you have there? I have mostly dense red clay here, but a couple of sandy areas too.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Mine is a mix. It all depends on where you are in my yard, but is typically sandy with a smattering on the good ol' clay. When my house was built I think they just took soil from wherever they could find it and dumped it in the yard. The good thing about the yard is that it is large so I have room to work with and can do pretty much anything I want to. A couple of years ago I planted an herb garden in the front and it did relatively well. About the only thing left in it though is Rosemary and Chives.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Welcome. I know you'll get a lot of good information from the forum. We also live on the edge of Duncan. We are close enough to Dawn that I follow her lead on the timing of planting. I just wish we were getting a little less experience in drought gardening. Good luck in your gardening.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:25AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I've often thought that if I had a gigantic mixer and could blend together the rich loam from the woodland with the red clay and the scattered sandy patches, we'd have perfect soil. Sadly it doesn't work that way.

At least you still have the rosemary and chives. Considering how brutal the heat and drought have been for the last two years, it is not surprising you lost the other herbs. I feel like gardening here is always one step forward, two steps back....and I blame the constant "two steps back" on the recurring droughts we have had in the 2000s.

Hi Loretta! I'm afraid we are learning far too much from the school of hard knocks about drought gardening. I'd like to say that this year will be better than the last two, but I don't really believe that is true.

I have been working on enlarging the garden area, though not specifically enlarging the big garden, but rather developing a couple of new spots---one with wicked clay and one that is about 75% sandy-silty soil that drains too fast and the rest a clayey-sandy blend. It isn't that I think we'll have enough rain for me to keep all three areas going all summer, but rather that I want to plant as much as possible as early as possible to get the best harvest before our typical summer heat sets in. Normally I'd say "before our typical heat and drought sets it", but the drought is still here.

I am not sure if I've ever tried to plant a spring garden when we are in the midst of Extreme or Exceptional Drought. I think we were in Severe Drought in the spring of 2003 when I planted, and I learned a lesson that year---not to keep waiting for the spring rains to come. Instead of watering a lot to get the young vegetable, herb and flower plantings off to a good start, I kept waiting and waiting and waitng for the rain that never came. My plants were stunted and it was a pretty rough year in the garden overall. I learned well from that experience and will water as much as I need to in order to get the garden up and running and producing long before summer arrives.

The sandy soil in my new garden is so sandy it scares me. I have visions of root knot nematodes dancing in my head. I have a ton of amending to do before I can plant into that ground. Still, I was excited to find the sandy soil there. Sandy soil is a whole lot easier to double-dig and amend than our dense red clay.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:09AM
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One of the advantages of living in Calif for a few years was that we didn't wait for rain to put in our small backyard garden. If we got rain, that just meant we could turn off the sprinklers for a few days. But we relied on irrigation to get stuff up and growing.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 5:14PM
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