Oh my gosh I'm moving to Arkansas!!

caroline1(7b)April 30, 2004

Hello (new) friends!

I'm going to be moving to NE AR - a teeeeny tiny town called Waldenburg, 24miles South of Jonesboro. I know NOTHING about the area, esp. gardening there. So....tell me ALL about it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the not-so-ugly....all of it!


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WOW.. you are moving to Arkansas from Indiana. I am orginally from Indianapolis, IN.. You ought to meet Mrs. Casper! She live in Jonesboro. She have so many wonderful plants around her home. She will be so happy to showing you around in Jonesboro. In Jonesboro is very FLAT land and... I think city in Jonesboro is growing lots!! I live here Ozarks in Mountain View. It is about two hours drive to Jonesboro (on highway east 14) from Mountain View.. I would love to meet you someday! Good Luck! Kat

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 10:39PM
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Hi Caroline, welcome to Arkansas! Kat is right, Casper is the one for you to meet. She'll take you to all the nurseries and treat you to a tour of her gardens. She knows all about what will grow and how to grow it there in that area. I'm from North Central AR so not much help but my kids live in a tiny town just east of Jonesboro. I know you'll love it. There are some very nice and friendly people there.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 4:29PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Hi Caroline, Welcome to Arkansas!!!!
Just stick to Gardenweb Ozarks Forem and you'll find out everything about AR and MO,good,bad and indifferent.I think you,ll like it here. I live in NW AR near the small town of Ozone in Johnson co.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2004 at 10:48PM
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Well, Caroline, I know you will just be awe stricken by all the beauty of the Ozarks, the trees, lakes, rivers, the people and the talent in this area. I'm originally from Ohio via California to the Ozarks and it is wonderful. Sorry but we still have tornadoes, hail, and lightening and thunderstorms and flooding. But the growing season will be longer for you, and the winters milder. Welcome. Mary aka Missouri

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 7:42PM
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Thanks ya'll (or is it y'all?), lol. I still want to know about the big challenges & what does best, etc. What's the main pest (or is it hard to narrow down!). What should I be on the lookout for? What should I not even bother with?

I did hear from Casper in email - thank you! I want to know *everything*!! :-)
Thanks friends!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2004 at 10:20AM
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The thing that makes gardening the most difficult in the Ozarks are the rocks. I swore Atlantis was really sunken under our property and 11 years later I'm still hauling rock out of the garden! Pests are about the same but manageable, but beware of the SNAKES...yep copperheads and timber rattlers. But they are not as prevalent as some might want you to think. Ask Cricket about being bitten by a copperhead....she can describe that horrible pain in detail. Again, welcome. Mary

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 8:19PM
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Butterbean_Z8(z8 ar)

Why are you moving to Waldenburg? Do you have family there? Waldenburg is located in the delta and looks nothing like the Ozarks. Its proximity to Jonesboro however might make it a nice small community to live in. If you like to fish there is an interesting experiment of stocking tilapia in lake hogue (bayou de view wma)nearby.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2004 at 11:00PM
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You guys are very intersted to input the remarks about it.. Yeah.. Ozarks have lots of SNAKES! Last year, I rode my lawn mower and ran over the big diamond snake, about ten feet long! My next door moved here from CA.. They were so scared of snakes. Of Course I dont blame them. I am scared of snakes too, BUT.. be sure to check what kind of snake BEFORE you killed it because.. my next door killed a king snake! It is very good snake and will kill bad snakes. They are learning to indefy the snakes! I have seen some rattle snakes, hog snake, garden snake, and king snakes in my yard! whoa.. Scarrry.. We had to built the raised bed in my yard due to rocks in my ground! smile.. Much less misoquties here too.. I think.. Jonesboro has lots of misoquites due to lots of rice farm.. And also I have some big fat toads and sweetheart land turtles, allagator, and snapper turtles crawling in our yard. We saw pretty song birds, roadrunners, woodpeckers, and prey birds too. One day.. our next door and my husband saw a deer in our yard. I missed saw it. You ought to come and visit here Ozarks someday! Kat

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 9:25AM
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Hi again friends! Ok, thanks for the info on rocks & snakes (I kinda figured on snakes - I have a 2 year old!). Yikes. And skeeters - I kinda expected that too. I wish it were the Ozarks. My husband is a pastor and that is where he was called. No family AT ALL there!
Where is Lake Hogue, Butterbean? How do you recognize a king snake Deafblossum?

Thanks for all the info!! Any more? Anything else?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 4:14PM
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Hi Caroline.. It is pretty easy to recognize King snake.. It is all black with yellow spots where I saw it in my yard. Some king snakes have stripes... Some have colored rings around their body. It is so pretty snake! SMILE!! Hmmm. I think you would be able to growing much more plants in your zone area! You dont have to dig for winter storage such like.. cannas, elephant ears, butterfly ginger and most hardy annual flowers will come out every year if.. you leave the dead flowers for go seeds such like.. touch me not, vinca, mexican hat, and much more... I just learned that Lady Banks rose can grow here zone 7!! YIKES!! Where your husband pastor at church??

    Bookmark   May 5, 2004 at 4:36PM
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Butterbean_Z8(z8 ar)

Not trying to be negative. Waldenburg in in Poinsett County I think. There will be no rocks, no hills, and millions of mosquitos. Seriously It will sound like its raining if you drive at night. waldenburg is probably less than 100 people, a farm supply store, post office, and gas station. lake Hogue is nearby. On the plus side, a small community can be relaxing and the snow geese migration is awesome during the winter months. Most snakes will be various species of watersnake, non-venemous, and some cottonmouth. it is near Jonesboro and not too far from Memphis.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 11:14AM
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Cain(z7 AR)

Yes I used to drive through Waldenburg on my route from Batesville to Marion on Hwy 14. It is small - basically just a highway crossing and railroad track.

Butterbean is right - I don't think you have to worry about rocks. My parents live in Marion (near West Memphis) and they are lucky to find any rocks in their yard. As a matter of fact, my mom asks me to bring her some rocks when I visit. (I live in Maumelle in central AR which I think stands for "city built on rock and clay" in native American language.)

But, you will have some very fertile soil. Once you get there look around - nothing but soy beans and cotton. I'm hoping to work out a deal with my parents where I trade them soil for rocks.

As you and others have mentioned, you will be close to Jonesboro which is a great city that has grown leaps and bounds over the past 5-10 years. I haven't been there in a while - since my friends were in college there - but I know they've gained quite a few restaurants since then. If you need some rocks you can probably get some in Jonesboro because it's in the Ozark foothills.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 12:44PM
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There's a lot to be said for small town life. I was raised in a fairly large city of around 60,000 and married a farm boy who moved me to a very small community. I love it and hope I never have to move back to a city. The people are mostly friendly, very helpful, more like a big family. The only thing that sometimes may cause a problem is that everyone knows your business. I don't really have anything to hide so it's not a problem for me. ;-) I don't know what kind of places you've lived in the past but if you've never tried small town life I think you'll enjoy it. It's a plus to be close enough to a city to go shopping or to other places if you like, which you will be.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 2:16PM
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Waldenburg may be a small town, but you'll be within 30 minutes of Jonesboro, where you can kick up your heels if you want. And, as mentioned, you won't be too far from all the adventures of Memphis. So culture and real entertainment is only about an hr and a half from Waldenburg.

No rocks. You'll be in flat land, probably with some of that great farm soil.

You'll be in Zone 6b or 7a, so you can grow anything you want just about. I have mostly red clay and was told I couldn't grow anything here. WRONG!!! I'm very stubborn and hard-headed, which works in my favor occasionally. I grow everything! It's not too hot nor too cold, so most plants do well here. I even grow lots of tropicals (and carry them inside for winter).

Mosquitos are the biggest nuisance. We are just covered up in them. Keep some OFF on hand; you'll need it.

Snakes are plentiful, but most are harmless, out looking for rabbits and rats. I let them be. They can eat all they want, with my blessings.

As soon as you get here, holler at me. I'll show you around Jboro and introduce you to the clearance racks in Lowe's garden center.

And by the way, I think it's actually y'all (short for you all), but we hillbillies spell it ya'll for some reason. LOL

Welcome to the area! It's pretty laid back in these parts. Even tho Jboro is about 50 or 60,000 people, it still seems like a small town to me. Things move at a slow, comfortable pace, not too much traffic, nothing like fast paced, congested Memphis. I hope you'll like it here.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 2:46PM
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Ok, this is good info. Mainly I'm looking for gardening info but I'll take anything - you've been my main source so far! :-)
I'm not sure what you're asking, Deafblossom - where is my husband the pastor? Soon to be Waldenburg, right now Ft. Wayne Indiana...
We're looking forward to small town life (though 85 people is REAL small!). No thanks on the rocks (or the snakes/mosquitoes) for that matter! Hopefully "Off" will work! It will be great to meet you Casper. :-)

Ok, so I know mosquitoes (and snakes), but what about things in the garden - bugs/disease? What should I not bother with? Y'all are a wealth of info so I'm gonna milk it for all I can. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 4:32PM
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Millie_36(Z6b MO)

Welcome to the mid-lands, if not exactly the Ozarks...don't miss the Buffalo River area. NW Arkansas is beautiful.

My advice would be to just get settled and then look around to see what everyone else is growing. Bet the locals will heap "pass-along" plants on you if you admire theirs. ;) Then read up on things you want and go for it. I'm in zone 6b here in SW missouri and can get away with leaving many plants in the ground by planting deeper and tossing on some mulch over winter. Last winter was mild, but I forgot an Amaryllis and it is back with no mulch added.

There are so many things you can grow here without fighting disease that I don't bother with things that are a problem. Locate the local County Extension agent and pick up lots of brochures on most any subject you can imagine...very helpful. They can answer your questions better....I have been in that area, but never lived there. You may not have the same things to deal with. Over here we have too many cedars and they harbor Apple-Cedar Rust, making all yellow apples hard to grow without grafting a sprayer to your right hand. Wander into local farm stores....and get aquainted. Some still have open-stock garden seed. You may have access to rice hulls for amending soil or use as mulch...each area is a bit different.

I have lived all over traveling with a military husband and found that you can find some good and some bad anywhere you go. I haven't ever found the perfect place, but people can make all the difference in how you deal with it. I think you will like it. As was mentioned above, you will have the best of both...small town life and a large city near enough to visit.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 9:10AM
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jenn_of_ark(6 AR)

We moved to NW Arkansas in June of last year. The worst thing (to me)(so far) is ticks. Don't know if you'll get them around Waldenburg, but here (2 miles north of central Buffalo River) (near Hasty, AR) ... they're pretty bad during summer. They also get on cats and dogs, and their babies are called chiggers. Chigger bites leave itchy holes ... and ticks are also scary because of Lyme Disease. Maybe my body is learning to avoid ticks and chiggers, though, because they bothered me a lot more when we first got here. We've been here almost a year, now, so I've learned that ticks are only around when the temperature gets above about ... um ... 60-65, I think.
The best time to investigate the woods is early spring and winter - no snakes, no ticks, poison ivy has no leaves. Then you look out for black bears!
Also when weeding wear gloves till you know what you're putting your hands on -- there are poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and some weeds called "sticker weed" with spines, and various things that make you itch.
Long pants and high boots are real good things where we're at!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 12:48AM
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Oh, Caroline, I forgot to warn you about the humidity! You'll be moving here at about the worst time. It's so hot and humid in July. You'll melt even in the shade. Temps get over 100 and with humidity, the heat index can be 110. You'll shower two or three times a day if you work outside. I do all summer. Being born and raised here, I just accept the heat and humidity.

You can buy some stuff to sprinkle in your yard (Malathion or Diazonon, not sure exactly) when you get here to keep most of the bugs and ticks and fleas away. I usually do it in spring and don't have a problem with much during the season.

As for pests, just about any plant anywhere will attract some sort of pest. I've been lucky. I'm able to grow anything I want without too much trouble. When you get a fungus or a pest, you just treat the plant and move on.

I've been told I couldn't grow many things here, but I grow anything I want. So far I've been quite successful. I've found that, if you don't plant it, it won't grow. So I plant everything, and everything grows, some things better than others. But just try it all is my suggestion. I was told I couldn't grow columbine here. It's a good thing I didn't listen. I have about 10 varieties now that have been growing for three years. Someone once came here and stood in front of my 7ft tall yellow canna and told me that you can't grow cannas here. I now have about 60 varieties.

Can't wait to meet ya! I'm having a plant swap in Oct. You'll have to plan on coming to that and meeting a lot of people in our area.

See ya soon.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2004 at 6:59PM
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I'm familiar with chiggars, though not so much with ticks. Our house has a lot of woods around it so it probably does have them... The property is pretty big so that would mean a whole lot of malathion! I knew about the humidity though. Thanks to Casper I've already picked up 2 cannas (I've never grown them before!!) - more stuff to move!!

Thanks for the great info - keep it coming! You all (ya'll) are great. :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 5:35PM
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Well, ya'll may as well tell her about the alligators! My mother's family has been in the area of Poinsett County since before statehood in 1836. I was born there and lived in West Memphis, Jonesboro, Harrisburg, Greenfield and just outside Beebe in White County at various stages of my life. Since we've been back in Missouri, our local CBS affiliate picked up a news story from a Little Rock station about a family dog barking furiously in Parkin, AR, east of Waldenburg and across Crowley's Ridge. The homeowners checked out the commotion and found a 6' or better alligator on their patio. If memory serves, 'gators are in all but a few of the upper Ozark counties. By the way, there are some neat excavations of Indian burial mounds, etc., around Parkin if that is of interest to you.

While we were at Beebe, I killed a copperhead within 10' of our house wall each of 3 years we were there. The fourth year, I killed a tiny one in the barn. I know the difference between copperheads and others. Contact Fish and Game--they have a good full color poster of the types of snakes you might encounter in Arkansas. The key is to NEVER put your hands and feet into a crack or crevice, under a rock or downed tree where you can't see.

In the Grand Prairie, where Waldenburg is located, there are two sizes of mosquitoes because of all the rice being grown and the slow or non-moving water. The little ones squeeze through the mesh of a screen door and the big ones just open the door and fly right in. Speaking of rice, when I lived in Jonesboro, the world's largest rice handling facility had just been built there.

While everyone is warning you about the humidity and heat, keep in mind that you will have a much milder winter than you had in Indiana. One of the years we were in Beebe, I think we had 330+ frost free days--a really long gardening season--without a lot of cold although it can get cold enough. The humidity figures in to some extent then as well as it makes the cold more penetrating.

You find what you look for and since you are a gardener, I'm sure you will "bloom where you are planted." Good luck. Lots of good people in Arkansas and I really miss the friends I made down there even though we've been back in Missouri over 7 years now.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 10:21PM
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Greetings! I moved here from Phoenix, Az. I went from the desert to the woods. From a city to the country. It took some adjusting but Im fitting in just fine. I can grow so many things here that I couldnt in Arizona. I sure am having problems with the cactus I brought with me though. Good luck and I wish you the best........

    Bookmark   May 10, 2004 at 11:14PM
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Caroline, one good thing about living in the lap of farmland is that with all the crops around the farmers are spraying for bugs and that helps if you're close enough. My husband farmed 3000 acres of cotton and soybeans and we lived right next to one of the cotton fields. We always had cats and a dog and I don't remember having ticks or chiggers. My parents who lived just out from town about 10 miles away had so many chiggers I wouldn't even go outside to cross the yard to my grandmother's house. lol

My in-laws lived and my son still does in a small town near Jonesboro and grew a wonderful vegetable garden. I remember her growing petunias, moss rose, iris, mums, mock orange, roses, clematis, hostas, marigolds, and glads. I am sure you grow most of what you love and many of the things you haven't been able to grow in Indiana.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 1:55PM
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bsisemore(NE AR z7)

Hi Caroline, Welcome to Arkansas. I live pretty close to Casper. In a small town called West Ridge. (Flat land here too) Get a can of bug spray, you'll need it, Waldenburg is right on the edge of the start of rice country. We are mainly cotton and soy beans here, but just a little south they start the rice. You'll be close to Weiner AR, home of the Rice Festival. Just remember we are only an hour away from Memphis, TN and too if you take those back roads your right on top of Little Rock. We head that way to get on the interstate going to Texas.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 10:31PM
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Such great info from everyone. Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2004 at 11:50AM
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Welcome to Arkansas- don't worry about the snakes and such- you'll get used to them- We moved to North Central Ark about 12 years ago from Wisconsin and have never regretted it- Be prepared to wave a lot when out driving- for some reason everyone waves at every one else- and don't ever think that you can just "run" in the store to pick up something quick- people here like to talk- a LOT. I have been known to spend over an hour getting a loaf of bread!!!
It's nice though- if you ever find yourself stranded on the road people will stop to help no matter what the weather! We live outside the very small town of Salem and it took our 2 older children some time to fit in with the locals but when they did they found friends for life- our 2 youngest were born here and I wouldn't raise them anywhere else-
If you have ever heard jeff Foxworthy talk about rednecks you know what its like here!!! ( most of what he says is true)
As far as the bugs and such- no different from anywhere else, Jonesboro does have a lot of mosquitoes though because of the rice fields. We get copperhead snakes once in a while- usually when they are out sunning themselves- they are not aggressive so if you leave them a lone they will leave you alone- we get a lot of black snakes too- they are good but they can get big so they seem scary- the biggest one we had here was about 7 feet long. We also have a lot of Armadillos that like to dig holes so watch for them- we generally just chase them off because we're not sure how to kill them. Where we live though our biggest pest is the squirrel- we have hundreds of them and they will eat anything- one year they dug up over 100 tulip bulbs that I had just planted-
That is about all I can think of- the people here are great- none better anywhere. I hope you enjoy the area as much as we do.
God Bless

    Bookmark   May 20, 2004 at 7:39PM
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mahoganyrose(z6/7, Arkansas)

Hi Caroline, My wife and I are recent transplants from Omaha, NE. Now living at Lake Thunderbird, Cherokee Village, AR as of the end of September. We moved 80 hostas, as many perenials, and lots of lily bulbs. As you have heard from others the soil is very rocky. We have had two truck loads, five cubic yards each, of top soil (?) river bottom dirt delivered. Raised beds are the answer. And, we still have much to do. But, we got everything in the ground before the winter set in. As I write this on January 1st, a few hostas have their tips poking through the ground. That is wonderful because we wanted to be in an area that had a longer growing season. Trust all is well - have a great new year.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 12:02PM
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Hi My name is Nancy , and I just moved here recently from OHIO. I am not familiar yet with what grows well here. Actually I have'nt been able to get much help. My soil is yucky, rocky. I have no shade. One side of my house is usually damp. the rest is scorching; if not freezing. I would like to grow some roses (first time), but I don't know which ones would do the best in this area. I live in GReenbrier. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
thank you!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 3:41AM
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Nothing to do with gardening, but there is one thing in Waldenburg you will find nowhere else on this earth, Woody's B-B-Q. My wife and I take the long way around to get from Batesville to Jonesboro sometimes just to get a plate of his B-B-Q. He has a little portable stand he parks at the intersection and is only open on Friday and Saturday. A few years back he built a plant to produce his special sauce.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Nancykn - I started a new post to welcome you. Hope you see it. This one was started almost 3 years ago. Wonder if Caroline is still around.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 2:21PM
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I saw that this thread was revived! Woody's is good stuff - he is selling his sauces through a few markets in Jonesboro, including Sam's Club! So maybe there will be a bigger distribution too.
Wish I could help Nancy, but Greenbrier isn't really near here. Conway is a decent town near there though.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 2:55PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

caroline, was really nice to hear from you and that everyone did'nt scare you off. Have you found a lot of flowers to grow?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 1:51AM
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