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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
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August 4, 2011     The Perkins Journal
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August 4, 2011
 

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Thursday, August 4, 2011 I Home & G a r d e n Fax 405-372-7752 Start that winter This past week when friends and acquaintances tell me they have pulled everything out of their x;eggie gardens I have to beets, lettuce and greens for winter harvest. Veggies should be planted as soon as possible. For those who need to work on the soil structure, amend your soil with organic blends for they can be planted without delay. Do not procrastinate when starting seed and setting out fall veggies. They need some of autumn's warmth if they are to produce food throughout the winter. Negligence in this area will result in weak, stunted plants that bolt (go to seed) at the first sign of warmth in 2012. I like to start seeds in 6 or8 inch pots; I call them community pots. Think of them as a 6-pack without the individual compart- ments. Community pots can be seeded, moistened and covered with clear plastic wrap to help con- serve moisture on these dry days. Once the seeds sprout, remove the plastic cover and move to a semi- shaded porch or window and allow the plants to grow three or four sets of true leaves before setting the starts in the ground. This will take about three weeks. Vegetables to seed in pots for winter harvest include spinach, lettuces, and greens including kale, col- lards, mustards and Swiss chard. Cole crops such as short day broccoli, cab- bage and cauliflower will also develop nicely when the weather cools in late September. Root veggies--beets, kohlrabi, radish, garlic, turnips, carrots and onions are planted in fall and seeded in place. The only trick is to keep the top of the soil moist while the seed is germinating. Wet burlap or thick layers of wet newsprint can help retain the moisture at soil level. ask,:"Have you started seed for winter's crop?" In vari- ably they look at me as if I am crazy. Believe me, I too am discouraged when I look closely at plants struggling in this summer's incessant heat, however, August is a window of opportunity for gardeners. Vegetable gardening is to many an annual endeavor. I think of vegetable garden- ing as an ongoing effort. The average gardener will welcome spring by planting a little bit of this and a lot of that; water, and wait for summer to harvest. (Much of July's harvest came fried on the vine.) Com- rnitted vegetable gardeners plant fall crops of spinach, Try direct seeding carrots and onions in the shade of a large tomato or pepper plant to help shade the new seedlings when they sprout. Beds seeded with root crops alone will need row cover or some type of protection from scavenging birds. Our feathered friends have limited seed source as the field grasses and wild- flowers suffer this summer drought. Your new greens will look mighty tasty; pro- tect them! For those who choose Spinach to wait for spring before trying again, what better time to amend virgin garden soil. Most soils in this area are clay and in need of organic matter. Ask around and find a source of stable or chicken litter and offer to clean the mess and cart the manure away. Fresh manure is most rich in beneficial bacteria that increase the biological activity in the soil. While you are work- ing on the soil, sprinkle a i large helping of rock phos- phorus and greensand over the beds. Slow to become available to plants, annual fall applications of these two amendments builds and maintains a strong foundation in the soil. Now sit back and allow winter's moisture to work, tilling the amended manure under in the spring. Now seems an unlikely time for beginning a suc- cessful harvest when actu- ally it is the perfect window for winter gardens. OSU Extension Gardening Tips For August with compost to avoid soil crusting. Mulch to keep planting beds moist and provide shade during initial establishment. Monitor and control insect pests that pre- vent a good start of plants in your fall garden. Continue protective insect appl!cations in the fruit orchkrd. A good spray schedule is often abandoned too early. Follow directions on last application prior to harvest. ) Flowers Towards the end of the month, divide and replant spring-blooming perennials like iris, peonies and daylil- ies if needed. Discontinue deadheading roses by mid- August to help initiate winter hardiness Water compost during extremely dry periods so that it remains active. Turn the pile to generate heat through- out for proper sterilization. Water all plants thoroughly unless rainfall has been ade- quate. It is better to water By Start Fimple The hot and dry weather is Still here in Oklahoma. Fbi?gardeners, this means watering sensitive plants and working in the early morning or late evening. Many other activities and chores should be attended to this month to prepare for the fall andwinter. The fol- loitlg are suggestions from OldIaoma State University fo r tie month of August. Numbers in parentheses represent fact sheets avail- able free of charge through .payne county Extension Office. August is a good month to start your fall vegetable garden. Bush beans, cucum- bers and summer squash can be replanted for another crop. Beets, broccoli, car- rots, potatoes, lettuce and other cool-season crops can also be planted at this time. (A-6009). Soak vegetable seed overnight prior to planting. Once planted, cover them more in depth, less often and early in the morning. Watch for high popula- tions of worms, aphids, spider mites, thrips, scales and other insects on plant material in the garden and landscape and treat as needed. () Also watch for 2nd generation of fall webworm in late August/early September. Remove webs that enclose once again. If you have had a problem with spring dead spot in your bermuda lawn, this should be your last application of fertilizer for the year. Brown patch of cool-season grasses like fescue can be a problem  right now. (F-6420) Grassy winter weeds like Poa annua, better known as annual bluegrass, can be prevented with a preemer- gence herbicide application in late August. Water in the product after application. (F-6420) Areas of turf with large brown spots should be checked for high numbers of grubs. Mid-to-late August is the best time to control heavy white grub infesta- tions in the lawn. Apply appropriate insecticide if white grubs are a problem. Water product into soil. (EEP.:2206) . , ,: it IJ L ', ,., Q, , "1 July Heat Becomes Historic branches and destroy; or spray with good penetration with an appropriate insecti- cide. Always follow direc- tions on both synthetic and natural pesticide products. Tall fescue should be mowed at 3 inches during the hot summer and up to 3 inches if it grows under heavier shade. (F-6420) For areas being converted to tall fescue this fall, begin spraying out bermudagrass with a product containing glyphosate in early August. & F-6421) Irrigated bermudagrass lawns can be fertilized By Gary McManus Oklahoma Climatological Survey Fueled by exceptional drought and a seemingly impenetrable heat-dome, July roared through Oklahoma's legendary heat waves of the past to become the state's hottest calendar month on record. According to data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the July statewide average temperature finished 7.5 degrees above normal at 89.1 degrees, smashing the previ- ous record of 88.1 degrees set back in July 1954. Statewide averages date back to 1895. The news was equally grim on the rainfall side of the ledger. The statewide average rainfall total was 0.70 inches, more than 2 inches below normal and the fourth driest July on record. Combined, the 2011 June-July period was the hottest and driest on record statewide, an ominous achievement with another month of summer yet to go. Through seven months, 2011 ranked as the eighth wannest and second driest on record. Oklahoma City's average temperature of 89.2 degrees topped the previous record of 88.7 degrees from August 1936 to become its wannest Workshop to focus on stewardship month since those records began in 1890. Oklahoma City experienced 27 days in The highest temperature of the month, 114 degrees, was recorded at Alva and Freedom on July 9. Of the 120 Oklahoma Mesonet stations, 93 recorded less than an inch of rainfall for the month. Waiters and Burneyville recorded no precipitation for the entire month. Newkirk and Kenton led the way with 5.58 inches and 3.66 inches, respectively. Only five stations recorded more than 2 inches of rain- fall. Southwestern Oklahoma received less than a quarter- inch of rainfall, on average. An average of 16.41 inches of precipitation has fallen across the state since Octo- ber 1, 2010, nearly 14 inches below normal and the driest By Trisha Gedon Consumers who have passion for environmental stewardship should make plans to attend the Current Challenges in Horticulture and Landscape Architec- ture workshop slated Aug. 25 at Oklahoma State Uni- versity. Workshop sessions will take place at the Wes Wat- kins Center, followed by a field trip to The Botanic Garden at OSU. Mike Schnelle, OSU Cooperative Extension floriculture specialist, said garden enthusiasts and commercial growers are facing a number of chal- lenges in the landscaping arena today. "With the excessive temperatures we've seen this summer, water and its appropriate use has been a challenge encountered by a growers," Schnelle said. "Another issue is how to develop an attractive land- scape that also is environ- mentally friendly. There are a number of plant diseases gardening enthusiasts must deal with and coping with them in an eco-friendly manner can be daunting." Workshop sessions will deal with a variety of topics that all relate to environmental stewardship. One of the sessions during the workshop will focus on xeriscape gardening, while another will intro- duce Oklahoma water use implications for the next 50 years. In addition, informa- tion will be presented regarding native plants for stream restoration, how the Oklahoma Mesonet can be beneficial, pervious versus impervious paving along with storm water manage- ment. "The practices we employ today will have both posi- tive and negative effects on future generations," he said. "Our cultural/horticultural decisions made now will have an impact well beyond our lifetimes." Registration is $80 if postmarked by Aug. 15. A discounted rate of $55 is being offered to The Botanic Garden at OSU members, county Extension educators, Master Garden- ers and students with school identification. Registration received after Aug. 15 will be $125. Lunch is included in the registration fee. Reg- istration on the day of the event begins at 8:30 a.m., with the first workshop beginning at 9 a.m. To register online, please visit https: //secure.touchnet.com/ C2027 l_ustores/web/ index.jsp. Click on the Horticulture/Landscape store, select Conference Registration and then click on Current Challenges in Horticulture and Land- scape Architecture. For more information contact Stephanie Latimer at 405- 744-5404, or via email at stephanie.larimer @ oksta te.edu. "This will be a wonder- fully informative workshop in which attendees can take the information home and July with a high temperature of at least 100 degrees, once again the most for any month in its history. Oklahoma City's averagehigh tempera- ture of 102.5 degrees beat July 1980' s previous mark of 102.4 degrees to set another mile- stone. Similar records were matched at many locations throughout drought-ravaged western Oklahoma. Grand- field was tl). e warmest spot in the state with an average July temperature of 93 degrees and an average high of 107 degrees. Grandfield contin- ued to lead the state with 68 days at or above 100 degrees in 2011. The record stands at put it into practice in their 86days, set by Hollis in 1956. otities' ,'>S cfihel ie:, i  others have said, "e: cutting-edge, seen triple-dlgkhighs for 40 information is applicable :: consecutive days througtiJuly to all areas of the state 31. Kenton's July average of and beyond Oklahoma's 81.6 degrees marked it as borders." the coolest spot in the state. such period on record. Boise City received a scant 3.8 inches of rainfall over that time while Grandfield mea- sured 5.6 inches. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map released on July 28 indicates more than half of Oklahoma is experiencing exceptional drought, the worst designa- tion possible. Unfortunately, there is little relief in sight as the heat and drought continue to feed off one another. The latest out- looks for August from the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center indicate increased chances of above normal temperatures and below normal precipita- tion. Their seasonal drought outlook calls for the persis- tence or intensification of drought conditions across Oklahoma and Texas through October.