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Oklahoma Gardening

Transcript for February 17, 2018

Oklahoma Gardening

(pleasant guitar music)

Welcome to a brand new year of Oklahoma Gardening.

On today's show, host Casey Hentges builds a cold frame

out of hay bales and repurposed windows.

We travel to Edmond, Oklahoma to stroll through

the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum.

There are helpful tips for growing onions

and gardener guide Paul James joins Casey

to check out some great specimen for the landscape.

(pleasant guitar music)

 

>>> It seems like the moment after the holidays are over

and that first seed catalog arrives in your mailbox

we all get a little antsy to get out into the garden.

And we are excited to be back with fresh new shows

and we're gonna start off our show today by doing a project

combined with planting some seeds out in the garden.

Now, right now, this time of year

we have some really nice days,

followed by some really cold days

and so we're gonna build a straw bale cold frame

to help moderate those temperatures.

You can see what our straw bale cold frame

is gonna look like.

We've gotta do a little bit of work here,

so we're gonna go ahead and tear this apart

and prep our soil before we finish our cold frame.

So we've got our bed prepped and we're ready

to start planting our seeds.

In this cold frame, we're gonna plant

some carrot seeds and some sugar snap peas.

We wanna put our peas on the north side

because they're gonna get a little bit taller

than our carrots.

The carrots that we have that we're gonna plant

are called a Cosmic Purple.

We're gonna plant those on about a four inch spacing

so we're gonna kind of make a line here.

We're gonna do two rows down the middle of our irrigation

and then one row on the outside of our irrigation.

So, carrot seeds are really quite small,

so what we'll do is just kinda sprinkle those down the rows.

Now before we do that, it's important to have

good moisture around your seeds.

What I like to do is get a little potting soil

and kinda sprinkle that down our rows here.

You don't need a lot, but what this'll do

is just give us a little bit more

moisture retention around our seeds.

(cheery music)

We're just gonna kinda tap our seeds as we go down,

following our potting soil.

You can see how tiny these seeds are.

Now of course, when these start to germinate,

we will need to thin them out

so that they don't have as much competition

between each seed, each plant as it grows.

(cheery music)

Now we want to use a little more potting soil

just to cover those seeds and traditionally,

what we think of as a rule for planting depth

is two and a half times the diameter of the seed.

So considering how small carrot seeds are,

we really are not gonna cover them over that much at all.

So, this again will just help keep some of that moisture

around those seeds, once we water them in.

And then we just kinda wanna smooth them out as well

making sure that we have good seed to soil contact.

So that we don't have too much air exposure

on those young seedlings as they germinate.

You might have noticed our little bit of tin foil

on our drip irrigation and this was just

kind of a thing that we have figured out.

Around our joints, these hard pieces of plastic,

we have found that they tend to leak

and it looks like we've got some sort of rodent,

whether it's a mouse or a squirrel,

that likes to come in here and kind of chew

on just these hard joint pieces.

So we've done a lot of different things

and we've actually found that tin foil works the best.

So that's why we've got some tin foil

wrapped around some of our drip irrigation.

Down at this end we're gonna

plant some sugar and snap peas,

and we're gonna put those on about the same spacing.

Now, these peas are more of a bushy pea so they're only

gonna get a couple of feet tall.

And they don't really need trellising

like some of your taller snap peas that we're gonna

plant in our key hole a little bit later.

These, you can trellis if you want to,

we don't plan on trellising ours.

Really, the value of trellising these is just to help

with harvesting a little bit better.

But, they are fine growing on their own.

You can see that pea seeds, obviously,

are a little bit larger.

So we are gonna plant these individually.

Down our line here.

We always wanna make sure that we label our seeds,

so we've got sugar and peas.

And then also put the date of when we planted these

so that we can kind of see, when we're out there,

whether they should be coming up or not.

So, we've got our peas on the North side here.

And we've got our carrots on the South side.

Now, one of the other things I wanted to let you know,

is the reason why we've planted our carrots in our

traditional vegetable bed is because the soils really

been cultivated, and it's a nice loamy soil.

Carrots are a tap root, and so of course

they wanna grow straight down.

If you have clay soils or rocky soils,

you might find that your carrots tend to fork a little bit,

or split, and in that case you'd wanna use a raised bed

or even a container garden to grow your carrots.

If you just really wanna grow your carrots

in your rocky soil, look for a carrot cultivar

that's a little bit shorter.

Of course it'll be shorter so it won't be

growing too much into that soil.

Now we just need to water these seeds.

(energetic music)

So now that we have our bed prep,

all we're gonna do is roll our straw bales back into place,

and then put our window frames over our bed.

(upbeat country music)

So basically what we've constructed here is

an insulated green house, giving our temperatures

a little more consistency for our plants.

Now, as the temperatures start warming up

and we start having more warm days than we do cooler days

we're gonna need to vent these,

this is why we used windows, you could use doors

but what I liked about windows in particular,

if you put the inside of the window facing up,

when we have those hot days you can just open the window.

If you have a door or shower door that you wanna use

you're gonna have to prop that up somehow

and with our Oklahoma wind that can be a little risky

if gets caught by the wind and blows off.

We are gonna put some wooden stakes

just to kind of secure this in place.

Now, because we've planted peas and carrots,

the screen actually will serve as a nice way to keep

those insects out but peas and carrots don't need

pollinators, they don't need insects to pollinate them.

Peas are self pollinating, and of course carrots

bore after the root so it doesn't matter.

If you were to plant something in here that needed

insect pollinators to get that fruit

then of course you'd wanna take those screens off.

As our peas continue to grow they might grow

a little bit too close to these

but by that time our temperatures will be warm

and we'll go ahead and remove these frames.

These frames we got for about $10 at our local rehab store,

and it's a cheap and easy way to go ahead

and get those seeds started in the garden

a little bit sooner.

(upbeat music)

 

So often when we're looking at adding trees

into our landscape, we're curious about

what those trees are gonna look like when they're mature.

We're here at the Margaret Annis Boys Centennial Arboretum

which is at the Bickham-Rudkin park in Edmond,

and Brian Dougherty, you're joining us again

with Oklahoma City Community Foundation,

because ya'll helped make this happen.

>>> Well, you know, these are opportunities that

you just don't run into all the time.

Here was a city that had a piece of property

they were develop out as a park,

here was miss Boys who, Margaret Annis Boys,

had left for a state to the community foundation

for beautification of public space,

and we had the chance to turn around

and really work with the urban foresters,

with the parks departments,

and start putting this together and this was 10 years ago

and it's doing exactly what we wanted it to do.

>>> You've talked a lot with us about trees

that are being planted throughout city parks,

and as you've mentioned this has been going on for 10 years

so we're starting to get some size on these trees.

>>> You know, a lot of times when they'll talk

about in landscape architecture school start drawing

them that are seven to 10 years old.

Well this you can start seeing seven to 10 years

and they have the labeling on them

and fantastic trails that go around, so connectivity.

These are some of those amenities

on parks and trails, and people can take this home

to their backyard, they can say

"I really wanna see a Cedar Elm."

Or, "I wanna see a Bald Cypress."

>>> Yeah.

>>> They can know how large it is,

and this is seven years old or 10 years old

So it's a great asset in many, many ways.

>>> [Casey] And you also have power lines,

like so many others do.

>>> That's right.

>>> [Casey] And you've learned how to mitigate that.

>>> Yeah, so on the south end of this park,

there are major power lines.

So all of trees planted, there were 275 trees that we

helped fund here, and the trees in those

were what we call our utili-trees.

They were trees that should mature under the utility lines

and not compensate.

We have a policy at the Community Foundation: we never are

gonna plant a tree that we anticipate in any way will

interfere with a power line,

and that's just a good, good practice.

But sometimes you need to lead by example,

and this was an opportunity we saw.

>>> [Casey] Well, you can see a lot of people

are out here using this.

>>> [Brian] Every morning, every day, every night, and then

when you sit there and you say right south of it is

Oklahoma Christian College that has a fantastic

trail system that links back to Oklahoma City Trails.

And then through the park, it goes on to the Edmond Trails,

so this is exactly what we're always looking for, that park,

that connectivity, maximum benefit to the community.

>>> [Casey] And another green belt

that's being established, yes.

(gentle guitar music)

 

Joining us is Ryan Ochsner, who is the green infrastructure

planner for the city of Edmond, and you're responsible

for maintaining this park.

Can you tell us a little bit

about what's gone into this arboretum?

>>> Well, in addition to the tree plantings, the hundreds

of trees out here, we've also enhanced that user experience

by coming out with the tree signage, and those

sorts of things, so they can have a visual

of what these trees look like.

>>> The signs are great, and they give you a lot of

information about that tree as well.

It's nice for a homeowner to be able to come out

and see exactly what they might be getting when

they buy something at the nursery.

>>> [Ryan] We're very fortunate to have that opportunity here.

You can read a lot about trees online, but to come out

and experience them, and see how they actually work

here in Oklahoma, is a great asset.

>>> [Casey] Yeah, and so, the rest of the park, though,

there's a lot of other assets to this park as well.

You've got a fishing pond and the dog park.

Can you talk a little bit about those other features?

>>> [Ryan] Sure, we see people here using this park

for all sorts of different opportunities.

From the very popular dog park,

to the xeriscape demonstration garden.

Further down we've got a fishing pond.

All of that's connected back here to the arboretum

through this trail system that we have throughout the park.

And of course, we have traditional playgrounds

over on the east side of the park.

>>> [Casey] And for those who aren't familiar with xeriscape,

that is drought tolerant gardening.

So not only do you get your information about your trees,

but you can also find those plants that do well

here in Oklahoma.

>>> Absolutely.

Very Oklahoma-focused on what we have to display here.

>>> With low water.

>>> Yes ma'am.

>>> You have kind of an open prairie a little bit

between the arboretum and the other garden.

Can you talk a little bit about that?

>>> We do, we have an open prairie here.

When this was established, it was a lot of

pasture land, essentially, and there were some

great ecosystems of native grass throughout here,

and as this area's been established for other uses,

those ecosystems kinda changed.

So it's been a learning experience,

on how do we manage those to maintain that type of ecosystem

that existed here before.

>>> [Casey] 'Cause you'll notice it's different

than most parks.

It's not completely mowed.

You actually have some areas that are a little more natural,

but yet they're highly maintained, still.

>>> [Ryan] Absolutely. A lot of maintenance goes into

that natural look, definitely.

>>> [Casey] Well, it looks beautiful out here, thank you.

>>> [Ryan] Thank you, our pleasure.

 

>>> [Narrator] Oklahoma Gardening would like to thank

the Oklahoma City Community Foundation

for the work that it does throughout Oklahoma,

and its support of our program.

Since 1969, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation

has worked with donors to create charitable funds

and bring together and empower partnerships

that benefit our community, both now and into the future.

For more information about programs and opportunities

for giving, visit the foundation's website: occf.org.

(playful guitar music)

 

>>> I'm Jim Shrefler.

I'm the area extension horticulture specialist

for Southeast Oklahoma

with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension service.

We're here at the Wes Watkins Agriculture Research and

Extension Center today.

What we have here actually to look at today

is a variety trial that includes

a number of different varieties of red onions.

These are some onion varieties that just became available

recently on the market.

They were newly developed by several different companies,

And one by New Mexico State University.

Why are we doing a new trial with red onions?

Well with yellow onions,

which are probably the most popular type,

we have several good varieties available now.

We have a short-day one,

which means that they mature earliest,

and that would be Texas 1015Y or Texas Super Sweet.

Different names for the same onion.

We also have one called Candy which is very popular.

It matures a little bit later.

It's called an intermediate-day length onion.

Now, our red onions here,

these are all supposed to be intermediate-day length onions,

the ones we have in the trial here.

What we're finding now is that some of them tend to be

a little bit earlier than others,

because, we'll look at 'em here a moment,

but as an onion plant matures,

it develops its bulb,

and when it gets to that point where that bulb

is fully matured,

the tops all of a sudden on their own,

they'll fall over.

Okay, you don't have to break 'em over or anything.

They just, by themselves,

the neck of the onion becomes weakened

and it falls over.

Sometimes growers call us and ask us and they say,

"Well, my onions look real nice but all of a sudden

they made a big, long tall stalk.

It made some nice pretty flowers on the head

but they're not growing an onion bulb so,

did I do something wrong?"

We call that bolting.

It's actually the onion going from a vegetative growth phase

to a reproductive phase and producing flowers,

and those flowers will,

if we leave them there,

they'll produce seeds.

Now, the thing that causes that,

is when that onion plant was small,

maybe about the diameter of your small finger there.

When the onion plant was that small,

if it was exposed to temperatures in the mid 40's or so,

for a prolonged period,

that's what triggers the physiology of the onion plant

to eventually make that seed stalk.

In most of these, you'll see,

don't have the seed stalk,

they're not going to get it.

They're just going to mature and the tops will fall over.

This does occasionally happen.

A lot of times, gardeners will buy onion transplants,

and plant them, and they get a lot of these.

One thing I can say, when you buy your transplants,

get 'em as early as possible, in February.

Avoid the ones that have lots of big onions in the pa,

you'll get a pack of about 60.

Avoid the ones that have the big fat ones.

Stick with the ones that are the diameter of your finger,

or smaller, and you'll have less incidences of that problem.

(upbeat music)

 

>>> Today we are here at Southwood Landscape

and Garden Center, and we're looking at ways to add

focal points into the garden.

Now, typically, this guy is our main focal point,

(laughing)

but he's gonna show us some other specimen plants.

What do you have for us Paul?

>>> Well, okay, so the whole notion is specimen.

>>> Mm-hmm.

>>> Is meant to just jump out at you,

to draw your eye,

it's a focal point.

Every landscape deserves at least one.

They don't have to be dramatic,

but typically they are.

So, I wanted to show you some of the dramatic ones to start.

>>> Okay.

>>> Easily the most popular,

is the Weeping Atlas Cedar.

>>> Yeah, look at this.

It's beautiful.

>>> They really are stunning.

Some people call them 'Dr. Seuss' trees.

I like that actually.

(laughing)

Holy cow.

They scream at you.

Right?

>>> Yeah, yeah.

>>> I mean, you cannot miss a specimen like this.

>>> Right.

Each one of them are so unique.

They look like art sculptures, really I think.

>>> They do.

They do.

And if you can imagine, if you paired these two arches,

you could create

>>> A tunnel?

>>> Yeah, yeah, yeah.

That's a really cool effect.

The blue, is nice.

>>> Right, right.

>>> Nice departure from green.

>>> And it's a good tough plant for Oklahoma.

>>> Oh, yeah.

>>> You know, I mean.

>>> They love it here.

>>> Yeah.

>>> They love it here.

>>> So what else do we have?

>>> In a smaller, more shrub like form,

>>> Going green now over here.

>>> Going green, this is a Japanese White Pine.

>>> Okay.

>>> Called Fukuzumi.

If you're a real conifer nut, you know,

that when you see this wooden box,

>>> Mm-hmm.

it comes from Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon.

I've been there, a couple times.

It's anything but boring, I assure you.

>>> They're well known for their conifers, and

>>> They're just,

>>> Their specimen plants.

>>> They are premiere growers.

>>> Yeah.

>>> So, something like that, again.

'Hello?'

'Look at me!'

>>> I love this.

It looks like little,

almost like it's been pruned,

but it hasn't been at all.

>>> No.

And it's coning.

It's just really really spectacular.

Behind it.

>>> What's, yeah that tall one?

>>> That is sometimes called and Alaskan Cedar.

It's not a cedar at all.

It's a Chamaecyparis nootkatensis.

>>> Okay.

>>> The upright forms,

typically you've got 'Jubilee,' 'Green Arrow.'

There are several cultivars out there,

but, that makes a heck of a statement as well.

>>> Yeah.

>>> [Casey] And it kind of gives you

that eerie look a little bit.

>>> A little bit.

(birds chirp)

They're well adapted here,

good well-draining soil,

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> which is the case with most conifers.

And watch its watering needs a little bit.

Not too wet, not too dry.

Just...

>>> Just right (laughs).

>>> [Paul] Just right,

it's got that goldilocks watering requirement.

(both laugh)

But I love those, and its just upright.

Doesn't take up that much room.

>>> [Casey] Well it looks like you might have a few more

on the other side, let's go around there.

>>> [Paul] Oh yeah, oh yeah.

>>> [Casey] Oh, this one will definitely

grab your eye in a garden.

>>> [Paul] Yeah, you know, if the weeping (mumbles) cedar

was the Dr. Seuss tree,

>>> Uh huh.

>>> [Paul] this is Cousin It.

(Casey laughs)

for those old enough to remember The Addams Family show.

>>> [Casey] Right.

>>> [Paul] These, this is a Picea abies pendula.

>>> [Casey] Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> [Paul] Actually a fairly common plant,

but you just don't often see them grown to this,

height,

>>> yeah.

>>> Oh, it's spectacular.

>>> They're beautiful.

>>> Again, the wooden box, so you know,

it's a quality plant, and we've got two of these,

so I've just often thought, you know,

there's some large home

where these could flank the entrance,

or you know, so dramatic.

>>> Yeah, I just love how they look like a, you know,

a drapery or a cascade almost.

>>> [Paul] Yeah.

And you'll get a little die-back

as they grow in the interior.

Just prune it out, it's no big deal.

>>> [Casey] That just makes them more unique right?

>>> Yeah.

>>> Alright, well we've got another cascading one

over here behind us.

>>> Yes.

>>> And this one looks a little softer.

>>> This is Pinus strobus, angel falls this is called.

>>> [Casey] Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> [Paul] So it's a white pine, and it's just stunning.

I love this thing.

Really dense growth, beautiful weeping form.

And I'll tell you something, it will weep all the way

to the ground,

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> [Paul] But then sometimes the needles will get all...

>>> Kind of nasty?

>>> Yeah, but if you plant this in such a way

that you've got rocks,

>>> Oh yeah.

>>> [Paul] and you can let those lower branches

cascade over the rock?

>>> [Casey] Right, and soften the rocks a little bit.

>>> Really pretty.

>>> Very nice.

>>> Really pretty effect.

>>> These are all beautiful.

>>> They are.

>>> And we've got one over here

that is anything but cascading.

>>> Yes.

>>> I mean, it looks like it's been pruned this way.

>>> This is a style of pruning called the Hindu-Pan.

>>> [Casey] Uh-huh.

>>> [Paul] And this is another Japanese pine,

but... look at that.

I mean, it's just gorgeous.

>>> [Casey] I love the bark on it too.

>>> [Paul] The bark is beautiful.

A little exfoliation almost,

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> Now, with something like this,

you do have to maintain, you've got to pinch those candles,

>>> Right.

>>> routinely to maintain that, what they call the Hindu-Pan look,

but goodness, wow.

We've had several of these, and they fly out of here.

>>> [Casey] Yeah, and the candles,

when you're talking about those

as a new growth, cause it's coming out,

and basically, you pinch it to keep it, oh, it's pruning it.

>>> [Paul] Exactly, exactly.

Now I should mention, these aren't cheap.

(both laugh)

That's $1500.

>>> But that's a lot of growth you're getting for that.

I mean, that's been growing for a long time.

>>> Bingo.

>>> So that's the cost, really,

that you're paying for.

>>> Yes, yes.

And not just growth but manicured and tended to

>>> Right.

>>> all along the way.

>>> [Casey] Very different than any of our other perennials

or trees that just grow quickly.

I mean,

>>> Right.

>>> [Casey] this has been taken care of for a long time.

>>> [Paul] Right.

>>> [Casey] So Paul, I mean, these are pricey specimens.

What would a person do if they couldn't afford one

of these or maybe their garden's not suited

for something this elaborate.

>>> [Paul] Well, you know, I should make clear.

They don't have to be conifers.

They don't have to expensive.

You could have a beautiful ornamental grass in a bed

that is the focal point, that is the specimen in that bed.

>>> [Casey] Yeah.

>>> [Paul] It could be a nice crepe myrtle.

It could be anything, a vitex, one of my favorites.

>>> [Casey] Right.

>>> [Paul] So it doesn't have to be a conifer,

and it doesn't have to be expensive.

But speaking of conifers, there is one

I have to finish up with.

>>> Uh oh, okay!

>>> 'Cause it's like my new favorite plant.

>>> Alright.

>>> Okay.

>>> Is it this big?

>>> No, that's the best part about it.

>>> Alright, let's go look.

>>> [Paul] Alright, check this out Casey.

>>> [Casey] What have you got?

>>> [Paul] Alright, well this is a Dawn Redwood.

>>> It is?!

>>> It is.

>>> [Casey] Redwoods are giant, tall trees!

>>> [Paul] Well, and believe it or not,

this one at maturity,

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> say ten years?

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> [Paul] Eight feet tall.

>>> [Casey] Seriously?

>>> [Paul] So it is become my favorite plant

for so many different reasons.

First of all, a small (mumbles).

>>> [Casey] Right.

>>> [Paul] Gorgeous foliage.

It's almost creamy colored,

>>> Mh-hmm (affirmative).

>>> [Paul] the new spring growth, and then,

it will transition to more of that russet color before,

it is deciduous.

>>> Right, right.

>>> It's a deciduous conifer.

>>> So both cypress,

I mean, they're mistaken

>>> exactly,

>>> exactly.

>>> for each other a lot, but.

>>> [Paul] But, you know, for a small yard, a courtyard,

a bed where you just need that specimen.

>>> Yeah.

>>> To me, this is ideal,

but we only got five of these,

but uh, and that means that one's already spoken for.

(both laugh)

I just can't say enough about this.

>>> [Casey] Well there you go.

You've shown us everything from conifers that are large

and looming into something that's very petite.

>>> [Paul] Yeah, yeah.

Gorgeous.

>>> All make great focal points in your garden.

>>> Yeah, it's specimen time.

(upbeat music)

 

>>> [Narrator] Next week, we'll be renovating

our keyhole garden, adding a teepee trellis,

and planting it with vegetable seeds.

Paul James will be back with some bulletproof perennials

to help in your garden planning.

And Mike Miller of Pond Pro Shop in Shawnee

will show us a simple sand hydroponic system.

So join us then for more TV you'll grow to love.

(upbeat guitar music)

To find out more information about show topics

as well as recipes, videos, articles, fact sheets,

and other resources, including a directory

of local extension offices, be sure and visit our website,

oklahomagardening.okstate.edu.

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Oklahoma Gardening is produced

by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

as part of the division of Agricultural Sciences

and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University.

The Botanic Garden at OSU is home to our studio gardens,

and we encourage you to come visit

this beautiful still water jewel.

We wish to thank our generous underwriters

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and the Oklahoma Department

of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.

Additional support is provided by Pond Pro Shops,

Greenleaf Nursery in the Garden Debut Plants,

and the Oklahoma Horticultural Society.