Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring in Oklahoma

Things are always interesting in the spring here in Oklahoma. Yesterday was unseasonably warm and humid, today it is freezing with tons of rain. Here's a fun map showing wind chill and heat index at the same time as the cold front made its way through the state.

So what's an urban farmer to do when the weather forecast calls for 2" hail, lots of wind, freezing temps when the weekend before you hedged your bets and planted 9 tomatoes, 7 peppers and 2 basil plants? Scramble like crazy to protect them! Yes, that is our newest addition to the homestead (baby O) looking on as I stand on the conduit bender while Gabe bends the EMT needed to protect our newest double dug bed. We ran a little short of tufflite (thick plastic), and the snap clamps used to hold everything down so we had to improvise.

Prior to all the scrambling to protect tender plants I harvested some lovely lacinato kale that's been growing in our strawbale bed under row cover all winter. I noticed quite a lot of aphids on the kale I harvested. Feeling rather defeated (aphids are the bane of our garden) I pulled the badly infested leaves off and fed them to the chickens and took the rest of the kale inside to clean it for dinner. Then I spotted bright yellow eggs on the stem of some of the kale. Ladybug eggs! Carefully, I returned the bunch of leaves and stem that had the eggs to the strawbale bed, and sure enough, there was a mature ladybug on some of the remaining kale. Nature is so awesome. A couple of days earlier the boy and I spotted several ladybug larvae on the garlic growing in our remaining raised bed. Go beneficial insects! We are hoping to attract some other beneficials to the garden this year by planting a bunch of flowers and installing some mason bee blocks.

Baby O looks on while we bend conduit

Improvised cover for tomatoes and peppers

Ladybug eggs on kale

1 comment:

  1. I gotta show you the "caterpillar" method for keeping the plastic on those low tunnels.