What a difference 2 weeks make!  14 days ago we were battling a long stretch of 100 plus degree heat and a punishing drought dehydrating every living thing across Oklahoma.  We are still in a drought but most of the state has been blessed with at least 1 or 2 refreshing rains and we have enjoyed a nice run of cooler August weather with highs in the low 90’s.  Our night temps have dropped into the 60’s and 70’s over this stretch.  Those lower night temperatures allow our trees and plants to take a deep breath and relax a little before facing the heat of the next day.  Many plants, like the ever popular tomatoes, can’t pollinate and set fruit with high night temperatures. These lower temperatures allow pollination again and should help all your plants that survived the furnace of July to find new energy for fall.  Many plants will start to perk up, produce new growth, fruit and flowers as long as you help meet their watering needs in this greatly improved “fall-like” weather.

This nicer weather will help improve your fall plant choices in a few short weeks at your favorite local nursery or garden center.  The fall hardy mums the last 2 seasons have been of lower quality than normal as growers fought intense August and even September heat which caused heat delay and smaller fall mums.  The fall crops are growing nicely in greenhouses across our state and with this cooler weather it looks like growers may produce one of their best hardy mum crops in years.  Growers have already potted up the first crops of fall pansies and this weather will help improve the quality of the pansy plants you can buy in late September and October to beautify your fall and winter garden.

 I want to take personal privilege to bid a fond farewell to David and Bev Shumate and all their fine team of horticulturists at Horn Seed.  We are truly sad to see them closing this landmark Oklahoma garden center after 91 years.  They have been in the current location for over 50 years at the old “Classen Circle”, and have served hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma gardeners and generations of market farmers.  They have made a huge impact on the beautification and health of all those Oklahomans they have served over the years.   It is sad to think about all that great talent and service we have lost in our community in the last several decades with the closing of so many wonderful independent growers and garden centers like Horn Seed.  I have fond memories of some of the others that closed before them including Higdons Nursery, Porter’s, Sneeds Nursery, Capitol Gardens, Bruce Rey Nursery, Satterlee Nursery,  Moesel’s Hort-Haven, Booton’s, and Warren and Son Nursery.  These local nurseries served the community in many special ways through education, support for local institutions, and a local knowledge of the trees, plants, soil types and water quality and a special desire to help Oklahoma gardeners succeed.  Please join me in saying  ”Thank You” to the Horn family for many years of service to Oklahoma and please try to support the remaining local garden centers and nurseries so they can survive to serve future generations of Oklahoma gardeners.



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