Rains, Spring and Mother’s All Reasons to Celebrate!

We are experiencing our best spring weather in several years across most of Oklahoma as we have been blessed with mild temperatures and more importantly, nice soaking rains.  This spring weather is a great way to start the month of May and our celebration tomorrow for Mother’s Day. 

Every one of us was blessed to have a mother and most of us were fortunate to grow up with the love, attention, instruction and encouragement of a mother that shaped our lives as we grew and developed.  Many of us learned about plants, nature and even about birds and bees from our mothers.  For many of us that love of gardening started with our mother or our grandmothers

It somehow seems appropriate that Mother’s Day is celebrated in the spring when we are planting so many new trees, shrubs, vegetables and flowers.  Most of our plant materials are sprouting new shoots, leaves and branches as they grow with enthusiasm as Mother Nature “mothers” our plants in springtime. 

The best way to salute and honor your mother is by spending time with her, whether at a family dinner or working together in her yard or garden.  I look forward to special time with my dear mother, Marjorie Moesel, my amazing wife Dona and my lovely mother-in-law Rojean this weekend and for many years to come.  If your mother, grandmother or wife loves gardening, consider a bouquet of fresh flowers, a living rose bush, a tree, a shrub or a planting of flowers you know she loves or has been wanting.  A gift of a tree, shrub or vine that lives on for decades can create special memories every time she passes it or spends time with that plant in her yard. 

We are hopeful we will continue to be blessed with regular rains and get more moisture restored to our dry subsoil in addition to regular moisture for our topsoil.  This is the prime season to plant most anything and everything in our Oklahoma gardens and landscapes.  Plantings at this time of year have a very high success rate as the temperatures are more moderate and so the new plantings are not likely to get stressed by extreme cold or heat and they enjoy a little more seasonal natural rainfall.  These more moderate conditions give most new spring plantings a chance to grow their root systems, get anchored into their new home and get established before facing the searing heat and dry air of our Oklahoma summers.  You can assist all your new plantings to get well established by adding more organic material like sphagnum peat moss or aged compost to the soil before you do your spring plantings.  Mulch the top of your new plantings with a two inch to three inch layer of bark mulch, pine straw, cottonseed, cocoa or pecans hulls on the soil surface to reduce watering, to keep the top soil cooler and to greatly reduce weed problems.

Just as your Mother got great satisfaction from watching you grow up, blossom and mature, you can get great joy from watching your plants grow, blossom and mature.  Just as your mom would occasionally get frustrated or disappointed in you growing up, there will be times when you will get mad, sad or frustrated with how some of your plants grow, handle problems and challenges or use their resources.  Just as your mother gets excited when you procreate and have children, you can get excited when your plants pollinate and produce seeds for a new generation and you get to enjoy new plants from seeds, suckers or cuttings. 


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