Plant to Celebrate Your Freedom!

Most of our state and therefore most of our trees, lawns and gardens have been blessed with nice, soaking, life empowering rains over the last two weeks.  It is a real joy to see the Oklahoma countryside and neighborhoods so green and flowering at the end of June as we prepare for the fireworks and festivities of July 4.  Some years we are in deep drought at this time, worrying about pond and lake levels and our plants are literally gasping or screaming for water just to stay alive.  This year the trees, shrubs and plants that are in well drained soil and not standing in water, are dancing happily in the wind and celebrating with new growth, good green color and a sound and healthy root system gently sipping moisture from the earth that holds and supports them.  We know from experience these cooler temperatures and good moisture are unlikely to last all growing season so please mulch your plantings.   Be prepared to provide supplemental water when it does get hot and dry, so you can keep your plants healthy and help protect them from drought stress when that time comes.

Many of our local garden centers and nurseries are running specials to turn their inventory and clear out spring crops so they can get ready for fresh fall crops of shrubs, perennials, color plants, vegetables and hardy mums.  If you have been busy and never got some of your flowerbeds or containers planted or if you want to add some new plants to existing flowerbeds or to create new flowerbeds you have dreamed about this is still a good time to buy and plant.  Digging will be easier after these rains and we still have over 4 months to enjoy annual color plants and many years to enjoy perennials, trees and shrubs we plant now.  Container grown plants with a good, well developed and healthy root system can be planted any time of year as long as we are prepared to water them when Mother Nature doesn’t provide regular, thirst quenching rain.

We have been involved in horticulture and agriculture relief work in a number of other countries.  We Americans are very blessed as we prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the Independence of our country.  Most of our population can choose to grow their own vegetables, fruits and flowers for their own enjoyment or because they love the taste and satisfaction of home grown food.  We are blessed to have the best selections of food at the lowest cost compared to our income of any country in the world.  We have wide choices at not just one store but at many competing stores in most areas of our state and country.  Besides political independence, most in our country have food independence and are able to choose whether to raise our own food or buy our food at grocery stores, restaurants or even convenience stores.  Almost two-thirds of the world population still has to be involved in raising all or part of their own food to sustain life and to support their family.  Their health and even their very life can be dependent on droughts, untimely freezes, squash bugs, grasshoppers or other pest or disease problems.  Our family farms that count on all their income from farming are still dependent on all these factors for their annual survival as well as market trends and world trade and tariffs, they have little control over, but that greatly impact their income and financial stability.  Thank our founding fathers and the generations before us in our great country that created such a robust and competitive economy with such amazing distribution and logistics, to where we each can choose a field of specialty whether it be teaching, accounting, home building, working at a law office, retail or building computers and still be able to access the food and fiber we need to support out families.  We can garden and landscape because we want to, not because we have to, as so many face each morning when they awake around the world worrying about food and water for that day and the next few days.

Happy Birthday America!  Plant some extra plants in your yard this summer and make time to commune with nature in your yard and in our public spaces as you celebrate the gift of gardening because you want to, not because you have to.


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