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Say it ain’t grow: 7 things all Oklahoma gardeners know to be true

8:11 AM EDT on April 5, 2021

According to the back of my zucchini seed packets, we are smack dab in the middle of the summer sowing season!

Right now, Oklahoma gardeners are spending their free time loading pallets of soil onto their Sam’s Club carts and refreshing their UPS tracking number from Burpee as they prepare to plant their plants. You know, there’s a lot to take into consideration if you are cultivating your crop in Zones 6 and 7. So, here’s 7 things Oklahoma gardeners know to be true!

The “After Last Frost” Date is a Gamble

Many summer season veggies advise sewing to take place no earlier than after the last frost. Some say the average last frost date in Oklahoma is March 30th. Others push it deep into April. Based on our weather, Oklahoma gardeners wouldn’t be surprised if a freeze popped up in June at this point. Like a college freshman sitting for their final exams despite sleeping through 70% of their classes, when it comes to choosing the right time to plant your summer crop you just have to take an educated guess and move on.

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The Oklahoma County Extension Office is the Shit

For real, though. The Oklahoma County Extension Office offers everything from gardening guides and pest control fact sheets, to classes on composting and growing ‘shrooms, man. Hell, you can even send them a bag of dirt from your garden and they will test the soil for nutrient needs. The County Extension Office not only puts the “plan” in “plant;” it also puts the confidence of believing I could actually grow something edible in this dumbass brain.

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Knowing What’s Really Being Asked When People Say, “What Do You Grow?”

Ever since June 26th, 2018, people seem curious enough to ask follow-up questions when Oklahomans mention they cultivate plants in their spare time.

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When in Doubt, Squash

As we have discussed before, the most annoyingly easy summer vegetable to grow in this state is Summer squash. Even if Oklahoma gardeners claim that they are “taking a break” this summer from their usual, yard-wide planting antics (plantics?), they will still have 3-4 squash plants sprouting out of 5-gallon buckets on the back porch.

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Ingenious Pest Control

Having a plethora of pests plaguing their place means having to be cunning to cull them, especially if gardeners are going the pesticide-free route. Oklahoma gardeners know to stick plastic forks prong up around their lettuce to deter rabbits, pick off squash bugs by hand as they see them start to surround the gourds and vines, and yell obscenities at the neighbor kid as he is trying to reach over their fence to pick from the cherry tree. Doing this helps to keep their gardens pest-free.

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The Slow Surrender to Sevin Dust

Flicking individual squash bugs across the lawn one-by-one is all fun and games until you start to realize that 15 minutes in the July sun makes you even more of a redneck than your cousin who has more kids than teeth. Unless you remembered to plant your marigolds or nasturtium companion plants, Oklahoma gardeners must choose to surrender to Sevin Dust or fall victim to the annual squash bug onslaught.

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The Pride

Oklahoma gardeners know that nothing feels as satisfying as harvesting and eating your own home-grown crop or sharing it in Walmart sacks tied to your neighbors’ front door handle. It even beats flicking squash bugs across the yard.

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Hayley has never used Sevindust because it kills the bees, ya'll. She also needs to actually plant her nasturtiums this year. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek and become a contributing member of TLO here.

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