Rodd Moesel: Spring's alarm has sounded in central Oklahoma
It is amazing the difference a few warm sunny days can make as it serves as a wake-up call or alarm clock for the plant world around us.
The daffodils still are blooming, the forsythia are just starting to show their bright yellow colors, the peaches and apricots are blooming. The buds are swelling on many of our other trees, and soon the crabapples and ornamental pears will join the “spring is here” party.
Many of our wild flowers, including some we think of as weeds like the purple flowering henbit, also are coming into flower. The symphony of spring color will continue its annual march through spring as the hyacinth and tulips, flowering Quince, azaleas and wisteria, then redbud trees all begin to flower.
Often we will spot plants in our parks, neighborhoods or commercial landscapes that will ignite dreams of adding those plants, shrubs or trees to our yard. Most of these materials are available, container grown, that you can plant in your yard at any time. The bulb crops should have been planted last fall to enjoy this spring, but most everything else can be planted now when you are thinking about it and motivated to act.
The range of activities we can do in the garden seems to be exploding as the days get longer and the sun gets brighter. Although we still need to wait until around mid April to plant warm-season color annuals we can plant perennials, shrubs and trees as long as our muscles, the weather and pocket books will allow.
We can plant most all of our cool-season vegetable crops as we wind down the planting season on seed potatoes, onion sets and onion plants, cauliflower, cabbage and lettuce. If you want to plant any of these cool-season vegetables, you should plant them as soon as possible so they can grow and develop before we get too hot.
This is prime season to plant beets, broccoli and radishes. You still can plant asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish and strawberries. If you plan to plant bareroot grapes, blackberries, raspberries or fruit trees, they need to be planted very soon, or you will need to switch to container grown transplants to ensure a good success rate.
We are running out of time to apply pre-emergent weed killers on your lawn as more weeds begin to germinate. Pre-emergents basically work on weeds that have not already germinated or sprouted. Once the weeds have germinated, you will need to use a post-emergent spray or granular to control the germinated weeds that are much trickier to manage after your desired turf grass has greened up.
Visit with your local nurseryman to help you pick out the best weed control for your lawn, soil type and time of application. If you want to plant new or freshen up existing turf in shady areas now is the start of the season to sow tall fescue seed. Make sure not to apply pre-emergent herbicides in areas where you plan to sow desired grass seed.
We have been blessed with some gorgeous days, and we have light later into the evenings so use this time to feed your soul as you get some good exercise working in your yard and garden.
Rodd Moesel serves as president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and was inducted into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame. Email garden and landscape questions to email@example.com.