01/18/2023 refried bean learning times and field violet transplants

It rained 0.31” in Norman in the night on 01/18. The night before I moved a bunch of seedlings of Viola bicolor, the wild annual field violets that volunteer in the yard. I want more of them as ground cover for early spring so I am moving many from existing locations in and near the raised beds. They seem to be doing well! When I’ve transplanted larger plants once they bloom, they don’t do nearly as well.
Paula prepared tepary beans for refrying. The pair of tiny ones at the bottom are wild type teparies.
Paula made a quesadilla with a layer of the refried tepary beans. Her diagnosis was that they worked fine and had a good taste, but that she should have added more lard and onions to make them less dry.

12/2022 backlog of infrastructure and little babies

Yesterday, 12/31, I finally glued on the rain barrel cap holders that the Chef 3D printed for me! I used epoxy after cleaning both surfaces with ethanol.
Paula got solar powered outdoor lights for Christmas and has used them to make the path to the compost visible! Edit: thanks to Mom for inquiring if we can turn the lights out. Yes we can! It’s important not to pollute the dark with more light than we use at any given moment.
I am hoping these tiny seedlings are the annual bluets that sometimes grow in this part of the yard. Keeping an eye on them.
A tinier potential annual bluet seedling next to the comparatively large wild geraniums. These two pictures were 12/31/2022.
12/28/2022, the Ratibida columnifera rosettes survived the big cold!
Two Verbena halei rosettes also exist and made it!
Finally, and very thrilling, two potential Penstemon oklahomensis seedlings! They don’t appear to be hairy leaves like some other common seedling volunteers. Stay tuned.
Shackleton enjoyed a leashed walk in the same excellent 12/28 weather.
Jeanne kindly sent us some Salaginella riddellii- Riddell’s Spike-Moss. We put the biggest chunk in the rainbow garden (in green of course) on 12/25.
We put a smaller piece of the spike moss in the cactus planter.
12/25 was so nice we also moved some volunteers. This is the big root of a poke berry! We moved those along the back fence where another pokeberry lives. We also moved several ampelopsis from random spots in the yard to along the south fence trellis.
A blackjack oak acorn with a sprout on it! We planted this exciting find (12/24) into a pot on 12/25. Fingers crossed for a spring sprout.
Judy gave us an adorable toad house! I have placed it near the veggie beds. Please come eat our earwigs, toad friends.
12/24 checking the pot containing Sedum nutallii from Jeanne. The sedums seem to have made it along with Verbena rosettes (V. Halei??) and other intriguing volunteers.
Going somewhere! Wow!! Happy briar in the car.
On 12/24 we visited the lake at Lexington WMA. This seasonal creek was frozen solid! The lake was too. Briar wears her hunter orange.
After the deep freeze, only the top tips of the recently transplanted rosemary got frozen. They were pressed down by the sheets. But the sheets protected the rest of the plant!

10/24/2022 greens survived one night

We were worried the front yard earwigs would eat them all up, but the various greens we transplanted from backyard pots survived the night and seem happy with an inch of rain overnight into this morning! the metal raised bed is surrounded by scattered leaves and individual plant species and varieties are marked by small white metal signs. There’s some bluish bok choy in the front, a more yellow green lettuce in the middle, and frilly scotch blue curled kale in the back next to a tall Fordham giant Swiss chard. Smaller plants are scattered nearby but I’ve forgottten which ones.

10/16/2022 after 3/4” rain

Heath asters from TX have started blooming.
I think these may be sand lovegrass seedlings. I put them in a lot of pots with native flower seeds as a potential nurse plant.
This is the Muhlenbergia schreberi grass from Abby. It has a fun common name. I wanted to ensure I don’t lose it or mistake it for something like a skinny bermudagrass in the shade.
This is the planter of soil from Jeanne that had a big patch of annual Sedum nuttallii. There are a bunch of sedum-looking seedlings but also plenty of other interesting looking babies too!!
I seeded these cowpen daisies pretty late and didn’t know if they’d come up until next year. Instead, they seem to have noticed the declining day length and have made the world’s tiniest cowpen daisy blooms. This is normally a medium size plant!
At least one Carolina snailseed root from Abby has produced new leaves.

09/29/2022 oh mine too!

A few of my sprouts of Maximilian sunflowers are starting to bloom too! I love how it is peaking through my second new bunch of little bluestem.
This one’s thinking about opening but hasn’t yet. The big clump we moved to by the brush pile seems to be less happy. Not enough sun? I’ll let it go another year.

09/22/2022 afternoon after work

The backyard sunflowers are quite magnificent at this point.
I don’t see any in this picture, but I saw several bumblebees up on the flowers.
The Salvia azurea are really doing well.
I have a new bunch of Indiangrass sprouting and blooming!
The little bluestem is blooming too. This clump has gotten quite happy in its second or third year now.
Jeanne, Abby, and Mom have been kindly helping me over text to confirm my accidental imports of non native and invasive King Ranch bluestem or “KR grass”. As they bloom and get identified, I have been pulling them.
I’m also continuing to work on pulling the annual, invasive Commelina communis. Unlike the native perennial dayflower, its roots are very shallow.

07/18/2022

The Missouri fluttermill primroses just keep going! I’m wondering if it’s that I’m giving the new Justicia pilosella behind them water? It’s usually just a cup or two.
A mystery squash has emerged.
The green basils are getting sunscald on their leaves, I think. The amethyst basil are shaded a bit by the mealy blue sage and look better, but also wilt more often between watering.

07/17/2022 straw bale sampling and other afternoon torture

We appear to have some potatoes in the straw bales.
The Granny Smith apple is having a hard time. The leaves are turning brittle and possibly sunscalded? We are on mandatory water conservation until the city pump is fixed Monday hopefully so the most I can do is hand water it. However, this apple tree is the most westward facing so maybe it’s just having problems.
Native Texas dandelion in backyard earlier.