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Gardening: Wet spring makes for good first harvests

Rodd Moesel advises readers about gardening topics.
By Rodd Moesel Published: June 18, 2012

Oklahoma gardeners already are harvesting their first homegrown tomatoes, squash and other fresh produce. As bad as the crops were with the drought and excessive heat last year, they are on the great side this year as we have been blessed with cooler temperatures and fairly regular refreshing rains to put most plants in a happy mood.

Hopefully you got some flowers and veggies planted earlier this year and are already getting to enjoy the work of nature as you watch those plants grow and develop. Most plants are now container grown and can be transplanted at virtually any time the ground is not frozen. We certainly don't have to worry about frozen ground now, so you can still plant most everything if you make the commitment to water when needed between natural rains. We are only two months into our normal growing season but we still have 4½ months, or more than two-thirds of the growing season, ahead so you can still get lots of color this season by planting annuals. Trees, shrubs and perennials planted now will provide color and interest this year and joy and beauty for years to come.

Last year I added a bunch of new perennials to my flower beds, and they are back this year even more impressive with larger crowns, and spectacular mounds of flowers on my Shasta daisies and Echinacea cone flowers. Most of the perennials don't bloom for as long as annuals but by planting a good mix of perennials you can have some crop in bloom at most all times while adding a lot of seasonal interest to your landscape. There are literally hundreds of perennials that do well here in Oklahoma and will come back year after year. Visit your local nursery or garden center and start adding a few species from bright yellow Coreopsis to stunning blue hardy salvia to your yard each year and before long you will have an impressive mix of plants that liven up your yard with minimal care.

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