Many questions arise when gardeners are thinking about next year’s landscape. Here are a few that have come across my desk over the last few years

“I have a black bug. What is it?” That question can only be answered by “it depends.”

LAWTON, OK —  On Saturday the Lawton Farmers Market moves to their Winter Market location at Cameron University Animal and Plant Sciences complex located on Southwest 38th Street and Elsie Hamm Drive. The market hours will remain the same from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Masks are required on Cameron University property and the market will be observing social distancing guidelines, as well as controlled numbers of patrons and vendors, and entry and exit regulations. All precautions will be observed for the protection of the market patrons and vendors.

Welcome to Oklahoma weather! Winter weather can have a major effect on Oklahoma landscapes especially when it causes damage to trees. Unfortunately, other than broken branches, homeowners won’t be able to know the full extent of winter damage until early spring when new growth begins.

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Each weekend in spring, summer and fall, millions of homeowners fire up their mowers and cut the grass in their yards. A few hours spent mowing the lawn can be a great time to get some sun and some exercise in the great outdoors.

Insets are found in almost every conceivable environment in nature. Even in our homes. Insects in the house are irritating, could be a health risk or damaging insects. Insecticides should only be used when specific pests appear or where there is a history of pest infestation.

LAWTON, OK — Well, it hasn’t happened yet but it’s coming. The annual battle with a frost or a freeze has been waged by gardeners for generations. There are good ways and bad ways, popular methods and snake-oil type tricks to protect plants from frost or freeze damage.

Tending to backyard vegetable gardens can fill many hours of enjoyable downtime in the great outdoors. What’s more, the bounty produced by such gardens provides healthy, fresh foods to gardeners and their loved ones.

Starting a tree from a seed is a slow process but rewarding way to grow a tree. Tree species may be grown from a seed since the seedling usually retain the characteristics of the parent plants. Raising a tree from hard coated seeds is a rather simple process even though it is a slow method o…

The temperatures are beginning to fall, well almost, and the night temperatures are falling. Don’t put those tools up just yet because it is now time to start thinking about what needs to be done in the garden and landscape before winter sets in.

They’re back! After the well needed rains, little mounds of soil have sprung up everywhere. When they are disturbed one will find ants everywhere in these mounds. Most of these mounds are fire ants. Whether they are the imported fire ant or our native fire ant it is hard to tell.

Autumn is gardening season. That statement may not seem right to those who think of the spring as the peak time to care for lawns and gardens. However, autumn is an ideal time to get into the garden and ensure that flowers, trees and garden beds will over-winter successfully.

A farmers’ market is likely coming to a field or open parking lot near you — if there isn’t already one operating nearby. The United States Department of Agriculture says that, between the years of 2008 and 2013, the number of farmers’ markets doubled across the country.

Dallisgrass has been growing everywhere in many home lawns and other turfgrass areas in Oklahoma. Professional lawn weed control companies have had some success, but it is still difficult to control. So, what is a control that homeowners may use?

Move over honeybees there is a bigger more efficient pollinator in town. Bumble bees are spotted in our gardens and landscape in larger numbers. In many cases they are replacing the common honeybee.

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The use of succulents in dish gardens was Comanche County 4-H Educator Sharon Stuckey’s topic at an Oklahoma Home and Community Education leader lesson here Tuesday.

The sound of birds singing in the morning can be music to many gardeners. Any garden can be a place of beauty and solitude as well a smorgasbord for the many birds found in Oklahoma. There are dozens of trees and shrubs which will provide shelter and food for the birds.

People who have not spent much time in a garden may not consider this rewarding hobby much of a threat to their health. But as veteran gardeners can attest, gardening can contribute to nagging aches and pains that can force even the most ardent green-thumbers indoors.

Drought, extreme temperature, possible watering restriction, why would anyone consider planting a landscape. There is one group of plants that can tolerate all of those conditions, called cacti. Cacti are magnificent plants giving shapes of all kinds from round balls to enormous tree-like gr…

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Dogs love spending time outdoors. Dog owners with yards know that dogs benefit greatly from some exercise in the backyard. While that time might be great for dogs, it can take its toll on lawns.

This year The Garden Guy decided to add some dwarf buddleia into his arsenal of pollinator plants. The idea of 3-foot-tall or less buddleias or butterfly bushes seemed like just what the doctor ordered to be able to incorporate them with lantanas, rudbeckias, gaillardia and salvias for a col…

Even though the number of fireplaces using actual wood have been declining, the number of outdoors fireplaces have been increasing. There is nothing more soothing than sitting around the fireplace and eating smores. So, the question becomes, what should homeowners look for when purchasing firewood?

Grapes are popular for home plantings because they can be used in so many ways. Properly managed grapevines also add an attractive landscape feature to home planting during the growing season.

Landscapes are unique places that often convey their beauty and originality through the use of unusual trees. A common misconception about unusual trees in the landscape is that unusual means difficult to grow. The truth is that many unusual beautiful trees can add interest and uniqueness bu…

My tomatoes are not producing fruit. What am I doing wrong? Many gardeners find that their cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and tomatoes have not set fruit, even though the plants have blooms and the plants are healthy. These plants are not producing fruit because the process of pollination has b…

Lawton Farmers Market will hold Tomato Day Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Farmers Market, Southwest 38th Street and West Gore Boulevard in the Cameron University parking lot.

Starting new plants from old is a partnership between humans and plants. This process is called propagation. The trick is to take cuttings, pieces of stems, leaves, roots or buds, to produce new plants.

LAWTON, OK — Mowers are not all created equal. Mowing is much more than pushing a mower around cutting grass.

LAWTON, OK — There’s nothing like a big, juicy, ripe, red tomato in the summertime. It’s that time of year when delicious, locally grown tomatoes are at their peak and the Lawton Farmers Market wants to celebrate the most popular fruit of the summer by holding Tomato Day Saturday, July 11 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Farmers Market.

Houseplants are normally tropical plants and must be treated different than the regular garden plants. Care is similar, but still different, because houseplants rely on the homeowners while outside plants rely on mother nature.

Gardeners are always looking for plants that will grow in semi-shade that can add colors and texture to the garden where most flowering plants do poorly. Hosta not only grow well in cool, shady locations, but need these conditions to grow and flower well.

Homeowners have put a lot of time and money to get their gardens planted. Now is not the time to allow weeds to grow. A good weed control should continue even after the vegetables have been harvested.

Anyone can buy plants and plant them in the landscape. Most people can group them in a design that can mimic mother nature. But the right plant selection can mean the difference between a plant with a long life or one that will have to be pulled out.


LAWTON, OK — What began as a homeschool arts and crafts project has now become a daily hobby for Stephanie Mosley and her kids.

Books are full of important tips on how to grow beautiful flowers. Most gardeners have their own little secrets and tips on how to grow better plants. Here are a few tips that I have found useful for growing a beautiful garden.

LAWTON, OK — Saturday the Lawton Farmers Market will move to their new summer location at Cameron University, 227 SW 38th Street, which is the parking lot at the corner of 38th St. and Gore Blvd. The market will be open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m.-Noon.

Many times, that age old question comes up, “How do I get rid of those pesky insects eating my garden.” The best answer to that question is not control but prevention. With a few preventative practices the gardener can eliminate many of these insects and disease pests.

In order to gain a working knowledge of gardening, it is necessary to understand the structure and function of plant parts. In the kingdom of plants, all flowering plants have certain structures and functions in common.

LAWTON, OK — A garden soil well supplied with organic matter and minerals will produce a good yield of vegetables, high in quality, flavor and nutritional value. The same is true with flowers and shrubs. The organic content of the soil must be maintained at a high level in order to use fertilizers to their best advantage.

Ornamental grasses have a variety of elegant and architectural forms, which, combined with arching, or upright stems, feathery inflorescences and subtly colored seed heads, make an outstanding display. Just with a little planning, ornamental grasses can be mixed with any foliage, flowers and…


Snow in April? Soggy soils, hail, drought, high and low temperatures and high winds have been the norm for Southwest Oklahoma over the last few months. This is probably the reason there was only prairie grasses here before man started to build houses. Even the most carefully tended landscape…

Occasionally, homeowners will encounter unusual turf grass situations that do not easily fit into the typical turf grass management situation. Although these problems can exist in any lawn, most homeowners will only encounter them every third or fourth year or never at all.

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LAWTON, OK — Azaleas are perhaps the premier flowering shrub. Even though they are sold in retail stores here, azaleas do not grow well in Southwest Oklahoma without a lot of soil preparation and site evaluation.

Plants on a deck, balconies, or around a patio can accomplish many designs to enhance the beauty of the area. With some thought to selecting flowering plants, foliage plants and small fruit, almost any plant can be adapted to growing in a container or pot.

LAWTON, OK — Plant diseases can reduce the quantity and quality of food, fiber, and ornamental products from the time of planting to harvest, usage or storage. Spraying with a chemical is not the key to disease prevention. Controlling plant diseases takes a little preplanning, but can go a long way to prevention.

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