Succession Planting

We have had a terrible time this year with Squash Vine Borers. It seems to be the worst we have ever experienced here at High-Fence Farm. With seven yellow squash hills and three zucchini hills we have had plenty of squash for home use as well as sales—until recently. One by one the vines have succumbed to the borers, till we are down to about half the original hills and maybe only a quarter of the original production of squash. Those plants/hills that remain aren't long for this world.

The solution for us is to pull up the dead vines and replant. Squash plants begin to bear fruit from seed very quickly so we will be back up and harvesting plenty of both Zucchini and Yellow Squash in no time. During the heat of summer there are a few tricks to successful garden seed germination. Hand watering the newly seeded hill is a must since rain showers are few and far between after the end of June. Watering alone usually will not do the trick unless you just happen onto a stretch of cooler-than-normal or cloudy days. What we usually do is provide just a bit of shade for the seed bed until the seedlings are up. You must monitor the bed daily so you can remove the shade as soon as the seeds break the ground. This will keep them from stretching to find the sun.

We hope you are having a good gardening season this year. We sure have. Until lately the weather has been perfect. The last few weeks have been dry, but that is what soaker hoses and sprinklers are for. Happy gardening.

Sweet Corn Is Ready!

That’s right, folks. The day has arrived: our Sweet Corn is being picked starting today. Now there is not enough for everyone all at once, so you will need to call and get on the list.

We plant our corn in several manageable plots, so sweet corn will be available for several weeks. This ensures a fresher product for you the customer. This corn hasn’t been sitting in the back of a pickup on the side of the road for three days. In many cases it won’t even be picked until you show up.

Give us a call today and we will set aside a part of our garden for you today. We also have Summer Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers, hot and cold running Peppers, and Green Beans.

See you soon.

Okra Is Ready for the Masses!

Despite a very cool spring, a nasty hail storm in early May, and an overly windy June, we now have tons of Okra ready for sale. We are now picking daily, so get in line for yours today.

There’s nothing fancy here. These are just good old fashioned Clemson Spineless (Ha!) pods.

We like to pick them small so that you get the best product, suitable for anything your little heart should yearn for. We love ours fried, steamed, and pickled. How about You?

We still have a good flow of Zucchini and yellow squash flowing in, as well as tons of Cucumbers. Don’t wait. They won’t last forever. There are also surprises coming down the pike, so stay tuned.

Squash and Cucumber are Ready!

We have been so very busy this spring, getting ready to bring the best produce possible to you. With a wet April and May, we have been fighting the weeds with a vengeance. That is the main reason there have not been very much communication from this website. Our apologies. About the only thing you missed was this spring’s Asparagus season. We didn’t advertise because we had a standing order that took care of our supply. We didn’t think it would be fair to tease you with the very best Asparagus available if you couldn’t get your hands on some. Maybe next year we will have surplus to sell.

After a cold start our main garden is starting to produce, beginning with yellow straight neck squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. As always our supply is small and sporadic, so it is best to call ahead before trekking out, especially if you live very far away. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Stay tuned, because there are a few other vegetables that will soon be available.

Tomato, Pepper, Eggplant, and Okra Plants

This is what the tomatoes looked like a month ago. Come see what they look like now.

Out in the greenhouse we have some of the nicest looking bedding plants. You must come out to see them to appreciate them. We are sure that when you come you will agree, and will not be satisfied leaving without some of your very own. Grown in 2.5″ pots, they are only $1.00 each. Herb plants are $2.00 each. This will be short and sweet. We just wanted to let you know what we have available, and that they are ready for their new homes in your garden. Here’s a list:

  • Tomato: Better Boy, Celebrity, Florida 47, Mountain Fresh Plus, Mountain Spring, Amelia, Juliet, & Sweet 100
  • Pepper: King Arthur Bell, Keystone Bell, Ancho Pablano, Pimento Perfection, Jalapeno, Cayenne, & Arbol
  • Eggplant: Bride, Black Beauty, Ping Tung, Shine
  • Tomatillo
  • Okra

Although it is getting late we still have lots of spinach and lettuce starts that we will practically give away. Just ask.

We have a good selection of culinary herbs:

  • Basil Genovese
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Sage

We also have a few assorted petunias, dianthus, and periwinkles.

Lettuce, Spinach, Broccoli Plants Ready

Lettuce Lettuce Lettuce LettuceSpring is progressing right nicely. Actually “official” Spring just passed us a few days ago. Regardless what the calendar tells you, the weather has been simply marvelous. You need to be working in your garden. Come by and get your salad plants. It is time to set them out.

We have about six different varieties of lettuce, some new for us and some our tried and true favorites. You have got to come by and see them. Colorful is the word. We have tried to pick some new red lettuces and we are really anxious to see how they do. We have even tried a butterhead variety. They are just the right size to set out NOW! Hurry. We are not a mega store. Supplies won’t last for ever. As you can see from the pics on the right these plants are ready. You can have your first salad before you even set the plants out in the garden. That’s what we do; pick the big leaves off and then set them out.

We also have Premium Crop boccoli, which is our forever favorite, and if you are a true child of the south we have collard plants too. Both are just the right size for setting out. Collards need to be planted now because when the weather gets tough and hot, collards get tough and hot (bitter) too.

Last but not least, we have three varieties of spinach plants: Olympia, Titan, and our old favorite, Bloomsdale. Our spinach plants aren’t quite as far along as we would like, but with a little care in setting them out they will do just fine.

The take-home to all of this is it’s time to set this stuff out, so come by and get yours today.

Sowing Peas in the Spring Garden

Pea Seeds

Home-grown English peas, fresh from the back-yard garden, has always been a real treat for us. When our children were growing up we rarely saw any peas actually make it into the kitchen; our children would graze up and down the pea rows, picking the green pods and eating the little green jewels like candy. Admittedly, the two adults in this family often would resort to this same practice, if the younger members should happen to forget they were there on occasion.

Growing peas in the home garden is really simple. Just a few tips are necessary to get the most out of your spring planting of peas:

  1. Start Early: OSU’s Oklahoma Garden Planting Guide, gives Feb. 15 to March 10 as the sowing window for spring-planted English, Snap, or Snow peas. Don’t worry that Oklahoma’s last spring frost occurs around the 10th of April. Peas are quite hardy and really need all of the cool of spring they can get. Plant as early as possible. If you are past March 10, plant them anyway, so long as it isn’t mid June. In that case wait till you plant your Fall Garden.
  2. InoculantGrow an upright/climbing variety. They are easier to pick, get the crop off the ground, and provide a much larger/longer harvest. We like Maxigolt for an English/shelling-type pea, and Super Sugar Snap for a snap pea. Each variety grows to around 48″, so you will need to provide some kind of fence for them upon which to grow.
  3. Inoculate your seed. You don’t know what the heck that means? Well, look for an explanation here. This is really quite easy, but here is a method to get the most out of your inoculant: Use fresh inoculant (notice the expiration date on the bag.). Put seed to be planted in a small paper cup. We usually use 100 seed to plant a 30 foot row. Add a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of inoculant plus just enough water to make it all wet. Stir the mix thoroughly and pour the contents onto a paper plate and leave to dry under a small fan.
  4. Inoculated Peas Drying
    Inoculated Peas Drying

    While your seed mix dries, go out and set up your fence and hoe a row in the garden about two inches deep.

  5. Plant your seed about four inches apart and two inches deep. Cover the row up and water if rain is not expected soon.
  6. If you haven’t already planted potatoes, find a neighbor who has and work out a deal to share some of your peas in exchange for some of his new potatoes. Nothing tastes better together.
  7. Happy gardening.

Kicking Off 2017 Greenhouse Season

Is This an Early Spring, or a Bad-News Warm Spell?

Star MagnoliaIt is hard to believe that it is mid February, but it is. We have had such a mild winter that I fear (good & bad) that we are going to have an early spring. It can be a good thing for those of us who just can’t stand snow and ice. On the other hand, there may not have been sufficient hard cold to kill overwintering bugs. It can also spell disaster for fruiting trees that are tricked into blooming too early, only to be sucker punched by a dip into freezing territory some starry night in late March. We will see. Our apple and peach blossoms haven’t begun to break yet but we do have a Star magnolia that has begun to bloom. Ohhhh, way too early.

High-Fence Farm Kicked off the 2017 Greenhouse Season This Last Week

Sowing SeedsThis week we have begun to sow seeds, beginning with broccoli, which means we will begin to sell broccoli plants out of the greenhouse the latter half of March. About the same time lettuce and spinach will be available. Keep your eyes and ears peeled. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter at @HighFenceFarm for the latest update.

We also sowed sweet basil, chives, and parsley this week, which will be ready in early April. Of course we will have a good supply of tomato and pepper plants and also—well, we will have to hold a few things back for a while, just to keep you in suspense. We have had a few hiccups the last few years, and with those out of the way we hope to do much more this year. We can hardly wait for this season to get under way so you can come out and see what we have been up to.

Wow! He Began That Thing Over a Year Ago!

The first stage of our barn rebuild is almost complete. We just lack a couple of doors topside and three pieces of trim on the south end and we can call it finished. But for a knee scope a week ago it would be finished, but now it will have to wait a few more weeks. We hope this completion will create an attractive place to shop for produce later this summer.

Finishing the Barn
Yep, That’s me hanging by my toenails, screwing down the ridge cap

 

 

Twenty-sixteen Growing Season

We successfully made it through a not-too-tough winter, and have wound our way back around to spring and fresh things to eat out of the garden. The reason you have seen zero online activity since about the middle of July of 2015 is that we have had our noses to the grindstone trying to recover from last spring’s tornado. Well, here’s a progress report:

Greenhouse

TomatoFlat01Our little propagation house has just been rebuilt with some modest upgrades. We should have some tomato and pepper, as well as some bedding plant starts ready to sell in the spring of 2017. Around this neighborhood we look to April 10-15 as a springtime frost free date, so check by around the middle of April to see what we have available. If you are looking for broccoli & collard starts, check around the middle of March. We will keep you posted.

Barn

imageThe pipe welded frame of our barn came through last years tornado without a scratch. We can’t say that much for the roof and rafters. We have spent the majority of our time this past winter and every spare moment this summer removing the shredded rafters and sheet iron to make way for a new roof. We are about a quarter of the way through getting a new roof back on. This will be a project stretching into the fall, as time permits.

Produce

Okra
Okra

We have had had produce this summer, and continue to have okra. We always have okra. All of the rest of the garden is just hit and miss. We haven’t posted anything because of the unsure nature of our supply. We have been limiting our sales this year to return customers (thank those of you for bearing with us) and local neighbors. As always it is best if you call ahead before you come out.

That’s it. Hope to see you this season. Stay tuned.

Week of July 19, 2015. Hot Produce for Another Hot Week

Hot Produce for Another Hot Week

If you don’t think it is hot in Oklahoma right now, there’s something wrong with you. Hot and dry is standard fare for this time of year, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We have been moving soaker hoses around the garden this last week, so produce is still making. One exception this year is our cucumbers. Spider mites got a good foothold, making an ugly mess. Trellised between our tomatoes on one side and eggplant and pepper on the other, we thought it best to cut our losses and pull down all of our cucumbers. Some spider mite damage was already showing up on the crops on either side, but it looks manageable with some repeated sprays of horticultural oil. If we get a chance – there’s a bare spot where the garlic came out – we might sow a fall crop of cucumbers.

Hot Peppers
Here’s an eye chart hot pepper lovers can read all the way to the bottom.

So here’s the “Hot Produce for Another Hot Week”:We haven’t said much about our peppers. The bell peppers put on a few fruit early on and teased a promising season, but after the initial bells were picked the plants all failed to set any more fruit and the bottom leaves began wilting and falling. The plants in general don’t look to bad, but there is definitely no fruit set. Maybe with a little fertilizer scratched in around the base of each plant and cooler temperatures in a few weeks they will set some new fruit.

As you can see from the pic to the right, hot peppers are going gang busters. The Jalapeño are having a hard time keeping up with demand, but that is just because they are so popular. Here’s a caveat if you would like some of these spicy wonders: Ask for them. We don’t generally pick them until a customer comes out and asks for them. They keep better on the plants, and eventually turn “ripe” colors. Here is a list of the hot peppers we have to offer:

  • Anaheim
  • Ancho/Pablano
  • Jalapeño
  • Red Chili
  • Serrano
  • Tobasco (not shown)
  • Cayenne
  • Ahn Tran (not shown – A small, hot, oriental variety)

What Else Is in the Garden

Okra
This pic was taken several weeks ago. You should see the plants now! Wow!

Here is the list of what else is available (call before you head out.):

  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Did I mention hot peppers?

Come see us. Oh, did I mention, it’s best to call ahead for daily availability. In the mean time, try to stay cool.