5 Summer Gardening Tips for Oklahoma

Vegetable garden in summer time

From spring through autumn, well-planned, well-managed home gardens provide Oklahoma families with delectable, high-quality, fresh fruits and veggies, as well as food for processing or storing for the winter.

The cost of seeds, fertilizer, insecticides, and a few tools is more than compensated for by the joy, healthy outdoor activity, and the fresh, homegrown taste of your hard work. Below we provide numerous tips on how to successfully grow a variety of plants during summer in Oklahoma.

#1 Choose the Right Site for Your Garden

Choosing and preparing your garden site is an important part of growing a successful home garden, especially in Oklahoma.

Ideally, you want a spot that gets full or almost full sun and has deep, well-drained, rich soil. The site should also be close to a water source and, if possible, away from trees and bushes that would steal light, water, and nutrients from the garden.

Lightly shaded areas, such as those beneath trees, with just one to two hours of direct sunlight each day, work well for a number of veggies. These include beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and turnips.

Depending on how much light reaches the plants, the size and shape of harvestable plant sections will be decreased. During the hot summer months, fruiting vegetables may benefit from afternoon shade.

Raised beds or container gardening may be a preferable option if the land is poorly drained and the topsoil layer is thin or contains too much sand or clay. A good-quality garden soil should be used in raised bed gardens and non-soil growing media should be used in standard gardens.

#2 General Gardening & Landscaping

Mulch ornamentals, vegetables, and annuals to prevent soil crusting, moderate temperatures, and minimize moisture loss throughout Oklahoma’s hot summer months. Mulching may minimize summer yard upkeep by up to 80 percent.

A powerful spray of water from the hose can kill aphids on crepe myrtles and spider mites on tomatoes. Make careful to go underneath the leaves, where they tend to spend the most time. The damage caused by spider mites may be visible in the form of pale, speckled leaves. Watch for small red dots that move when you shake a branch over a sheet of white paper.

Keep an eye out for the first generation of fall webworms and break the webs with a long stick or pole pruner, exposing the worms for the birds to eat.

#3 Flowers

Coleus, caladiums, lamb’s ear, and basil flower stalks should be removed before buds open. This will encourage the formation of new leaves.

This month is the perfect time to take your houseplants outdoors. To keep the pots from drying out too rapidly, place them in a cool, shady garden bed.

Water hanging baskets and container plants on a regular basis. They will blossom if you fertilize them once a month with seaweed extract, fish emulsion, or compost tea. Container plants benefit from the use of a time-release fertilizer.

Cut back to a leaflet facing the outside of the bush when cutting new roses or eliminating fading ones to promote open growth, adequate air circulation, and ongoing flowering. Deadhead if you want your flowers to keep flowering.

To keep annuals and perennials flowering until October, deadhead them.

Overcrowding spring bulbs should be dug up, divided, and replanted.

Moisture in the soil is critical for optimum plant growth in the summer. Mulching is the most effective strategy to save moisture. A good mulch not only helps plants retain moisture, but it also helps with overall gardening performance. Mulches that are three to four inches deep work well, depending on the material utilized.

#4 Fruits & Nuts

After the previous strawberry harvest, renovate overgrown strawberry gardens. Start by mowing the leaves with your lawnmower on the highest setting. Next, thin crowns 12 to 24 inches apart.

Apply the necessary fertilizer and keep the plants well-watered.

#5 Trees & Shrubs

On freshly planted trees, vigorous, undesirable branches should be trimmed or reduced. Watch for forks in the main trunk and eliminate the least ideal trunk as soon as it is discovered.

If you’ve been treating Pine trees for Pine needle disease, it’s time to switch things up.

During the summer, remove tree wraps to avoid disease and insect infestations. Leave lower branches on young trees as shelter from sunscald and to stimulate more rapid trunk development.

Only plastic, perforated, expandable tree wraps should be used from March to November, and they can help protect young trees from lawnmower and weed eater damage to some extent.

Make sure your trees aren’t surrounded by “Mulch Volcanoes.” They negate the objective of mulching by directing water away from the roots rather than towards them. Mulch piled against the trunk may attract illnesses and insects, perhaps killing your trees.

If propagated in a wet shaded area, softwood cuttings from fresh growth of many shrubs will root.

The virus that causes Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) is carried by the microscopic eriophyid mite. Bright red deformed new growth (not the same as typical red new growth), quickly extended stems, and witches’ brooms, which are red parts of many stems with twisted leaves and a huge number of thorns, are all indications of Rose Rosette.

Other than digging up and removing the whole plant, there is no recognized way to rid the plant of RRD. If just one branch is affected, you may cut it off beyond the damaged spot and throw it away in a plastic garbage bag.

Ensure that any fallen leaves and debris are raked away from the base of the roses. Planting roses in various places of the landscape rather than gathered together in one location or planted as a hedge is the simplest technique to help limit the illness from spreading.

Disease and insect damage are attracted to monocultures, which are made up of numerous plants of the same kind.

Additional Things to Keep in Mind for Successful Gardening in Oklahoma

Although a garden can most certainly thrive without following each of the following tips for gardening in Oklahoma, being aware of these items and implementing as many as possible will certainly help with keeping your garden flourishing year after year.

  • Every three to four years, take a sample of soil and have it analyzed.
  • Fertilizers should be applied in the specified way and quantity.
  • Improve soil organic matter by adding organic resources like yard waste compost or composted manure.
  • Use the plant variations that are known to thrive in your area.
  • Plants should be thinned out while they are young.
  • Mulches may help you save water, manage weeds, and prevent fruit damage.
  • When the leaves and soil are damp, avoid extensive work in your garden.
  • Examine your garden on a regular basis to stay on top of any possible issues.
  • Keep your garden weed- and disease-free.
  • Only those insects in the garden that are recognized as pests should be controlled.
  • After each usage, clean and disinfect the tools and sprayers.
  • To reduce pest and disease development, rotate certain crop family areas each year.
  • Harvest veggies during the cooler hours of the day if at all feasible.

5 Oklahoma Summertime Gardening FAQs

Check out the following commonly asked questions about plants and gardening during summer in Oklahoma.

1. What can I plant in the summer in Oklahoma?

Beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, and turnips are among the veggies that thrive during Oklahoma’s summers. Depending on how much light reaches the plants, the size and shape of harvestable plant sections will be decreased.

2. How often should I water my garden in Oklahoma?

During Oklahoma’s hot weather, a garden’s water use might rise to two inches per week, but this decreases when the temperature drops. When watering your garden, remember that it is best to do it once a week rather than spray it every day.

3. What gardening zone is Oklahoma?

Source: https://www.ufseeds.com/oklahoma-vegetable-planting-calendar.html

According to the USDA, Oklahoma falls into the plant hardiness zones six to eight. Your garden’s success relies on when you sow your vegetable seeds or transplants. You can sow your vegetable seeds at the correct time if you know when the first and final frosts will occur in your area.

4. What grows well in Zone 7?

Cool-weather veggies may normally be grown outside in early February in zone seven. Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips, kale, and collards are among these crops.

Corn should be planted in March. Plant warm-season vegetables including beans, cucumbers, eggplants, okra, peppers, squash, and tomatoes in April.

Zone seven gardeners get a second opportunity to plant in the late summer and fall. The secret is to wait till the hot weather has gone, but not too long, or the plants will not have had enough time to grow before the cold and darkness of midwinter sets in.

Planting cold-hardy plants in late August, September, and even early October is possible.

5. Is Oklahoma good for gardening?

Even though it gets hot in Oklahoma during the summer months, that’s alright since gardening season thrives in the heat. Some people believe that Oklahoma’s hot environment and harsh weather make home gardening too difficult, but the state’s climate is really beneficial to many plants if you know what you’re doing.


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