Tuesday, April 30, 2024

All's Right With The World: The Farm Report 04302024

 All's Right With The World

The Farm Report 04302024

Got Roses! Yep, April in Iowa and we've got roses. The roses wintered over pretty well (not 100%) in the grow bags and they started blooming on the benches of the greenhouse. Yay!

The Asian Almonds bloomed their little branches off - for a couple of days. In my country, they always bloom just when the weather takes a foul turn. Beautiful but fleeting. Some other things in life are like that, too. Enjoy it while you can.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) This is a sneaky weed and proof you shouldn't try to trick Mama Nature. Henbit is what they call a 'winter annual' weed. It is in the mint family. I think it is pretty. Not sure everybody else does though. Why tricky? Well, it blooms in the no-till fields really early in the late winter. It sets seeds fast. Then it drops the seeds and laughs while all the herbicide guys drive by. After harvest, and the farmers start thinking about going to Florida for the winter, the seeds sprout and the little plants get a good foot hold for - wait for it - next spring's flower crop and self-reseeding!

Short version: Henbit blooms reseeds itself and ducks before it gets shot!

Annie has been helping with the spring turkey hunters up in the timber.

It's a special sport.

Patience pays off. These are blossoms I saw in the timber floor. They are bloodwort or (Sanguinaria canadensis). I planted their roots a long time ago. It is an herbal remedy, and a traditional source of organic dye stuffs. It makes a red dye.

You've seen this before. Henry came out from his long winter's nap to plow the potato rows for me.

I had enough spuds left over to plant two long rows. I mostly plant Kennebec's. This time, I also planted a few Yukon Gold's.

Here is the bottom view of my 1922 Planet Jr. wheel hoe with hilling shovels. I use this to cover and hill up my plants in the garden. Ancient but unbeatable. Easy as pushing a grocery cart in the store.

Upright and ready to use.

You just walk down the row and the Planet Jr. knows what to do. I like to just cover my new potatoes in the beginning so they will get warm and take off. Then, I keep adding a little more to top them off. Eventually, Henry Ford will come in with the big hilling discs to finish off the season.

We had -22F temperatures this winter. That's the actual number, not some phony 'feels like' trick. It was COLD! And, my freeze-proof storage area wasn't. Cleanup on Aisle 6! Ever been around rotting potatoes? Yuck! A good hosing off and we're good as new.

You wouldn't know if I didn't tell you.  The dahlia tubers were stored in the same place as the spuds. They froze, too. Another (less stinky) mess to dump.

Walmart to the rescue. Thank goodness I wasn't saving expensive dahlias. Wally's are mostly $5 for two or three starts.

I like to pot 'em up and give them an early start in the greenhouse. I'll put them out in the garden near the end of May. Dahlias like hot weather.

I am totally hooked on growing roses in bags. They love it, I love it, and the results prove themselves. These will go outside any time now.

Tiffany. Usually one of the nicest fragrant roses. I have noticed that the cold weather roses don't have the full fragrance.

Junkyard Tomcats find a nice place in an old Cadillac to sleep. My potted roses have to fight it out in ugly surroundings, too.


I've been worried my strawberries weren't coming along fast enough. Then, this morning, when I looked in on them Presto! I've got strawberries.

A little success is dangerous. I've turned the lock on Bibb lettuce. Now, I'm branching out. This is plain old Iceberg Lettuce.

Romain in a pan.

And everything else. Our winter/spring has been such a roller coaster ride, things aren't as neat and pretty as I'd like. We're thick and growing though!

Miss Kitty made an appearance in my office a few days ago. She is friendly, but bashful.

She also has little tiny fish hooks in her feet. Annie would like to play, but Annie knows that Miss Kitty is quicker than old O.J. - and she slaps.

"Tim, why would you think I would be screwing with the dog? I'm innocent!"

Annie ain't quite so sure.

Here Annie, I'll be your friend. (Maybe) Annie's ears always tell the true story. She's wary - for good reason.

With a cat, it's always on their terms.

Annie has been hunting rabbits outside, too. It's funny and fun. The little tiny baby rabbits haven't even had time to read the book yet, but they know what to do. From my park bench, I see the bigger picture. The little rabbits Annie is looking for have already run for safety out the back side of these bushes. Annie has just as much fun hunting them though. Maybe it is the same with Turkeys? Ah well....

Cheers from the whole crew out here at Oakdale Farm


  1. I know I would melt into a puddle during your summer heat (northern Illinois was bad enough where I grew up) but I sure do envy your beautiful spring time and all the blossoms including your gorgeous roses. Sorry about your taters and dahlias suffering from the freezing this winter. You had it much (much!) colder than we did up here in northern Minnesota. Now, does that make any sense?

    1. I absolutely despise the summer heat here! I was once smart enough to move out to Wisconsin to escape it; alas, I was dumb enough to move back here to retire. If you can find an old USDA Zone Map, there is a little 'comma hook' right around Omaha. It is/was a Zone 4 micro climate - the same as Minneapolis. They've changed the maps now, but the Zone 4 Hook is still operational! Iowa..... The Weather Wizards say my area has one of the most highly changeable weather patterns in the world. I believe 'em.

  2. Finally the weather is a bit more predictable. Plants lost to a freeze is disappointing. Walmart to the rescue sounds good to me. Your roses look prize winning. The soft pink/peach and deep velvet rose/red colors are very beautiful. Annie is a good huntress - she's keeping the wild turkeys and rabbits on their toes. Wild turkeys make a mess on patios and asphalt and rabbits eat garden produce. With Annie on-the-job, you should have no issue. Good thing Annie knows the score with Kitty. Sweet Annie.


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