You are here: Home / Full Episodes / Transcripts / 2020 / Transcript for March 21, 2020

Oklahoma Gardening

Transcript for March 21, 2020

Oklahoma Gardening

(calm guitar music)


>>> Oklahoma Gardening is a production

of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service,

as part of the land grant mission

of the division of Agricultural Sciences,

and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University.

Dedicated to improving the quality of life

of the citizens of Oklahoma

through research-based information.

Underwriting assistance floral program

is provided by

the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry,

hoping to keep Oklahoma green and growing.


Today, on Oklahoma Gardening,

host Casey Hentges is joined by OSU extension

fruit and nut specialist, Becky Carroll,

to prune our blackberry brambles.

OSU Extension turf grass specialist Dennis Martin,

has tips on controlling the summer weeds,

while keeping the pollinators fed this spring.

In case he is utilizing our old straw bale beds

as a home for our potatoes.


(soothing guitar music)

>>> Today, we're joined by Becky Carroll,

extension specialist, who is very knowledgeable

about fruits and nuts,

and Becky is here today

because it's late winter, early spring,

and we're kind of wondering what we need to do

with our brambles this time of year.

So we've got some blueber--

Excuse me, blackberries!

>>> Yeah, we have a couple of blackberries here,

we're gonna look at how to get them back into shape,

and some of the things that we may need

to have in our toolbox,

to take care of these,

and so these are thornless blackberries,

so just a pair of gloves is a nice thing to have,

any time I'm using clippers or loppers,

I like to make sure that I have a pair of gloves

just protect my hands from accidentally

cutting my fingers or something.

>>> They can be a little vicious

if they have the thorns on it.

>>> And then we need a set of good hand pruners,

and I really like, you know,

spending a little bit more money

to get a really good pair,

and then keeping them clean and stored properly,

they'll last for a long time.

And then I also recommend

having a pair of loppers,

and this is just kind of handy

so you're not having to get right down

in the middle of the plant,

you can do a little bit more from a little distance,

especially in the thornings,

especially on the thorning ones,

these are very handy to use,

and then for those thorning ones,

I like to have a pair of--

These are actually, I think, rose gloves,

or you can also buy them for cactus and things,

but they're not specifically for blackberries,

but it's very handy, it has a little bit more padding

in the palm and then on the fingertips.

You may still get a few thorns going through these,

but it helps a lot,

and it protects your upper arm.

>>> Alright, well thankfully

we won't have to really use these on this one.

So, it looks like our blackberry

never really went dormant this year.

>>> Yeah, it's still leafed out pretty well,

so it may be the type that this one is,

the variety that this is,

and if it's Natchez, it has more

of a, kind of a trailing, semi-trailing habit,

it's not as erect plant as some of the other ones,

but they're a little more cold-sensitive,

and it may be that they just don't go fully dormant

during the winter time. But yeah,

we can take a look at these,

what we need to do them.

>>> So there's two different types of canes we're looking at,

tell us a little bit about those two canes

and which ones are gonna produce for us this year

and which we ones we need to cut back.

>>> So blackberries have a perennial root system,

but they have biennial canes.

So the first year that they come up,

they are Primocanes,

and so they're just vegetative.

The canes won't fruit, and then the second year,

these are Primocanes, and then after

they go through this winter,

then they will become Floricanes,

and so our fruit will be produced on these canes

that are left.

>>> So if we had cut all these back,

then we wouldn't have any root this time of year.

>>> So we need to leave some of those Primocanes

down at the bottom,

the new chutes that are coming up,

we need to leave some of those through the summer,

so we'll have new chutes to fruit for the following season.

It looks like someone's already cut out

all of the Floricanes from this season,

and those, after they fruit,

those canes die back to the ground,

so it's pretty easy to tell the difference

between a Primacane and a Floricane

at this time of the year.

>>> Okay, so if there's any dad,

we would want to go and remove that.

>>> Yeah, cause they're dead,

they're not gonna benefit us at all.

But these will be fruiting this next spring,

so we wanna get them, kind of,

pruned back and in-shape a little bit,

for that season.

>>> Are we gonna keep all of these canes then?

Or reduce them.

>>> We're going to, normally,

when we're doing our pruning,

we may end up with maybe 10, 12, even up to 20,

depending on the type of blackberry, new primacanes.

And so, we wanna thin those out

and leave maybe three to five per plant,

because if we tried to leave all of them

it would really make our blackberry root decline.

>>> Okay.

>>> It'd just be too much

for that one root system to produce.

>>> Okay.

>>> So we would thin them down

to three to five of these, these canes.

See right, here's one, and then we've got one,

really one on this side that we have,

and then there's another that's right here.

So, we don't have a lot that we have to thin out,

so we're just gonna prune them up

and get them where they're a little bit better shape.

If we leave them too crowded too,

we can add to the disease pressure,

won't get as good air flow through the canes

and so that can be a problem as well.

>>> So, we're actually going to take off

some of the side shoots off of these?

>>> We are gonna take off some of the side shoots, yes.

>>> Okay.

>>> And so all these laterals,

you can see we've got our cane right here.

Normally we would wanna leave this,

it looks like this one's been damaged.

We would wanna leave one that's a little bit taller

and tie it to our trellis if we have one in place,

just to keep it upright.

Especially with the trailing variety,

it's very important to leave them

one that's gonna be dominant

so you can keep it upright off of the ground.

Whenever these blackberries, if they start going down,

touching the ground, they'll start rooting,

and once they start rooting

then they're not really thinking about producing fruit.

>>> Okay.

>>> So, we wanna keep them

up off the ground.

>>> But if you wanted

to multiply yours, that might be a way to get another one.

>>> Right, you can.

Or you can select some of those primocanes

that are coming up and dig those up

and move them as well.

>>> Okay, all right.

>>> But on the lateral branches,

we're just gonna go back and we're gonna cut them off



about 12-15 inches long.

>>> Okay.

>>> And just kinda clean it up a little bit.

Nothing really special to like--

where your printing them off--

>>> You just said you try and click above, above--

>>> It's not-- not really--

sometimes I look at the bud placement and if it's

going back in you know,

that may not be as great.

So I want something that's kind of facing away from

the plant maybe.

I like to wait to do this--

the lateral pruning until this time of year.

But, all of your floor canes that were--were here

in it and has have already lived their life--

>>> Right.

>>> And have died,

we can remove those whenever we want to.

>>> Okay. Alright.

>>> So, it's just basically--

looks like we got another plant right here that's-- that's

next to it.

So, we'll leave it and we'll go head and-- and cut it back

just a little bit.

We'll select one

maybe-- maybe

this one looks a little bit larger.

So, we'll cut these others--

laterals back.

And when we do-- when we cut the laterals back

that initiates more

fruit growth.

>>> Okay.

>>> So, we'll get added benefit to the amount of fruit

that may be produced on that plant.

>>> So, each one of these that you cut back will produce more


>>> Mhm.

>>> And therefor more fruit then.

>>> Right.

>>> Okay.

>>> And so on this plant, there's not really much more

to do to that.

We might wanna go head and clean up this

broken area here just a little bit.

It's-- it's a little damaged so this may have an issue

later on when it gets warmer in this season or something.

But since it's our main one that we got tied up we'll

leave it for now.

>>> Okay.

And so will this only last this--this year right?

>>> Right.

>>> 'Cause this is what's gonna fruit for us--

>>> Right.

>>> And then next year, we'll be looking at removing this--

>>> Yep.

We'll cut the entire-- we'll cut it right at the--the

swirl line--

>>> Okay.

>>> We'll cut it completely off,

and that's why it's very important to leave more

of those prime canes to replace these that we have

in our garden now--

>>> So, when you're really (incoherent)

it's not like grapes or anything it's a temporary--

>>> It is., right.

You don't wanna do--

do a lot and

you don't to--

you just want to keep it up off the ground.

It doesn't have to be anything major and your


It may be a different configuration, it may just be

one wire on some type of--

this works on some

of the varieties.

You can have just one wire that goes down the middle

as well, so there's different styles.

>>> All right, so any disease problems we need to be

thinking about?

I know they can get Anthracnose, and that--

>>> Right.

>>> I know was a problem last year with all the rain?

>>> Yeah.

Anthracnose is a-- is a

fungus and so it usually occurs when we have a cool, wet

spring and so that's kinda what we had this last year.

And so a lot of our blackberries were showing anthracnose

on the canes.

And it'll end up being kind of a purple, gray-ish

lesion on the cane.

That's where you can tell you've got some issues.

And, you can control that with fungicides through

the season if--if you're having those wet cool springs,

you may need to be putting on some fungicide application.

Normally, blackberries don't require much of any

type of sprays for fungus or

insects either,

until they start fruiting.

>>> Okay.

>>> But, you can put on a dormant spray,

something that's gonna control those-- that fungus

as well at this time of the season if you had it

really bad last year.

>>> Okay.

>>> And you can kinda tell by looking at some of those canes.

>>> All right.

Is there anything else that we need to be aware of

to be looking at?

>>> Yeah!

Whenever we are choosing the prime canes to leave for our

Floricanes next year.

We wanna select those that have nice, healthy canes.

And we wanna look for these-- see if

we see any swellings in the canes--

Like right here this one's there's

a little bit of a swelling in this area.

and that is most likely

a Rednecked Cane Borer

and so, it's an insect.

You may notice in the spring

that there'll some feeding on the leaves.

But they lay their eggs in a cane

and then that overwinters inside there

and it makes this cane weaker.

And so when you're pruning

and you have four or five that

don't have any swellings, you'd leave those

and this one that has a swelling it would be one

that would be a good candidate to remove.

>>> Okay is that going to effect this year's

fruiting off of this one?

>>> It could make this cane weaker

and also it can make the spot weak where this can break.

I didn't mention on the anthracnose,

if it's bad enough, it can move to the fruit as well

and it can make the fruit have some of the drupelets

can be brown and hard

and so we don't want to just let it go wild

if we do have some anthracnose,

it's a good idea to control it.

>>> So for the Rednecked Cane Borer,

will we need to spray for that

or just removing it mechanically by cutting it out?

>>> Normally you can just remove those swellings

and keep it in check just by good sanitation,

just pruning practices

but like this one it may benefit from an application

of an insecticide later this spring

whenever they start to emerge

and so they won't just continue spreading

through the new primocane's that are coming up.

>>> Well Becky thank you so much

for giving us this update on our brambles

and now we know what to do.

>>> All right, well thank you!

>>> Check out these back sheets for more information

about how to maintain your brambles.

(country music)


>>> It's March here in Stillwater, Oklahoma,

but regardless of where you're at in the state

there's still time to control broadleaf weeds

in warm season turfgrass lawns.

However there's some folks that actually enjoyed

the broadleaf plants as well

from a perspective of their ability to feed pollinators.

So let's talk about some of the thought process

behind how you handle these types of areas

and we'll view both sides of the story.

As we take a look at this warm season turfgrass area here,

it's very diverse in different plant species

and you can see that it handled quite a bit of crabgrass

in it this past summer but that froze out in the fall,

it produced dead, tan leaves

and right now we still have dormant Bermuda grass

but the plant that we see predominantly here right now

is called Henbit,

it's a native winter annual broadleaf plant

and it does produce nectarine opportunity for pollinators

we also see White clover

which is introduced perennial broadleaf species from Europe

and then also a little bit of cranesbill

and also wild Geranium which are native to this area.

So let's talk about if you wanted to clean this area up

of these various broadleaves,

if you consider them undesirable,

they would be plants then growing out of place

and we call them weeds

and you could use one of several consumer

available broadleaf weed killers,

called Post-emergent Herbicides,

meaning they're applied after the emergence

of the target weed which,

in the case of a broadleaf post emergent,

is after the germination of the broadleaf.

So many of those include things like Weed B Gon,

Spectracide lawn weed control,

Very Advanced lawn weed control,

that's just a sample of three names from various products

that are available out there, post emergent.

Typically they'll have 2,4-D, MCPP and Dicamba in them,

but also carfentrazone, sulfentrazone,

any of a number of different components

and usually more than one component

and that is to broaden the width

of the different weed species controlled.

So that's one option for cleaning up this area

then we follow up with a fertilizer program

that you could find in fact sheet

6420 Lawn Management in Oklahoma

that would tell you about fertilization mowing irrigation

those types of things later on.

But let's also look at the same area

from a different perspective.

Let's say if you enjoyed these broadleaf plants

and they were actually what you wanted to be integrated

into your warm season lawn,

you would not consider them plants out of place,

therefore they wouldn't be called weeds,

they'd be part of the vital components of the stand.

You can also approach a management program

from that perspective as well.

So let's say in this case though that you've said

the crabgrass, which we had last year, is undesirable.

You could actually take the same pre-emergent herbicides

that are labeled for pre-emergent crabgrass control,

and once you have these desirable broadleaf components

in place here, a pre-emergent herbicide,

whether granular or sprayable, applied over the top,

is not going to injure or kill these broadleaf plants.

First of all it's a pre-emergent.

It's only gonna act against seed,

but also the broadleaf plants are produced

in the nursery production trade,

and these same pre-emergent herbicides are used

in the culture and production of many desirable woody

and herbaceous species of broadleaves.

So pre-emergent herbicide is not going to injure

or kill these broadleaves here.

So these would continue to flower,

and if you don't mow them down

and if you don't spray them with a broadleaf post-emergent,

they're gonna flower and set viable seed.

That seed is gonna be dormant this spring

because it's a cool season perennial.

Clover and cool season annual broadleaf like henbit,

that seed will lay dormant in the soil.

Your pre-emergent applied in the spring

would be effective against crabgrass germination

once your soil temperatures get about 60 degrees Fahrenheit

and plenty of good soil moisture.

But over the course of about a four or five month period,

your pre-emergent herbicides are gonna be metabolized

as a food source, broken down that is,

by microorganisms in the soil,

such that when we get into the fall

and early winter of later this year,

they're no longer gonna be active against seed.

So if white clover seed that germinates in the fall

is present in the soil as well as henbit seed,

it's gonna unaffected by a spring-applied pre-emergent.

So you would actually get regeneration of the henbit,

the geranium, which are both winter annuals.

The white clover seed would be prevented

from germinating in the spring,

but not from in the fall germination.

So you can actually strike against crabgrass

as a summer annual with a pre-emergent program applied

at this time in March, and have no detrimental effect

on your winter annual broadleaves

if you wanted them to germinate this fall.

So you can have a very pollinator-friendly lawn,

and you can also approach it from the other standpoint

if you consider these weeds.

So timing is everything with these pre-emergent herbicides,

and they are a great management tool,

but you have to use them strategically,

depending on what your end goal is

for what you want in your lawn.

(laidback jazz music)


>>> Earlier in the season we talked

about refurbishing our straw bale garden

and how to repurpose that and use it for another year.

Now originally we had built this straw bale garden

because we wanted to have better drainage,

and for a temporary situation it's a great way

to create a raised bed without any construction

and a pretty cheap input on it.

So now we're looking at the residue that's left

after a year of gardening in those straw bales.

Now we showed you some ways

to utilize that straw throughout your garden,

but, again, there's still a lot of organic matter to use.

So we're gonna show you how to utilize that

as another form of a raised bed.

The first thing that we're gonna wanna do

is kind of clean this out.

We've got some weeds in here and we've got a lot

of other material that we're just gonna go ahead

and clean some of this stuff out

by raking it up a little bit.

If you find any...

There's a couple of like

leftover baling twine and stuff from the hay bales.

You wanna go ahead and make sure to remove any of that.

Anything that looks like old plant debris,

you're going to want to remove that

and add that to your compost.

Now of course we're gonna have a lot of organic matter

and straw that stays in there, and that's fine.

A lot of leaf debris and stuff.

But just anything that's a solid older plant,

let's go ahead and try to remove any of that.

So we're just kind of raking this

to make sure we're getting all of the trash debris

and the old plant material out.

Again, you can still see we've got a lot of straw

and leaf litter mixed in.

And what I wanted to show you is the bottom

of what some of those straw bales look like.

You can see how it's decomposed.

It's got a lot of straw-like material

that you can almost see that was straw,

but it is so full of moisture.

And this isn't getting irrigated.

It hasn't rained in quite a while.

And so this organic matter if you incorporate it into your

soil it's gonna improve that existing soil

that you have in your garden bed.

And really it almost acts like sponges

that it holds that water and the nutrients

and so that's what's great about this.

Is you're improving your garden soil

after a year of using a raised garden.

So as we tore apart our straw bales

it kinda just went all over.

And what I'm doing is just really

not making a raised bed just yet

but just pulling it up into a pile

so that I can expose any weeds

that have started germinating.

And we're gonna go ahead and clean this bed

of all the weeds so that we're ready

to develop our mounded garden to plant in here.

(upbeat music)

Now that we've got the weeds cleaned out

and any of the debris that we don't want in this,

again we just have straw and leaf litter

and get that potting soil that was originally

a part of the straw bale garden.

And we want to turn that in now to the original

existing soil bed that was underneath this.

So just to incorporate it a little bit more,

we're just gonna start digging this

and kind of turning it over

and working in that organic matter.

So after you've kind of dug it up and incorporated

some of your soil,

and I know we all have different types of soil

and it might be difficult,

you might use a tiller if you're having difficulties

actually turning the soil with the shovel.

That will be just fine.

And in fact, if you wanted to and you didn't

even wanna incorporate your soil,

you probably could've just mounded that organic

matter and planted it directly.

We probably had about six to eight inches of organic

matter which would've been fine for enough rooting

zone but keep in mind you're gonna have to water

that more frequently.

With this soil incorporated, we're actually improving

our existing soil and we are also going to allow

for better drainage.

You can see after we've incorporated,

we've got quite a volume here

and so the next thing we're gonna do is break up

any chunks and then mound that up

so that we have that raised bed.

So again, we've got our carbon

or our straw material mixed in with our soil

and any time you incorporate a lot of carbon material

you wanna make sure that you're fertilizing

with a nitrogen.

Now, based off of our soil test, we know that we're pretty

well suited for phosphorus and potassium

and that we only need to add nitrogen.

But the nitrogen that is available is going to get

tied up pretty quickly with that carbon in order

to continue that decomposition process.

So that's why we're adding a little bit more.

And we're just gonna sprinkle that in on top here

on our planting surface so that as we plant it actually

gets incorporated even more into that soil profile.

For this particular bed we've decided to go ahead

and plant our potatoes.

Now, potatoes need to be planted mid-march,

so you're running out of time

if you haven't got them in the ground.

So what we have here is Yukon Gold,

you can see it's kind of got a yellow skin to it

and of course these have been cut and we've allowed

them to callous over so they're not gonna be moist

going into that soil profile.

And then we also have a Pontiac Red

that has more of a red skin color to it.

So again, we've got our growing eyes there,

they're ready to get in the ground

and so we're just gonna lay these out and then plant them.

(upbeat music)

So we've got our bed prep and we've got our fertilizer out

and our seed potatoes laid out

and so now we just have to get them in the ground

so we're just gonna go behind and dig down a couple inches

with our hand trowel and put those in the ground

and then cover them over.

So that incorporates that nitrogen fertilizer

as we're going.

And I have to say once you've done all this bed prep

in order to make this mounded bed,

you're going to have the easiest time planting these

seed potatoes because all the hard work is done

at this point.

And your potatoes are gonna thrive in this environment,

they're gonna love that loose mix of organic matter

that provides plenty of drainage and is easier

for those roots to grow.

(upbeat music)


>>> Next week Casey will get our containers

and elevated beds cleaned out and ready for spring


Dennis Martin will look at cool season turf grasses,

and Barbara Brown will take the confusion out of the dates

printed on our food.

Join us in for more TV you'll grow to love.


To find out more information about show topics,

as well as recipes, videos, articles, fact sheets

and other resources, including a directory of local

extension offices, be sure and visit our website


And we always have great information,

answers to questions, photos, and gardening discussions

on your favorite social media as well.


Join in on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


You can find this entire show and other recent shows

as well as individual segments on our Oklahoma Gardening

YouTube Channel.

And tune in to our OK Gardening Classics YouTube Channel

to watch segments from previous hosts.

Oklahoma gardening is produced by the Oklahoma Cooperative

Extension Service as part of the Division of Agricultural

Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University.


The Botanic Garden at OSU is home to our studio gardens

and we encourage you to come visit this beautiful

still water jewel.

We would like to thank our generous underwriter,

the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Additional support is also provided by Pond Pro Shop,

Green Leaf Nursery and the Garden Debut Plants.

The Oklahoma Horticultural Society and the Tulsa

Garden Club.