The Perseids are here, except for the fact that the clouds are also here, and the rain is here, and you should probably be about 30,000 + feet higher than you are right now to see them. Even so, I managed to glimpse a few of the shooting stars Sunday morning.
My tomatoes are bearing. I counted at least 6 baby tomatoes on their way to becoming juicy, tasty slices to go with bacon and lettuce on whole wheat bread.
Last, but not least, are some Tulsa Master Gardener tips for August. Have fun.....

August 12th 2013 Blog

Becky Emerson Carlberg

How’s the weather for you this August?  If I did not know any better, I would say we were in May.  More rain predicted the next few days, unfortunately for the Perseid meteor shower.  I jumped the gun and went out at 4:45am on Sunday (August 10th) to search the hazy, humid sky for fast bright moving objects. 

It is rough to rise and get going (notice I did not use the word shine) at this time of the morning, but once outside, my world turned into a magical place.  I could see clouds to the west, but overhead the sky was murky with stars.  The quiet darkness enveloped me and I became aware of the texture of the road, the humid warm air that could barely stir a single leaf blade and a sweet odor that increased as I walked down the road.  The remaining Gaura growing close to the barbed wire fences, spared from the roadside mowers, was in bloom.  The delicate scent was so pleasant to experience, but I immediately knew when I came to the bridge over a small creek.  A thick, musty smell rose from the damp earth and water below. 

I crossed the bridge and began to climb the hill.  There it was, my first meteor streaking across the blackness!  It was bold and bright and noisy.  Well, the meteor was quiet, but the tree frogs in the oaks that flanked the road were chirping and singing rambunctious melodies and love songs.  Each tree had an entire chorus and I felt I was passing between fierce frog arias volleying from one side of the road to the other.  I continued my travels beyond the woods and over the hill.  As the frog cacophony grew dim, the night again became quiet.  I could hear owls hooting to each other in the distance.  Four more shooting stars were seen the next half hour.  Two were short and sweet, one was very faint, and the last appeared as a dot that increased in intensity for several seconds as it came directly toward me, but suddenly, without warning, abruptly vanished. But…..

Our side of the earth was turning to face the sun and the sky began to lighten. My stars faded from sight as daylight arrived.   It was worth the loss of sleep to see the annual celestial event.

Tomato Alert:  Finally, tomatoes are developing on my tomato plants.  Green peppers grace the pepper plants.  The okra is history.  The pocket gophers laugh underground as I stare into the raised bed that now has scarlet sage.  They do not seem to like the sage.  I half way expect to see a menu, written in gopherese, come floating to the surface requesting particular veggies for the fall.  I’ll have to work fast.

The Tulsa Master Gardeners recommend putting in your fall vegetable garden now.  Hedges and shrubs can be pruned in mid-August, but do not prune spring blooming shrubs, like azaleas.  Discontinue dead-heading roses by mid-August to help the plants become winter hardy.  Watch out for spider mites if the approaching autumn comes in dry.

Or, if your yard is like mine, keep the lawnmower gassed up and ready.  Our mower can’t believe the workout it has had through July and into August.  It has been fondly reminiscing about its long holiday last year of total relaxation with no activity month after month.  Even in “normal” years, when you think of August, you think of dog days, heat, south winds and bright blue sunny skies.  As any Oklahoman you meet will tell you, “It’s Oklahoma.  Just wait a few minutes and the weather will change”.   Was this the mantra for the tornado family that visited Oklahoma in May?