The days are gaining a few more minutes of sunlight and it will not be long until the temperature starts creeping up. This means gardening season is just around the corner.
The crew at “Oklahoma Gardening” is excited to take viewers along for the ride as they begin the 45th season Feb. 16. Casey Hentges, who is starting her fourth year as host of the popular gardening show, said viewers are in for a treat this season.
“I’m excited to start another season of the show because we have so many new and fresh ideas I can’t wait to share with our viewers,” Hentges said.
The new season of “Oklahoma Gardening” will kick off with starting transplants in the greenhouse. Hentges said she will follow these varieties until harvest.
“If you’re in the Stillwater area, make a point to stop by The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University and see how the plants are performing,” she said.
The show will hit the road again this season and connect Oklahoma’s Tallgrass Prairie to the bigger prairie with a visit to the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank in Chicago.
While viewers may not get the answer to the burning question of who or what burned down Cheryl’s she-shed, Hentges said the show will highlight some viewers’ garden sheds this season.
“So often when we’re traveling to visit a home garden, we see amazing and well-organized garden sheds. Gardeners have many creative ways of organizing all those pots, labels and tools, and we want to be able to share that with our viewers,” she said. “We’ve seen some sheds that look like someone could live in them and some which may not be as glamorous, but function very efficiently. We’d love for our viewers to respond to this call for entries so we can showcase the places where so much garden work is done.”
Hentges said the show also will feature a school garden contest and will be looking for entries. School gardens have grown in popularity and provide an important role in a children’s education. She is looking at school gardens that have been operational for a couple of years and plans to feature what the school, teachers and children have gained from their experiences. After the show’s Facebook audience votes on their favorite garden shed and school garden, the “Oklahoma Gardening” crew will hit the road to those locations.
“I’m very excited to announce The Botanic Garden at OSU has been recognized as a new All-America Selections Display Garden. This means we’ll be growing several of the award winner new varieties. AAS is a national program that identifies new varieties for improved characteristics,” she said. “Come visit the garden to see these varieties.”
Gardening has long been one of America’s favorite hobbies, and its popularity continues to grow, partly due to the growing interest in producing your own food. However, people do not want to waste their time or money but are hungry for solid information. This is one reason Hentges believes “Oklahoma Gardening” remains so popular, especially among newer gardeners. She has some sage advice for those gardening newcomers.
“If you’re a beginning gardener, don’t be intimated. Gardening should be a fun experiment,” she said. “New gardeners may be concerned about killing a plant or believe they can’t be successful with their gardening efforts. I will say that I’ve never met a gardener who hasn’t killed at least one plant, yet has still gone on to be quite successful in the garden. Don’t let a small setback curb your gardening enthusiasm.”
She encourages beginning gardeners to start small, perhaps with a container garden. There are many different methods to gardening and it is important for new gardeners to find their niche.
“We’ll showcase different methods of gardening, such as drought-tolerant gardening, vegetable gardening and raised-bed gardening. In addition, we’ll look at an array of plants to determine their needs and how they might best fit in your garden,” Hentges said.
Check out the show’s website at www.oklahomagardening.okstate.edu for direct links, as well as video clips of the program, links to gardening resources, a link to recipes featured on the show and much more.
“Oklahoma Gardening” airs every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. on local OETA channels. If viewers are unable to watch on television, they can subscribe to the “Oklahoma Gardening” YouTube channel and see full shows or search for specific segments at their convenience.
“Oklahoma Gardening” also can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Botanic Garden at OSU is the home of the “Oklahoma Gardening” studio garden and is located west of Stillwater on the north side of Highway 51. The show is produced by Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension, OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Agricultural Communications Services.
Story by Trisha Gedon