By: Tom Fink | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: February 2019
Stillwater Milling of Claremore manager Alan Schroeder said that planting season for some crops begins in February, and the right time to plant other plants and vegetables continues through June. Stillwater Milling carries a variety of seeds as well as hand tools for the garden and lawn, as well as an assortment of pest-control items and fertilizer.
Whether you’re a casual gardener or regard yourself as a serious horticulturist, Stillwater Milling in Claremore wants to help you get ready for the coming planting season.
For the past 40 years, Stillwater Milling Company Agri-Center has provided farmers, gardeners, and those needing a little help to green their thumb with the resources they need for whatever sizes projects they have in mind – and store manager Alan Schroeder has been there from the very beginning.
“The company dates back to 1891, but this (Claremore) location opened in 1978 – 40 years ago, and I’ve been here since then, from the first day they opened the doors,” Schroeder said, “so I’ve seen several generations of people needing help and advice with their gardens, lawns, and pastures.”
“Foremost in determining when to plant is determining what to plant,” Schroeder said, “which can be strongly influenced by preparing the soil.”
Stillwater Milling Company is located at 721 W. 6th Street in Claremore.
“One of the first preparations, particularly if you’re just getting started, is to know what kind of soil you have, and for that, you’ll need to have a soil analysis done,” he said. “This helps estimate plant-available concentrations of nutrients to determine the best fertilizer recommendations – different seeds need different fertilization, so having your soil tested is an important first step.”
Schroeder said, “taking a sample of your soil to the OSU Extension office or your local county agent is oftentimes the simplest method for soil testing.”
“Earliest planting begins in February,” Schroeder said, “and continues through June. You can plant fall gardens July through September dependent upon your selection of what you wish to grow.”
“Of the ‘cold season crops’, those would include potatoes, onions, all of the leafy products such as lettuce, underground carrots, spinach, and peas,” he said, “and for the ‘warm season crops’, that would include the likes of okra, cowpeas, watermelon – those aren’t planted until at least after May, and of course there are things which are planted in-between, such as beans and corn.
“Just as the soil temperature itself changes as the months warm up, so does the time to plant certain seeds,” he said.
Stillwater Milling has seeds available beginning in late January, with a greenhouse set up in March to offer a variety of plants.
“Sometimes, people are reluctant to try and start a garden of their own or to plant their own seeds, but they don’t need to be,” Schroeder said. “Most of the time, you just put the seeds in the ground, make sure it gets moisture, and if the soil temperature is right for the seed you’re using, it should grow.” While Stillwater Milling doesn’t deal in power equipment, they do carry an assortment of hand-held gardening tools as well as large variety of fertilizers, pest-killing chemicals, and sprayers for both.
“We have both pre-emergent and post-emergent lawn weed killers – there are times for each,” he said. “The pre-emergent is used to keep the crabgrass from growing, and that’s usually put on (lawns) in the middle of March – it’s much easier to put the pre-emergent on to prevent crabgrass or weeds before they appear than to try and get rid of them once you’ve got them.”
Although Schroeder said Stillwater Milling doesn’t offer a large assortment seed for pastures, clover and fescue typically are the seeds of choice for those wanting to grow and bail their own hay.
Ultimately, Schroeder said he and his employees welcome questions from the public about gardening, lawn care or any other agricultural need.
“We’ve got a lot to offer here – we’ve got a lot of feed, we’re strong in ag fencing, feeders, farm supplies, and we have several people on staff who can answer most questions people might have for us – that’s something that’s getting to be more and more rare, these days,” he said. “As to what might separate us from our competitors, I’m not sure, but I’ve been honest with people throughout the years and people have come to trust me, to trust us, for that.”
For more information about planting seed for the spring season, contact Schroeder or any of the staff at Stillwater Milling Company. Their hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Although Stillwater Milling deals less in heavy equipment than hand-held items to help with lawn and garden, the shop offers an assortment of seasonal seeds, plants, and other items for beginner and veteran gardeners.
Having a soil test done helps to determine what kind of fertilizer would be appropriate for whatever seeds are planted is an important first step to success, according to Stillwater Milling manager Alan Schroeder.
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