Folks are always asking me where I get my seeds, my straw, my mulch, my compost/dirt/soil. They ask what books I recommend, what websites I find the most valuable. Well, I surely don't have anywhere near all the answers but I'm going to do my best to head you in a direction that will help you out! There are umpteen more resources than I'm going to list because I only list what I have personal experience with. Don't feel right recommending something or someone I haven't dealt with myself. I'm sure you understand. And just so you know, I get nothing from any of these companies, business, people or products. Just stuff I love and I wanna share.
Resources Specifically for NE Oklahoma Gardeners
located around 7th & 193rd in Catoosa
I have been buying compost from Jay for several years with much success. He sourced his compost ingredients locally and has at least two (sometimes 3) varieites of compost/garden soil to choose from. I plant right in it. First year does great and just gets better year after year. You can go to his place and fill a 5 gallon bucket or a pick up truck. Or you can have a dump truck load delivered to your place! Tell Jay that Jenny sent ya'!
There are many, many outlets to educate yourself about growing food, keeping chickens, preserving harvests and more in the Tulsa area. I'd love for you all to be able to take my classes but I know that's not feasible for many reasons. Here are some sources for education:
Tulsa City-County Library
Books and documentaries on every topic pertaining to urban farming you can imagine. 2012 is the library's "Year of Food" and if you watch the "Event Guide" on their main site, you can keep up with what's going on at all the different branches.
OSU Extension Office
The extension office is staffed with Master Gardeners and experts on all things home economics (food, gardening, budgeting.)
The Master Gardeners have their own website. They offer many educational classes that are either very inexpensive or free. Their approach is typically a little more conventional than I like to grow things but there is still much information to be gleaned. They also have many, many fact sheets that are free to the public at the office (15th Street between Yale and Harvard) or online. My favorite two fact sheets are these:
Oklahoma Garden Planning Guide
General Gardening Supplies (seeds, plants, soil amendments, OMRI approved pesticides/herbicides)
Box Stores (Atwoods, Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart)
I do occasionally buy plants and seeds from these stores. Home food production is once again popular and more and more retailers are carrying seed (even non-GMO, open-pollinated, organics.) These stores carry veggie transplants from the beginning of March through about the end of April---sometimes longer. Occasionally, they'll get in a round of transplants mid-late summer for fall gardening, but it is rare and they don't get in much. If you're a frugal gardener but don't start your plants from seed, you won't find more inexpensive starts anywhere than Atwoods...they typically have 3-packs for about .80 that easily transplant and catch up in the garden very quickly. And watch Lowe's clearance racks for perennials and fruit trees. They often clearance out plants that are perfectly viable. Home Depot does not do this because their plants are on consignment. Lowe's buys theirs outright and can clearance them out as they wish. I've bought fruit trees for $5 and seen berries, veggies, herbs and many, many perennials for pennies on the dollar.
Clear Creek Seeds
Located in Hulbert, OK, this family owned company offers all types of veggie seeds for you! All open-pollinated, non-GMO seed and extremely affordable to boot! Their site is packed with all kinds of valuable gardening info as well!
Duck Creek Farms
Gary at Duck Creek farms offers a wide variety of veggies, flowers and herbs for your gardens. But he is my go-to guy for sweet potato slips. He carries over a dozen varieties. My favorites are Vardaman and Redgold. He sells online, through the Oklahoma Food Coop and at Cherry St. Farmer's Market. His plants have always produced well and been very healthy for me.
Grogg's Green Barn
Grogg's Green Barn is located on 61st street between Mingo and Garnett. They carry tons of great native plants and some nice edibles. Grogg's has a nice selection of garden amendments that are difficult to find (milky spore powder for grubs andmore.) They offer classes occasionally as well.
Shady Grove Natural Farm
Owned and operated by some good friends of mine. If it's a plant that produces and edible fruit, nut or leaf, she probably carries it or can tell you how to find it!
I recommend Southwood for herb transplants and fruit trees. They have a decent seed selection in the spring. They focus heavily on traditional landscaping plants. But they rock it out on the herbs and are beginning to carry more and more edibles.
Stringer is located on 41st Street between Sheridan and Memorial. They carry some products that are tough to find elsewhere---specifically OMRI approved pesticides (Bt and DE) and herbicides. They also carry a complete line of square foot gardening soils (premixed and ready to go!) They occasionally have hard to find fruiting trees as well. Stringer carries seed all the time that they are open. Good to know in the summer when you're looking for seeds to start your fall gardens. And always a great selection of strawberries in the spring. www.stringernurery.com
The Tomato Man's Daughter
Lisa grows dozens of tomato varieties (along with a limited variety of peppers and eggplants) to peddle to local gardeners each spring. Then she grows another round to sell in July for our fall gardeners. You have to pay attention to her site because she only opens for a short time twice a year but she's worth catching! Check her out! www.tomatomansdaughter.com
City of Tulsa's Greenwaste Dump
Open 7 days a week, 8-4, except city holidays
Located on 56th St. N. between Mingo and HWY 169
Ask specifically for the "fine" or "garden mulch"
If folks tell you not to use this mulch because of the potential for disease, 1) ask yourself if they're trying to sell you mulch that isn't free and 2) read this article and this article. I use it extensively and have never had a problem. Many of my gardening students and customers and the Tulsa County Master Gardeners use this mulch as well. Gift yourself a couple of hours at your computer and watch this for even more convincing evidence of the benefits of using finely ground wood chip mulch. One importnat caveat: DO NOT TILL this mulch into your soil or you will end up losing valuable fertility until it breaks down. I am specifically referring to using wood chips as mulch---on TOP of the garden soil's surface.
I buy my straw at local feeds stores indiscriminately. I buy from whichever store I'm closest to. Straw is a seasonal product, however. You are most likely to find a good supply late summer through very early winter (it's a byproduct of our OK wheat harvests.) I buy from Atwoods (in Claremore or in Broken Arrow), Lee's Feed located at 11th and 193rd or at Stillwater Milling (also in Claremore, OK.) You should expect to pay somewhere between $5 and $7 per bale.
Resources for All Gardeners
All-New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
Crops in Pots by Readers Digest
Landscaping with Fruits and Vegetables by Fred Hagy
The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Ed Smith
Annie's Heirloom Seeds, www.anniesheirloomseeds.com
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, www.rareseeds.com
Bountiful Gardens, www.bountifulgardens.org
Johnny's Selected Seeds, www.johnnyseeds.com
Pine Tree Seeds, www.superseeds.com
Territorial Seed Company, www.territorialseed.com
Mother Earth News---tons of articles on gardening, urban farming, chickens, energy efficienty---sooo much
Organic Gardening Magazine---although they publish an actual magazine, just like Mother Earth News, they make a remarkable amount of information available online
Plants for a Future---awesome plant fact sheets under "Database" tab
You Grow Girl---just so much info