An Important Update On Your Tulsa Master Gardeners

During these unprecedented and challenging times, your Tulsa Master Gardeners have joined others around our community in taking appropriate actions to protect both ourselves and the public from this pandemic. To keep you abreast of our status, the following is a summary of our current actions:

  • The OSU Tulsa County Extension Office building remains locked but you can ring the doorbell and someone will let you in. If you don't have a mask, you will be given one and social distancing rules apply. 
  • Most Master Gardener events (Community Events, School Program, Senior Living, Garden Tour, etc.) are postponed until further notice.
  • Soil samples can be left at the Southwest door of the OSU Extension Office in a black lock box. There is a form and a soil bag in a tub on top of the lock box. 
  • While walk-ins to our Diagnostic Center are not available at this time, hotline voice messages are picked up daily and will be responded to as quickly as possible.
  • The MG phone lines are active again, so call us with your questions.
  • MG e-mail traffic is being monitored remotely and will be responded to as quickly as possible.
  • The Tulsa Master Gardener Facebook page is still live and active.

October Horticultural
& Garden Tips

Learn about what you should be doing in the month of October. A selection of garden tips (Turfgrass, Ornamentals, Fruits & Vegetables, and Water Gardens) can be found by clicking GARDEN TIPS.

NEW: Compost Connection
from Green Country Master Composters

Welcome to Compost Connection! Over the next several months, we will be presenting articles and information in the e-Newsletter about our favorite subject . . . composting. We hope that more and more gardeners will come to realize not only how easy composting is, but how much it benefits the soil in your garden, the plants you grow and the earth on which you live.

Follow us on Facebook, too. You will find us at Green Country Master Composters. Some posts will be informative, some entertaining. But, hopefully, each post will add something to your day.

Green Country Master Composters is an outreach program of the Tulsa County Master Gardeners. We will be telling you more about the Master Composter program in the coming months.

Rerunning this article from September for those that may have missed it.

Tulsa sits in a transitional zone, which means it's really too hot in the summer for fescue (which is a cool season grass). Therefore, we use fescue as a shade grass. 

While fescue will grow in full sun in climates farther north of us, our growing season really doesn't start until September.  In the fall when it's cooling down, the leaves are falling off the trees and fescue really thrives. It continues to thrive most of the winter and all through springtime when the trees are not fully leafed out. When it gets hot, the fescue is again back in the shade. In short, mid-September to mid-October is the optimum time to start a fescue lawn or over-seed one. 

To find out more about the establishment and maintenance of fescue lawns, click on FESCUE LAWNS. This link will also take you to additional resources for more information.
Soil testing is like checking the oil and gas in your car. You need enough fuel and lube to make a trip so you check the gas gauge and the oil dipstick. A basic soil test is similar - it will tell you what “fuel” your soil needs to get the best results in your lawn and gardens.
A basic soil test checks soil pH (the degree of alkalinity or acidity) and the level of the three major nutrients plants need to grow and prosper: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All of these basic elements need to be in proper range in order to maximize your lawn's appearance and/or your garden's veggie yield.

Sampling is simple but must be done properly in order to get good test results. So, for more information on to properly take a sample as well as access to a few additional resources, click on SOIL TEST.
A few minutes spent pruning is one of the best things you can do for the shrubs and tress in your yard. Yet it is one of the most neglected tasks around the home. Why? Well, because for most of us . . . we do not know how! Much like cutting your own bangs, you are really tempted to do it, but you are often sorry you did!

Proper pruning not only makes your trees and shrubs look better, they will stay healthier and stronger in the long run, and they will return the favor by looking good for years to come.
For more information on proper pruning techniques and the necessary tools to have on hand, click on TREE & SHRUB PRUNING.
It’s Autumn! If you’ve thought about composting but just haven’t convinced yourself to begin, NOW is the best time to start, because it’s the easiest time to start. And, who doesn’t love easy?

Those beautiful trees shading you in the summer with their cooling leaves are now shedding those leaves, thus giving you a priceless gift. That gift is the free material for starting your compost.

Lots of folks just rake their leaves. For composting, though, it’s better to get your lawn mower out, put the bag on it and mow over the leaves. Find a corner of your yard that’s not of much use to anyone or for anything. You know there’s always a corner like that, right? Before long, you’ll be making it into one of the best corners of your yard.

Interested yet? We hope so and, if you are, click on COMPOSTING for an informative and easy way to get started. Remember, NOW is THE best time to get started.
Gardeners tend to plant Caladiums and Elephant Ears for some of the same reasons. Both are perennials that add texture and drama to flower beds and other plantings. They add a showy dimension chiefly because of their foliage. And both are attractive when planted alone as well.

The debate comes up this time of year whether or not Caladiums and Elephant Ears can be left in the ground over winter or need to be dug up and winterized inside where its warmer. The answer is (wait for it) . . . it depends! 

Click on WINTERIZING CALADIUMS to find out how to decide and what methods should be employed to protect these majestic beauties and reward us year after year..
Once the growing season is over and we begin cleaning out the beds and gardens, we look forward to cool weather activities, putting the garden tools away, and not thinking about them until next spring. But, trust me, your garden tools will love you if you think ahead and do some things to prepare them for winter storage. Now through next month is the perfect time to winterize garden tools.

Preparing your tools for winter storage is not as difficult as you might think. And, by taking a little bit of time to prepare them for winter, they should last for years to come. So, click on WINTERIZING TOOLS to find out how easy and effective it is to do this little chore.
Many of us have seen mushrooms integrated on a variety of lawns throughout the city. These mushrooms live off decaying organic matter in the soil. As they develop, they form a ring, referred to as a Fairy Ring. And heavy rains increase the growth of the mushrooms.

Aside from the fact that they are unsightly, Fairy Rings can cause serious damage to turf. Left unchecked, the condition typically worsens. But, there are tangible steps that can be taken to minimize their adverse effects. Click on FAIRY RINGS to learn more about what produces them and steps to mitigate the longer-term damage they can do to landscapes.

The Tulsa Master Gardener Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization. As such, it receives no city, state or federal funding for its Tulsa community outreach programs. In fact, the Tulsa's Master Gardener programs are self-funded by its own fundraisers, from member donations, and from public donations.

The main Tulsa Master Gardener fundraiser is its Annual Spring Plant Sale that is held each April. Other fundraisers include the Garden Tour and Garage Sale in June. And, one of the most important income sources that sometimes gets overlooked are the personal and corporate donations. These are so important in helping us to meet our financial obligations and we want you to know they are very much appreciated. 

MG Endowment Fund
The Tulsa Master Gardeners have been around for over three decades, since 1983. And, we plan to be around for many more decades. Furthermore, we are considered one of the top five Master Gardener county programs in the entire nation. We are because of the size of our Foundation membership, the number, diversity and activity level of our various community outreach programs, and our overall financial strength! 
So, we are pleased to announce, in partnership with the Tulsa Community Foundation, the Master Gardener Foundation has established an Endowment Fund to ensure our long-term financial strength. Our plans are to build this fund for many years before making any withdrawals from it. Please consider us as you make your annual gift giving as well as longer-term estate planning decisions. Remember, all donations are fully tax deductible! 
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund the long-term success of the program, click on  TULSA MASTER GARDENER ENDOWMENT FUND.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund our annual expenses, click on TULSA MASTER GARDENER AGENCY FUND.
We thank all of you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation! Proud to be a part of the Tulsa area - such a giving community! A few of those folks are listed below:

Judy Feuquay
Becky Collins
Julianne Lovelace
Diane Erbacher
Jackie Rago

Hosta Connection

Christi Curb
Marti Henson
Richard Callis
Bette Browning*
Lisa Cobb
Jackie Rago
Allen Robinson
Chester Jacewitz
Diane Hambric
Erbacher Family LLC
Bob Vaught

*Donated to MG Endowment Fund

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services.