Fall Is A Knockin' . . . Soon!

    September 2019 / Volume 150
September Horticultural Tips
Learn about what you should be doing in the month of SEPTEMBER.  A selection of garden tips (Landscape, Vegetables, and Lawn) can be found by clicking GARDEN TIPS.

T ulsa Master Gardeners
Monthly Program Spotlight
Master Gardeners In The Classroom ( MaGIC)
Tulsa County Master Gardener School Program
Tulsa County Master Gardener School Program

The MaGIC program touches children right where they learn - in the classroom. The MaGIC program brings the outdoors and all its wonderful things - insects, butterflies, bees, trees, and seeds - to them.  Teaching them how to grow seeds, who the pollinators are and how pollination occurs, what is a good bug and a bad bug, and why earthworms are so important - these are just a few of the things they learn from the Tulsa Master Gardeners (and you thought all we did was dig in the soil!)..
The MaGIC program is a 9-month program that is conducted from September through April each year.  Presentations are made each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This MG program has increased its presence every year throughout the Tulsa County Public School system.  

We travel north, south, east, and west, as requested by various elementary schools, to teach in grades K - 5.
For example, for the 2018-2019 academic year, we touched 104 schools, taught 667 classes, and interacted with 15,591 students! We currently teach 8 horticultural -based science programs and will be piloting a new one this year about pollination (which is aimed at grades 3-5). The school demand is so high that we run out of MG presenters so, the next time you see a Tulsa Master Gardener in a classroom, please thank them for volunteering their time and talents to teach our young people about the wonderful world of the outdoors.
Oklahoma Spiders: Dangerous or Not?

 {Black Widow}

{Brown Recluse}
Falsely marked in books, movies and fabled superstition as hideous, revolting and aggressive
creatures, Arachnids have endured the phobic ire of humans for many years. Just two families of
'Arachnida' lack venom glands; the remaining use venom released through their fangs for protection
and to immobilize prey - so technically, all these are venomous. 

Yet only when provoked, injured or disturbed will North American spiders bite to protect themselves from harm. And even then, bites are rarely fatal and can vary in seriousness depending on the amount of venom
injected and the health and age of the victim.

In Oklahoma, there are two known species considered dangerous to humans: the black widow and the
brown recluse. Other species often mistaken for these may include the tarantula, wolf spider, and
jumping spider. Learning about these intriguing creatures - how to differentiate them and avoid contact,
what to do if bitten, and how to control infestation if necessary will protect you and your family, but also
allow them to continue doing their beneficial predatory job controlling insect populations in our gardens.

Click on SPIDERS to learn much more about these creatures and, while two of them are ones you will want to avoid, why many of them serve a very good purpose in our ecosystem. 
September Short Story:
How To Calculate How Much Water My Lawn Is Receiving

While it's still hot and somewhat dry, minimum weekly watering requirements for our lawns are:

Warm-season grass (Bermuda, Zoysia): About 1" of water per week 
Cool-season grass (Fescue, Rye, Kentucky Bluegrass): About 2" of water per week

So, how you do know how much that is?  Well, for a simple irrigation audit, you are going to need 9 collection cups, a pen, paper, and a calculator.  Collection cups can typically be purchased from an irrigation supply store or you can use clean metal cans that might previously have contained tuna, cat food, or perhaps tomato paste. You will get the best result if all your collection cups are the same.

If you choose cans, you can use a ruler and a fine tip permanent marker to mark the outside of the cans in 1/4" increments. Or, you can just measure the collected water by sticking a ruler directly into each collection can.

To collect your measurements, locate your 9 collection cans about 8 feet apart in something close to a 16' by 16' grid. For best results do this in one sprinkler zone at a time.

Next, let your sprinkler run over your collection grid for 20 minutes. After the collection period is over, measure the amount of water in each of your collection cups, add up the total amount collected, and divide the total by 9 since you were using 9 collection cans. This will give you an average amount of water your collection grid area received in 20 minutes.

So, lets assume your average measured amount was 1/2 inch. This means for every 20 minutes your sprinkler system runs, your turf will be receiving 1/2 of an inch of water. If you have Bermuda grass (which needs 1" of water per week) you are going to need to water 20 minutes x 2 or 40 minutes per week. You can split this up into two watering sessions per week of 20 minutes each if you wish.

If you have a fescue lawn (which needs 2" of water per week) the math says you would need 20 minutes x 4 or 80 minutes per week which can be split up into two watering sessions of 40 minutes each. 

Note that this would not be a total for your yard - just for that zone. As you can imagine, each zone is going to be a little different, so for complete accuracy you would need to repeat the process for each zone.

Performing this simple irrigation audit will likely end up saving you money as most of us overestimate the water needs of our turf and, as such, we end up "pouring money down the drain."
Some Interesting Facts About Our Gray Squirrels
Fall is quickly approaching and cute, furry little creatures are scurrying around yards, parks, and acreage with their cheeks puffed up with nuts. Whether you love them or despise them (or both!), our gray squirrels are on a specified mission. They are preparing food and shelter for the winter. Their food of choice includes a wide variety of nuts and other items.  And, they have some quite interesting (even quirky) characteristics and habits.

To learn some interesting facts about our little friends, click on GRAY SQUIRRELS.
A Few Common Pests and Diseases To Be On The Watch For This Time Of Year

  • Bagworms
  • Webworms - 2nd generation
  • Twig Girdlers
  • Pine Needle Drop
  • Pine Wilt Disease
Proper Mulching Techniques

{OK}                                                             {NO!!!}

There are many opportunities to provide trees, shrubs and flower beds mulch. Although mulching has many benefits, such as helping to reduce soil moisture loss, moderating soil temperature, and minimizing weed germination and growth, there can be a tendency to misuse this beneficial landscaping resource.

Click on PROPER MULCHING for more information on the correct uses for mulch.
Dreamin' Of A Fall Veggie Garden

If you're dreaming about that fall veggie garden, don't linger much longer. Now is the time to get those vegetables planted and going. There are always several considerations when planning your fall planting: soil preparation and temperature, space for the garden as a whole and for each crop, irrigation needs, time to maturity, whether to plant seeds or seedlings - this is just to name a few.

Click on FALL VEGGIE GARDEN for  more information on planning, planting and harvesting vegetables this fall.
Being A Friend Of Our (Gardening) Environment:
Reduce / Reuse / Recycle
Part 2

Last month, Part 1 of this series focused on being conscious of the footprint we are leaving on this earth and try to the best of our ability to leave their space better than when they found it.  If you missed it, you can view it at THINK GREEN PART 1.
In Part 2 of this series, we explore alternatives to just "trashing it".  Gardeners personify creativity. They do this by how they plan the vegetable garden, lay out their flower beds, choose their color combinations and vary their hardscapes. Gardeners also excel as re-makers, re-purposers, re-users and up cyclers. 

For many, "trash to treasure" is a way of life. Before discarding anything, ask yourself if there could possibly be another use for it, either as a utilitarian object or as garden art. Use your ingenuity!

For some suggestions and ideas, click on  THINK GREEN PART 2 to learn more about how we can be good stewards of this asset called earth by reusing products.

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
Did you know that we have been around for over three decades, since 1983?  And, we plan to be around for many more decades.  Did you know that  we are one of the top five Master Gardener county programs in the entire nation?  We are, indeed, because of the size of our Foundation membership, the diversity and activity level of our 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 you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation!  The Tulsa area is such a giving community!  

Got a Question? Or Maybe a Soil or Plant Sample?
MG logo
Our Master Gardeners are on hand to assist you with even the toughest gardening questions. Visit us in person, by phone, via email or online! Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 4116 East 15th Street (Gate 6 at the Fairgrounds)
Phone: (918) 746-3701

Need More Information?
law n fertilizer
complex leaves
All about butterfly gardening in Tulsa County.

How to Take a Soil Test
How to collect a good sample of soil from your lawn or garden and get it tested at the OSU lab.

Once you have collected your soil test and gotten the results back, now what? Find out here. 

Show and tell.
Cool Season Lawn Care (Fescue)
12-month maintenance calendar.
State horticulturists, nurseries and growers pick favorite plants, shrubs and trees for use in the Oklahoma landscape. See the winners for this year and years past.

A list of recommended trees with descriptions. 

A list of over 60, by size and color.

Visit our demonstration garden on  15th Street, open 7 days a week. 

Current and historical source of rainfall, air temperatures, soil temps and much more. Click on Bixby station.  

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