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Master Gardeners of Greene County

August 2022

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Table of Contents for August's Newsletter

MU Extension Fall Gardening Series (via Zoom)

Low Light Plants

Different Types of Cherries

White Oak Trees as Hosts

Caterpillar Crossing

Becoming a Master Gardener Online Classes

Learn to Grow in the Garden

Food Preservation Online Classes

Garden Hour with MU Extension

The Garden Spade - July

No, We Don't Just Need to Plant More Milkweed

Stink Bugs, Squash Bugs and Blister Beetles

Tomato Blossom End Rot

Researched Based Garden Links

Garden Links

One Last Thought

Get Your Soil Tested Now

Previous Newsletter Link

Need a Speaker for One of Your Meetings or Groups?

Gardening Questions Hotline - Phone, Email and Web Questionnaire

Subscribe to the Newsletter

MU Extension Fall Gardening Webinar Series

(via Zoom)


August 18 thru September 8

At 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. CST

MU Extension will hold a Fall Gardening Webinar Series via Zoom focusing on prepping and maintaining your garden in the fall. Topics include Lasagna Gardening, Soils and Cover Crops, Season Extension, and Tool Maintenance/Fall Cleanup.

The class will be held weekly on Thursdays for four sessions.

Cost is $30 for the four sessions

Information and registration link on right had side.


White Oak Trees as Hosts

White Oak (Quercus alba) by Missouri Dept. Conservation Field Guide: White oak is a large tree with a long, straight trunk and a broad, rounded crown White oak is the banner species for a large subset of native oaks, called the "white oak group." Learn more here. 

Caterpillar Crossing

Become a Master Gardener Class

Missouri Master Gardener

Online Core Training - Fall 2022 

The class runs from: 

Aug. 13 thru Dec. 31, 2022

Price for class is $200

      Includes a FREE Master Gardener

        Core Training Manual

This training provides in-depth horticultural training on topics related to horticulture. Individuals who wish to become master gardener certified may then follow-up by volunteering their time applying what they have learned to help others in their communities to learn about gardening and environmental education. For further details and to review the syllabus and registration information, click here.

Learn to Grow in the Garden

These classes are FREE!

Monday, August 15 at 5:45

Meet at the Botanical Center 

2400 S. Scenic

Springfield MO 65807

Presented by Master Gardeners of Greene County, Springfield, MO (MGGC): This free educational gardening program is a tour of the Ornamental Grasses, Daylily, and English Gardens. See the flier below for class schedule, topics and more details. This class will take place starting in the lobby of the Springfield Botanical Center. Save the date.

The below links are not live.

2022 Learn to Grow Flier.png

Food Preservation

Canning jars.jpg

This self-paced course provides research based information needed to safely and successfully preserve food at home. Participants of all levels of food preservation experience are welcome, including individuals with little or no previous food preservation experience. This course covers pressure canning, boiling water bath canning, steam canning, dehydration, and freezing. Highlights include preserving salsas, pie fillings, pickling, sweet spreads, and harvesting and storage of produce.

Registration is $30.00

Click here for more information and registration.

Get your lawn and garden questions answered at the Garden Hour with MU Extension

Virtual Town Hall: Mandy D. Bish - MU Extension Specialists will address lawn, garden, and insect questions during the 'Garden Hour' with MU Extension. NOW EVERY Wednesday of the month from 12-1pm. The virtual event is free. To register for the virtual event and/or ask a gardening question, please visit.

To see recordings from previous events, please check out the YouTube videos on the MU Extension IPM channel here.

For more information visit.  Or contact Mandy D. Bish, MU Plant Science & Technology at (573) 882-9878 or email: bishm@missouri.edu 

The Garden Spade Newsletter July 2022

The Garden Spade Newsletter July 2022 Issue Now Online; Articles Include: First Aid for Tomatoes; Firecracker Penstemon; Watermelon; Smooth Hydrangea; Lavender Update & Workshop; Plants that Changed History: Maze -What is It?; Myth -Crushing Japanese Beetles Attract More; Kids Ask Dr. Bug; Garden Calendar; Upcoming Events....

Click here to read the newsletter. It is downloadable.

No, We Don't Just Need to Plant More Milkweed

My concern is folks will rush to plant milkweed and, like so many other of their garden plants, maroon them in a sea of wood mulch with plants spaced far apart. Milkweed, like most plants, did not evolve to grow by itself. Monarchs and milkweed need a plant community to thrive -- especially over vast stretches of a landscape, well more than a city can provide.

Read more here.

Stink Bugs, Squash Bugs and Blister Beetles

View of squash bug.jpg

Your garden is coming along just fine and then you remembered the dreaded stink bug, the squash bugs or blister beetles! Don't worry, there is a solution and it is best to do it sooner than later. Spray your potatoes, squash, cucumbers, melons and tomatoes with kaolin clay. This is a deterrent and not a killer. It won't harm your friendly bugs.

You mix 3/4 C of kaolin clay with 1 qt of water in a small sprayer. Shake well, and continue shaking while spraying to avoid settling of the clay. Try to get tops and bottoms of leaves and the whole tomato. Best to do so before the blooms open in the early am.

Stink Bugs -Integrated Pest Management Strategies by Missouri Botanical Garden: Tomato and other veggie growers, learn more about stink bugs and their damage to tomatoes other veggies and host plants here.

Squash Bugs - Integrated Pest Management Strategies by Missouri Botanical Garden: Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) are pests on all cucurbits including cucumbers, muskmelons, pumpkins, squash, and watermelon. Squash and pumpkins are the most susceptible to squash bug attack. Learn more here.

Blister Beetles 'Blister beetles: Handle with care' by Nate Walton, and Duke Elsner, MSU Extension Nov 15, 2017: Adult blister beetles feed on the foliage or flowers of many species of plants and are occasionally pests in vegetable gardens. The immature stages are rarely seen, as they live either in the soil or nests of bees where they feed on eggs or larval insects. Learn more here.

Tomato Blossom End Rot

If you have this then there is a lack of calcium in your soil. You need to have a soil test done this fall or winter so you can add calcium and other nutrients back into the soil for this next coming spring planting.

'Blossom-end rot of tomato tip sheet' by MSU Extension: Blossom-end rot first appears as water- soaked spots on the blossom end, or bottom, of the tomato. Rapid early growth of the plants can cause the rot because the calcium is needed by the tomatoes when they are actively growing and the plants may not be able to take up sufficient calcium quickly enough through the roots. Read on here.

Yes, you can eat the tomato after you cut out the damaged section, but it will not be as nice of a quality as your other tomatoes that don't have this. DO NOT CAN with this tomato. It will not have the same result and you need to can with unblemished tomatoes.

Contact your county extension office for more information on soil testing.

Researched Based Gardening Links

'Hostas are emperors of the shade with more than 4,000 cultivars' Writer Linda Geist for MU Extension: A problem many gardeners face is what to plant in a shady area. "Perhaps no plant brightens a shade garden more than the hosta", said David Trinklein MU Extension. The hardy perennial thrives in shade and is easy to grow. “Their lush foliage brings attractive color to the shadiest of garden corners.” Read on here.


'Milkweeds' by Missouri Dept of conservation Field Guide: There are 22 species in 4 genera of milkweeds in Missouri: Asclepias (milkweeds; 17 species), Cynanchum (2 species; sand vine is the most common), Gonolobus (angle-pod; 1 species), and Matelea (climbing milkweeds; 2 species). Learn more here.

'Milkweed Life' by Bob & Barb Kipfer for Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist™ July 4, 2022: Because milkweed is best known for being the obligatory host plant for Monarch caterpillars it is easy to forget about the value of milkweed in nature. To the 450 species of insects that feed on it, it must look like Walmart. In our back yard a lot of other insects can be found on the plants. Learn more about this here.


'Squash: Recognition at Last' by David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Technology: Ask any number of people what their favorite vegetable might be and I doubt that many would answer “squash”. Learn more about growing squash here.

'Squash Vine Borers - Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: squash vine borer, Melittia cucurbitae, is native to Missouri. It is a serious pest of both summer and winter squash. The insect will also attack cucumbers, pumpkins, muskmelons, and watermelons. Learn more here.

VIDEO: 'Water Features for Your Garden' by KY Extension Horticulture 'Water in the Garden Features' Webinar 38 min YouTube video with Sharon Flynt, Horticulture Extension Agent for the University of Kentucky in Scott County discusses water features you can add to your landscape.

'Waterlily: Easier to grow than you might think' Writer, Linda Geist for MU Extension June 30, 2022: Some gardeners consider waterlilies to be the ultimate challenge. Many admire them but few grow them, said MU Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. Though waterlilies may appear exotic and fragile, they are tough and durable. “Once established, waterlilies flower well into late summer and provide an exotic addition to any landscape,” he said. Learn more here.

'Firecracker penstemon (Penstemon eatonii) explodes with patriotic color' Writer, Michele Warmund, horticulturist for MU Extension June 29, 2022: It is just one of about 270 species of penstemon, also known as beardtongue. "Its showy stamens protrude from the flower and resemble a hairy tongue.”... red tubular flowers bloom on long stalks and attract hummingbirds. Learn more.

'Cool Off with Gray Plants' by David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Technology July 7, 2022: While garden plants might not be able to reduce air temperatures significantly, they can help us feel a bit cooler on a hot summer day. Learn more, continue reading here.

TWO LINKS: 'Cool gardening tips for hot days' by Donna Aufdenberg MU Extension June 16, 2022: Both gardeners and their plants need extra care when it’s hot outside... gardeners to take care of themselves first so they can tend to gardens and flowerbeds. Continue reading here.

PLUS: 'Hot tips for keeping cool' by Karen Funkenbusch MU Extension.

HOT WEATHER WATERING: 'Vegetable Gardening' - See Irrigation for Gardens by MU Extension. 

'Managing Lawns and Turfgrass' by Brad Fresenburg and Lee Miller MU Division of Plant Sciences: Managing a lawn involves decisions about frequency of mowing, fertilization and watering, and whether you plan to use crabgrass preventers or products to control turfgrass diseases and insects. Learn more here.

Interested in landscaping with native plants? You will need to develop a landscaping plan. I would suggest the use of native plants that will do well in your USDA Hardiness Zone. For the most part, natives require less work to maintain from weather, insects, etc. I would start with reviewing plans and plant lists aviable through Grow Native! to find what you think you might like (also explore the website). This is the webpage where you might start your planning process.

'Flea Beetle - Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Small round holes in leaves and insects that jump like fleas are two signs that a plant is infested with flea beetles. These shiny oval beetles may be black, brown, bronze, or striped and are only 1/10 inch long. They quickly leap out of sight when disturbed. There are several species of flea beetle. Can be, also, controlled with kaolin clay (see article above on squash bugs and stink bugs) Learn more here.

'Bagworms - Including Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Bagworms, (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) produce conspicuous spindle-shaped cocoons on trees and shrubs throughout the U.S. feeding on over 128 plant species. Most commonly attacked plants are arborvitae, red cedar, and other juniper species. They also feed on fir, maple, juneberry, buckeye, persimmon, ginkgo, honeylocust, larch, sweet gum, spruce, pine, sycamore, poplar, oak, locust, willow, and hemlock. Learn more here.

'Organic Management Options for the Japanese Beetle at Home Gardens' by MO Extension Staff: To control this invasive pest, many people are interested in using less or no insecticides, and other control options that are safer for home-owners and also compatible with organic production. Continue reading here.

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Fact Sheet by National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC): This fact sheet describes Bt used as a pesticide in sprays, granules, and other products. Currently, Bt is found in over 130 registered pesticide products. Understanding pesticide risk will help you take steps to minimize it. Learn more.


'Bees and Wasps' MU Extension Publications: G7391, Bees and Wasps + G7424, Carpenter Bees. Plus, some additional Related Publications. For more information use this link.

'Most ground-nesting bees are useful pollinators' by Paul Pugliese, Univ of GA Extension agent: (Applies to Missouri as well.) Each spring I receive several calls from people who encounter ground-nesting bees and wasps for the first time. These are actually “good bugs” that are doing their job as pollinators or serving as useful predators by controlling other harmful insect pests. But when ground nests are located in areas such as yards, gardens, flowerbeds or playgrounds, most clients would rather not hear a discourse in entomology. Continue reading. 

TWO LINKS: Have Voles, Mice or Moles? Review these two publications form MoBot: 'Voles and Mice - Including Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Voles, Microtus spp., also commonly called meadow mice, are seldom seen... These are chunky, ground-dwelling rodents about 7 inches long with a tail that is less than 2 inches long. There are several species of voles, including the woodland vole, meadow vole and prairie vole. In Missouri, chances are you will be dealing with the prairie vole. Learn more here.

PLUS: 'Moles-Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Moles are a long-standing nuisance to the garden, known for unsightly tunneling and uprooting favorite plants. Moles are classified as insectivores but will also eat earthworms and other small animals in the soil. They only rarely consume plant material. Learn more here.


'Growing Home Garden Tomatoes' This is a very popular Missouri gardening topic and we have a large readership. Some of our Missouri readers may want to review this MU Extension guide.

Are your tomato leaves curling? Review 'Tomato Leaf Curl' David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Technology: There are several reasons this can occur and some are more serious than others. Learn what you can do to ensure a robust tomato harvest this year. Read more here.

'Caterpillars 'Horn In' on Tomato Plants' by Michele Warmund MU Div of Plant Sci Aug 6, 2021: Several types of caterpillars can cause damage to tomato plants in Missouri. However, the tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) and the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) are often the most noticeable.... Continue reading to learn more here.

TWO LINKS: Become the Garden Detective... Garden critter damage is not always easy to ID without actually sighting the culprit. A game camera can help. Examining the plant for insects, etc. Footprints in the garden. Visit with your neighbors, they might be having the same problem. Start protecting your garden. There is a lot of information on the topic, for example, start with, 'On patrol for critter control; Protecting ornamental plants from wildlife.'

PLUS: 'Coexist with wildlife while preventing damage.'

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a short to medium-sized tree, often forming colonies from root sprouts, with a columnar canopy, a flattened crown, and contorted branches that turn upward at their ends. Read on here.

'Eastern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)' by Missouri Dept. of Conservation: This is a VENOMOUS medium-sized, stout-bodied snake with a sensory pit (heat-sensing pit) between each nostril and eye. It is gray, copper, tan, or pinkish tan with hourglass-shaped bands of dark brown. The markings are often edged in white. Learn more the eastern copperhead is the most common venomous snake in Missouri. 

'COLLARED LIZARD' by MDC -- A popular common name for this lizard is the "mountain boomer." The bright colors of the males and unique characteristics make it one of Missouri's most interesting lizards. Learn more.

'Growing Ground Cherries' by Mary Jo Gibson, Master Gardener for Penn State Extension Feb 17, 2022: Try cherry-sized fruits with tropical and tomato flavors in your garden this season—grow ground cherries! The round, half-inch, ripe fruits are harvested after dropping to the ground. Ground cherries are related to tomatoes. Learn more here.

August's Tips and Tasks

August Gardening Tips by MU Extension Staff


Tomatoes in the Home Garden 

Look under Harvesting for growing in these extremely hot conditions.

Why Your Tomatoes Are Splitting, Plus 3 Tips for Preventing It

National Gardening Newsletter - July - weekly newsletter

We live in Zone 

Best Ornamental Grasses to Add Unbeatable Texture to Your Garden

Small Trees That Will Add Tons of Color to Your Landscape

Tough Perennials That Grow in Dry Shade (Most Even Bloom!)

6 Signs Your Houseplants Aren't Very Happy

7 Balcony Garden Tips for Making the Most of Your Space

The Difference Between Annual and Perennial Plants—

and How to Choose Between Them


How to Prune Hydrangeas for the Best Summer Blooms

The Most Colorful Hydrangeas to Grow in Your Garden

and How to Care for Them

How to Choose the Best Hydrangeas to Grow in Your Garden

How to Get More Hydrangea Flowers in Your Garden


The Best Time of Day to Water Your Plants (And Why It Matters)

The Best Time to Water Your Garden Through the Seasons

Create a Water-Saving Garden with These 11 Drought-Tolerant Landscaping Ideas

ONE LAST THOUGHT Have you been to the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO? If not plan a group or family summer's visit today. In addition to the many beautiful floral and demonstration gardens, a number of gardening organizations are headquartered there, including MU Greene County Extension office and the Master Gardeners of Green County Hotline. Questions call 417.891.1515 or tour the gardens and all of the other attractions online.

Get Your Soil Tested Now

Basic soil testing analysis is done by the MU Soil Lab in partnership with our Master Gardeners of Greene County. Results include fertilizer and lime recommendations. Additional tests are available for nutrient management plans, environmental issues, potting mixes, compost, manure and water usage. Each sample should contain a total of 2 cups of dry soil and from 6 to 7 inches deep and about 5 or 6 different areas. Results are typically provided within two weeks.

Bring the soil sample(s) to the Greene (or local county office) County Extension office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. Master Gardeners can complete the paperwork and submit your test. One of our extension specialists will review your results. In most cases, gardens, lawns and fields should be tested every two years.

The cost is $30 per sample. Feel free to call if you have any questions:


Previous Newsletter
Need a Speaker for a Meeting or Group?
Master Gardeners of Greene County are unavailable at this time to speak to garden clubs, civic organizations, schools and other groups on a wide variety of topics within the world of gardening, horticulture, landscaping and the environment.

Please keep us in mind for a future date.

Donating to MU Extension

Without MU Extension, there would be no Master Gardeners.
Gifts from individual donors support MU Extension's educational programs in Greene County. Primarily, we receive cash donations by check or online with a credit card and the non-cash donation of vehicles.

Tax deductible donation

For all your gardening questions,

please call our Hotline: 



The Hotline volunteers are available

10:00 am to 4:00 pm M-F

Please call before coming in with a question, sample or pictures.

Questions welcome state wide.

Continue to call, email us or send pictures to hotline@mggreene.org

These are three separate ways of contacting us.

More information

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Thank you!!



Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri


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