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Master Gardeners of Greene County

January 2023

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Table of Contents for January's Newsletter

Planning Your 2023 Garden

A Year in Review - 2022 Newsletters

Sow a Successful Spring Garden - Library Classes

Sunscald or Southwest Winter Injury Tree Protection Tips

Author's Corner - Bob and Barb Kipfer

Become a Master Gardener - Online Classes

Pollinator Champions - Online Course

Gardening/Horticulture Workshop Videos

Plant Native for Your Native Bees

Growing Native Wildflowers

Food Preservation Online Classes

Garden Hour with MU Extension

Newsletters of Interest

Home Gardening Webinar Series Online 2023

Buy Native Trees and Shrubs form MDC

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

** Editor's note: There is still plenty of time to get your soil tested. Get it done early so you can have your soil amended before spring planting season. See toward the bottom for more information.

Planning Out Your Garden - 2023

'Building and Using Hotbeds and Cold Frames' Revised by David Trinklein MU Horticulture Extension State Specialist: Consider constructing a low tunnel, cold frame or hot bed to grow salad greens during the cold months to extend the growing season. Learn more here.

'Starting Plants Indoors From Seeds' Revised by David H. Trinklein, MU Division of Plant Sciences: Many flowers and vegetables may be started from seeds indoors. Vigorous plants started indoors flower sooner and produce an earlier harvest than plants started outdoors. Seeds of certain species, however, are best sown directly outdoors when weather conditions permit and are actually delayed by transplanting. Continue reading here.

17 Winter Gardening Chores To Prepare For Next Season

Just because Winter is upon us doesn’t mean we can just rest by a cozy fire sipping coco. No, Winter is the perfect time to perform routine gardening tasks to better prepare flowerbeds and veggie gardens for the upcoming Spring. Here is a list for all backyard maintenance that should be performed in cold climates for the Winter. Read more here.

The Garden Journal Do you remember every variety that you planted last year, where it was planted and how well or not it performed? Do you want to venture out and plant a new variety? Well, this is where a garden journal comes in handy. It helps you plan where to put your plants and helps you keep track of things from year to year. You can find a great one here that is put out by the Missouri Extension Service. This is chock full of great help and goodies that will help you grow an abetter garden. This article helps explain why you want to keep a garden journal.

The Vegetable Planting Guide Know when and how far apart to plant your particular vegetable. It can be found here. Free download.

Growing Vegetables Gardening Guide Has loads of information on growing the right varieties of vegetables for this area. It can be found here. It is a free download.

Remember we are in Zone 6B for the SW Missouri area. Don't forget to check the recommended zone for growing plants or seeds when reading your catalogs.

Planting your garden? It is still possible to have frost across Missouri and other Midwest states. These two charts will help you determine possible frost threats, the first from the USDA is their US Hardiness Zone Map and uses zip codes at: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/

The second is for Hardiness Zones for Missouri counties and cities at: https://www.plantmaps.com/list-of-hardiness-zones-for-missouri-cities.php

This third chart is Missouri Average Last Frost Date Map (AVERAGE Not LAST date) at: https://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-missouri-last-frost-date-map.php 

A Year in Review


Did you miss any issues? You can still enjoy the Master Gardeners of Greene County, (MGGC) January-December 2022 monthly archived newsletters. For new readers, these public educational gardening issues are available each month, you can sign up for 2023 on a newsletter at the bottom of this newsletter.

Newsletter Archives January - December 2022 links are below. A winter reading library. Pick and choose or work your way through the year from top to bottom. Feel free to save or share any or all of these links:

♦ January 2022: https://conta.cc/34e5ulD

♦ February 2022: https://conta.cc/3uicgSg

♦ March 2022: https://conta.cc/3K2fMoj

♦ April 2022: https://conta.cc/36vSPfh

♦ May 2022: https://conta.cc/39qzo8Q

♦ June 2022: https://conta.cc/3miaF9H

♦ July 2022: https://conta.cc/3OHGbe7

♦ August 2022: https://conta.cc/3OLJq3e

♦ September 2022: https://conta.cc/3e0IUSa

♦ October 2022: https://conta.cc/3SpRWb1

♦ November 2022: https://conta.cc/3gUev9S 

♦ December 2022: https://conta.cc/3B2xu9a

Sow a Successful Spring Garden

with Midwinter Know-how Gardening Classes

5 In-Person Classes Sponsored by Springfield-Greene County Library District.

Free Starting January 14, 2023

Mark your calendars, check for registration start dates if required. These will be offered at different libraries, so be sure to check the location.

Midwinter Gardening means browsing seed catalogs, swapping seeds, starting a garden indoors and learning how to preserve your harvest. Don’t put away those green thumbs just yet! There’s much to do.

1) 'Seeding A Healthy Life: Indoor Gardening, Tower Gardens and Microgreens'

Saturday, January 14, 1-3 p.m. at the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E Central St, Springfield, MO 65802, in the upstairs meeting room. Planting Seeds founder Dr. Nicole McCauley and Brenda Bauer from Juice Plus will talk about growing your own food with a tower garden and the positive impact tower gardens have on our community. Participants will also learn how to grow nutrient-dense microgreens in a short period of time. *Note: The elevator from the basement to the 2nd floor is not operational. Please contact us two weeks prior to a program if you need special accommodation. A Seeding a Healthy Life event. Registration starts January 3; call 417-862-0135. 

2) 'Winter Sowing for the Itchy Green Thumb'

Thursday, January 26, 6 p.m. in the Library Station Santa Fe Room, 2535 N Kansas Expy, Springfield, MO 65803. One way to start gardening in midwinter is browsing seed catalogs, but you can also start planting seeds! Learn about the winter sowing method and collect supplies to start winter sowing at home. A Seeding a Healthy Life event. Registration starts January 9; call 417-616-0683 or email [email protected].

3) 'National Seed Swap Day'

Saturday, January 28, 1-3 p.m. at the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E Central St, Springfield, MO 65802, in the upstairs meeting room. Bring your seeds of any type to swap with other gardeners. Don't have seeds to share? You're still welcome to participate in the swap. Kids can make a garden craft; materials will be provided. *Note: The elevator from the basement to the 2nd floor is not operational. Please contact us two weeks prior to a program if you need special accommodation. Questions, call (417) 862-0135.

4) 'Seed Starting 101'

Saturday, February 4, 1 p.m. in the Library Center auditorium, 4653 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65810. Get an early start on your spring garden with the Heirloom Seed Library and a Master Gardener of Greene County. Learn how to start your seeds indoors to set your garden up for success in spring and summer. A Seeding a Healthy Life event. Questions, call (417) 883-5366.

5) 'From Seed to Table: Saving, Canning and Preserving Your Harvest'

Thursday, February 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch, 2214 S Brentwood Blvd, Springfield, MO 65804. As the spring growing season approaches, learn how you can maximize your gardening efforts through methods such as seed saving, canning, fermentation, dehydration, storage and organization. Christina Raley, a gardening enthusiast and member of the Springfield Community Gardens and Victory Mission Community Garden, will discuss techniques to minimize waste and maximize your gardening game. Learn how your growing efforts can help your family thrive year-round. A Seeding a Healthy Life Event. Questions, call (417) 883-1974.

Seeding a Healthy Life is provided in partnership with the Library’s Heirloom Seed Library. This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

BONUS: 'Grow Yor Own Pizza Garden Takeout Kit!'

A delicious way to get the whole family excited about gardening is to grow a pizza garden together! The Library’s free Grow Your Own Pizza Garden Takeout Kit includes peat pellets, tomato and basil seeds along with instructions for planting it at home. Kits will be available starting February 13 at libraries with an Heirloom Seed Library collection – Library Center, Library Station, Midtown Carnegie Branch, Schweitzer Brentwood Branch, Republic Branch and Mobile Library. Available while supplies last.

Sunscald or Southwest Winter Injury Tree

Protection Tips

1) Avoid fertilizer for your small trees this fall. Use 10-10-10 next spring but not too much.

2) Put a donut ring of organic mulch around the base to blanket roots and help with temperature control, you don't need sod competing and future mower damage.

3) Water properly when the weather is above 40 degrees. Newly planted or small trees are subject to winter drought damage and require more frequent watering every couple of weeks even though it is the normal dormant period.

4) Due to the tender size a protective wire ring to help prevent both critter (and southwest injury) damage would be good insurance.

5) Sunscald aka southwest injury, occurs in late winter / early spring on the southwest side of thin bark trees. Learn more about this annual problem, 'Sunscald of Woody Plants' by Missouri Botanical Garden here. 

'Sunscald Injury or Southwest Winter Injury on Deciduous Trees' by USU Forestry Extension: This injury presents a significant threat to the trunks and limbs of certain deciduous trees. Although it can happen on shrubs it is more common on trees. Learn more here.

AUTHORS CORNER - Bob & Barb Kipfer

'Owl Pellets' by Bob & Barb Kipfer for Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist™ Dec 1, 2022: Ben collected over one hundred owl pellets on the floor of the barn below the nest box and from two other cross beam perch areas. He delivered them to me separated in paper egg cartons. The contents were dry for months and some had been cleaned by some clothing moth larvae. Learn more with text and photos here.

'Winter for the Birds' by Bob & Barb Kipfer for Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Missouri Master Naturalist™ "Winter Solstice Edition" Dec 20, 2022: Looking out on our backyard I could watch robins, cardinals, bluejays, wrens, doves, house finches and sparrows taking turns at the heated birdbath. Barb has created an island of 100 native plant species in a neighborhood sea of sterile mowed yards. Read on here.

Become a Master Gardener

Spring Online Classes

By MU Extension: Online Spring 2023 Training & Registration is Now Open.

Topics include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, insects and diseases, landscaping, turf management and pesticide safety.

Registration for the spring 2023 online session closes Jan. 14, 2023.

Additional course description, syllabus, cost, and registration information, here.

Pollinator Champions - Online Course

By MSU Extension: Pollinator Champions is a free, self-paced online course offered by MSU. The course is packed full of videos, articles and fun activities to guide you through the amazing world of pollinators and pollination. Everyone is welcome to learn about pollinators for free, but for a small fee, you can receive a certificate and materials to help you give presentations about pollinators. Learn more and start here.

Gardening/Horticulture Workshops - Videos

Sponsored by Springfield Community Gardens (SCG) & USDA:

Couldn't make it to a Zoom Workshop? No worries, our list with 57 videos was updated Sep 27, 2022!

You can access recordings of our Zoom Workshops on our YouTube channel anytime. Workshops presented by Patrick Byers, MU Extension, plus Justine Francesca, Ben Tegeler, Alyssa Hughes, Adam Millsap, Curtis Millsap and others.

Review the topic list, watch one or all here. 

Planning and Growing Native Plants

'POWERHOUSE (NATIVE) PLANTS' Article by Dante LaPenta; Photos by Doug Tallamy / Desiree Narango from UD Archives Dec 10, 2020: UD researchers identify key native plants that support shrinking number of insects and stabilize food webs. Univ of DE Prof of Entomology Doug Tallamy published a new research study in Nature that systematically identifies the most critical plants needed to sustain food webs across the U.S. Learn more here.

'Missouri Native Landscaping Manual' Here is another productive, online manual, for your research file: A Guide to Native Landscaping in Missouri, a collaborative project between the Missouri Department of Conservation and Shaw Nature Reserve, click here.

Tackle Missouri's Invasive Plants! Get involved with invasive plant eradication initiatives near you. Learn more online here.

TWO LINKS: Planning a native wildlife garden for 2023? If so, visit Grow Native! Here is an example of what the website offers, 'Natives for Wildlife' here. Discover more about how to include native plant species in your own backyard here.

'Round-lobed liverleaf (Anemone americana)' by Missouri Botanical Garden - Plant Finder: A Missouri native spring wildflower that typically occurs in rich or rocky wooded slopes and ravine bottoms, and on mossy banks and ledges, in the Ozark region of the state (Steyermark). This is one of the first of the spring wildflowers to emerge (March-April). Learn more here.

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: [email protected] 

Newsletters of Interest

'Garden Spade Newsletter by MU Extension December 2022' Articles: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice; Caring for Poinsettias; The Peek-a-Boo Plant; Herbicide Carryover; Favorite See Companies; Plants that Changed History -Nutmeg -Frankincense & Myrrh; Kids Ask Dr. Bug; Garden Tips; Upcoming Events & Flyers plus more (pdf) here.

'Lawn & Garden December Newsletter' by MU Extension Dec 6, 2022, Gardening resources you can use: December Gardening Tasks + Video Resources + Connect with MU Extension for Programs, Online Courses, Events, Publications, News & Articles plus more here.

'Commercial Horticulture Newsletter' by MU Extension 12/16/22 Topics: Upcoming Webinar - Specialty Crops in Tunnels, Navigating Tight Labor Markets, Great Plains Growers Conference Class Detail, Seed Ordering Tips and Considerations, Additional Upcoming Class Offerings, Resources for Growers and much more here.

Garden.org Newsletter Read it here.

Home Gardening Webinar Series Online 2023

Announced by Iowa State University. (Suggested by David Trinklein, MU Extension, State Master Gardener Coordinator Missouri.) The first webinar is scheduled for January 3, 2023.

Additional information for what appears to be a very informative series of 12 classes can be found here: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2022/12/2023-home-gardening-webinar-master-gardener-program

Buy Native Trees and Shrubs from MDC

Buy native trees and shrubs from Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) State Forest Nursery' Order are being taken through April 15, 2023.

Supplies are limited so order early. For complete details use this MDC link.

Researched Based Gardening Links


'Holiday Plants Create Festive Atmosphere' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Dec 6, 2022: The tinsel and trappings of the holiday season add color and a festive atmosphere to the average home. However, some houseplants provide their own holiday decoration by producing colorful fruits and berries. Learn more here.

'Caring for Houseplants' Revised by David H. Trinklein, MU Division of Plant Sciences: Most potted plants purchased from a florist have been grown in greenhouses under ideal conditions. When they are placed in home environments designed for people, not plants, they need good care to adjust to the new environment. Proper care of houseplants helps increase satisfaction. Learn more here.

TWO LINKS: 'Selecting and caring for your poinsettia' Writer -Debbie Johnson for MU Extension: Now is the time of year when these colorful plants adorn mantels, tables and hallways across the country. Learn more about history and care here. ALSO: 'Enjoy your poinsettia beyond the holidays' Writer - Rebecca Gants here.

Have Fungus Gnats? 'Fungus Gnats Management Guide' by UC IPM: Fungus gnats are small flies that infest soil, potting mix, other container media, and other sources of organic decomposition. Their larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in soil, but also chew roots and can be a problem in greenhouses, nurseries, potted plants and interior plantscapes. Adult fungus gnats may emerge from houseplants indoors and become a nuisance. Learn more here.

'Mistletoe: Menacing plant with an intriguing past; Danger lurks under pernicious plant' Writer, Linda Geist for MU Extension Dec. 14, 2022: Of all the plants used in holiday decor, few match mistletoe’s interesting history. And few equal its potential for harm. An evergreen plant with white berries, mistletoe is quite toxic, said David Trinklein, horticulture state specialist. Learn more here.

'Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Dec 15. 2021: Most spices and flavorings used in holiday foods and beverages are derived from plants... The words "herb" and "spice" often are interchanged in common English usage. However, for culinary purposes, herb usually refers to a fragrant plant with herbaceous (non-woody) stems... Spices, on the other hand, are more commonly derived from dried or processed parts of plants that are tropical in origin. Learn more here.

Agastache 'Blue Fortune' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of some light shade... Agastache hybrids are typically winter hardy to at least USDA Zone 6. Learn more with photos here.

'Goji Berry Culture' by Kathy Demchak, Senior Penn St Extension Asso: One crop that has received a lot of good press lately has been Goji berry. We have very little experience with this crop here, so we're fortunate enough to get some information from others who have. Continue reading to learn more, plus review references and additional reading, here.

TWO LINKS: 'Parsnips – An Underrated Vegetable' by Christopher Enroth for Univ. of Illinois Extension: Learn more here. PLUS: 'Cooking With Parsnips' by William W. Weaver for National Gardening Association: Learn more with recipes here.

'Cover Crops in Missouri: Putting Them to Work on Your Farm' MU Extension Publication G4161: Sunlight powers agriculture and, fortunately, is free to all farmers. The challenge is to harvest as much sunlight as possible. Because commodity crops might be in the field for only four to five months, fields receive untapped sunlight for several months each year. To tap this free resource the rest of the year, consider planting cover crops. Cover crops protect the soil while improving soil health and providing living roots to feed the soil microbial community. Learn more here.

'Recycling Wood Ashes' by David Trinklein, MU Division of Plant Sciences: For gardeners, wood ashes spread on garden soils are an excellent and free source of calcium and other essential plant nutrients, if not overdone. An understanding of the action of wood ashes on soil will help to determine when to stop. Learn more here.  ** READER'S NOTE: Kurt K. offers sound advice! "Please be very, very careful when using wood ashes and only use them if a soil test specifically says the ash is needed for soil fertility for the plants you are planning to grow."

'Soil Solarization for Control of Soilborne Diseases & Weeds' By Jennifer Olson, Extension Specialist, Plant Disease Diagnosis, OSU Extension Feb 2021: Solarization is a non-chemical method for controlling soilborne diseases, insects, nematodes and weeds in soil prior to planting crops. Soil solarization captures the radiant energy of sunlight under clear polyethylene film. When soil moisture is adequate, the heat produced pasteurizes the soil, killing plant pathogens and insect and weed pests, but leaving intact populations of many beneficial soil microorganisms that promote plant growth. The solarization period should be from four weeks to six weeks during the hottest part of the year. Learn more (pdf) here.

'Low Temperature Injury and Containerized Plants' by Thomas Ford Extension Educator Penn St Dec 12, 2022: Plant injury and death can be observed when containerized ornamental plants are subjected to low root-killing temperatures. Nursery growers in Zones 5–6 typically begin grouping plants together for overwintering purposes after mid-October and then begin covering them in mid-to-late November. Continue reading here.

'Winter Care of Woody Ornamentals' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Dec 21, 2022: Extremely low temperatures, frozen soil, rapid temperature changes, drying winds, or lack of soil moisture all may work individually or together to make plant survival a challenge. Even with our best efforts, some damage is possible. However, gardeners can reduce the chances of damage developing by following 10 simple tips. Learn more here.

'Roses: Care After Planting Including Winter Protection' David H. Trinklein, MU Horticulture, Division of Plant Sciences: Roses are among our most treasured garden plants. However, proper care after planting is essential to develop plants into beautiful, productive specimens. Learn more about proper rose care here.

TWO LINKS: 'What Can Plants Teach You?' by Elsa Sánchez, Ph.D. Prof of Hort. Systems Mgmt. Penn St Oct 11, 2022: "If plants are our teachers, what are their lessons, and how might we become better students?" I love these questions and presented them to some Extension Educators. Our responses are here. PLUS: See here.

'Well, Of Course There Are Multiple Species!' by Chris Helzer, The Prairie Ecologist Dec 8, 2022: Ok, look. I frequently explain to people that I'm not an entomologist. I'm an ecologist and an insect enthusiast. Most of what I know about insects and other invertebrates comes through my photography. My eye is drawn to small creatures and once I've photographed one, I try to learn what I can about it. Please remember this context as you read on here.

Here are the top invasive plants in the Missouri. Because of their vigorous expansion, these invasive plants are particularly important to identify and control. Provided by The Missouri Prairie Foundation/Grow Native here.

January's Tips and Tasks

January Gardening Tips by MU Extension Staff

7 Common Poinsettia Care Mistakes

Growing and Caring for a Poinsettia

5 Essential Tasks to Prepare Your Garden for a Gorgeous Spring

10 Must-Know Tips for Growing Tomatoes Indoors

How to Prune Plum Trees

How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar in 8 Simple Steps

10 Houseplants With Bright Blooms

10 Landscaping Projects That Add Value to Your Home

How and When to Prune Red Twig Dogwood

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 fall'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:


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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.

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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.


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Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri


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