About Us
Member Log In

Master Gardeners of Greene County

June 2022

{View as Webpage}


Table of Contents for June's Newsletter

Poison Ivy and Look Alikes


Fruit Cultivars for Home Planting

Learn to Grow in the Garden

Food Preservation Online Classes

Garden Hour with MU Extension

The Garden Spade - May

Deer Gardening?

Stink Bugs and Squash Bugs

Researched Based Garden Links

Garden Links

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: We are trying something a bit new. Please hit reply and let us know how you like it. Lots of interesting reading. If you don't like it we want to hear that too, as well as why.

Poison Ivy and Look Alikes

"Leaves of three, let it be," is the mantra, But this is not always true. Box elder, fragrant sumac, eastern poison oak and Virginia creeper can look like poison ivy at times. But they do not have the white/cream waxy berries like poison ivy.

In the MDC's Field Guide, it is best described as having three leaves of different size and shape. They are small in the spring, but continue to grow throughout the growing season. The leaf end at the center with two uneven leaves on either side. It turns a very pretty red, orange or yellow in the fall. The oil in the leaves is still active even after the leaves have fallen and died. Do not burn as you can inhale the toxic oils in the smoke.

Poison ivy can be shrubby or it can be a vine growing as high as 60 feet in the trees.

Poison ivy.jpg

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy Berries.jpg

Poison Ivy with young green berries. They will turn a cream or white as they age.

poison oak.jpg

Poison Oak

Fragrant Sumac.jpg

Fragrant Sumac

Box elder leaf.jpeg

Box Elder 

Virginia creeper.jpg

Virginia Creeper - When young, it has 3 - 4 leaves.

Thank you to the Missouri Conservationist - June 2022. This is a FREE monthly magazine for Missourians put out by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Click here for more information.


It is that season again. It is warm and ready to hike or go to that favorite fishing spot that you have to hike to. The ticks are out.

Below are the different ticks in their different stages. The female tick can lay between 3,000 to 8,000 eggs.


What Are the Signs of Tick-Related Diseases?

Watch out for:

  • a red bump ringed by an expanding red rash, which looks like a bull's-eye (Lyme disease)
  • red dots on the ankles and wrists (Rocky Mountain spotted fever)
  • flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, vomiting, and muscle and joint aches
  • A reaction to eating red meats. (Lone Star tick)

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Call your doctor if:

  • The tick might have been on the skin for more than 24 hours.
  • Part of the tick remains in the skin.
  • A rash of any kind develops (especially a red-ringed bull's-eye rash or red dots on wrists and ankles).
  • The bite area looks infected (increasing warmth, swelling, pain, or oozing pus).
  • Symptoms like fever, headache, tiredness, stiff neck or back, or muscle or joint aches develop.

What to do after you find a tick, click here for more information and here.

The CDC, "Most ticks go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After hatching from the eggs, ticks must eat blood at every stage to survive. Ticks that require this many hosts can take up to 3 years to complete their full life cycle, and most will die because they don’t find a host for their next feeding." Continue reading to learn more here.

Learn more about how to avoid and control ticks, here. But remember, that any pesticide will also kill the good and beneficial bugs: lightening bugs, ladybugs and so much more, including ground nesting bees that will pollinate flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Ticks are the most important vectors of disease in domestic and wild animals throughout the world and are second only to mosquitoes as transmitters of human disease... This guide provides general information about ticks, tick-borne diseases and tick management practices for important biting ticks in Missouri. Click here to read more.

Fruit Cultivars for Home Planting


Out shopping for fruit trees? You might want to spend a little extra money and get a grafted tree to get a faster harvest. A tree grown from seed takes about 8-10 years to produce fruit. Grafted trees take about 2-3 years to fruit. Suggested for Missouri: Apples, Pears, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Cherries.

We live in zone 6 for the southern region of Missouri. Be sure to check the zone you are in to get the right hardiness of trees and other plants by zip code for your region.

To read more of the article.

To know when to spray. (PDF)

Insect borers of fruit trees. (PDF)

Fruit production booklet. (PDF)

Training and pruning fruit trees. (PDF)

PDFs are available for download. 

Learn to Grow in the Garden

These are FREE!

Monday, June 20 at 5:45

Meet in the lobby of the Botanical Center

2400 S. Scenic

Springfield MO 65807

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. The third Wednesday of each 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 May 2022

The Garden Spade Newsletter May 2022 Issue is online. Articles include: Annual Bluegrass + Viburnums + Gypsum Facts & Fiction + Edible Flowers + Recipe: Roasted Radishes +Lavender Research Update by Kelly McGowan + Plants that Changed History: Indigo + Kids Ask Dr. Bug + Garden Calendar + Upcoming Events & More

Click here to read the newsletter. It is downloadable.

Deer Gardening?


Yes, deer like your flowers and hostess. But there are ways to help prevent them from eating all of your hard work.

Check out these links:

Deer Gardening;

MO Botanical Garden advice on keeping deer out of your garden;

And Deer Resistant Plants.

Stink Bugs and Squash Bugs

View of squash bug.jpg

Your garden is coming along just fine and then you remembered the dreaded stink bug and the squash bugs! 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.

Researched Based Garden Links

'How To Get Rid of Pest Ants – An Integrated Pest Management Guide' by Cooperative Extension / USDA: With nearly 1,000 species of ants found in the United States, only a handful of ant species are considered a significant pest species. Ants play an important role in our landscape; they decompose organic waste, eat dead and dying animals and insects, and aerate the soil. Most ant species in the landscape do not interfere with human structures and do not bite. Learn more here.

Rose and pear slugs (sawflies) Rose slug, a sawfly larva (Hymenoptera) - Integrated Pest Management Strategies by Missouri Botanical Garden: on underside of rose (Rosa) leaf Rose and pear slugs are actually two different insects with many similarities. Neither is a true slug. They are both the larval stage of flying insects known as sawflies. Learn more here.

'Squirrels - Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Three squirrel species are commonly identified as living in Missouri and surrounding areas: the fox squirrel, Sciurus niger, the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, and the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans. Unfortunately, very little can be done to control squirrels, especially in areas where oak and nut trees provide a fairly predictable source of food. However, read on to learn more here.

Groundhog aka Woodchuck (Marmota monax) / Control: This common Missouri rodent has short, powerful legs and a medium-long, bushy, and somewhat flattened tail. The long, coarse fur of the back is a grizzled grayish brown with a yellowish or reddish cast. Woodchucks weigh least in spring when they are just out of hibernation and most in fall prior to hibernation. When alarmed or suddenly disturbed, they can give a loud, shrill whistle. Continue here. Learn more about their control here.

'Managing Raccoon Problems in Missouri' by Robert A. Pierce, MU Extension Fish and Wildlife Specialist School of Natural Resources: Most towns and cities in Missouri have raccoons living within city limits. Because raccoons are active at night (nocturnal), they are seldom seen. Of all the wild animals that have adapted to city life, raccoons probably have the potential to be the most destructive. Raccoons cause problems when they lose their fear of humans and move into urban areas to live. Learn more here.

'Bee Swarm Season is Here' | Missouri State Beekeepers Association | It's that time of the year, you might start hearing about, seeing pictures of bee swarms or encounter one yourself. Don't panic, bees that are swarming typically have more important things to worry about than you, like finding a new home. As long as they are not threatened, they will generally remain docile. Contact anyone you know who is experienced with safely removing bees that will ensure they have a good home to move to. DO NOT CALL AN EXTERMINATOR! If necessary, contact the Missouri State Beekeepers Association, here.

June's Tips and Tasks

June Gardening Tips by MU Extension Staff


When are Strawberries in Season; How too Tell a Ripe Strawberry

9 Delicious Herbs You Can Grow in Water Indoors

What to do With Bulbs After They Bloom? (youtube)

5 Summer Flowers You Will Hardly Ever Have to Water

5 Container Gardens to Make a Bold Statement

How to Plant a Beautiful Container Garden in 6 Easy Steps

The 15 Most Underused Perennials You Should Add to Your Garden

The Best Times for Pruning Trees, Shrubs, and Other Plants in Your Garden

From Binge-Watching to Birdwatching

Munch a Bunch of Edible Flowers

Gladiolus aka Glads: As American as Apple Pie

Poppy: A remembrance of fallen heroes

Year of the Verbena

The Quest for More Flavorful Tomatoes

Growing Home Garden Tomatoes

Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Dogwood: Nature's Little Showoff

Roses: Care After Planting

The American Iris Society

Diagnosing Holes in the Yard

Improving Lawn and Landscape Soils

Cranefly - Not a Mosquito (a pollinator)


Climbing Vines are Tree Killers

Selecting a Good Topsoil for Lawns and Gardens

Be Bear Aware

Increasing Beneficial Insects in Row Crops and Gardens

Disease Prevention in Home Vegetable Gardens

Tips for Organic Site Preparation Before You Plant

Plan Your Vegetable and Fruit Garden with Preserving in Mind

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

Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook!

Thank you!!



Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri


Join our Mailing List
Forward to a Friend
MG logo no MGGC.jpg