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Master Gardeners of Greene County

March 2023

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Table of Contents for March's Newsletter

Hotline is Now Open M-F


Planning Your 2023 Garden Part 3

2023 Annual Springfield Orchid Society Show

2023 Home Vegetable Gardening Webinar Series by MU Extension

Blueberries for Beginners Workshop - FREE

Gardener Conference

Author's Corner

Rain Gardens & Rain Barrels Webinar, Article & Video

Plant in Layers

Food Preservation Online Classes

Garden Hour with MU Extension

Newsletters of Interest

Gardening Programs and Reading

Home Gardening Webinar Series Online 2023

Researched Based Garden Links

Missouri Wildlife Information

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

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** 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.

The Master Gardener Hotline is now open from 10-4 Monday thru Friday for all of your gardening questions. See toward the end of newsletter for more information.



Master Gardeners of Greene County & Garden Society annual plant sale!

In the Mizumoto Japanese Garden Pavilion within the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield.

Sale includes house plants, annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, bulbs, grasses, vines, ground covers, shrubs and trees.

Free admission. Prices vary per plant.


Arrive early for best selection!

Master Gardeners accept cash, credit cards or check. 

Other plant and garden groups, also, sell items near the Gray/Campbell Farmstead (some groups may not accept credit cards).

See event link for added details.

Planning Out Your Garden - 2023 - Part 3

'It's that time of the year to finish planning you spring garden: If you are a new or seasoned gardener, the University of Missouri Extension program has valuable information aviable for your review to assist with making the 2023 gardening season productive. Below are some guides you will find helpful. More will follow monthly, or you may do an online search by topic at this MU Extension website here.

'Fruit Cultivars for Home Plantings' Success in growing fruits in home plantings largely depends on the type or cultivar selected... be realistic and discriminating about what fruits to plant... that are well adapted to your site conditions. Learn more here.

'Care of Fruit Trees and Plants Begins at Your Door' by Michele Warmund Fruit State Specialist MU Plant Science & Technology: Here are a few tips that will improve survival and enhance the growth of your fruit trees and small fruit plants here.

'Establishing Fruit and Nut-Bearing Trees and Shrubs in Missouri' by Michele Warmund State Fruit Specialist, MU Division of Plant Sciences: The establishment of fruit or nut-bearing species in the landscape provides a long-term food source that enriches the diet and provides protective cover for wildlife. Learn more here.

'Native Plant Database' by Grow Native! Pick the right native plant for the right place. This searchable database of 300+ plants native to the lower Midwest includes trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, rushes, and wildflowers suitable for landscaping as well as species for creating wildlife habitat, stabilizing streams, and for other ecological purposes. Learn more here.

'Buy native trees and shrubs from Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) State Forest Nursery' Order are still being taken through April 15, 2023. Supplies are limited so order as early as you can. For complete details use this MDC link here. 

'Right Species, Right Place: Considerations Before You Order Tree Seedlings in Missouri' by Hank Stelzer Forestry State Specialist, MU School of Natural Resources: Missouri is part of the great central hardwood forest region and has more than 160 native tree species. Continue reading here.

TWO LINKS: '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.

PLUS: 'How to Start Seeds Indoors Using Egg Cartons' by MS St Extension: Using cardboard egg cartons is a great option because they are biodegradable. Plus, starting your seeds in cardboard egg cartons is easy! Follow the steps here.

TWO LINKS: 'Straw bale gardening offers options for gardeners' by Linda Geist for MU Extension: Overcome poor soil, limited space, and more, continue here.

PLUS: 'Straw Bale Gardening, Step-by-Step' UA Extension Guide here.

'Vegetable Planting Calendar' Both first time gardeners and seasoned professionals can benefit from the 'Vegetable Planting Calendar' available from MU Extension. The guide provides a complete list of planting dates and varieties that do well in Missouri. You may read and obtain a copy of the Vegetable Planting Calendar guide sheet online here.

Make a Note! Connect with the MU Extension County Office in your Missouri location for questions / information or use the search feature on this webpage here.

REVIEW Planning Your Garden 2023 Archives for basic important planning information January, Chapter 1 here AND February, Chapter 2 here.

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 here.

The second is for Hardiness Zones for Missouri counties and cities here.

Missouri Frost/Freeze Probabilities Guide this guide provides frost/freeze probabilities, tables, maps and dates for 103 National Weather Service Cooperative (NWSC) weather stations in Missouri. Learn more here.

2023 Annual Springfield Orchid Society Show

March 18th and 19th

10 am to 4 pm

Admission is free!

The Springfield Orchid Society is a local group of orchid lovers. Members grow orchids on a scale as large as a thousand plants in a climate controlled 2000 sf greenhouse, down to growers who have a few plants that thrive on windowsills throughout their homes.

Our 30th annual public orchid show will be held this year on Saturday, March 18th, and Sunday, March 19th, at the Springfield Greene County Botanical Center at 2400 Scenic Ave in Springfield.

The theme for this year’s show is: 'A Leprechaun’s Orchid Pot Of Gold' in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Questions? Call or email Bob Berger, 417-235-4824, berger2035@gmail.com

2023 Home Vegetable Gardening

Webinar Series by MU Extension

February 2 - March 16, 2023

For a total of 7 weeks, each Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 pm via Zoom.

If you can't make a session each will be recorded so you can catch up.

Cost: $50.

Detail review and registration here.

Feb 2 – Garden planning (recorded)

Feb 9 – Cool season crops (recorded)

Feb 16 – Warm season crops (recorded)

Feb 23 – Soils (recorded)

Mar 2 – Garden diseases

Mar 9 – Garden insects

Mar 16 – Garden weeds

Blueberries for Beginners Workshop - FREE

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

6:00 - 7:00 pm

In the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield. Patrick Byers, Horticulture Field Specialist for MU Extension leads this talk for those wanting to learn how to successfully grow blueberries in Missouri. Mark your Calendar! For more information, click here or call MU Extension 417-881-8909

Gardener Conference

2023 International Master Gardener Conference

June 18 thru June 22, 2023

You don't need to be a Master Gardener to attend! Open to the gardening public. Attend the full conference.

Early-bird registration includes the discounted rate through March 1, 2023. IMGC 2023 is taking place in Overland Park, KS which is in the Kansas City, MO area.

Interested? More information here.


Admiration for ‘Cheaters’ The Prairie Ecologist Jan. 25, 2023: For those not familiar with brown-headed cowbirds and their strategy, the summary is that they basically bypass parental care of their young. Female cowbirds stalk birds of other species and follow them back to their nests. They wait for the adults to leave and then sneak in and lay one of their own eggs in the nest. Learn more with text and photos here.

'Frogs & Toads' The Prairie Ecologist, Photos of the Week Jan. 27, 2023: Today, we celebrate Anurans – amphibians with big hind jumping legs and no tails (as adults). Frogs and toads, in other words. And whatever spadefoots are. Learn more with photos and text here.

'Counting Bees and The Bees That Count' The Prairie Ecologist Feb. 10, 2023: Bees draw a lot of my photographic attention for a couple reasons. First, they are relatively easy to spot, especially when they're on flowers. Second, they're critically important to prairies and a healthy bee community can indicate that other aspects of a prairie are probably also doing well. In addition, they're just fascinating little creatures. Learn more here.

Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels Webinar

Article and Videos

Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels Webinar


Online event by Iowa Master Gardeners. All ages and backgrounds are welcome to attend but participation is limited to the first 500 attendees. Additional details and link to register here.


How to Build A Rain Barrel by Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County A step-by-step guide for building and installing a homemade rain barrel. (Check your rooftop materials before watering your vegetable garden with water collected in a rain barrel.) Learn more, pdf here. 

PLUS Some added information with videos 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: bishm@missouri.edu 

Newsletters of Interest

'The Garden Spade Newsletter' February 2023 by MU Extension Articles include: Rose: A Brief History + Garden Poem + Kale + Fall in Love with Strawberries + History of Plant Catalogs + Tree Boring Insects vs. Sapsucker Damage + What is It? + Kids Ask Dr. Bug + Gardening Tips + Upcoming Events, Flyers & More. Share With a Friend, Subscribe & Read Here.

Horticulture Commercial Newsletter' by MU Extension February Topics: Grow Watermelons for the 4th of July?, Get Certified to Sell Morels, Tomatillo & Ground Cherry Trials, Produce Safety Classes, Upcoming Class Offerings, MO Tomato School Recordings, & Much More Here.

Live. Learn. Grow. MU Extension Natural Resources February Newsletter Topics: Forest Ecology & Mngmt + Wildlife Ecology & Mngmt + Wildlife Notes - What is Happening + Community Forestry - Hiring an Arborist +Naturalist Corner - Forest Pollinators + Budding Naturalists - Xlophobia, or fear of the forest - What's on Webinars + Learn details, join us here.

'Commercial Horticulture Newsletter' MU Extension Feb 24, 2023 Crops, Classes, and Programs Topics: Microgreens Production + Weed Mgmt in Cucurbits + Fruit Grafting & Grafting Workshops + Evaluating Peach Bud Damage from Low Temps + Heroes to Hives Program Signup by 2/28/23 Deadline + Much More Here.

Gardening Programs and Reading - In Person!

March and April Dates

Explore Culture and Sustainability in the Springfield Library's One Read Title, "The Seed Keeper", then Explore culture, food and sustainable practices in these programs inspired by “The Seed Keeper” including Book Discussions + How to Grow a Three Sisters Garden + Farming with Native Plants in the Ozarks + Introduction to Laser Engraving Acrylic Plant Stakes + Much More.

Pick & Choose, Details Here.

Home Gardening Webinar Series Online 2023

Announced by Iowa State University. (Suggested by David Trinklein, MU Extension, State Master Gardener Coordinator Missouri.) The webinars are scheduled for January 3, 2023 thru March 8, 2023.

Additional information for what appears to be a very informative series of 12 classes can be found here.

Researched Based Gardening Links

'In Celebration of Orchids' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Jan 26, 2023: When it comes to adding orchids to your houseplant collection, the familiar adage "the fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all" seems appropriate. While some orchids can be challenging, others are not that difficult to maintain and, certainly, are worth the effort. Learn more here.

'Floriography: When Flowers Talk' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Feb 7, 2023: What is the hidden meaning of flowers? Floriography is the term given when communicating cryptically with flowers through the use of symbolism. Learn more here.

'Cyclamen: Hearts and Flowers' by David Trinklein MU Extension horticulturist David Trinklein Feb 9, 2023: A houseplant that displays both hearts and flowers is cyclamen. Sold in shades of red, pink and white, many of its species bear nearly perfect heart-shaped leaves. NOTE: The tubers of cyclamen contain a very toxic compound when eaten raw... Learn more here.

'Pansy: A flower to welcome spring' by Linda Geist for MU Extension: There is no more popular cool-season flower than the delicately fragranced pansy. Pansies enjoy cool temperatures and sunny days, a combination found in the Midwest only in spring and fall. The pansy should be considered an annual in Missouri. Learn more here.

'Hellebore (Helleborus orientalis) aka Lenten rose' by Missouri Botanical Garden. Learn more here.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) - Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder - Also commonly called shrub althea. It is a vigorous, upright, vase-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically grows 8-12’ tall. It may be trained as a small tree or espalier. Considered invasive in parts of Missouri. Learn more here.

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum L.) Pest Update Kevin Bradley MU Plant Science & Technology: This is an ornamental plant that has escaped cultivation to become a weed in a variety of agricultural settings. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to control with herbicides. Learn more here.

'The Farmers and Gardeners Saving the South’s Signature Green' by Debra Freeman for Gastro Obscura: Nearly-lost collard green varieties are being preserved and propagated across the country. These seed savers are preserving and celebrating the enormous genetic diversity of collard greens. Learn more here.

TWO LINKS: 'Growing Blueberries in Containers' by Vijai Pandian for UWI Extension: With just a little effort, home gardeners can successfully grow blueberries in containers. Learn more here.

PLUS: 'Growing Blueberries in Containers' by UMD Extension: Tips for growing blueberries in containers here.

TWO LINKS: 'Fall for strawberries, the fruit of love' by Michele Warmund MU Extension horticulturist Jan. 30, 2023: "Strawberries are a delectable treat any time of year, but in February they are known as the fruit of love." Learn more here.

PLUS: Learn more about growing strawberries from the MU Extension publication “Home Fruit Production: Strawberry Cultivars and Their Cultures,” which is available for free download here.

'Growing Shiitake Mushrooms in an Agroforestry Practice' by MU Center for Agroforestry has an in-depth guide to mushroom growing. “It focuses on shiitake mushroom cultivation but gives a good overview of the process in general.” Available for free download here.

'Morels in Missouri' by MDC Field Guide: There are at least three species of morels in Missouri. All are hollow-stemmed mushrooms emerging from the ground in the spring, with a somewhat conical cap/head covered with definite pits and ridges, resembling a sponge, pinecone, or honeycomb. In black and yellow morels, the bottom of the head is attached directly to the stem. In half-free morels, the bottom half of the cap hangs free from the stalk. In all cases, the stems of true morels are completely hollow. Look-a-likes: Don’t confuse true morels... Continue reading here.

FOUR LINKS: 'Helping your soil be all it can be' by Debbie Johnson for MU Extension: Read here.

PLUS: Three Related MU Extension publications available for free download: 1) “Improving Lawn and Landscape Soils

2) “Soils, Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Management

3) “Mulches”  

TWO LINKS: 'Weeds adapt to fight back against herbicides' by Linda Geist for MU Extension Jan. 26, 2023: Today’s weeds know how to fight back against long-used herbicides... Officially, Missouri already has 11 different herbicide-resistant weed species. Learn more here.

PLUS: Welcome to Univ. of Missouri's Weed Science homepage here.

FIVE LINKS: 'Rose: A Brief History' From MU Extension read here.

PLUS: 'Roses: Selecting and Planting' read here.

PLUS: 'Roses: Care After Planting' read here.

PLUS: 'Summer Care of Reblooming Roses' read here.

PLUS: 'Winterizing Roses' read here.

THREE LINKS: 'Show-Me Ticks' by Angie Daly Morfeld from Missouri Conservationist February 2023: Though Lyme disease is not common in Missouri, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia diseases are. MDC hopes a recently completed two-year tick study will better inform the public — and the medical community — about ticks and tick-borne illness... Learn more here.

PLUS: Missouri Ticks & Tickborne Disease they carry, open and scroll to read 4 pages 18-21 here.

AND: 'Tickborne Disease' by MO Dept of Health & Senior Services here.

'Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle' by Bruce Barrett and Wayne Bailey MU Dept of Entomology: Throughout much of the country, the multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) has become an unwanted houseguest, especially during the spring and fall months. Learn more including control here.

'Grubs In Lawn - Integrated Pest Management Strategies' by Missouri Botanical Garden: Lawn grubs are the immature form of beetles. They are up to one inch in length, white to grayish with brown heads, and commonly curl into a C shape when disturbed. They feed underground on the roots of grass for one or more years depending upon the species. Continue reading here.

Twig Girdler and Twig Pruner' The twig girdler (Oncideres cingulata) & Twig pruner (Elaphidionoides villosus) by Bruce A. Barrett MU Dept of Entomology: Small branches accumulating on the ground and the presence of clean-cut twigs, and in some cases dangling (flagged) branch tips within a tree, indicate the presence of beetle pests referred to as twig girdlers and twig pruners. Both of these long-horned beetle species (Cerambycidae) attack numerous types of shade, nut and fruit trees. Learn more here.

'What Is Avian Influenza?' By Maggie Berger, Texas A&M AgriLife Feb. 10, 2023: An expert explains how the virus is disrupting the poultry industry and driving up prices at the grocery store. This is the virus that is causing disruptions in the poultry industry, triggering a price increase on eggs and other poultry products... But this time is different, according to Texas A&M AgriLife experts. Read more here.

'Firefly Species at Risk' by Xerces Society: Fireflies are some of our most cherished and celebrated insects. Some of the key threats thought to be affecting firefly populations include habitat loss and degradation, light pollution, pesticide use, and climate change-induced drought. Learn more about this here.

'Leaf Litter: Love It and Leave It' by Doug Tallamy for Homegrown National Park Inc: "When it’s safe to get rid of leaf litter without hurting the insects that have spent the winter within it. An urban legend called the 50 degree rule seems to be very popular these days, but it is just that: an urban legend." Learn the facts here.

'Invasive Plants & Animals' Wild Webcast Online. Join MDC Mar. 22, 2023: MDC invites anyone interested in learning about invasive animal and plant species in Missouri to join live online on Wed, Mar. 22, from noon to 1 p.m. Register free in advance plus learn more details here.

Missouri Wildlife Information

'Attracting Hummingbirds' by MDC: The ruby-throated hummingbird is one of Missouri's most fascinating birds. You can attract these summer visitors by providing food sources for them in your yard or garden. Plants, especially Missouri native plants, should be an important part of your plan to attract hummingbirds. Hang a feeder, build or buy a hummingbird feeder. Learn more here.

'Enhancing White-Tailed Deer Habitats on Your Property: Early Successional Vegetation' by Robert A. Pierce II MU Extension & Emily Flinn MDC PLUS: A list of "Related Publications". Continue to the developed jointly conservation guide(s) here.

'Eagles Flying High' by Larry Archer from Missouri Conservationist February 2023: As the nesting population of eagles continues to grow, Missouri also sees an influx of visitors each winter — migrating eagles in search of food no longer available in the frozen north. Missouri’s abundance of non-frozen waterbodies draws the birds. Learn more here.

'Wildlife Control Guidelines' Published by Missouri Department of Conservation: Wildlife enriches our lives in many ways, but sometimes it can cause property damage or become a nuisance. Fortunately, you can resolve the majority of these conflicts on your property. Browse this section for information on how to deter, exclude, or capture damage-causing wildlife. Continue reading carefully here.

March's Tips and Tasks

Shade Loving Flowers

Easy Azalea Care Youtube Video

10 Pink Flowering Shrubs

Raised Bed Soil Help

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Is Gardening an Antidepressant

10 Q & A About African Violets

Houseplant Propagation Guide

Health Benefits of Houseplants

How to Get Rid of Box Elder Bugs

What are Waterspouts on Trees and How to Get Rid of Them

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:


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.


For more information

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Explore MU's NEW Website for Information on Programs, Events and More

For all your gardening questions,

please call our Hotline: 



The Hotline volunteers are available

10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday

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.

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Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri


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