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Master Gardeners of Greene County

September 2022

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Table of Contents for September's Newsletter

Classes and Movies at the Library

Natives Best for Hummingbirds

Wasps as Important Pollinators

Learn to Grow in the Garden

Food Preservation Online Classes

Garden Hour with MU Extension

The Garden Spade - August

Stink Bugs, Squash Bugs and Blister Beetles

It's Time to Divide Iris

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

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Classes and Movies at the Library

'Fall Gardens: Making the Most of Your Bounty' Free Classes & Events

Sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Library District

You worked hard coaxing that garden through spring rains and summer heat. Now it’s time to serve up your harvest of herbs, fruits and veggies with these helpful how-tos. Save these six dates:

1. Seeding a Healthy Life: Fruits and Veggies for the Holidays

Saturday, September 17, 1-3 p.m. in the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E Central St, upstairs meeting room.

Healthy eating and gardening go hand-in-hand. Plant the seed for healthy food and lifestyle choices during this presentation by Sherri Hull, nutrition educator with the Greene County MU Extension Office. It’s important to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, including holidays! Learn how to make tasty, healthy holiday fare and the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies for your daily diet. We'll also talk about composting and decomposition. Fresh produce samples provided by Springfield Community Gardens. A Seeding a Healthy Life event. Registration starts September 3; call 417-862-0135.

2. Preserve Fresh Herbs for Winter

Thursday, September 22, 6 p.m. in the Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expy., Santa Fe Room.

Find ideas and inspiration for preserving your fresh herbs before winter puts them to sleep. A Seeding a Healthy Life event.

3. Plant Swap

Saturday, October 1, 2-4 p.m. in the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E. Central St., upstairs meeting room.

Grow your jungle! Bring one or more of your own houseplants, succulents, cactus plants, cuttings or garden seedlings to swap with your neighbors. Remember to bring small containers or jars to carry your new plant pups home.

4. What's Popping in the Heirloom Seed Garden

Saturday, October 15, 1-3 p.m. for families with children of all ages in the Midtown Carnegie Branch, 397 E. Central St., upstairs meeting room.

It's a popcorn party! Enjoy delicious easy-to-make popcorn recipes while Springfield Community Gardens shares information on how to grow beautiful Glass Gem popcorn. A Seeding a Healthy Life event.

5. "The Biggest Little Farm"

Sunday, November 6, 6-8 p.m. at the Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Ave. #101.

Watch the critically acclaimed documentary, “The Biggest Little Farm” rated PG. The film follows a married couple on their journey to purchase and revitalize an abandoned farm as they leave behind their old lives in Los Angeles. Get inspired as the couple reconnects to nature and strives to create a fully functioning farm. A Seeding a Healthy Life event.

6. How to Save Seeds from Your Wildflowers

Thursday, November 10, 6 p.m. in the Library Station, 2535 N. Kansas Expy., Santa Fe Room.

Wildflowers and native plants can serve as a great introduction to seed saving. Learn some seed saving basics and take a close look at a few specific plants. A #PlantWildflowers event.

For more information contact Kathleen O'Dell, Community Relations Director, Springfield-Greene County Library District, email: kathleeno@thelibrary.org or (417) 616-0564.

Acknowledgements: Seeding a Healthy Life is provided in partnership with the Library’s Heirloom Seed Library, the MU Extension - Greene County office and Springfield Community Gardens. The 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. #PlantWildflowers programs are funded by the Tangled Bank Studios/PBS Nature #PlantWildflowers initiative.

Learn to Grow in the Garden

These classes are FREE!

Monday, September 19 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 unique Winter Garden. Class will start in the lobby of the Springfield Botanical Center Save the date.

The below links are not live.

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Food Preservation

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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 August 2022

'The Garden Spade Newsletter August 2022 Issue Now Online' Articles Include: Time to Transplant Iris + Boom or Bust! Rainfall in Missouri + Mitigation of Herbicide Injury with Windbreaks + Pollinator Cost Share + Gray-headed Coneflower + Cucumber & Recipe + Plants that Changed History + Pineapple + What is It? + Kids Ask Dr. Bug + Garden Tips + Upcoming Events & Flyers.

Click here to read the newsletter. It is downloadable.

Stink Bugs, Squash Bugs and Blister Beetles

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** Editor's note: I am repeating this again, as we are still getting lots of questions on them. Be on the look out for them and their eggs. Feel free to hit reply and I will try to answer any questions you might have about them.

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.

It's Time to Divide Iris

Divide now for a beautiful spring display. Most of the year, irises grow easily. 

Rarely do they need attention to thrive. But gardeners should give the carefree beauty their undivided attention in August.

By dividing and replanting clumps that have grown too large, gardeners can increase spring displays of the bearded beauty. Learn more here.

Researched Based Gardening Links

Commercial Horticulture Newsletter by MU Extension Aug. 26, 2022: Topics- Growing Mushrooms on Logs + Pumpkin Insects + Nitrogen Fixing Cover Crops +Tank Washing Veggies + Chinese Chestnut Production in MO! + MO Tomato School Recordings + Upcoming Class Offerings + Much More Here.

Horticulture Newsletter by MU Extension Aug 12, 2022 Topics: Specialty Crop Business Management Webinar 4 Session Series + Urban Ag. Matching Grant + FAQ's on Flooded Produce + Trap Cropping in Summer Squash + Upcoming Class Offerings & More! Details Here.

'Phlox bugs' - Integrated Pest Management Strategies by Missouri Botanical Garden: The phlox plant bug, Lopidea davisi, is an eye catching true bug. It is reddish orange and black. It is a piercing sucking insect with a long proboscis. It feeds mainly on phlox and can cause serious damage to phlox. Learn more here.

Black walnut - This nut could have a real impact on the Midwestern economy, especially in a state like Missouri, which is the leading producer of black walnuts in the world. Learn more about black walnuts in Missouri from the Missouri Dept. of Conservation.

'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.

'Preventing and Controlling Damage Caused by Cottontail Rabbits' Robert A. Pierce II, Fish and Wildlife State Specialist, MU School of Natural Resources: Rabbits are opportunistic feeders that will eat readily available plants during spring and summer. Read on to learn more here.

A common problem! 'Opossums and Gardening: A Few Things to Know' by Roger Di Silvestro for National Wildlife Federation Blog, Updated Aug 20, 2019: The opossum is one of the most frequently encountered U.S. wildlife species, showing up in... cities and suburbs—and in backyard gardens, where it may play some important roles in controlling garden pests and even in limiting ticks. Learn more about 'Opossums and Gardening' 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. Lear more here.

'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. 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.

'Identify Butterflies' by Gardens With Wings: Butterfly identification can be tricky. On this page we’ll help you identify butterflies you may see in your garden or in the field by their shape, wingspan, upperside (opened) and underside (closed) wing color, common name, and family name. What Butterflies Can I Attract to My Garden? "Enter Your Zip Code" here.

'Raccoons - Integrated Pest Management' by Missouri Botanical Garden: The raccoon, Procyon lotor, is a stocky nocturnal mammal distinctly marked with a prominent black ‘mask’ over the eyes and a heavily furred, ringed tail. They are omnivorous and eat a variety of foods... Raccoons may cause severe damage and be quite a nuisance. Learn more here.

'What is Corn Smut & Disease Management?' Good question, this information should help you. 'Common smut on corn' by Dean Malvick, pathologist for UMN Extension: Common smut is common in most places where corn is grown, but does not usually cause significant economic losses. Learn more including disease management here.

'Rainscaping Guide' by Missouri Botanical Garden: What Is Rainscaping? Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Click here to explore the range of rainscaping possibilities.

'Tomato hornworms in home gardens' by UMN Extension including: What are the parasites of tomato hornworms? Tomato hornworms are also parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp, Cotesia congregatus. Larvae hatching from wasp eggs are laid on the hornworm. The wasp larvae feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons look like white rice protruding from the hornworm's body. Learn more about hornworms here.

POLYPHEMUS MOTH (Antheraea polyphemus) by MDC: The polyphemus is the second-largest Missouri moth. It was named after Homer's giant one-eyed monster in The Odyssey because of the big eyespot on each hindwing. Learn more here.

'Supersized moth looks like a hummingbird' by Linda Geist for MU Extension July 25, 2022: The hummingbird moth is the Superman of the summer flower garden. This supersized hoverer is a fascinating and perplexing pollinator, says MU Extension horticulturist and entomologist Tamra Reall. With a span of 2-6 inches, the moth looks like a miniature hummingbird Read more here.

'Solitary Bees and Wasps' by Chris Helzer for The Prairie Ecologist Photos of the Week July 31, 2022: Most of North America’s bee and wasp species are solitary, as opposed to colonial. That means that instead of being part of a cooperative group of workers supporting a queen, single female bees and wasps act on their own. Learn more with text and photo gallery here.

'Meet the Appalachian Apple Hunter Who Rescued 1,000 ‘Lost’ Varieties' by Eric J. Wallace for Gastro Obscura June 3, 2021: Tom Brown’s retirement hobby is a godsend for chefs, conservationists, and cider. becoming the world's most accomplished heirloom apple-hunter brought a steep learning curve. At farmers markets and other events, Brown displays a variety of apples to incite pomaceous (of or relating to apples) conversations. Learn more here.

VIDEO: 'Going wild over wildflowers' by Mo Rocca for CBS Sunday Morning July 31, 2022: For many people Crested Butte, Colorado is a winter wonderland, but during the summers, there's another spectacular site that has people heading for the hills: wonderous wildflowers. The blooms are so celebrated here, there's even an annual festival. Mo Rocca visits this former mining town to learn why it's the "wildflower capital" of Colorado. Watch short YouTube video.

'Chiggers' Revised by Richard M. Houseman MU Division of Plant Sciences: A chigger is the parasitic larval stage of a common mite... Several species of chiggers exist in the U.S., Trombicula alfreddugesi is most commonly encountered. Learn more including the best defense here.

'Mitigation of Herbicide Injury with Windbreaks' by Michele Warmund, MU Plant Science & Technology Aug 1, 2022: Other than growing plants in protective structures or planting crops and cultivars that are less susceptible to herbicide injury, there are few short-term solutions to avoid plant damage when herbicides drift onto your property. Learn more here.

'Home Fruit Production but other readers may also be having peach problems. 'Peach and Nectarine Culture' by Michele Warmund, Fruit State Specialist, MU Division of Plant Sciences: The peach has often been called the Queen of Fruits. Its beauty is surpassed only by its delightful flavor and texture. Peach trees require considerable care, however, and cultivars should be carefully selected. Learn more here.

'Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)' by Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: Member of the grape family, it is a deciduous, woody vine that is commonly called Virginia creeper or woodbine. It is native to eastern and central North America south to Mexico. It occurs statewide in Missouri, typically being located in open areas of ravines, valleys, rich woods, thickets, rocky bluffs, hillsides and fencerows. Learn more here.

'How to get rid of moles in your yard' by UMN Extension: Most experts agree that trapping is the most effective way to control moles in a garden. Although trapping moles is not difficult, it does require a general understanding of the mole's tunnel system and learning how to use the right trap effectively. Learn more here.

'Plants respond to heat differently than humans' by Linda Geist for MU Extension July 27, 2022: Extreme heat affects plants differently than humans. With triple-digit temperatures this summer, grain crop growers should understand how heat affects plants, says MU Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold. Read more here.

'How to help your trees recover from drought' by Hank Stelzer, MU Extension state forestry specialist Aug. 2, 2022: Dry soil conditions can significantly reduce the life span of valuable landscape trees. Because they are difficult and expensive to replace, your trees need attention during and after periods of drought. Read more here.

'Drought Injury to Landscape Plants' by David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Technology Aug 8, 2022: The blistering temperatures over the past several weeks have added to the peril of landscape plants. The immediate effects of drought on smaller plants are evident as they yellow and die. Plants with a more extensive root system normally show less immediate symptoms even though damage still is occurring. Learn more here.

'Managing Lawns and Turfgrass | MU Extension by Brad Fresenburg and Lee Miller MU Division of Plant Sciences. It takes some time and effort to develop a lawn with the right mixture of turfgrass species and varieties for your landscape and situation. Learn more here.

Hearts of Gold Redbud! With the "touch of golden color" in the leaves, it's stunning even in the summer heat. Learn more about the Hearts of Gold (Cercis canadensis) cultivar from MoBot Plant Finder.

'Hobby Greenhouses' by Univ of GA Extension Topics Include: Introduction; Types of Greenhouses; Locating Your Greenhouse; Designing Your Greenhouse; Types of Frames; Beds for Growing Small Plants; Greenhouse Heating; Greenhouse Ventilation and Cooling; Other Greenhouse Necessities; Plans; References. Continue reading here.

'Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata)' by Missouri Dept of Conservation Field Guide: A Missouri Native, the handsome violet-blue flower spikes of pickerel weed stand out vividly at the edges of ponds. One of our few blue-flowering pond plants, pickerel weed is easy to identify just by its color and habitat. Learn more here.

'Discovering Bacterial Wetwood' by Scott A Sjolander, Penn State Extension Educator, Urban and Community Forestry Aug 11, 2022; Also called slime flux, this disease affects several species of trees. It's a disease commonly affecting the central core and bark of shade and ornamental trees. Example photo below: Light colored streaking on elm bark created by bacteria oozing from the interior of the tree. Find out more here.

'Insects & Pollinators' by USDA NRCS: Learn more - Pollinators by Numbers + How Animal Pollination Works + Pollinators Are in Trouble + How Farmers & Gardeners Can Help Pollinators. Learn more here.

POISON IVY (Toxicodendron radicans) by MDC -- It's one of nature's most irritating plants. Learning how to identify it is one of the best ways to avoid coming into contact with it in this video. For more information review the MDC Field Guide here.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) by Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: Commonly known as pokeweed, common poke or scoke, is a vigorous, herbaceous perennial that typically grows to 4-10’ tall with a spread to 3-5’ wide. NOTE: pokeweed is generally considered to be an invasive weed in many areas. Moreover, all parts of this plant (mature leaves, fruits and roots) are poisonous to humans, with the only exception being... Continue reading here.

'American Chestnut DNA Analysis Confirms Rare Tree at Coverdale Farm Preserve' by Ian Stewart, Joe Sebastiani and Matt Bailey for Delaware Nature Society Nov 1, 2019: Bill McAvoy, the state botanist. Bill confirmed that it was indeed a healthy American chestnut (Castanea dentata)! ... Based on its diameter, he estimated it to be at least 50 years old. Read on here.

'FROST FLOWERS' by MDC: Missouri plants known to produce frost flowers include dittany (Cunila origanoides), stinkweed (Pluchea camphorata, not widespread in MO), and white crownbeard (Verbesina virginica). Scientists don’t know what it is about these species that allow them to produce frost flowers. What exactly are frost flowers? Learn more here.

'Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)' by MDC Field Guide | Other Common Names: Black and Yellow Argiope; Garden Orbweaver; Writing Spider; Corn Spider; Zipper Spider. The black-and-yellow garden spider is commonly found near houses and in gardens. A "garden friend" these harmless spiders are excellent creatures for children and adults to watch. Learn more here.

'Of Mopheads and Lace-Caps: The Colorful World of Hydrangeas' by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Technology Aug 23, 2022: Those billowy white orbs seen on flowering shrubs this time of the year are not puffs of cotton candy. Instead, they are the flowering structures of Hydrangea paniculata, which is one of a number of hydrangea species that do well in Missouri. Learn more.

September's Tips and Tasks

September Gardening Tips by MU Extension Staff

19 of the Best Trees and Shrubs to Add Fall Color

8 Fall-Blooming Perennials That Keep the Show Going Until Winter

How to Deadhead Your Flowering Plants So They'll Keep on Blooming as Long as Possible

25 Plants and Trees for Winning Fall Color

When to Plant and How to Grow Bee Balm

We live in Zone 6

How to Kill Crabgrass

25 Raised Garden Bed Ideas

7 DIY Raised Garden Bed Ideas

Tips for a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

How to Fill Your Raised Garden Bed

Your End-of-Summer Garden To-Do List

The Best Time to Water Your Garden Through the Seasons

How to Improve Soil in an Established Plant Bed

And get a soil test every few years, as some compost doesn't contain the proper nutrients.

How to Start New Plants from Cuttings to Boost Your Garden for Free

The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Landscape Maintenance

Extend the Growing Season for your Garden

National Gardening Association's Weekly Newsletter

How to Plant and Grow Milkweed

Growing Garlic From The Grocery Store

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:


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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.

Donating to MU Extension

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

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