An Important Update On Your Tulsa Master Gardeners
During these unprecedented and challenging times, your Tulsa Master Gardeners have joined others around our community in taking appropriate actions to protect both ourselves and the public from this pandemic. To keep you abreast of our status, the following is a summary of our actions taken to date:

  • The OSU Tulsa County Extension Office is closed to all visitors and business at least through April 30th.  No Master Gardeners will be at the office, either inside or outside in the gardens.
  • All Master Gardener events (Community Events, Speakers Bureau, School Program, Senior Living, Garden Tour, etc.) are suspended until further notice.
  • Soil samples can be left at the front door of the OSU Extension Office and an Extension representative will pick them up and get the samples shipped to OSU for processing.  The results will be returned to you via either e-mail or regular mail.
  • While walk-ins to our Diagnostic Center are not available at this time, hotline voice messages are picked up periodically and will be responded to as quickly as possible.
  • MG e-mail traffic is being monitored remotely and will be responded to as quickly as possible.
  • The MG Facebook site is still live and active.

Spring Gardening Tips

 April 2020 / Volume 157
April Horticultural / Garden Tips
Learn about what you should be doing in the month of APRIL.  A selection of garden tips (Fruit & Nut, Tree & Shrub, Flowers, Vegetables, Lawn and General Landscaping) can be found by clicking GARDEN TIPS.
For Fruit Tree owners, a couple of handy OSU Fact Sheets on fertilization and maintenance are:

HLA-6259 (Small Fruit Fertilization and Maintenance Schedule)
EPP-7641 (Common Diseases of Stone Fruit Trees & Their Control)
Tulsa Master Gardeners
Video Podcasts

The core mission of the Tulsa Master Gardeners is to provide OSU Extension research-based horticultural information to the local home gardeners and the community.  Given that, we try to reach as many folks as possible through multiple media platforms such as TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, and this e-newsletter. And, as a part of our social media push, we can also be found on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. To supplement all of these effective ways to communicate, we have now added a new feature - Video Podcasts.  It is called Garden Talk and we invite  you to check it out.

In each episode we talk about a current pest problem, highlight a plant of interest, discuss what we should be doing right now in our lawns and gardens, and answer your questions.

For the latest podcasts, click on:
Master Gardener Podcast 012
Master Gardener Podcast 012
Master Gardener Podcast 013
Master Gardener Podcast 013

Gardening With Kids

During these challenging times with "stay at home" proclamations, what a great time to get your kids and/or grand kids involved in gardening, particularly vegetable gardening. Children are naturally inquisitive and generally ready and willing to get outside to get their hands dirty with adults by planting, watering, and watching their efforts sprout out of the ground.

Most seeds in seed packets that are less than one year old are likely still viable and can be easily planted.  Some of the more common plants that are easy to grow fast include: sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, and radishes.

Enjoy this special time outside with the kidos!
 A Veggie Planting Summary

Later In The Month (After Last Frost/Freeze) . . .
    • Beans (Pole, Green, Wax, Lima)
    • Corn, Sweet
    • Eggplant
    • Okra
    • Peas
    • Pepper
    • Pumpkin
    • Tomatoes
Wait A  Bit For . . .
    • Cantaloupe
    • Cucumber
    • Eggplant
    • Potato, Sweet
    • Squash, Summer
    • Watermelon
Almost Getting T oo Late For  . . .
    • Lettuce
    • Radishes
    • Onions
Q&A: Tomatoes

 When should I plant my tomato plants in the garden?  

Plant tomatoes after the average last frost date, which for us is generally mid-April. Cover them for any late cold spells. Mulching is beneficial, but don't add it until the soil warms to allow the soil to warm at its own rate. 

These vegetables need full sun and perform best in a garden bed that has been prepared by tilling in large amounts of well-rotted compost.

Be sure to remove all trash from last year's crop, which may contain insects and disease. Vegetables should be planted in an area convenient for watering and daily inspections. Consider staggering plantings to lengthen the production time of crops. 

When selecting varieties to plant, always consider ones that are resistant to common insects and disease.  There are many from which to choose. 

For much more information, click on OSU Fact Sheet about  TOMATOES.
April Short Story:
Transitioning Indoor Plants To Outdoors

It's easy to get sidetracked this time of year by the explosion of activity in the landscape, but don't lose sight of the similar happenings with indoor plants. Most of the tropical plants that you grow indoors will benefit from the longer days and increased light levels available during the warmer months. 

Once nighttime temperatures reach 55 degrees or above consistently, it is safe to begin moving your plants outdoors. You will want to start them out in well-shaded areas before gradually increasing the sun exposure to light or dappled shade. It is easy to burn tender leaves by over-exposing your plants. Covered patios and porches and under tree canopies are all good choices for placement. It's also advisable to have a convenient water source available.

This is also a great time to re-pot any houseplants that have become root bound or have overgrown their current pot. This is much easier done with a recently watered plant so try watering in the morning and re-pot after lunch.
Crapemyrtles: Pruning

No summer would be the same without the prolific blooms, colorful fall foliage and distinctive  bark of the crapemyrtle. This well-loved ornamental shrub / small tree graces  country, suburban and urban landscapes throughout Oklahoma.  But all too often, these beautiful specimens are severely cut back, their canopies hacked and  disfigured down to knobby stubs due to either ignorance or false information. Unfortunately,
incorrect pruning negatively affects not just the shape, but the overall health of the tree and this
kind of pruning causes large wounds causing disease and insect susceptibility. The subsequent
spindly growth bends under the weight of the flower heads and struggles to form strong
branches in the course of a season, after which, it will likely be poorly pruned again.

Click on CRAPEMYRTLES to read and learn about proper pruning techniques - why, when, and how.
Crapemyrtles: Crapemyrtle Bark Scale (CMBS)
The crapemyrtle has been a longtime favorite ornamental shrub of homeowners as it blooms profusely throughout our very hot summers. The fall color and bark add interest to our fall and winter landscapes. However, they are highly susceptible to a scale originating from Asia called crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS), which diminishes the appearance of these wonderful shrubs.  This disease is commonly seen around the Tulsa area.

For more information  on this disease and some additional references, click on CMBS.
Planting and Maintaining Bare Root Roses

Bare root roses (i.e. plants sold without soil around their roots) are a cinch to plant and grow.  Procure them early, prepare them for planting, plant properly, then fertilize, water and mulch, and bingo.........BLOOMS!
Now is the time to plant your bare-rooted roses.  For more info on how to do this properly, click on BRR (bare root roses).
Plant / Crop Rotation: Why It's So Important

{An Example}
It is time to prepare the backyard garden for warm weather plants and seeds. Have you considered a crop rotation plan? Crop rotation is a cultural practice of growing different (dissimilar) crops in succession in the same spot to improve crop productivity. Crop rotation deters pathogens and diseases in the soil from previously planted plants. It's an age-old plan that decreases pests in the site while increasing essential nutrients by rotating plants with different nutrient needs. 

For more information on this invaluable gardening practice, click on ROTATION and get smarter and more productive about gardening!
Got Weeds?

Is the lawn taking over your tomato patch? 
Does your garden have areas that lose soil every time we get a big rain? 
Does your flowerbed dry out really fast? 
Need to warm the soil to get those seeds sprouting? 
Looking for an environmentally friendly (and easy) way to add organic matter and nutrients to your soil? 

If your answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then mulch is for you! Many materials are available for mulching. What's the best kind to use? That depends on the season, your goals and how much you want to spend.
For answers to your mulching questions and to become more weed free in the garden, click on  MULCHING.
Pest e-Alert: Cutworms
Springtime is here after a long winter of waiting. This is time to prepare the summer backyard vegetable garden and a very popular warm weather backyard vegetable is the tomato. It is also popular with army cutworms that come out of dormancy about the same time. The hungry larvae come out and chew down the young tender tomato plant at its base, destroying the plant soon after transplanting. Cutworms may also damage corn, cabbage, and asparagus plants.
For more information on the annual life cycle of this pest along with preventative measures you can take, click on  CUTWORMS.

The Tulsa Master Gardener Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization.  As such, it receives no city, state or federal funding for its Tulsa community outreach programs. In fact, the Tulsa's Master Gardener programs are self-funded by its own fundraisers, from member donations, and from public donations.

The main Tulsa Master Gardener fundraiser is its Annual Spring Plant Sale that is held each April.  Other fundraisers include the Garden Tour and Garage Sale in June.  And, one of the most important income sources that sometimes gets overlooked are the personal and corporate donations.  These are so important in helping us to meet our financial obligations and we want you to know they are very much appreciated. 

MG Endowment Fund
The Tulsa Master Gardeners have been around for over three decades, since 1983.  And, we plan to be around for many more decades. Furthermore,  we are considered one of the top five Master Gardener county programs in the entire nation. We are because of the size of our Foundation membership, the number, diversity and activity level of our various community outreach programs, and our overall financial strength!  
So, we are pleased to announce, in partnership with the Tulsa Community Foundation, the Master Gardener Foundation has established an Endowment Fund to ensure our long-term financial strength. Our plans are to build this fund for many years before making any withdrawals from it. Please consider us as you make your annual gift giving as well as longer-term estate planning decisions. Remember, all donations are fully tax deductible! 
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund the long-term success of the program, click on   TULSA MASTER GARDENER ENDOWMENT FUND.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund our annual expenses, click on  TULSA MASTER GARDENER AGENCY FUND.
We thank all of you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation!  Proud to be a part of the Tulsa area - such a giving community!  

Got a Question? Or Maybe a Soil or Plant Sample?
MG logo
Our Master Gardeners are on hand to assist you with even the toughest gardening questions. Visit us in person, by phone, via email or online! Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 4116 East 15th Street (Gate 6 at the Fairgrounds)
Phone: (918) 746-3701

Need More Information?
law n fertilizer
complex leaves
All about butterfly gardening in Tulsa County.

How to Take a Soil Test
How to collect a good sample of soil from your lawn or garden and get it tested at the OSU lab.

Once you have collected your soil test and gotten the results back, now what? Find out here. 

Show and tell.
Cool Season Lawn Care (Fescue)
12-month maintenance calendar.
State horticulturists, nurseries and growers pick favorite plants, shrubs and trees for use in the Oklahoma landscape. See the winners for this year and years past.

A list of recommended trees with descriptions. 

A list of over 60, by size and color.

Visit our demonstration garden on  15th Street, open 7 days a week. 

Current and historical source of rainfall, air temperatures, soil temps and much more. Click on Bixby station.  

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