JUNE 2022 / VOLUME 183
If interested in knowing how to become a Tulsa Master Gardener, click on the picture below to register to receive an orientation meeting e-mail reminder.

Be sure to mark your calendar.

More info forthcoming in July & August newsletters.

A variety of topics (General Landscape, Turfgrass, Fruit & Nut, Trees & Shrubs, and Flowers) are highlighted this month. So, learn about what you should be doing in the month of JUNE by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.

Is there mystery in a compost pile? To find the answers one might consult the FBI. But, not the one in Washington, D.C! In composting FBI stands for: Fungi, Bacteria, Invertebrates. The COMPOST CONNECTION started a three part FBI series last year in June, 2021. The first installment addressed "F for Fungi" and its important function in a healthy compost environment. July and August was a continuation of the series with "B for Bacteria" and "I for Invertebrates", respectively. The COMPOST CONNECTION will once again cover the FBI in composting this month plus the next two months.
When a compost bin has been constructed and ingredients assembled, compost begins its process of turning those food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, into the finished product. Fungi is an essential part of a healthy compost pile. If you see MOLD in a compost pile, Fungi is behind the scenes doing its job.

Woodchips and leaves are a good source of Fungi in a compost pile or bin. Fungi aids in decomposition and provides nitrogen to compost and soil. This is called Mycorrhizal fungi and occurs naturally in healthy soil. In soil this fungi also provides plants with phosphorus, copper, potassium, along with other minerals. The plants, in turn, provide carbon in the form of sugars from photosynthesis from the sun.
Want to learn more about Mycorrhizal fungi and the many benefits it brings to the compost pile and ultimately to the garden? If so, click on FUNGI1 for an article from Compost Magazine on the subject and click on FUNGI2 for a YouTube video on the subject. Finally, click on MYCELIUM to learn about the importance of mycelium fungi in the decomposition process.

The second installment next month will cover how "B" (Bacteria) of the FBI plays a role in the production of compost. 

It's that time of year when we start to get serious about digging in the soil. But not all soil is easy to dig, particularly if tree or shrub roots are involved. If you're transplanting, you will want to be careful about preserving all of the root system you can. If you are not concerned about such and just want to get the job done, consider the Root Slayer as many Master Gardener's do.

This shovel have a V-shaped tip to easily rip through roots. It's serrated edges are designed to cut through roots with less stress on your hands and wrist. The tip is made of durable powder-coated steel and will take on most any task, except for prying. It comes with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty.

It's roughly 45" in length - just right for the height of the average person. It's lightweight and gets high marks for its sturdiness and ergonomics.

While we don't specially support any particular tool brand or retail outlet, various versions of this heavy-duty tool can be found at Gardeners Supply Company and Amazon for $45 - $75.
Most gardeners know about the color wheel as it applies to choosing beautiful and interesting colors for your landscape. But, we thought it might be helpful to provide some key points about how to use it to your advantage.

  • There are the 12 colors that typically appear on a color wheel.
  • The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.
  • The secondary colors are green, orange, and purple.
  • The tertiary colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green.
  • Cool colors include green, blue, and purple hues
  • Warm colors include yellow, orange, and red hues
  • Analogous colors are hues located near each other on the color wheel. These provide a soothing and gentle contrast.
  • Complementary colors are hues located directly across from one another on the color wheel - yellows and purples, blues and oranges, greens and reds. These really "pop" when combined together.

Ok, we shouldn't be all serious and all business-like all the time, so here's some fun facts:

  • The color wheel was invented by Sir Isaac Newton
  • Men and women see the color red differently
  • Pink soothes the nerves and is often used for anger management
  • Blue is the most common favorite color worldwide
  • Some people have a phobia of color
  • Yellow and red together make you hungry
  • Red is the first color a baby sees
  • Color has a big impact on a first impression
  • People are more likely to forget something when it’s in black and white

And last but not nearly the least . . . wearing black makes you appear more powerful.

See, now wasn't that fun?!


About this time every year we get hit with the onslaught of bagworms and white grub worms / Japanese beetles. They start about the end of May (which means they are already here) and will be conducting their dining escapades on lawns, plants, and trees through mid-July.

Bagworms overwinter in small cocoon-like sacks that hang off the branches of trees and shrubs. Although they don't seem very damaging, these little cocoons/sacks can contain from 500 to over 1,000 eggs which hatch in mid-May. Once the eggs have hatched, the larvae will create a cocoon using the leaves and twigs from your plant in order to protect themselves from predators as they feast on their host. A large infestation of bagworms can defoliate or even kill the tree or shrub in very little time so be on the lookout now.

Your best defense against bagworms is an insecticide treatment preformed as soon as the eggs hatch. Sprays such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Spinosad, Malathion, and any of the pyrethroid insecticides are effective, if applied early in the season. Late season infestations, when bagworm caterpillars are larger and more difficult to kill, are best treated with pyrethroid sprays. Once their cocoons are formed, spray treatments are almost totally ineffective. Your options are highly limited - mostly to picking the cocoons off by hand and burning them.
White Grub Worms / Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles begin life in the larvae stage as white grub worms. They are infamous for the lawn damage they create when they feed on the roots of grass. By early July, the grub worm emerges as an adult in the form of the destructive Japanese beetle. Being hungry and in search of a food source, they will feed on ornamental, shade and fruit trees as well as rose bushes, thus causing severe leaf damage. 

If you encounter more than just a few beetles, preventative measures or chemical treatment needs to be employed before severe damage occurs to your bushes and trees. Options:
  • For a solution to the problem that is chemical-free, try applying a basic mixture of one tablespoon of liquid dish soap to one quart of water. The soap in the mix will effectively smother the larvae, killing them before they can make a buffet of your yard.
  • For an organic treatment, consider milky spores. Alternatively, there are several organic biological insecticides on the market that are non-toxic to insects, pollinators, and birds (e.g. GrubOut®).
  • For a chemical-based pesticide remedy, click on OSU Fact Sheet EPP-7306 (Ornamental and Lawn Pest Control for Homeowners.
Maybe you’re the type of gardener who loves spending hours in the garden – tilling it in the spring and weeding and watering it through the rest of the summer. Or, maybe you’re like the other 99% of gardeners who don't like working quite that hard. You have good intentions and start the gardening season with plenty of enthusiasm but, by mid-July, the heat and your hectic schedule have dimmed your passion for pulling weeds. If this scenario sounds more like you, you’ll love Lasagna Gardening.

Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet composting or sheet mulching, is an organic gardening method that results in rich soil with very little effort. This no-till type of garden sits above the ground and, instead of filling it with fresh soil like you would a raised bed, you stack compostable materials like newspaper, cardboard, leaves, and grass clippings. Then, over time, worms and microorganisms decompose the material and turn it into a rich, nutrient-dense soil of its own.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in knowing more about, click on LASAGNA GARDENING

(A rerun from last month)
With the massive amount of rains lately, and now turning hot and humid, everything will start to grow quickly . . . . including diseases. Roses are one of our favorites but they can harbor some diseases that can be tough to manage or control. So, it's best to stay ahead of the issue.

For detailed info on rose diseases and how best to prevent and/or manage them, click on ROSE DISEASES for some prime information.
Not So Good!
(Early Tomato Blight)
Not So Good . . . Again!
Hard to argue that tomatoes are one of our favorite vegetables (ok, they are actually fruits) to grow in Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma gardeners have great success in growing them here but, for most of us, we struggle one way or another . . . sometimes many ways. There are so many things that can go wrong, so we're gonna try to help.

Tomato diseases are generally categorized into three main categories:
  • Fungi
  • Bacteria, Viruses, & Nematodes
  • Non-Infectious Diseases

For this month, we are going to focus on fungi problems (wilts and blights, leaf spot, anthracnose, fruit rot, and soil rot). Click on TOMATO DISEASES: FUNGI to get you started on knowing more about tomato diseases, how to minimize the issues, and how best to deal with them. Then, next month in July, we will focus on Bacteria, Viruses & Nematodes. In August, we will conclude by discussing Non-Infectious Diseases.
Few things are more beautiful than having hummingbirds in your garden. They are nature's acrobats which provide us endless joy and entertainment, whether a child or adult.

There are only a select few species that can be found in Oklahoma. To find out which ones visit us as well as which types of shrubs, vines, groundcovers, and plants that attract them, click on HUMMINGBIRDS. As a bonus, you will also find a listing of interesting facts about them as well as a link to an informative OSU fact sheet.
As this month's theme suggests, it's (past) time to get outside and start gardening and landscaping. For many, that means puttering around in an urban garden bed for which you are familiar. But, for some, it may mean working in a more rural setting, a forest-like environment, or a location for which you are simply unfamiliar.

While poison ivy can grow in most any backyard, it's more likely found "out in the woods". It can come in different colors of green and be found year round. But, it'll always have three leaves. So, for more information on how to identify this pesky plant, preventative measures to take beforehand, as well as remedy tips if you think you've been exposed, click on POISON IVY.

Since 1983, the Tulsa Master Gardeners have been serving the public by offering research-based horticultural information to residents of Tulsa and the surrounding area. 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 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 Tulsa Master Gardener program, click on  
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund the Tulsa Master Gardener program's annual expenses, click on
We thank ALL of you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation! So proud to be a part of the Tulsa area - such a giving community!

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