SUMMER IS IN FULL SWING
JUNE 2021
VOLUME 171
THE OSU EXTENSION OFFICE IS OPEN!
COME SEE US WITH YOUR GARDENING QUESTIONS
The OSU Tulsa County Extension Office is open to the public so feel free to drop by to ask a Master Gardener any questions you may have and/or drop off your soil samples. You will be required to wear a mask while in the office.

Several Tulsa Master Gardener events are back on schedule for 2021:
  • Affair of the Heart (July)
  • School Program (back to the classroom in the fall)
  • Exploring Insects (November)
  • Community Events (various)
  • Tulsa Blooms (Brookside)
  • Habitat for Humanity Landscaping (various)
  • Speakers Bureau (various)
MGs are back in the office answering the phone lines so call us with all your questions.

MG e-mail traffic is being monitored daily from the office phone room and will be responded to as quickly as possible.

The Tulsa Master Gardener Facebook page is still live and active.
June Horticultural
& Garden Tips

Learn about what you should be doing in the month of JUNE. A selection of Garden Tips (Turfgrass, Fruits & Nuts, Trees & Shrubs, Flowers, and General Landscaping) can be found by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.
From Green Country Master Composters
JUNE: MYCORRHIZAE FUNGI

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. Compost Connection will cover the FBI in composting the next three months, June, July, and August. June will cover Fungi; July will cover Bacteria; August will cover Invertebrates. 
   
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.

The next installment, in July, will cover how "B" of the FBI, Bacteria, plays a role in the production of compost. 
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Want to learn more about composting? Here are a few suggestions:

OKLAHOMA'S VENOMOUS SNAKES
Whether religiously or mythically revered or despised, snakes have been the subject of human fascination for thousands of years. Most fear them and will do anything to avoid them, but a few find them fascinating.

It is through perpetuating ignorance, fear and false information that humans brand snakes as aggressive and threatening. When provoked or disturbed snakes will bite to protect themselves from harm. And even then, statistically, bites are rarely fatal if immediate medical attention is sought.

Knowledge is key - learning to identify venomous snakes, studying their behaviors and habitats, and appreciating the beneficial predatory role all snakes play controlling insect and rodent populations in our environments and gardens. To find out more about these fascinating creatures and the key role they play in our environment, click on VENOMOUS SNAKES to learn more.
LEAVES OF THREE . . . LET IT BE!
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans) is a small woodland plant found throughout Oklahoma. It has three leaflets on a stem that are typically greenish-red in early spring, dark green through summer and turn red, orange or yellow in the fall. It grows almost everywhere, including along rural roadsides, in fencerows, and in forested areas in parks and golf courses. Nearer to home, it grows in flowerbeds, trees, and shrubs around our homes and, as a vine it climbs fences, utility poles and trees. If there is no tree or other support to climb, it will grow along the ground or upright like a shrub.

Be careful as it blends in well in the landscape and may be hard to locate. To find out more about this dreaded and often hard-to-spot plant, click on POISON IVY.
TICKS, MOSQUITOES, CHIGGERS
Throughout spring, summer and well into late fall, unwanted pesky insects find their way into our landscapes, campgrounds, sporting venues and even inside our homes. These uninvited, winged guests are single-minded, when it comes to their human prey. From the low flying ticks and chiggers to the high-flying mosquitos all are relentless and can be bothersome with their bites.

For more information on the pesky pests and, more importantly, control measures we all can take to protect ourselves, click on PESKY PESTS.
HUMMERS IN THE GARDEN
Hummingbirds are the tiny jewels of the summer garden. These iridescent flying marvels, flitting from flower to flower, seem to defy gravity, flying up and down and often hovering in mid-air. It is fun to watch children become very still and under their breath whisper to each other, “Hummingbird!” at the first sight of this exquisite bird.

For information on how to attract nature's little wonders to your garden, click on HUMMINGBIRDS.
ATTACKING CHALLENGING SOIL CONDITIONS
Talk about starting at the root of the problem . . . garden soil is much more than just simple dirt. Our soil is actually a complex mixture of mineral particles, organic material, moisture, living organisms, and chemical nutrients that give life to our greenery.

Soil can be divided into three main types: clays, silts, and sands. Each one plays a key role in making your soil the best it can be. Having said that, loams come midway between all three and are the most desirable. They are usually easy to work and provide ideal conditions for plants.

We certainly have our challenges in Oklahoma with our various soil types. So, for more information on the challenges we face and how best to amend those soils to make them the bets they can be, click on SOIL CHALLENGES.
HARD FREEZE DAMAGE
Clearly, we had one of the coldest winters in many years. It will have killed many newly established plantings but also some of the more mature shrubs and trees as well.

By now, if a shrub or tree is not showing any signs of green growth, it is likely dead and should be removed. On the other hand, if you see new, green shoots coming from the base of the plant/tree (and only from the base), this means the old bark is dead but the roots are still viable enough to produce a new plant. It is quite alright to simply prune out the dead wood and allow the new shoots to produce you a new shrub or tree. If you prefer a multi-stemmed shrub/tree, let most to all of the new shoots grow as is; if you prefer a taller specimen with very few stems, leave only one or two of the most healthy stems in order to produce a new trunk in years to come.

While it's too late to do anything about it now, here are some tips you can employ in the future to protect your landscape from cold winter damage:

  • Avoid late summer fertilization as it stimulates late season growth that is most susceptible to freeze kill

  • Mulch well to conserve moisture and to insulate roots

  • Water shrubs and trees extremely well in the fall to prepare them for winter

  • Erect screens or other wind blocks around shrubs and trees in the most windy areas
CHICKENS: PROS AND CONS
The backyard chicken craze is sweeping over the Tulsa area, both urban and rural, and the storm of cute little flocks popping up in the suburban backyards shows no signs of stopping. Think you might like to join in on the "fun"? They are certainly cute as little chicks and can generally provide all of the eggs you can eat. But, there are questions and things to think about before you decide that chickens are right for your family.

Click on CHICKENS to read about one Master Gardener's journey into developing a flock family.
DID YOU KNOW?

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! Proud to be a part of the Tulsa area - such a giving community! 

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