THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER ARE HERE
JULY 2021
VOLUME 172
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A
TULSA MASTER GARDENER?
The Tulsa Master Gardener program has been in place since 1983. Of the thousands of such programs in existence, the Tulsa County MG program ranks #5 in the entire nation.

New Tulsa Master Gardener classes start each fall, running from early September to early December on every Wednesday. If you have an interest in becoming a Tulsa Master Gardener and would like some up-front information on the program, click on TULSA MASTER GARDENER and WHY I LIKE BEING A TULSA MASTER GARDENER.

If this looks like something that would interest you, come to one of our August orientation classes to learn even more about becoming a TMGer!
July Horticultural
& Garden Tips

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

Your Master Gardeners are running a 3-part series on Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates . . . aptly called F-B-I. If you missed last month's first part on Fungi, here is a repeat:
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.

Below, check out how "B" of the FBI, Bacteria, plays a role in the production of compost.
JULY: BACTERIA
The month of July contains the second installment of the Compost Connection's FBI series - Bacteria.

Bacteria, also often called "germ", is necessary with fungi and invertebrates in the process of composting. Aerobic bacteria is vital to the decomposition process. Bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye, however, we know its there and working when the compost pile starts to heat up. Bacteria combines with other microbes and insects to combine "forces" to turn grass clippings, leaves, food wastes, yard trimmings, and other material into usable compost.

The most abundant type of decomposer is the aerobic bacteria. As the compost pile's temperature rises, different bacteria take over and thrive to decompose. However, compost must not reach a temperature in excess of 160 degrees F. That's when the good productive bacteria starts to die. This is important compost knowledge.

For some additional reading and more in-depth information on Compost Pile Microbes and Home Composting, click HERE.

Next month will conclude the FBI series with information about invertebrates in the process of composting.
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Want to learn more about composting? Here are a few suggestions:

DEALING WITH YUCKY SLUGS
slugs
If you see shiny, silvery trails in your garden or on your walkway, it's a definite sign that slugs are active in your garden. And, unfortunately, our recent heavy rains have been perfect slug weather. So, your garden may have already been attacked. Hence, the questions start:
What attracts them?
What kinds of plants do they prefer?
What kind of damage can they do?
What preventative measures can you take?
Once you see the signs of slugs, what should you do?

For answers to these questions and more about their reproductive cycle and solutions for prevention, click on SLUGS.
PATIO GARDENING MADE FUN
LOTS OF OPTIONS
Many folks these days are interested in downsizing their living quarters. Concurrent with that usually involves smaller landscape areas. With that, comes the opportunity of less mowing, lower water bills, and less overall effort in keeping the landscape looking great. But, then comes the challenge to be clever enough to make these smaller landscape areas look like it did when you had more space to plant your favorite items.

In short, a patio or small space provides an opportunity to take advantage of replicating what we typically see in a large landscape but without the maintenance hassles. So, to get the most from your patio garden, consider these tips by clicking on PATIO GARDENING.
DEALING WITH SCALE . . . INSECTS
EUONYMOUS SCALE
BROWN ELM SCALE
CRAPEMYRTLE SCALE
This Scale does not sing a happy tune! It's an insect. In fact, there are about 8,000 species of scale insects and they look quite different from your typical insect. Most times smaller than a pinhead, scale insects move around searching for a favorable spot to settle down to feed and begin producing their distinctive scale coverings. Most varieties are restricted to particular host plants or plant groups, and some are serious crop pests. Many also excrete sticky honeydew which supports the growth of sooty mold, which interferes with photosynthesis and makes the plants unattractive and yellow. In short, they can be very damaging to their host.

For more information on the many faces of scales and what can be done to fight them, click on SCALES.
TOMATO PROBLEMS
We all love our tomatoes. We love to grow them because of the reward of effort, not to mention the cost savings and they just plain taste better than store bought. But, with our weather, we all will struggle with problems from time to time. We may suffer from blossom end rot, splitting/cracking, or an attack from a tomato hornworm or two. That's life in the big city!

We generally run tomato articles for our readers in the summer. So, to better understand what causes these problems and issues and what to do about it, click on TOMATOES1 and TOMATOES2 to find out as well as have access to some great additional resources.
FALL VEGETABLE GARDEN
What??? It's 95+ outside with a heat index in the triple digits. And, you're talking about fall gardening now? Are you crazy? Maybe, but that's beside the point. Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about that fall garden. It can easily take several weeks to a few months to get the soil in order, seeds/plants planted, and germinated/grown in time to reap a fall harvest before the first killing frost starts to take the more tender veggies. Average first frost is mid to late October . . . just 90 or so days away.

So, click on FALL VEGGIES to get the low-down on what to be doing now to prepare for a fall harvest. Remember, fall veggies can actually taste better than spring ones, so let's get on it!

SUMMER STRESS ON TREES
Tulsa has some remarkably interesting summers. It goes from being wet and cool to hot and dry almost overnight. Prolonged rainless spells coupled with high temperatures, intense sunlight and dry winds place severe stress on our trees. A common early symptom of stress or injury is marginal leaf burn or trees prematurely losing their leaves. While this may look like a dying tree, it may simply be the tree going dormant.

Want to know more about how to determine if a tree is just under stress or actually dying and what measures you can take to protect nature's wonders, click on TREE STRESS.
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! 

Recognizing those folks that have donated so generously over the past month:

MG FOUNDATION GENERAL FUND
Susan Williams
Jacqueline Brown
Jackie Rago

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