AUGUST 2022 / VOLUME 185
If you are 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.

Then, be sure to mark your calendar for upcoming one-hour orientation sessions starting this week:

Wednesday, August 10th @ 10 a.m.
Wednesday, August 17th @ 1 p.m.

Held at the Tulsa County OSU Extension Office
4116 East 15th Street, Tulsa

For a sneak peek, check out the video "What I Love About Being a Tulsa County Master Gardener"

A variety of topics (Vegetables, Fruits & Nuts, Trees & Shrubs, Lawn & Turf, Flowers, and more about General Landscaping) are highlighted this month. So, learn about what you should be doing in the month of AUGUST by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.

This is the third article in the Compost Connection "FBI" series. Fungi, Bacteria, and Invertebrates, F-B-I, are the necessary ingredients along with water, oxygen, aeration, and heat to produce healthy compost. 

Beginning composters are often concerned when they find critters or bugs in their compost pile. Earthworms and pill bugs are part of the composting process; mice and rats are not. There are steps that can be taken to prevent and discourage vermin from visiting and contaminating your compost. You would need to take stock of what is drawing them to your pile and their food source. However, the presence of invertebrates are actually a sign of healthy compost and are essential to manufacture the desired finished product. Some of the many possible invertebrates that can be found in a healthy compost pile include earthworms, sow bugs, mites, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, whiteworms, snails, and many microscopic invertebrates.

For additional information on these critters, click on:

For additional information on Invertebrates in general, review last year's Compost Connection article on INVERTEBRATES.

And, if you missed the previous articles on fungi and bacteria, click on FUNGI-1 for an article from Compost Magazine on the subject, click on FUNGI-2 for a YouTube video on the subject, click on MYCELIUM to learn about the importance of mycelium fungi in the decomposition process, and click on BACTERIA for that relevant information.
Hori-Hori translated into Japanese means "Dig-Dig" which is what this little tool can do. Good for weeding, beveled for shoveling, serrated for sawing through roots, and (just in time) can be used to divide perennials. Plus, it can cut small branches. As a bonus, it has measurements in inches on the side to help determine depth.

The 6" stainless steel blade is made from the highest quality rust-resistant Swedish stainless steel which will last a lifetime. It has a one-piece molded composite handle with a thumb rest. The blade is 1-3/4" wide and the overall length 11-3/4". Comes complete with a belt-looped leather sheath for protection and long-lasting durability.

While we don't specially support any particular retail outlet, this handy-dandy little tool can be found on Amazon or Burpee for around 20-30 bucks.
So, you water your plants often (even every day) but they continue to wilt in the afternoon. Should you increase your watering? Maybe, maybe not. A simple test for soil moisture is to scratch down into the soil a few inches. If it's dry, water more. But, if it's wet, more watering won't help . . . maybe even hurt. Like most of us this summer, some of our plants are suffering from a lack of transpiration, and hydrangeas are particularly susceptible to this phenomena.

In simple terms, transpiration is a process that involves loss of water vapor through stomas on leaves (microscopic openings present on the epidermis of leaves). Water (and nutrients) move from the soil into the roots and are "pulled" up the plant stem into the leaves. Water vapor is then exhausted at the leaf surface through stomas which works to cool the plant leaves (the same way evaporative cooling through perspiring works on humans). When the air temperature is excessively hot and dry (like the past few weeks), the transpiration process simply cannot keep up and the leaf wilts, but the plant does not die. Go out the next morning and everything usually looks back to normal. The overnight air temperature cooled enough for transpiration to do its job to bring the plant leaves back to life. Then, another hot day occurs and the process repeats itself.

Just keep the soil moist (not wet) with plenty of mulch and we'll all get through this in pretty good shape.
Yellow Nutsedge (often called "nutgrass" because it closely resembles grasses) are very aggressive and persistent weeds that commonly infest lawns, vegetable and flower gardens, and home landscapes. They can be very difficult to eradicate, and their control is likely to be a long process. Correct identification is very important, as most herbicides for grass control are not effective on sedges. Nutsedge can be distinguished from grasses by their stems, which are triangular or V-shaped in cross-section, while grass stems are hollow and round. They are truly on the spread right now around our area.

For more information on their life cycle and how best to control this weed, click on YELLOW NUTSEDGE.
(3rd installment of a 3-Part Series)
Good...Very Good!
Not So Good...
(Blossom End Rot)
Hard to argue that tomatoes are one of our favorite vegetables (ok, they're 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

Tomato diseases caused by non-infectious agents (i.e. blossom drop, blossom-end rot, catface, sunscald, etc.) will be this month’s focus. Also referred to as physiological or abiotic, these stressors are environmental or chemical in nature. While they affect the growth and development of the plant they are non-contagious. For an excellent article on this subject that discusses the symptoms, causes, and control measures of each of the most common non-infectious tomato diseases, simply click on NON-INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

If you missed June's article (or just want to review it again) on fungi, click on TOMATO DISEASES: FUNGI. For additional information via an OSU Fact Sheet, click on EPP-7625.

And, if you missed July's article on Bacteria, Viruses, & Nematodes, click on TOMATO DISEASES: BVN. For additional information via an OSU Fact Sheet, click on EPP-7626.

With so many folks these days looking to downsize their homes, also downsizing the veggie gardens and overall landscape typically comes with the program. However, it doesn't mean you have to give it all up. There are smart ways to utilize smaller outdoor spaces in order to still have beautiful surroundings. Think patio gardening. A patio or small space provides an opportunity to take advantage of replicating what we typically see in large landscapes but without the huge and sometimes exhausting maintenance hassles.

For some tips on how to pull off this little trick, click on PATIO GARDENING for some nifty ideas.
Perennials are herbaceous plants that flower once during the year, lose their foliage at the end of the growing season, and return from the roots in the spring. As perennials grow, they send out new shoots and roots around the original plant. Over time these new roots and shoots crowd each other causing competition for available light, water, and nutrients. As a result, they will eventually produce fewer and smaller blooms, display a general lack of vigor, and begin dying out at the plant center. Dividing the plant will help restore vigor, produce larger and more numerous blooms, and stimulate new growth. 

For information on the three basic root systems and how best to divide each, click on DIVIDING PERENNIALS
Ok, so it's too late to effectively treat for bagworms this year. Clearly, early summer is the best time to treat for this pest and, if you miss this window of opportunity, the effectiveness of control measures decreases greatly. An insecticide with malathion, diazinon, or carbaryl can rid you of a bagworm problem if applied when the worms are still young larvae. So, aim to spray in late spring just after the bagworms have hatched and begun to feed. Even if you missed the best time to spray this year, don’t wait to start formulating a plan to eradicate them next year. Left unchecked, they can completely defoliate and kill their host.

But, for this year, if you have a manageable number of bagworms still clinging onto a host and you can easily reach them, pick as many by hand as possible. Bag and destroy them by burning or isolating in a tightly closed bag and trash. Then, note on your 2023 gardening calendar to spray about mid-May when young caterpillars begin to hatch.

For more information on the lifecycle, check out the OSU Fact Sheet on BAGWORMS.

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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