JULY 2022 / VOLUME 184
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.

Be sure to mark your calendar for either August 10th or 17th.

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

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

July continues the second installment of the 3-part "FBI" Compost series on Fungi, Bacteria, Invertebrates. The focus this month is BACTERIA and its importance in the process of thriving compost production. 
The natural, backyard compost pile is created by compiling "browns" such as sticks, twigs, lawn clippings, dried leaves along with "greens" such as garden waste, fresh lawn clippings, egg shells, vegetable and fruit waste. As these components begin to decompose, bacteria naturally forms with the aid of water, heat, and aeration. CAUTION: Not all waste is helpful in a compost pile. This includes meats, fats, bones, seeds, weeds, or woods chemically treated - just to name a few. "When in doubt, leave it out" is wise advice to any composter.
There are many available compost starter products available online, in garden centers, nurseries, and in big box stores. Be careful of chemicals that you may be introducing to your compost, especially if you want to use your finished product on home food crops.

You will find many YouTube videos and Internet articles relating to the building and advising of compost piles. A word of caution. Anyone can write and post an article on backyard composting. However, stick with articles that are researched-based coming from reliable sources such as Oklahoma State University, Tulsa Master Gardeners, or other sources with ".edu" in the web link.

For more information on the role that bacteria plays in the production of quality compost, click on COMPOSTING ENHANCING BACTERIA.

Refer to our July, 2021 e-Newsletter which is on our website,, for even more information.
And, if you missed last month's edition (or wish to review it again) on Mycorrhizal fungi and the many benefits it brings to the compost pile, click on FUNGI-1 for an article from Compost Magazine on the subject and click on FUNGI-2 for a YouTube video on the subject. Finally, click on MYCELIUM to learn about the importance of mycelium fungi in the decomposition process.

The third and final installment next month will cover how "I" (Invertebrates) of the FBI plays a role in the production of compost.
The Gardener’s Hollow Leg is an innovative gathering or harvesting bag with a waist strap, or belt, that comes in handy when working in flowerbeds, the vegetable garden, or just around the house.

Available in two sizes, the larger version will hold up to five gallons of pesky weeds, small prunings, or deadheading debris. It can also be used to harvest fruits or vegetables. The junior one-gallon version is an ideal way to get your children to help you in the garden. And, it can be used to harvest small fruits, nuts or berries or for gathering eggs from your flock of chickens.

The collection bag is rated to hold up to 33 pounds and remains comfortable as long as you are wearing clothing that isn’t too thin. The bag’s fabric is a water repellant synthetic material that is very tough and resistant to tearing.

While we don't specially support any particular retail outlet, one place it can be found is by ordering directly from The Gardeners Hollow Leg website. The 5-gallon bag is $30 and the Junior size is $25, plus shipping.
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?!
The red spider mite is a common name given to the Tetranychidae family of arachnids. They are related to, but separate from, spiders, ticks, and scorpions. They have eight legs, an oval body, and have the ability to make silk webbing. They vary in color from green, yellow, red, reddish brown, and almost black. They do not have wings or antennae. Difficult to spot and see as adults are only about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

So, about this time every year we get hit with the onslaught of these mites. They generally prey on plants from late June into September. Why? Think hot. They hotter and drier it is, the better they like it - like the way it has been around here recently and is expected to be in July. Also, they seem to prefer dusty conditions so one of the easiest things to do to help manage them is to irrigate frequently.

Unfortunately, though, it takes more than just watering. For much more information on these little, hard-to-see critters and how to manage their frequent explosive populations, click on RED SPIDER MITES.
Xeriscape - don’t let the name scare or fool you! It’s really a simple concept - one that you can put to work in your own garden. Xeriscaping is all about conserving: conserving water, conserving soil, conserving effort, and even conserving your money.

Imagine beds of colorful flowers, healthy shrubs and trees. Imagine more time for admiring your gardens and less time sweating in the heat. Imagine a water bill that’s not shockingly high. This is all possible with Xeriscaping.

Xeriscape is a gardening practice that maximizes water efficiency while creating an attractive landscape at the same time. Over 40 years ago, the Xeriscape concept was developed in arid regions of the country where rainfall is scarce. Even Oklahoma gardeners who are familiar with the term often associate it with just the cactus and succulents, sparseness and scarcity. Not these days! The variety of plants available is immense and sufficient to satisfy any gardener’s vision.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in knowing more about, click on XERISCAPE LANDSCAPING.. Included is an informative article with three additional resource materials for further study.
Iron chlorosis is a yellowing of plant or tree leaves caused by iron deficiency. The most common symptom of iron chlorosis is interveinal chlorosis where there is a yellowing of leaves with a network of dark green veins. The best way to determine if your trees are suffering from this is to simply go "read" your tree leaves. They can tell you a lot about the overall health of the tree (or plant), including lack of nutrients, insect infestations, or even the lack of iron in the soil. Bright yellow leaves highlighted by dark green veins are a sign of iron deficiency or iron chlorosis.
This phenonium is common in areas where the soil is high in clay or has a higher pH level. It can also occur due to over-watering or lack of water, poor drainage, or if the tree roots have sustained damage.

Iron is vital to the tree as it aids in the production of chlorophyll. Trees lacking in iron make them more susceptible to stress and negatively affect the overall health of the tree. Left untreated, trees suffering from iron chlorosis can easily become susceptible to other harmful diseases. 

Some of the more common trees in our area that are susceptible to Iron chlorosis include Oaks, Silver Maple, Bald Cypress, Crab Apple, Sweet Gum, White Pine, Walnut, Sugar Maple, Pear, Willow, and Eastern Red Cedar.

Luckily, iron chlorosis is easy to identify because the tree will look sick with the yellow leaves. So, what to do? Treatments vary from a foliar spray with iron sulfate or an iron chelate solution (when the tree is in full leaf) to a soil application of elemental sulfur combined with ferrous (iron) sulfate to a trunk injection of ferric ammonium citrate or iron sulfate (trees only). If you don't feel confident in performing this treatment plan yourself, virtually any arborist company can do it for you.

So, how long does it take for trees to overcome iron chlorosis? Good question - it varies. Oak trees tend to recover from chlorosis much faster and easier than maple trees. It is not uncommon for an oak tree to recover in one season or less, but it can take five years or more for a maple tree to fully recover.
(2nd of a 3-Part Series)
Good...Very Good!
Not So Good...
(Tomato Bacterial Spot)
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

For this month, we are going to focus on bacteria, viruses, and nematode problems (wilts, speck, cankers, etc.). Click on TOMATO DISEASES: BVN to keep you going on learning more about tomato diseases, how to minimize the issues, and how best to deal with them.

If you missed last month's edition (or just want to review it again) on fungi, click on TOMATO DISEASES: FUNGI.

Then, next month in August, we will conclude this series by discussing non-infectious diseases such as blossom drop, blossom-end rot, catface, sunscald, phenoxy herbicide injury, and physiological leaf roll,.
Few things in life are more gross and despicable than slugs. They are simply snails without shells. Slugs are soft bodies and slimy. They produce yukky slime and use that slime to move. A dried slime trail indicates slugs are active in your garden.

Theoretically, they are a type of mollusk, related to clams, oysters and snails. With two pair of feelers, slugs have a face only a mother could love! The top and larger pair of feelers carries the eyes and a lower pair is used for smelling.

For information on these potentially destructive critters as well as five proven remedies, click on YUKKY SLUGS. Several additional resources are also available at the end of the article for additional reading pleasure.
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.

Despite the many ways these pests can breach our personal spaces, there are just as many ways that we can protect ourselves. Some methods require the use of chemicals that can be applied in a broad space while others are applied topically and don’t require the use of harsh chemicals.

So, for more information on their feeding habits and various ways to protect ourselves, click on TICKS, CHIGGERS, MOSQUITOES.
Although we humans all prefer being in the shade this time of year, not all plants do. Because so many plants and most turf grasses like sunny conditions, shade gardening can certainly be a challenge . . . but not impossible. In fact, if a few simple rules of nature are followed, shade gardening allows you to be creative while having some fun.

Given the many combinations of hardscape (boulders, rocks, gravel, flat stones, wood, structures, whimsical stuff, etc.) and softscape (grasses, plants, flowers), your options are nearly endless. If simply planting grass in the shade under trees "ain't workin' for ya", click on LANDSCAPING IN THE SHADE for some potentially new ideas. And, what a great place to hang out . . . it's too hot in the sun.

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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