Where Did Fall Go?

 November 2019 / Volume 152
November Horticultural Tips
Learn about what you should be doing in the month of NOVEMBER.  A selection of garden tips (Landscape, Vegetables, and Lawn) can be found by clicking GARDEN TIPS.
Tulsa Master Gardeners
Video Podcasts

The core mission of the Tulsa Master Gardeners is to provide OSU Extension research-based horticultural information to the local home gardeners and the community.  To that end, we try to reach as many folks as possible through multiple media platforms such as TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, and this e-newsletter. And, as a part of our social media push, we can also be found on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. To supplement all of these wonderful ways to communicate, we have now added a new feature - video podcasts.  It is called Garden Talk and we invite  you to check it out.

In each episode we talk about a current pest problem, highlight a plant of interest, discuss what we should be doing right now in our lawns and gardens, and answer your questions.

So far we've talked about crape myrtle bark scale, moles and gophers, twig girdlers, re-seeding fescue, bark disease on trees, pansies, spring bulbs, and a lot more.

You can click the link below to subscribe to the youtube channel and watch the videos. Or, you can find them on our website by clicking on:
MG Podcast 005 11/1/91
MG Podcast 005 11/1/91

Saving Milkweed Seeds - It's Really Worth Doing So!

One of the most famous and beloved pollinators in the world, the monarch butterfly ( Danaus
plexippus ) has experienced a virtual population collapse over the last two decades, according to
surveys taken at overwintering sites in both the eastern and western United States. Similarly,
the populations of milkweed ( Asclepias spp. ), the host plant for the monarch, have declined,
especially in the Midwestern United States. 

While monarch butterflies are generalists that may  feed on many nectar sources, their caterpillars
are specific - only feeding on the leaves of the  milkweed plant. Without milkweed, this critical
food source slows breeding activity and the life cycle  cannot complete.

So, the obvious question arises.  How can we as individuals help to maintain the monarch population through maintaining its critical food source, the milkweed plant.  Good question.  To find out what can be done to help reverse this saddening issue,  click on SAVING MILKWEED SEEDS. .
The Buzz About Bees
Part 2: Decline and Restoration

So, most of us know by now (and was just illustrated in the above article) there is a decline in the monarch butterfly population.  When we became aware of the plunge, some started planting milkweed in our gardens. Who does that? Previous generations tried to eradicate milkweed. But we discovered that Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed species - that's the only plant the caterpillars will eat. So, now we actually plant in our gardens what was once considered a nuisance species.

Now, word is spreading that bees, our champion pollinators, are declining at very concerning rates as well. Some are even perilously threatened.  Studies continue showing that bee populations are in trouble. Since 2006, beekeepers in the United States have reported colony loss rates averaging 30% each winter where historically the losses have only been 10 - 15%.

Now we know that native bee species are in trouble as well. Some 1,500 bees have been studied closely and, of those, the population has declined by more than 30% from 2005-2015. And, 24% of native bees are in serious peril. Other bees, such as the rusty patched bumble bee (native to Ohio) has suffered such a serious decline that it was placed on the endangered species list in 2017.    

So, for more information on this issue and what you can do to help reverse the decline issue, click on NATIVE BEE DECLINE..
Fall Allergies - What Gives?

What Causes Fall Allergies? Ragweed is the biggest allergy trigger in the fall. Though it usually starts to release pollen with cool nights and warm days in August, it can last into September, October, and even November. A runny nose, itchy eyes and scratchy throat can arise as the days get shorter and the leaves begin to change. The fall can be especially difficult for people who are sensitive to mold and ragweed pollen. 

For a few suggestions on how to avoid or, at least, alleviate some serious reactions to ragweed and other fall pollen, click on FALL ALLERGIES.

Fairy Rings - Not A Fairy Tale!

Fairy Rings sound like something out of a fairy tale, which might be interesting or entertaining to some....but not so much to you as a gardener if they are in your yard. Many of us have seen mushrooms integrated on a variety of lawns throughout the city. They  are actually produced by many varieties of underground fungi. These mushrooms live off decaying organic matter in the soil (e.g. decaying tree roots). As they develop, they form a ring, referred to as a fairy ring.

Heavy rains increase the growth of the mushrooms. Aside from the fact that they are unsightly, fairy rings can cause serious damage to turf. The disease produces a dense fungal mat that prevents water from penetrating the grass roots. The rings form a fungus which includes the vegetative part of a fungus called mycelium. The fungus actually lives underground and grows outward, in a circle.

For more information on what causes fairy rings and, more importantly, what you can do to alleviate the issue in your lawn, click on MANAGING FAIRY RINGS
Soil Sampling & Testing
Now Is THE Best Time To Do So

So, just why is soil testing important?  Soil testing provides important information about soil nutrients, fertility and pH, all of which is vital information in determining what fertilizers may be necessary to support the optimum health, growth and productivity we expect from our lawns and gardens.  And, now is the best time to test and receive results so you have plenty of time to make any necessary nutrient corrections before next year's growing season.

For concise instructions on exactly how to obtain an accurate soil sample, click on OSU Fact Sheet PSS-2207.  For additional information on soils, testing, etc., click on SOIL TESTING.
A Few Pests To Watch For This Time Of Year

  • Asian Lady Beetle
  • Arborvitae Aphids
Growing Garlic - It's Easy!

We love our garlic. Garlic is a common seasoning worldwide and it's not hard to understand why as the smell of garlic cooking makes almost any meal seem better.  And, growing your own garlic is pretty simple. 

Seven great reasons to grow garlic: 1) it's super low maintenance - once you plant and mulch your garlic in the fall, there is very little to do until harvesting such the following summer, 2) garlic loves cold climates, 3) garlic attracts minimal pests and diseases (what insect would want to eat on raw garlic?), 4) you can plant a lot of garlic in a relatively small space, 5) garlic stores for a long time, and (drum roll, please), 7) it's fun!

Interested?  If so, click on GROWING GARLIC for more information.
November Short Story:
Should I Mulch Now?

There are basically three kinds of mulch - either organic, mineral, or synthetic.  Common organics include shredded bark of various types, shredded leaves available at this time of year, hay or straw, various paper products and others. Some of the mineral and synthetics are pebbles, rocks, plastic, and shredded tires.  For most types of gardening, there is nothing better you can do for your plants than add some variety of mulch.

Mulches help with moderating temperature extremes, conserving water, and preventing weed growth. Around trees, they help prevent damage associated with lawn equipment. The organic mulches have another benefit in that they add significant amounts of beneficial nutrients to the soil as they decompose.  A disadvantage of the mineral or synthetic mulches is that they do not contribute to soil fertility and are often messy when they get strewn about.

Ideally, most mulching in fall should be done after the soil has cooled.  This allows plants to go into dormancy and develop the needed hardiness to cope with winter.  In Spring, the mulch may be removed early in the season to speed up the warming of the soil, which helps give plants a start of early spring growth.  
A 3-inch layer of mulch is usually adequate to provide the needed protection. The layer should be loose so air can penetrate into the soil.  Through the winter, some of the mulch decomposes and, by spring, the soil is clear enough for plants to sprout yet still sufficiently covered for protection from drying and weed encroachment.

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
Did you know that we have been around for over three decades, since 1983?  And, we plan to be around for many more decades.  Did you know that  we are one of the top five Master Gardener county programs in the entire nation?  We are, indeed, because of the size of our Foundation membership, the diversity and activity level of our 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 program, click on   TULSA MASTER GARDENER ENDOWMENT FUND.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund our annual expenses, click on  TULSA MASTER GARDENER AGENCY FUND.
We thank you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation!  The Tulsa area is such a giving community!  

Judy Feuquay
Sandra Goodson
Marilyn Baldwin
David & Joann White
Jackie Rago
Owasso Bouquet Of Gardeners

The Oxley Foundation
The Williams Companies
Oklahoma Pest Management Association
Arrow Exterminating
C. Sue Stees

Patrick & Donna Lemons
Darrell & Coleta Wilson
Mahala & Robert Baxter

Jim & Ann McKellar

Got a Question? Or Maybe a Soil or Plant Sample?
MG logo
Our Master Gardeners are on hand to assist you with even the toughest gardening questions. Visit us in person, by phone, via email or online! Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 4116 East 15th Street (Gate 6 at the Fairgrounds)
Phone: (918) 746-3701

Need More Information?
law n fertilizer
complex leaves
All about butterfly gardening in Tulsa County.

How to Take a Soil Test
How to collect a good sample of soil from your lawn or garden and get it tested at the OSU lab.

Once you have collected your soil test and gotten the results back, now what? Find out here. 

Show and tell.
Cool Season Lawn Care (Fescue)
12-month maintenance calendar.
State horticulturists, nurseries and growers pick favorite plants, shrubs and trees for use in the Oklahoma landscape. See the winners for this year and years past.

A list of recommended trees with descriptions. 

A list of over 60, by size and color.

Visit our demonstration garden on  15th Street, open 7 days a week. 

Current and historical source of rainfall, air temperatures, soil temps and much more. Click on Bixby station.  

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