Winter Gardening Tips

 December 2019 / Volume 153
December Horticultural / Garden Tips
Learn about what you should be doing in the month of DECEMBER.  A selection of garden tips (Lawn & Turf, Tree & Shrubs, Flowers, Fruits & Nuts, and General Gardening) 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:
Master Gardener Podcast 006 - 11/15/19
Master Gardener Podcast 006 - 11/15/19

A Collection of Winter Gardening Tips

Wouldn't it be nice if your winter gardening information and tips were all in one place? Well, your wish has come true (sorta). Below are a few of the more popular winter-related articles that have been published over the years in this newsletter. Just click on each topic for more information. Enjoy!

Mistletoe: History and Handy Information

With the help of recent gusty winds, our Oklahoma trees are now sporting their stately,  leaf-bare, late autumn profiles. Not every tree is stark and vacant - some limbs are adorned by  a shrub-like perennial we recognize as our State of Oklahoma floral emblem: mistletoe.

For a little history lesson, what mistletoe actually is, and several links to more University-related information, click on MISTLETOE.

Winter Weed Control

The grass may be brown now (if you have Bermuda) but many of the winter weeds are not. In Northeast Oklahoma our warm-season grasses are officially gone dormant although winter-type grasses are green and may need some attention. Those of us with Bermuda lawns will have to watch out for winter weeds and the ugly looks they can give to your dormant grass.
Since most winter weeds have already germinated, no pre-emergent herbicide would be effective at this time. So, what to do?  To find out, click on  WINTER WEED CONTROL.
Proper Use Of Ice Melt Products

Although we don't regularly experience heavy snow throughout the winter months in Oklahoma, there are times when we get hit with a nor'easter. The affects can have us outside - shoveling snow and sprinkling various types of ice melt products to ease the assault of the storm. As you work your way through the removal of the snow, consider the following tips and techniques for the effective use of ice melt products.  

Simply click on ICE MELT PRODUCTS for  more information.

Soil Sampling & Testing:
Now Is A Great Time To Do This

In case you missed this article last month, it's not too late to perform a soil test. So, just why is soil testing important?  Soil testing provides valuable 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 an excellent time to sample, test and receive results so you have plenty of time to make any necessary nutrient corrections before next year's growing season.  Just be sure to do so before we get a really cold snap and the ground surface freezes.

For concise instructions on exactly how to obtain an accurate soil sample, click on OSU Fact Sheet PSS-2207.  

And, for additional information on soils, testing, etc., click on SOIL TESTING.
A Few Pests & Diseases To Watch For This Time Of Year

  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Pine Needle Drop
  • Pine Wilt Disease
December Short Story:
USDA Hardiness Zones - Why They Are Important To Know

Hardiness zones listed for plants and seeds are provided as a guide for selections compatible with local temperatures. These zones are very useful, and they come in two varieties: one for low temperatures and another for high temperatures.

The plant cold hardiness zone map was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and gets revised every so often.  Currently, there are 11 zones - Zone 1 is the coldest, and each subsequent zone is 10 degrees warmer. Each numbered zone is further divided into parts A and B.

Originally, Tulsa was in zone 6 (6B), which has an average minimum temperature of -10 to zero degrees. However, our temperatures have been above average since about 1990 and a revised map will probably show Tulsa to be in zone 7(7A) with a low temperature range of zero to +10 degrees.

The American Horticulture Society has also created a plant heat-zone map with 12 zones based on the yearly number of days with temperatures greater than 86 degrees. Tulsa is in Heat Zone 8 with an average of 90 to 120 days above this level.
Be aware, however, that micro-climates do exist which may allow you to stretch both the heat and cold tolerance of plants. Micro-climates are places sheltered from wind and/or may be near heat-retaining structures such as stone buildings or bodies of water. A southern slope is another good example of a warm micro-climate. In this case, a plant that is questionably tolerant of the cold in Tulsa may think it lives in Dallas if planted in one of these areas.  

These zones are useful to know, and Tulsans should generally purchase plants rated for cold hardiness Zone 7 and Heat Zone 8. Your local nursery will likely be able to offer great advice and help with plant selections that will tolerate our sometimes weird Oklahoma weather. 

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!  

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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