Winter Gardening Tips

 February 2020 / Volume 155
February Horticultural / Garden Tips
Learn about what you should be doing in the month of FEBRUARY.  A selection of garden tips (Trees & Shrubs, Fruits & Nuts, Flowers, Turf, Vegetables, 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.  Given that, 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.

For the latest podcast, click on:

Master Gardener Podcast 009
Master Gardener Podcast 009

Lots Of Great Upcoming Spring Events 
Tulsa Master Gardeners
Tulsa Master Gardeners
Mother Road Market

Tulsa Master Gardeners
Spring 2020 Lunch & Learn Series
Downtown City-County Central Library

Tulsa Master Gardeners
Spring Plant Sale / Main Annual Fundraiser
=====> Get Ready: Online Sales Start February 14th <=====

Tulsa Master Gardeners
Master Composter Class

Sound interesting or do you want to learn more?


Proper Maintenance of Indoor Plants in Winter

One of the more challenging times of the year to maintain indoor plants is during the winter months. With low moisture and light levels as well as shorter days and the furnace running, plant lovers' hands are tied. However, with just a little foresight and planning, managing becomes a lot less stressful and a lot more manageable. 

Click on INDOOR PLANTS for some handy tips for keeping your outdoor plants healthy indoors through the winter.  
Fireplace Ashes: What To Do (And Not To Do) With Them

Gardeners are always looking for ways to obtain high yields of healthy produce or beautiful lawns at low cost. Fertilizer is one of the significant costs in gardening. Some sources herald the benefits of the potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium carbonate and other lesser minerals that are found in fireplace ash for feeding the garden and thereby reducing fertilization costs. However, there is potentially much downside in the over use of fireplace ashes including, but not limited to, over saturating the soil with sodium and salts. 

For more details on the potential hazards of using fireplace ashes in your garden or lawn, click on FIREPLACE ASHES.
Got leaves? Love' em and Leave 'em
Mulching With Leaves

Leaves are a valuable natural resource! They contain 50-80% of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season. Therefore, leaves should be managed (i.e. recycled) and re-used rather than bagged and placed at curbside.

For more information on both the benefits of mulching and how to do so properly, click on MULCHING WITH LEAVES.
Controlling Scales With Oils

In approximately two months, spring will be here . . . and our insect friends (and enemies) will
become active again. As common as they are, and as destructive as they can be, the many
species of scale insects can be challenging to identify and control.

Knowing how to identify a scale problem and at which stage to employ control methods is key.  For information on scale types, their life cycle, as well as prevention and control, click on SCALES.
Winter Gardening Prep For Spring

This is a repeat of last month's article, in case you missed it.  Spring is coming . . . 

During the winter, many gardeners have already completed most, if not all, of their seasonal gardening chores - whether pruning annuals, raking and bagging leaves, or simply emptying pots with spent blooms.

With spring just around the corner (fingers crossed) there are still chores remaining that will help you greet spring with a jump start. Click on WINTER GARDEN PREP for ten steps to assist you with preparing your winter garden for spring.
February Short Story:
Using Old Garden Seed

Seeds store best if they are kept in a cold, dark, dry location. Normally, seed will remain viable for about 3 years under these conditions though there are exceptions. For example, members of the carrot family (carrots, parsnips and parsley) are short-lived and are usually good for only 1 to 2 years. If you are unsure of viability and have plenty of seed, there is an easy method of determining how good your seed is.

Place 10 seeds on a paper towel moistened with warm water and cover with a second moistened towel. Roll up the towels and place inside a plastic bag with enough holes for air exchange, but not so many that the towels dry quickly. Place the bag in a warm place such as the top of a refrigerator. Re-moisten towels with warm water as needed. After the first week, check for germination. Remove sprouted seed and check again after another week. Add these numbers together to determine the percent germination.


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, since 1983.  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 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 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!  

Lee Kutner
Jeanne Hutter
Carroll Hunt
Barbara Westervelt

Jayne Exon

Dianne Nail
Jayne McCarty
Ginger Robertson
Pam Lister
Barbara Gardner
Mike White
Adrian Wood
James Wineinger
Springer Family Trust
*Angela Frizzell
*Zachary & Lisa Taylor
*Vija Sevier
*Julia Narrell
*Andy Wood
*Jackie Rago

* Donated to MG Endowment Fund

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.  

                                    Like what you've seen
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