DOG DAYS OF SUMMER ARE UPON US
JULY 2023 / VOLUME #196
JULY HORTICULTURAL
AND GARDEN TIPS

A variety of topics (Vegetable Gardens, Lawns, Trees & Shrubs, Fruits, Flowers, and General Landscape tips) are highlighted this month. So, to learn about what you should be doing in the month of JULY click on GARDEN TIPS.
If you are interested in knowing how to become a Tulsa Master Gardener, click on the picture below to register to receive a meeting e-mail reminder.

Then, be sure to mark your calendar for upcoming one-hour information sessions as follows:

Wednesday, August 9th @ 10 a.m.
or
Wednesday, August 16th @ 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"
From time to time, your Tulsa Master Gardeners partner with our marketing consulting firm to create videos highlighting what we do and why we love doing it. Check out the latest video at TMG Community Outreach.
FROM GREEN COUNTRY MASTER COMPOSTERS
This month the FBI in COMPOST series will focus on "B" for the process that BACTERIA plays in the production of compost. The FBI summer series began in June focusing on "F" for FUNGICIDE. This month will focus on Bacteria. Next month, August, we will target "I" for INVERTEBRATES, and how FBI are crucial in the process of forming COMPOST.

BACTERIA does the heavy lifting in the compost heap. Bacteria is a single celled microscopic organism that is found living in every ecosystem on earth. These microscopic organisms are truly tiny, about 500 million times smaller than the volume of a grain of sand. Different types of bacteria have different functions. Some produce antibiotics, some are beneficial for human health, while others can cause disease. Their important role is they can turn waste organic material into compost.
 
Bacteria is helped by fungi to break down complex proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into simpler molecules, like carbon dioxide, water, and minerals. Bacteria also plays a role in creating HUMUS which is a dark matter found in compost and is thought to improve soil structure. Bacteria also works with fungicide and invertebrates to control the heat and temperatures of the compost.

Additional Resources on Composting:

WEATHERING YOUR GARDEN:
DERECHO
Sirens sounded. Trees uprooted. Power lines down. Roofs torn off. More than 200,000 without electricity. A state of emergency proclamation for the Tulsa area. Just another night in Tornado Alley, right? Not quite!

What occurred during the late night hours of June 18th was a first for us in various ways. It was the first 100 mph Wind Advisory issued by our National Weather Service. The first widespread damage since the infamous 2019 Ice Storm. And the first time many heard the term “derecho”. By definition, a derecho (deh-REY-cho) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving thunderstorms. Notice the word “tornado” wasn’t used. That’s because winds within a derecho can be just as strong as a tornado, but occur in a straight line. In fact, derecho is Spanish for “straight ahead”.

Often described as “walls of wind”, derechos start as individual severe thunderstorms that join together into one, very large storm. As it travels long distances, the storm pushes the air ahead of it much like what occurs underwater in a wave pool. That air has no place to go but straight ahead of the storm, picking up speed along the way.

Although most anemometers recorded winds around 100 mph near the surface, the winds above 5 feet were as high as 120 mph! No wonder giant trees crashed to the ground like pins in a bowling alley. Once those winds entered TU’s football stadium, they had nowhere to go but in circles twisting the goal post like a pretzel. Even the cross on top of one of Holy Family’s steeples disappeared!
Finally, why did some trees survive while others didn’t? In many cases, it had to with the trees that had room for its roots to grow verses those with roots restricted by concrete. When the winds hit, the longer roots held the trees in place, while the shortened roots couldn’t hold on.
 
Another first? Witnessing how much damage winds can be caused without a tornado’s help!
Heat-Loving Plants
for Oklahoma Summers
DESERT WILLOW
When it comes to gardening in Oklahoma's hot and dry climate, selecting the right plant is crucial for success. Fortunately, the Oklahoma State University Extension office offers a wealth of resources to help gardeners choose plants that can withstand and even flourish in the intense heat.

Click on HEAT LOVING PLANTS to learn about five popular heat-loving garden plants recommended by the extension office, covering a range of categories:

An annual
A perennial
A shrub
A vegetable
A tree
Controlling Nutsedge
YELLOW NUTSEDGE
Nutsedge (aka nutgrass) is a fast-growing weed found in gardens, lawns, pastures, and crops throughout Oklahoma. It grows in warm temperatures, so it is most prominent during the spring and summer months and is one of the most difficult weeds to control.

The two most common varieties of nutsedge in the U.S. are Yellow Nutsedge and Purple Nutsedge — the color of the flowers at the end of their stems. Yellow nutsedge is the most common variety in our area.

If nutsedge were a bug, it would be categorized as “social” because it grows in large colonies, forming an extensive root system that can reach as deep as four feet and can stay dormant as long as 10 years. To learn about cultural and chemicals controls, click on NUTSEDGE.
Common Tomato Problems
in Oklahoma
BLOSSOM END ROT
Most of us love our tomatoes, particularly fresh out of the garden. Tomatoes are a popular garden crop that can grow in a small area, bear through most of the season, are easy to grow, and have many culinary uses in the home, but they can be susceptible to a number of problems. While they are easy to start and grow, they can sometimes have problems delivering the results we want. In simple terms, our climate sometimes keeps us from successfully growing a big batch of tomatoes.

But there are things we can do to help our situation. For a rather complete rundown on what can go wrong on your way to being a successful tomato grower, click on TOMATO PROBLEMS. Just don't be put off growing tomatoes due to the rather long list - there are solutions to most of the problems we face. The key is to walk the garden on a regular basis in order to identify an issue early.
Attracting Monarchs with Milkweed
Want your garden to be aflutter with monarch butterflies? Monarch butterflies are amazing creatures that migrate thousands of miles every year. They need milkweed plants to survive. So, if you want to attract them to your garden, plant one or more of the milkweed species that are native to Oklahoma.

They are attracted to milkweeds because they are the only plants that their caterpillars can eat. Interesting Fact - the caterpillars isolate the toxins from the milkweed in their bodies which makes them poisonous to predators. This makes milkweeds an important food source for monarch butterflies and helps to ensure their survival.

To learn more about what you can do to help the declining population of monarch butterflies, click on MONARCHS & MILKWEED.
Red Spider Mites: Yikes!
The hotter and dryer it gets, the more that the Red Spider Mite problems seem to get. There are many varieties of spider mites, but the main one in our neck of the woods is the Two-Spotted Mite. However, it often goes by the name of Red Spider Mite because it is red much of the time.

Over their life span, these guys actually range in color from red to green and are the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They thrive when it is hot, dry and dusty. When conditions are ideal, they may produce a new generation every five to six days.

Given that bit of pessimistic info, click on RED SPIDER MITES to learn more about them and how to mitigate their infestation on your host plants.
Bagworms: Another Common
Summer Pest
Granted it is a little late treating for bagworms in their immature state (that was May/June). However, it is not too late to be on the watch for bags forming and hanging from select evergreens . . . junipers, red cedars, and arborvitae. Luckily, they only produce one generation per year but it can be destructive if left unnoticed and unmanaged.

Click on BAGWORMS to learn about their full life cycle, their favorite foods, their natural enemies, as well as prevention and control measures that can be taken throughout the year to minimize their populations. Many additional resources are also available at the end of the article for your perusal.
Patio Gardening Made Easy
Gardens come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There is everything from perennials, mixed with brilliantly colored annuals to xeriscape plantings that provide low maintenance options and a mixture of shrubs and dwarf trees. These unique mini spaces do much in the way of making a garden look welcoming and lived in.

And when it comes to spaces where we plant, patios are king. A patio or small space provides an opportunity to take advantage of replicating what we typically see in a large landscape, but without all of the maintenance hassles.

To get the most from your patio garden, click on PATIO GARDENING to consider some tips to get you started or to continue maintaining your patio garden space.
DID YOU KNOW?

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!

========================================================Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services.
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You can get answers to all of your gardening questions:

TULSA MASTER GARDENERS
4116 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74112
918-746-3701
mg@tulsamastergardeners.org