Learn about what you should be doing in the month of JANUARY by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.
 "Happy New Year" brings different meanings to mind for many people. If there's a gardener in your life you know the gleam in their "mind's eye" that comes with stacks of seed catalogs and gardening journals arriving in mailboxes. It's thoughts of new beginnings for gardens, flowerbeds, trips to nurseries, starting seeds, and planning bigger and better compost yields. Composting plans are a great way to start your 2023 home garden, flowerbed, landscape plans.
Compost is a beneficial amendment for gardens, beds, bases of shrubs, bushes, trees, and turf grasses. In all this would take a tremendous amount of compost which few home composters might have at the end of the year. It's fine to buy compost from big box stores, local nurseries, farm supply businesses, or in bulk from local compost companies. These come in a variety of price ranges and the amount you require will factor in as well. It's smart to ask the source of ingredients for commercial composts or read labels on the bags. Think about pH balance, pesticides, insecticides, and/or organisms that may be included. Know the source of a product you apply to your home soil and garden. Think about a product you might apply to areas in which you might plant food crops. Your own homemade compost is best since you know the source and exact ingredients of your own product.

Whether you are a new composter or have been composting for forty years with tried-and-true established routines, you can benefit from perusing the Tulsa Master Gardener e-Newsletter Archives for past information, ideas, and plans regarding composting. These archives can be found at tulsamastergardeners.org by scrolling to the bottom of the Articles & e-Newsletter section on the main page. While Compost Connection has been a part of the e-Newsletter for only the past couple of years, you will find many articles on other topics from e-Newsletters archived back to 2010.

A reminder about OSU FACT SHEETS from County Extension offices. ALL Fact Sheet information is research-based, written, and approved by the Oklahoma State University Agricultural College. You always have access to OSU FACT SHEETS on the Tulsa Master Gardeners website or and you can visit the OSU County Extension Office in person.

One last thought about searching for general or specific composting or gardening information. If you are looking online (and who wouldn't be these days) be sure to research reliable sources. Your best bed is to research agricultural universities. Be sure to use more than one source. You can narrow your search by looking for websites with ".edu" at the end of the web address. ".edu" stands for information from an educational or research facility such as oklahomastateuniversity.edu. 

Have fun looking for inspiration and information for your 2023 garden and compost bins. Happy New Year, gardeners!
Our newest column for the monthly MG e-Newsletter will be focused on weather-related topics, courtesy of Frank Mitchell who spent 30 years as a television meteorologist including KTUL in Tulsa. He is now a member of the 2022 Tulsa Master Gardener Class.
We're always looking for ways to improve the value of our e-newsletter to our readers. Our primary mission is to deliver research-based horticultural information. But that does not mean we have to only talk about flowers, shrubs, turf, and trees. There are other related topics that we can deliver in hopes of helping our faithful gardeners. And one of those topics is the weather. Weather affects our personal lives on literally a daily basis AND it has a big effect on our gardening planning and activities as well as our cherished gardens and landscape.

So, as we enter 2023, we are starting a monthly column on weather-related topics . . . called "Weathering the Garden". This month is about the solid form of precipitation . . . freezing rain and sleet. So, what's the difference? And does that difference really matter when it comes to gardening? Well, let's find out.
Sleet and Freezing Rain are Not the Same
For most meteorologists, one of the most common misconceptions is that sleet and freezing rain are the same. The only thing they have in common is they are both made of ice, but how they become frozen H20 is very different.

In the winter, when precipitation falls from a cloud, it’s usually in the form of snow which is a collection of ice crystals. If the air between the cloud and the ground is at or below 32 degrees, the snowflake doesn’t change during its flight to earth. However, if the same snowflake leaving the cloud falls through a layer of warm air and then a layer of cold air when reaching the ground, it melts and then refreezes as sleet. Picture a bologna sandwich where the bread is the cold air and the bologna the warm air. You can tell its sleet when you see it bouncing when it lands. It doesn’t glaze objects like freezing rain, but it can accumulate like snow.

By far the worst form of winter precipitation is freezing rain. In this case, the snowflake falls through cold air, but melts and becomes rain before reaching the ground. If the rain lands on objects that are below freezing like sidewalks, roads, windshields, and tree branches it turns into ice.

Obviously freezing rain is dangerous to walk and drive on, but it is also destructive because it’s weight can snap tree limbs and power lines.
Hail is another form of solid precipitation, but we'll cover that come Spring!
Gardeners select landscape plants for many different reasons. In our choices, we contemplate size, shape, interesting texture and color, beautiful blooms, and support for wildlife, amongst other important factors. Yet there is one consideration too often overlooked - could the plant be invasive?

So, what makes a plant Invasive? To find out as well as the problems it can cause, control techniques, and a listing of common invasive landscape and aquatic plants of Oklahoma, click on INVASIVE PLANTS.
The beautiful fresh cut Christmas tree that brought you and your family so much Christmas cheer is starting to look more like the ghost of Christmas past. What’s up next for your tree? After you remove all the tinsel and decorations, you have options.

While you do have options, there is at least one thing that you should NOT do. Click on CHRISTMAS TREE DISPOSAL to find out about your options and the big NO-NO.
The Oklahoma Mesonet was commissioned on January 1, 1994 and consists of 120 automated weather data collecting stations covering the state of Oklahoma. A joint team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State University spent years envisioning and developing this world class system prior to its commissioning.

This system can easily be one of the gardeners most important technological tools to have. To learn more about its features and how to use it to your advantage, click on OKLAHOMA MESONET.
Thought it wouldn't hurt to share some of the various winter articles from recent years. So, if you're a long-time subscriber, you may recall some of the articles and some may come in handy as a reminder of what can be done during this season. For new time subscribers, it will give you a variety of topics to read on one of those cold, wintery days and maybe inspire you to get outside on a milder day. Enjoy!
And, for all you over-achievers out there, here are some handy winter topics to get you started preparing for next spring.

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