Current Status of Your Tulsa Master Gardeners

  • The OSU Tulsa County Extension Office building remains locked but you can ring the doorbell and someone will let you in. If you don't have a mask, you will be given one and social distancing rules apply. 

  • Several Tulsa Master Gardener events are back on schedule for 2021:
  • Spring Plant Sale (2/15 - 3/31: online sales only)
  • Garden Tour (June 5-6)
  • Affair of the Heart (July)
  • Exploring Insects (November)
  • Community Events (various)
  • Tulsa Blooms (Brookside)
  • Habitat for Humanity Landscaping (various)
  • Speakers Bureau (various)
We will not be participating in this year's Spring HBA Home & Garden Show

  • Soil samples can be left at the Southwest door of the OSU Extension Office in a black lock box. There is a form and a soil bag in a tub on top of the lock box. $10/sample.

  • While walk-ins to our Diagnostic Center are not available at this time, hotline voice messages are picked up daily and will be responded to as quickly as possible.

  • The MG phone lines are active, so call us with all your questions.

  • MG e-mail traffic is being monitored remotely and will be responded to as quickly as possible.

  • The Tulsa Master Gardener Facebook page is still live and active.
February Horticultural
& Garden Tips

Learn about what you should be doing in the month of FEBRUARY. A selection of Garden Tips (Trees & Shrubs, Fruit & Nuts, Flowers, Turf, Vegetables, and more) can be found by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.
Yes, it's back this year. But, it's a bit different. While we will NOT be offering our usual one day "Day-of-Sale" plant purchases (due to COVID concerns), we will have our usual online pre-order and drive-thru pick up process. Over 250 plant selections available this year, including Milkweed (while it lasts).

But, wait, it's not quite on line and live just yet. This is just to get you excited about it. The online pre-order process goes live on Monday, February 15th and will be open for online purchases until Wednesday, March 31st. Then, the drive-thru pick up will occur on Thursday, April 22nd at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Exchange Building. You will be required to stay in your vehicle while Master Gardeners do all of the work loading your pre-ordered plants into your vehicle.

As many of you know, the Tulsa Master Gardeners are a 501(c)(3) organization that is 100% self funded. This spring plant sale is the largest annual fundraiser we conduct to help cover expenses for our many community outreach programs.

So, mark your calendars and get ready to go online in a couple of weeks to start your virtual shopping experience. You'll love the great plant selection and quality!

From Green Country Master Composters

Last month Compost Connection began 2021 with a two-part series on beginning a compost system. To review, ideas such as space, location, materials, size and configuration of the bin, and time commitment were mentioned. This month, Part Two will continue by adding common compost knowledge and Do's and Don'ts of compostable items. Coming in March - Troubleshooting Common Compost Problems.

It is common knowledge that compost is comprised of a ratio of three parts CARBON (referred to as "Browns") to one part NITROGEN (referred to as Greens".) Other major components are OXYGEN and MOISTURE. The consistency of compost should be that of a wrung out damp sponge. You won't need to worry about adding the beneficial composting critters as they will find their way to help you compost. We'll add more common knowledge as we meet each month.

It is suggested that you think of composting ingredients as a "recipe." You will want to start with a layer of browns, then greens, then water, and mix those gently. Now, you're ready for another layer of browns, then greens, then water. Do this until you've filled your bin or until you run out of ingredients. As you periodically add ingredients, you will want to turn them or blend them with the original ingredients. More about this process in coming months.

For a few of the DO's and DON'Ts of composting ingredients:
DO'S: Greens could include vegetable and fruit scraps (especially greenery), crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, garden waste (leaves from plants and stalks), and green grass clippings. Browns could include crushed dry leaves, well shredded newsprint or uncolored scrap paper, compostable egg cartons, paper tissue and paper towel rolls, and plain cardboard. 

DON'TS: Diseased plant material, fats, oils, grease, meat, bones and animal and human waste.

This is just a beginning list of the more common household and garden items - more DO's and DON'Ts will be included each month. The use of your finished compost product will generally guide you in determining what ingredients you use. Compost is generally used for garden enrichment and/or lawn and shrubbery additive and can help with moisture retention. 

Rule of Thumb: the smaller the ingredients when added to the bin, the quicker the compost will break down. So cut up cardboard, paper rolls, and all kitchen scraps into small pieces. Until next month.......


Want to learn more about composting? Here are a few suggestions:

Each month there will be a Composting Connection article in the newsletter for you. So, watch for more information about composting in next month's Compost Connection..
The above is actually a fairly common sight seen around Tulsa in the winter, many times around parking lots. It is created by our crazy up and down weather patterns. Unfortunately, by not taking the proper preventative measures can cause this and actually kill a tree.

For more information on what causes this and how to avoid it, click on SOUTHWEST TREE INJURY.
During the winter, many gardeners have already completed most, if not all, of their seasonal gardening chores. Whether it be 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 us be able to greet spring with a jump start.

Click on WINTER GARDEN PREP for ten steps to assist you with preparing your winter garden for spring. 
Thinking it's too cold to start planting your spring vegetable garden. Well, you're generally correct but you can start the planning part of the exercise safely and warmly inside your own abode. For those that may be starting a brand new garden, welcome! You will be amazed how much fun and rewarding it can be to plan a garden from scratch, then build it, plant veggies and/or herbs in it, water it, nurture it, and harvest it. And, for those long-time gardeners who may want an update, welcome back.

Last month we discussed Gardening Therapy, explaining both the physical as well as mental benefits of gardening. We hope you enjoyed that and that it inspired you enough to get out and do some gardening. This month we'll show you how to get things started (or re-started) along with some well-proven tips.

Consider this a comprehensive guide to vegetable and/or herb gardening. February is Part 1 of a four-part series on Spring Gardens, so be sure to come back to read more in the following months:

  • March: Part 2      Building the garden
  • April: Part 3     Planting the garden
  • May: Part 4      Maintaining a healthy garden        

And, who knows, there may be even more on this in later months. Ready to get started? Click on SPRING GARDEN PLANNING for a step-by-step guide plus lots of additional online resources. Let's go!
When we hear about crop rotation, sometimes we only think that it applies to farmers with big plots of land. However, it actually benefits our home gardens as well. Yields will improve, erosion will be lessened, nutrients will not be depleted, and you will be able to limit the amount of pesticides. A real win-win-win.

If you are creating a garden for the first time, this will not apply to you until next year. But, for those that have had a garden for a year or longer, this is certainly an important part of early garden planning. A little planning up front will pay big dividends in the long run.

For some general information as well as three in-depth additional resources on this subject, click on CROP ROTATION.
Despite the name, Pansies really are the tough guys of the flower world. Through ice and snow their bright colors and smiling faces help us get through the short, dark days of winter. And, with a little help from us, they will keep right on blooming until hot weather arrives.

If available at the nurseries, it's not too late to plant them this season for spring blooms. For more information on how to maintain them through the winter for that spring beauty, click on PANSIES.
Well, there you are sitting at your kitchen table in February, remembering all the perennials you had blooming so beautifully last summer. As you sip on your hot cup of Java you wistfully wish the grey darkness could at least come alive with some color. Does anything bloom in the winter?
Glad you asked, as there are three exciting winter bloomers that will break up the shades of gray in your winter garden. The pictures above start to tell the story, but not the whole story. So, click on WINTER BLOOMERS to find out how and where to properly plant as well as care for them.

Even though our plants may be in a state of dormancy and may have even turned brown, their roots are still growing and hydrating the entire plant. Evergreen plants, especially, need water in winter because they are actively losing water through their leaves by transpiration.

Click on WINTER PLANT WATERING to learn how much and how often to water.
Spring is almost here and we are all anxious to get back to doing what we love most, working in our gardens. But, ..............

How soon can I start planting?
What is the soil temperature in my area?
Is the soil wet or dry?
What’s the latest on our famously changeable weather?

You are in luck! Here in Oklahoma the answer to all of these questions, and many more, is available to the public 24/7 on the Internet at the Oklahoma Mesonet site at http://www.mesonet.org.

This is a great (and many times underutilized) tool for the gardener, whether a novice or experienced. So, click on THE MESONET for a little history, how weather information is organized and updated, and just how much information is available out there. You may be amazed!

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! Proud to be a part of the Tulsa area - such a giving community! 

Recognizing those folks that have donated so generously over the past month:

Anne Brockman - Langdon Publishing for Tulsa People Magazine

Lee Kutner

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.