Master Gardeners of

Greene County Newsletter

June 2024

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Table of Contents - June 2024

Summer Garden Questions

Your 2024 Vegetable Garden

Orange Butterflies


Missouri Prairies & Prairie Gardens Class

Organic Gardening Online Course

Veterans Can Learn Beekeeping Skill for Peace and Income

Food Preservation

Get Your Lawn and Garden Questions Answered @ Weekly Garden Hour

# # #

Researched Based Information

Flowers and Plants


The Nature of Oaks


Fruits and Vegetables

Gardener Takes Container Gardening Multi-Level

The Roston Native Butterfly House Now Open

Other Newsletters of Interest for Summer Reading

SPECIAL REQUEST - Statewide Master Gardeners

Special Greene County Extension Article & Other Counties

Garden Links

Get Your Soil Tested Now

A Last Thought

Previous Newsletter

Need a Speaker

Greene County Giving

For All Your Gardening Questions - Hotline


Spring Gardening Questions?

Readers statewide can pose questions by calling 417-874-2963 and one of the trained volunteers staffing the Master Gardener Hotline answer your call or leave a message after hours. The hours we are available are 10am - 4pm. Please call 417-874-2963 or fill out an 'Ask A Master Gardener' form or email us at with your question and contact information. Learn more here. There will be someone in the office on Thursdays to collect soil samples for testing. Please call before coming in.

Your 2024 Vegetable Garden


From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar by MU Extension is a garden journal for Missouri gardeners, as well as a how-to guide and information resource. You can tell from year to year what is going on with your garden. You can record what you planted and how well it did or not, and whether or not there was a drought or too much rain. It provides a place to keep all gardening information, plans and notes together. Learn more details and order your copy online today here.

Vegetable Planting Calendar - Save and Print Out

Both first time gardeners and seasoned professionals can benefit from the 'Vegetable Planting Calendar' available from MU Extension. The guide provides a complete list of planting dates and varieties that do well in Missouri." If you live within the Ozarks plateau, you may want to follow the north Missouri planting dates due to the possibility of late spring frosts,” said Patrick Byers, MU Extension. “If you follow the south Missouri planting dates for spring plantings, be prepared to cover plants for frost protection.” The guide also provides information on the following: how much to plant per person; how much seed to purchase for a 100-foot row; row spacing; inches between plants in the row; depth of planting; days from planting to eating; and vitamin content of the vegetable. You may read and obtain a copy of the Vegetable Planting Calendar guide sheet online here.

Garden Help For the Home Gardener by John O. Bell for Missouri Botanical Garden: Avoid landscaping mistakes. This is wonderful information regarding landscaping in a variety of situations. Learn more with advice, tips, resources, visual guides here. 

Insects & Pests Problems In the Garden Complied by Missouri Botanical Garden: If you have plants, you will more than likely experience some issues with them. We have compiled over 200 common plant-related issues that we come across at the 'Kemper Center for Home Gardening' based on what home gardeners experience. Many of these issues... are created with the Midwest in mind. In our resource guides, we have followed an integrated pest management (IPM) approach where simple, safe, and less invasive strategies are listed first. Begin your research here.

Orange Butterflies

Sometimes people see an orange butterfly and think it is a monarch. Here are some common orange butterflies and their host plants. If you want to attract monarchs you need to plant milkweed!


Missouri Prairies & Prairie Gardens Class

Thursday June 20th

6:00 PM

Prairies are vital for the support of native birds and insects. Learn how to work prairies into your landscape with Sarah Hinman, John Fishback, and Ric Mayer, adopters of the Kickapoo Edge Prairie Garden at Springfield Botanical Gardens. This class is held in-person, indoors and outdoors. Free event, duration: 1 hour, no registration needed.

Call (417) 891-1515, ext. 4 for more information.

Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 

2400 S Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO 65807. Learn more about the gardens here.


Access anytime (Still available)

Information shared by David Trinklein, MU Extension, Missouri State Master Gardener Coordinator July 31, 2023: Oregon State University Extension has just announced the availability of a new online course in organic gardening.

The course builds on the basics of gardening and provides students with a better understanding of organic gardening techniques & methods and how to apply them to your own garden.

On demand, access any time, 15-30 hours online, price $250. For additional details, go here.

Veterans Can Learn Beekeeping Skills for Peace and Income

Heroes to Hives - Veterans find peace, skills and income with MU Extension FREE program.

This program seeks to address financial and personal wellness of military veterans through professional training and community development centered around beekeeping.

Learn more details about MU Extension’s 'Heroes to Hives' program here.

Food Preservation

This ongoing self-paced course provides research based information needed to safely and successfully preserve food at home. Participants of all levels of food preservation experience are welcome, including individuals with little or no previous food preservation experience. This course covers pressure canning, boiling water bath canning, steam canning, dehydration, and freezing. Highlights include preserving salsas, pie fillings, pickling, sweet spreads, and harvesting and storage of produce.

Registration is $30.00

Click here for more information and registration.

Get your Lawn and Garden Questions Answered

at the Garden Hour with MU Extension

Virtual Town Hall: Mandy D. Bish - MU Extension Specialists will address lawn, garden, and insect questions during the 'Garden Hour' with MU Extension. NOW EVERY Wednesday of the month from 12-1pm. The virtual event is free. To register for the virtual event and/or ask a gardening question, please visit.

To see recordings from previous events, please check out the YouTube videos on the MU Extension IPM channel here.

For more information visit.  Or contact Mandy D. Bish, MU Plant Science & Technology at (573) 882-9878 or email: 

Researched Based Articles

What is a Stumprey? Creating a Stumpery' by PennState Extension: A stumpery is a garden that uses tree stumps and logs as an organizing feature. Find out more about its history and how a stumpery could become part of your home garden. Continue reading here.

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) by Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: There are two types of Japanese Maples, dissectum and palmatum. Dissectum Japanese maples are commonly referred to as weeping or lace leaf. There are at least a thousand different varieties of Japanese maples. This article features (Acer palmatum) USDA Zones 5 to 8. Continue reading here.

Beware of the Lone Star Tick It is tick season again, and the Lone Star tick is out there. If bitten it can leave you with the inability to eat to certain kinds of meats. Be on the look out for this tick. For more information click here.

Organic Pest Control by Ryan Pankau for The Garden Scoop, Univ. of Illinois Extension: In recent years, as interest in more sustainable agricultural practices has grown among home gardeners, organic pest control options have become widely available in many retail outlets and garden centers... The term ‘organic’ means different things to different people... However, there is a growing number of pesticides commercially available to home gardeners which meet USDA Organic Standards. Learn more about: Pyrethrum + Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)+ Spinosad + Kaolin clay. label instructions must be followed exactly to ensure safety and effective pest control. Learn more details here.

What are pyrethrins? General Fact Sheet by National Pesticide Info Center: Pyrethrins are pesticides found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrins are practically non-toxic to birds but highly toxic to honeybees. However, some of the risk to pollinators is limited by their slight repellent activity and rapid breakdown. Pyrethrins are highly to very highly toxic to fish. They are also very highly toxic to lobster, shrimp, oysters, and aquatic insects. Learn more here. 

MU Extension resources for specialty ag producers by MU Extension staff May 14, 2024: Missouri’s urban and specialty agriculture producers—and those considering starting an agricultural enterprise—have new business planning resources at their fingertips. Learn more here.

The Missouri Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) aka Texas Brown is the only tarantula species inhabiting Missouri. Read 'Common Spiders of Missouri: Identification, Benefits, and Concerns' by Univ. of Missouri IPM: Continue here. 

TWO LINKS: Public Encouraged Not To Plant Invasive Bradford Pear Trees by MDC: Questions are starting again this spring about the Callery aka Bradford pear tree. The invasive Bradford pear tree can cause problems for Missouri native plants and animals. Learn why here.

PLUS: Callery Pear Background, Life History MDC pdf read here.

Oak Leaf Itch Mites by K-State Univ. Extension: It's early in the season for these mites to appear, fall is also when I have encountered them. "Gall Forming Insects Plague Oak Trees and Can Lead to Itch Mite Concerns." Read on to learn more, plus there are a couple of other articles to reference starting here.

Fascinating Fasciation by Wisc. Extension Master Gardeners: Every once in a while, the normal growth pattern of a plant goes awry, producing an interesting “mistake” that can be attractive and ornamental, or ugly, bizarre, or humorous. This physiological disorder, called fasciation, can occur in almost any plant part, but is most noticeable in the stems or inflorescences. Learn more from this article pdf here.

Pine Straw Mulch: What It Is and How to Use It by Lee Wallender for The Spruce: Pine straw mulch is made from fallen pine needles. After the pine needles have dried, they become pine straw. Pine straw can be used as a yard or garden mulch, much like wood mulch, straw, or shredded leaves. Learn more here.

Cut Stump Herbicide Treatment Video by PennState Extension: This video is designed to give the basics of applying herbicide to the stump of a cut tree, shrub, or woody vine to prevent resprouting. Learn more, watch video here.

Flowers and Plants

Garden flowers bloom all year when dried by Linda Geist for MU Extension: flowers can be enjoyed all year long by drying them, said David Trinklein, and now is the perfect time to gather the excess from our gardens and preserve them for future enjoyment. Pick flowers and other plant materials destined for drying close to their prime. Learn how here.

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) Originally native only to central grasslands from Missouri and Nebraska south through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to northeastern Mexico. Pink Ladies, Pink Petticoats or Pink Evening Primrose is an upright to sprawling, 1-2 ft. perennial, which spreads to form extensive colonies. Learn more here.

Goldenrods - 23 species in Missouri by MDC Field Guide: Missouri native, family Asteraceae (daisies, sunflowers). Goldenrod stems are slender and can be singular or several; the stalks are usually erect. Blooms June through December, depending on species. The following list is simply an introduction to Missouri's species here.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) by Wisc. Horticulture Extension: Amaryllis bulbs are often used as holiday gifts with their large, brightly colored flowers... There are about 90 species in this genus but most modern commercial hybrids are derived from 6 species. Learn more about this wonderful house plant here.

How to Divide Your Hostas Written by Tom Lakowske for Greater Ozarks Hosta Society April 2023: (Comment: Hosta division in early spring, before the spikes have grown much. However, you can do it throughout spring and early summer; smaller the plants the easier it will be to avoid damaging leaves.) Continue reading this pdf with text and photos to learn more here.

Philodendron Varieties: How to Grow Indoors; A Plant Family With Hundreds of Species' by Jon VanZile for The Spruce Updated April 19, 2024: Philodendron popular houseplants are known for their easy care... with two types to choose from: vining and non-climbing. All philodendrons are toxic to humans and pets. The main care requirements for growing are here.


Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Now found across Missouri, their Larvae feed under the bark of ash trees, leaving S-shaped galleries. Adults emerge from the tree, leaving D-shaped exit holes that are ⅛ inch in diameter. Learn more about this invasive and destructive pest from the MDC Field Guide here.

TWO LINKS: Eastern Yellowjackets are native to Missouri. This MDC article covers 'Yellowjackets (Vespula Wasps)' including their control, read on here.

Plus: Another article from Penn. State Extension on Yellowjackets may also be of interest here.


Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) by MDC Field Guide: Other common names include: Yellow-Shafted Flicker, Golden-Winged Woodpecker, Common Flicker, and Pigeon Woodpecker. Learn more about this beautiful bird here.

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Property by Robert A. Pierce II & Sarah Denkler for MU Extension May 2024: If you want to attract ruby-throated hummingbirds to your property, it helps to understand their biology and behavior, and to implement habitat management practices, such as providing native plants and supplemental food sources. Learn more here.

Fruits and Vegetables

The Incredible, Edible Eggplant by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Tech. May 7, 2024: When it comes to favorite foods, very few people are indifferent about eggplant. They either love it or loathe it... If you can't remember the last time you ate eggplant, try planting a few in your garden this year. Properly prepared, it might move up a few spots on your list of favorite vegetables. Learn more here.

Gourds by Linda Geist for MU Extension May 14, 2024: Our ancestors couldn’t go to the hardware store or shopping mall to buy utensils and other household essentials. Instead, they improvised with items found in nature... We call these plants gourds, and they may be among the first domesticated plant species. Learn more here.

For the love of Squash by David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Tech May 21, 2024: A versatile and nutritious vegetable with a rich history, squash has enchanted gardeners and gourmands for decades with its diversity in shape, color, and flavor... The National Garden Bureau named squash the 'Vegetable of the Year' for 2024. Learn more here.

In thymes of old, Rosemary used lavender to freshen the air' by Linda Geist for MU Extension May 7, 2024: Long before plug-in air fresheners and scented candles, people used plants to make their homes more livable by masking unpleasant odors. Herbs served that purpose very well... Learn more here. 

How will you celebrate strawberry season? by Annie Ewbank, Senior Associate Editor, Gastro Obscura May 4, 2024: Besides being delicious and beautiful, they’re a fruit with a fascinating history. This week, we’re celebrating the season by diving into all things strawberry. Learn more here.


Gardener Takes Container Gardening Multi-Level

In Memory of Aubrey (Pete) Harris

When Pete reached the point that conventional row and raised bed gardening was more work than his physical ability allowed, he designed a multi-level system that worked well for him and could for others. He purchased some vegetable planter boxes; 28”L x 14”W x 12”H with a 4 gal. water-well for self-watering. Pete added the triple tiered back-to-back stair step garden table to his garden area, elevating the planter boxes off the ground. This design has plenty of room to add more boxes as needed.

The stand was basically constructed using 6 precut 5 stair stringers for support, placing two each back-to-back, forming three major supports for the 5 shelves, treated 2”T x 12”W X 12’L. Added bracing shown in the photos were 2" X 4"s as needed. Another major benefit of this system, it would work for some rentals, small yards with limited space and more. Pete noted, if someone chose not to use the bottom shelf on each side, the others would be wheelchair accessible in height and reach. --Writer George Deatz --Photos by GD & Kayla 

The Roston Native Butterfly House 

Now Open for the Season

By Michele Skalicky for KSMU Radio May 10, 2024: The Butterfly House is located at Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic. Dr., Springfield.

Chris Barnhart, an entomologist with MSU, and his wife, Deb, help raise the butterflies from caterpillars to winged insects and serve as the curators at the Butterfly House.

Open every day from 10am to dusk (subject to weather, call to verify 417.891.1515. Volunteers with Friends of the Garden, Master Gardeners and others help keep it open and answer questions.

Admission is free for individuals and families, but donations are accepted. Learn more here.

Other Newsletters of Interest for Spring Reading

Garden Spade Newsletter May 2024 by MU Extension Hort. Team: Articles include -Training Vines for Arbors + Favorite Horticulture Books + Hollyhock Rust + Sedges have Edges + Brussel Sprouts + Weed Basics + Creating Shade + Poison Ivy vs Virginia Creeper + Kids Ask Dr. Bug + Gardening Tips & Tasks + Upcoming Events, Webinars & Flyers. Details read pdf here.

Preserve It Fresh, Preserve It Safe Newsletter May/June 2024, No 3 Topics: Tips for Successful Water Bath Canning + Five Home Canning Myths Busted: Use Safe Canning Sources + See Related Publications. Prioritize Safe Sources of recipes and information for successful and safe home canning. Continue Reading Here.

Let's Preserve Newsletter May 2024 by PennState Extension Topics: Plan Now for Summer Canning + Strawberry and Other Berry Fruit Roll-Ups + Selecting a Canning or Processing Method + Canning Jars and Lids – An Update + Say NO to Oven Canning + Preserving Food at Home Resource Guide + Upcoming Educational Events. Details & More here.

Lawn & Garden Newsletter May 2024 by MU Extension - Topics: Don't crop the tops of spring bulbs after flowering + Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Property + May Gardening Calendar Tips & Tasks + Truman gardens still bloom with beauty thanks to Master Gardeners. Details and more here.

Natural Resources Newsletter May 2024 by MU Extension Topics: Monarchs are arriving and laying eggs + DNA science cracked case of stolen walnut trees + Wild Pigs Kill More People Than Sharks + Leave young wildlife alone! + What to do for a Rattlesnake Bite + Learn about Hawthorns (Crataegus) + Webinar Trees for Bees May 16th + More Classes Workshops. Learn more here.

Missouri Produce Growers Video Newsletter by MU Extension Hort. Team, May 17, 2024: Advice From Successful Farmers Part 1--Sweet Potatoes, Boost Yields with Cover Crops, What's the Buzz on Cicada Broods?, Foliar Diseases Mgmt for High Tunnel Tomatoes, Using Manure Safely to Support Food Safety + Upcoming Classes + New Publications. Details & More here.

The Engaged Neighbor Newsletter #2 May 2024: by David Burton, MU Extension: A monthly communication with individuals interested in becoming an engaged neighbor and improving their neighborhood and community. Review relevant, useful, and research-based information here.

Missouri Prairie Foundation News May 21, 2024 Topics: MPF Plant Sales + Annual MPF Prairie BioBlitz + MPF Guided Hikes + Gardens of Excellence Open House + Free MPF Webinar Documenting Multiple Types of Pollinators Through Photography June 5th + Status of MO Invasive Plant Bills + Details & More Here.

June Gardening Tips, Tricks & Tasks News by MU Extension Staff May 23, 2024, Topics: Outdoor Flowering Plants & Ornamentals + Vegetable Gardening + Fruits & Nuts + Cool & Warm Season Lawns. Summer is just around the corner! Find these tips, tricks and tasks to keep you busy in and around the garden throughout the month of June. Learn more here.

National Audubon Society News -The Joy of Birds May 2024 - Spring Symphony: Birds, Bugs, and Blooms. Dig Birds? Grow Native Plants! Continue reading here.

Ruby-throat Hummingbirds start to reach northern extent of range News by Team Journey North May 23, 2024: The wait is over for many hummingbird lovers at the northern edges of the ruby-throated hummingbird's range. The last few weeks have been filled with sightings from Nova Scotia, Alberta and in between. Read more here.

Monarch egg, larva sightings excite volunteers News by Team Journey North May 22, 2024: As monarch sightings are increasing, so are reports of eggs and caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars have been reported as far north as Minn., while Maine received its first adult sighting of the year. Learn more here.

SPECIAL REQUEST - Statewide Master Gardeners

"Moderator Assistance for ‘Ask A Missouri Master Gardener’ a statewide Facebook Group is Needed" - The Master Gardeners of Greene County recently took over day-to-day management for the statewide ‘Ask a Missouri Master Gardener’ group in conjunction with University of Missouri Extension. Moderator volunteers help by a few Missouri Master gardeners is needed.

If interested, contact George B Deatz by Facebook Message or email: for more information.

Thank you, Master Gardeners of Greene County, Springfield, MO.


University of Missouri Greene County Extension: Our job is to partner with communities to find solutions with credible, science-based information that will help you: Grow safe and healthy food + Build and grow profitable businesses + Improve your health and relationships + Increase agricultural production + Update professional training in business, health and safety + Engage youth as valued, contributing citizens.

Explore the MU Extension website and Greene County pages to discover how MU Extension can enhance your life, start here.

NOTE: If you don't live in Greene County, your county extension office will have a page in a similar format, look for it here.

June's Tips and Tasks

5 Tips to Boost Soil Health Video

Grow a Creeping Thyme Yard

Certify Your Wildlife Garden

No Dig Garden

10 Low-Maintenace Landscaping Ideas

Black Bears - Be Bear Aware

9 Plants You Shouldn't Grow With Tomatoes

12 Plants That Repel Mosquitos

How to Clean and Maintain Your Bird Feeders

20 Plants That Will Attract Hummingbirds

15 Grass Alternatives for Your Yard

Get Your Soil Tested This Month

So that it can be ready for planting season. Basic soil testing analysis is done by the MU Soil Lab in partnership with our Master Gardeners of Greene County. Results include fertilizer and lime recommendations. Additional tests are available for nutrient management plans, environmental issues, potting mixes, compost, manure and water usage.

Each sample should contain a total of 2 cups of dry soil and from 6 to 7 inches deep and about 5 or 6 different areas. Results are typically provided within two weeks.

Bring the soil sample(s) to the Greene (or your local county office) County Extension office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursdays. Master Gardeners can complete the paperwork and submit your test. One of our extension specialists will review your results. In most cases, gardens, lawns and fields should be tested every two years.

The cost is $30 per sample. Feel free to call if you have any questions:


A LAST THOUGHT The gardens are abloom! Come out and see them at the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO and see them. We now have a new fence and water feature in the Hosta Garden. Plan a group or family spring visit today. In addition to the many beautiful floral and demonstration gardens, a number of gardening organizations are headquartered there, including MU Greene County Extension office and the Master Gardeners of Green County Hotline. Questions call 417-891-1515 or tour the gardens and all of the other attractions online.

View previous newsletter

Need a Speaker for a Meeting or Group?

Master Gardeners of Greene County are available at this time to speak to garden clubs, civic organizations, schools and other groups on a wide variety of topics within the world of gardening, horticulture, landscaping and the environment.

Please keep us in mind for a future date.

For more information.

Email Us

Greene County Giving  

We invite you to support University of Missouri Extension in Greene County.

Without MU Extension, there would be no Master Gardeners.

Gifts from individual donors support MU Extension's educational programs in Greene County. Primarily, we receive cash donations by check or online with a credit card and the non-cash donation of vehicles.

Donate Online

Tax deductible donation


Explore MU Extension's Website

for Information on Programs, Events and More,

Including Plants and Insects

For all your gardening questions,

please call our Hotline: 



Hotline hours are 10am - 4pm

There will be someone in the office on Thursdays to collect soil samples.

Please call before coming in with a question, sample or pictures.

Questions welcome state wide.

Feel free to call, email us or send pictures to

These are three separate ways of contacting us.

More Hotline Information

Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and forward to a friend!

Thank you!!


Master Gardeners of Greene County, Missouri


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Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center

2400 S. Scenic Ave.

Springfield, MO 65807

Contact Us

(417) 874-2963

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