Master Gardeners of

Greene County Newsletter

May 2024

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Table of Contents - May 2024

Spring Garden Questions

Planning Your 2024 Vegetable Garden: Review

Companion Plantings



Nature's Best Hope Presentation

Copperhead Study Findings

Practical Advice from Successful Farmers

Beekeeping 101 with Convoy of Hope

Dirt Day Event - May 4th

Penn. State Extension Classes

Veterans Can Learn Beekeeping Skill for Peace and Income

Food Preservation

Get Your Lawn and Garden Questions Answered @ Weekly Garden Hour

# # #

Mosquito Traps

Researched Based Information

Five Common Butterflies

Other Newsletters of Interest for Spring Reading

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac

Cicada Invasion Information

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.

Planning Your 2024 Vegetable Garden: Review

It's that that time of the year! 'Planning Your 2024 Vegetable Garden' was first featured in our MGGC January 2024 Newsletter. If you are a new or seasoned gardener, MU Extension Master Gardeners of Greene County has information and guides to assist you with 'Planning Your 2024 Vegetable Garden.'

January is here:

February is here:

March is here:

April is here:


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

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.

TWO LINKS: Are These Seeds Any Good? Answer, MU Extension Hort. Jan. 30, 2024 Video: Free seeds, sale seeds, or didn't get around to planting those seeds last year? Your stash is building. What to do? Is it worth risking valuable gardening time to see if your stash of old seeds will still grow? Today’s Tuesday Tip will show you an easy way test and demystify germination rate. And best of all, you only need about a week! View here.

PLUS: Are my seeds still good? Testing seed germination Post by Ken Johnson for Univ. Ill. Extension Jan. 20, 2023: Unfortunately, as seeds get older, their germination rate decreases. Fortunately, there is an easy way to test your seeds to see if planting them will be worthwhile. Learn how here.

Gardening Questions Answered Online Statewide Of course, you are welcome to contact your local county University of Missouri Extension office with any unanswered gardening questions or online using the topic search box here.



Thursday, May 23rd

Noon to 1:00 pm

A Wild Webcast by MDC: Everyone is invited to join, it's free and online Thursday, May 23, from noon to 1:00 pm. This webcast will answer many questions on the mass emergences of periodical cicadas. What are annual and periodical cicadas and how are they different? What will be happening, when, and where? Why is it happening and how do they know? When did this last happen and when will it happen next? Do they bite? What do they eat? What eats them? Do they hurt trees and plants? What is the life cycle? What do you do with the masses of shells and carcasses? More details and register in advance here.


Saturday, May 18

At 2 p.m

The Schoolcraft Chapter of the Ozark Society presents "Nature's Best Hope," an in-person presentation by Doug Tallamy, best-selling author of Bringing Nature Home and The Nature of Oaks on Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at the Darr Agricultural Center, 2401 S. Kansas Expressway, Springfield. The City of Springfield's Environmental Services will also be presenting on their Yard Ethic program.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. The Ozark Society members can attend free.

To register for the event, click here.

To become an Ozark Society member, click here.

Copperhead Study Findings

Friday, May 10th

7–8:30 p.m.

MDC Webinar Online Registration required by May 10. Copperheads conjure up curiosity, mystery, and even fear. In truth they are one of Missouri’s most intriguing and often least understood venomous snakes. Ben Jellen, associate professor of biology at the Univ. of Health Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis, has conducted a study of copperheads at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center over a period of five years. Learn about his latest findings at this special virtual presentation.

To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

Practical Advice from Successful Farmers

Free live zoom presentations from 7:00 - 8:00 pm CDT featuring tips and best practices from successful farmers and/or MU Extension educators in Southwest Missouri. Each session remaining below includes an on-farm video followed by a question and answer time with the featured farmer or educator:

• Tuesday, May 7, 'Sweet potatoes' with Curtis Millsap

• Tuesday, May 14, 'Alliums' with Curtis Millsap

• Tuesday, May 21, 'Leafy Greens' with Karen Scott

• Tuesday, May 28, 'Tomatoes' with Andre Gradinaru

• Thursday, May 30, 'Berry Farm Establishment' with Patrick Byers, MU Extension, and Angela Brattin

Register here.

The series will be recorded and posted with other information in June here.

For more information, contact Eileen Nichols at 417-483-8139 or

Read the training Information linked here for review and to learn more details.

Beekeeping 101

with Convoy of Hope

In-person free on Thursday, May 9th, 2024

From 6:00 - 7:30pm

Sponsored by Springfield Community Gardens. Location in Convoy of Hope’s Center For Agriculture and Food Security (CAFS), 7483 W. Farm Rd 144, Springfield, MO.65802. Join SCG with Bruce Snavely, an avid local beekeeper of 17 years for an evening of apiculture (beekeeping) conversation and instruction! Bruce has served as former president and board member of the Beekeeping Association of the Ozarks and Program Chair of the Missouri State Beekeepers Association. He continues to study honey bee and pollinator biology and loves to share what he has learned.

This session will cover the basics of beekeeping for beginners! No registration is necessary for this free, educational workshop. Anyone may attend the training on Thursday, May 9th at Convoy of Hope’s Center For Agriculture and Food Security (CAFS), 7483 W. Farm Rd 144, Springfield, MO.65802.

Facebook event link with map.

Penn. State Extension Classes

Your First Online Course Get 25% Off Through May 18th From Penn State Extension - Published April 2024: Try your hand at gardening; Build your farm; Grow your business; Find ways to improve your family’s health and well-being.

Choose from over 100 affordable, on-demand courses in various topics.

Learn more 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: 

Mosquito Traps

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Try the bucket of 'DOOM' - Information here.

Researched Based Articles

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.

What is Lovett Pinetum? 'Lovett Pinetum' is an arboretum focused on conifers and research. Located near Springfield, MO (at 2706 N Pearson Valley Dr, Strafford, MO 65757) in the scenic Ozarks, the grounds include thousands of conifers planted across a diverse terrain. Learn more about this unique Pinetum here.

Beware of the Lone Star Tick It is tick season again, and the Lone Star tick is out there. If bitten it can live you with the inability to eat to meats that have fur. Be on the watch out. For more information click here.

The Goodness of Gardening by David Trinklein, MU Plant Science & Tech. April 2024: April was National Garden Month, an opportunity to create a living tapestry that reflects your personal style, provides a space for relaxation and enjoyment. The benefits include: 1. Economic; 2. Health; 3. Psychological; 4. Environmental; 5. Social; 6. Educational. Learn the details here.

PROBLEMS IN THE GARDEN: INSECTS & PESTS 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.

Raised-Bed Gardening by David Trinklein, MU Extension, Horticulture State Specialist, MU Plant Science & Tech: Raised-bed gardening is a popular technique for growing plants in Missouri. Vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs may be grown in raised beds, which can be attractive as well as useful. Contents of this guide include: Advantages of raised-bed gardening; Types of raised beds; Construction materials; Raised-bed design; Soil mix; Maintenance of raised beds. Read here.

Would You Eat This Purple Tomato? by Diana Hubbell for Gastro Obscura Mar 27, 2024: This fruit owes its luminous violet shade to snapdragon flower DNA. It looks like the kind of nightshade one might grow in Fern Gully, a lustrous, near-black tomato veined with bursts of alien fuchsia. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a Missouri-based seed company, has a long history of offering strikingly photogenic heirloom tomatoes. Learn more 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.

Felines not a purr-fect match for Easter lilies and similar flowers Writer Linda Geist for MU Extension Mar 26, 2024: A favorite spring flower, the Easter lily, should be kept away from cats. If ingested, it could kill them. The perennial plant’s white, trumpet-like flowers might not sound the warning that all parts of it are highly toxic to felines. Learn more here.

Twinkling of a Summer Night by Noppadol Paothong for Missouri Conservationist May 2024: It’s one of the true wonders of nature to see fireflies winking across a field, or if you are lucky enough, to see an entire group of fireflies in a stream valley blinking on and off in unison. In Missouri, this phenomenon starts in late May and June. Fireflies, or lightning bugs, are the only flying, bioluminescent insects found in Missouri. Continue reading here.

Does trillium grow in Missouri? There are 7 species of Trillium in Missouri. White Wake Robin (White Trillium) with height to 2 feet is the largest trillium in Missouri. Some of the other species and locations in Missouri: Snow or dwarf white trillium (T. nivale) is uncommon, mostly found in northeast Missouri. It’s the smallest and earliest-blooming trillium in our state and often forms colonies. Green trillium (T. viridescens) lives mostly in the southwestern Ozarks and has green or yellowish-green petals, sometimes with a purplish tinge. Learn more here.

Woodbine (Clematis virginiana) Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: A Missouri native, easily grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. This species will thrive and bloom in considerable shade. Blooms on current year's growth. May be pruned back hard (to 8-12” from the ground) to strong leaf buds in fall after flowering or in late winter to early spring. Learn more here.

Wild Hyacinth Wild Guide by Missouri Department of Conservation from Missouri Conservationist May 2023: Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) is Missouri native wildflower and flowers from April through May with six tepals (three petals and three petal-like sepals) that are white to bluish white or or lavender. Learn more here.

Angelonia: Sun-loving Garden Neophyte by David Trinklein MU Plant Science & Tech April 22, 2024: In the world of ornamental flowering annuals, there are relatively few newcomers in the marketplace. Angelonia, sometimes referred to as "summer snapdragon" is an exception to that rule. Nearly unheard of in the 20th century, its ability to thrive in sunny, hot weather and arid locations makes it an excellent choice for most summer gardens. Learn more here.

Nectar-rich native plants that are loved by hummingbirds These plants co-evolved with hummingbirds, and their nectar may be more nutritious to them, learn more here.

Also, keep in mind that hummingbirds need tiny caterpillars and other insects as well as tiny spiders to feed their babies. Not only are spiders important as food, but spider silk is required as a nest-building material for hummingbirds -- they use spider silk to hold their nest together. Shared by Su Lyn Rogers

MU Extension research on lavender finds options for Missouri growers by writer Linda Geist Apr 4, 2024: After three years of research, MU Extension horticulture specialists are learning how to successfully grow lavender in Missouri. The popularity of lavender’s fresh scent has endured since ancient times. “Lavender is more popular than ever,” says MU Extension horticulturist Kelly McGowan, who led the study. Learn more here.

Squirrels - Integrated Pest Management Strategies by Missouri Botanical Garden: Three squirrel species are commonly identified as living in Missouri and surrounding areas: the fox squirrel, Sciurus niger, the gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, and the southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans. Unfortunately, very little can be done to control squirrels, especially in areas where oak and nut trees provide a fairly predictable source of food. However, read on to learn more here.

Public Encouraged to Leave Wildlife Wild by Missouri Dept. of Conservation (MDC)' by Jill Pritchard April 12, 2024: Spring season brings newborn wildlife; interfering with animals does more harm than good. “We know people have good intentions, and it can be tempting to take these cute, young animals in our homes, but the best thing we can do for wild animals is to leave them be,” explained MDC State Wildlife Veterinarian Sherri Russell. Learn more here.

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) Beauty for Your Landscaping by The Morton Arboretum: This is an excellent small specimen tree. Two outstanding characteristics are the four-petaled, white flowers that appear above the foliage in June and reddish-purple fall color. Learn more including photos here.

TWO INKS: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) by MDC: Eastern redbud is a Missouri native shrub or small tree. It is very ornamental in spring with small, clustered, rose-purple flowers covering the bare branches before the leaves. Leaves are simple, alternate, 2–6 inches long, 1¼–6 inches wide, oval to heart-shaped, tip pointed, base heart-shaped; upper surface dark green, smooth; lower surface paler and smooth with some hairs along veins and in vein axils; leaf stalk 1¼–5 inches long, smooth. Learn more here.

PLUS: Why do Redbud trees bloom on the trunk and limbs? According to Michael Dirr (Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) and Virginia Native Plant Society, it turns out that flowering on the trunk or limbs aka ‘cauliflory’ is a normal growth characteristic for redbud trees. Learn more about redbuds here.

Can You Grow An Elderberry In A Pot? Tips For Growing Elderberries In Containers' by Jackie Carroll for Gardening Know How: Elderberries are highly ornamental shrubs that produce tasty berries in late summer and early fall. Most are grown in the landscape but growing elderberries in containers is possible. This article explains how to care for container-grown elderberry bushes. Learn more here.

Here are five common butterflies found throughout the United States. You can attract these butterflies if you plant their host plants. To learn more click here.

Other Newsletters of Interest for Spring Reading

Garden spade 2024

The Garden Spade Newsletter April 2024 by MU Extension Articles Include: + Spinach + Summer Annual Grasses + Radish + Cedar-Apple Rust + Mulching Plants + Hort Oils Pest Control + Eastern Tent Caterpillar vs. Fall Webworm + April Garden Tips & Tasks + Upcoming Events & Flyers. Details and more here.

Home Garden News by Penn State Extension April 2024 Topics: Care of Spring Holiday Plants + Rhubarb in the Garden and the Kitchen + Starting a New Perennial Garden + Phlox in the Home Garden + Cool Season, Native Ornamental Grasses for the Home Garden + Home Gardening Categories Find Your Interests + Online Learning Opportunities. Details and more here.

May Gardening Tips Missouri Environment & Garden News for MU IPM April 17, 2024 Growing season is finally here! Find these tips, tricks and tasks to keep you busy in and around the garden throughout the month of May: Outdoor Flowering Plants & Ornamentals + Vegetable Gardening + Fruits & Nuts + Cool & Warm Season Lawns + Plus More. Learn details here.

Missouri Produce Growers Video Newsletter by MU Extension Hort. Team April, 19, 2024 Topics: Organic Fertility Management + Growing Mushrooms in Buckets + Foliar Testing to Maximize Tomato Yields + Whitefly Control in High Tunnels + Chinese Chestnuts + Class Offerings, New Publications, Newsletters, Grants for MO Growers. Details and more here.

Engaged Neighbor Newsletter & Media Releases by David Burton MU Extension, April 24, 2024: A monthly communication with individuals interested in becoming an engaged neighbor and improving their neighborhood and community. Read here.

Missouri Prairie Foundation News April 23, 2024: Protecting Prairies & Promoting Native Plants Bringing Prairie to the People: These Topics & More: May 4: EcoTones Concert + May MPF Native Plant Sales & Prairie Hikes. Details & More Here.

Monarch First Arrivals Picking Up by Journey North, Monarch and Milkweed Project News' April 25, 2024: Monarch watchers in the eastern U.S. eagerly anticipate the arrival of monarch butterflies... Find out more by reading this news update. Keep contributing your monarch and milkweed observations... and don't forget to include photos! Read more here.

BEWARE: It's that time of year!!


Periodical Cicada Emergence "This should be happening at any time and I’ve attached an informational sheet you might find of interest. We don’t know how much of an emergence there will be, but it’s nothing to panic about," says Kelly McGowan, Field Specialist in Horticulture, MU Extension Greene County, Springfield.

See Related Article: Billions of cicadas bring buzzy magic to Missouri in 2024 by MU Extension: Experts anticipate billions of cicadas emerging together in Northeastern Missouri this spring as part of a rare ecological event. Read here.

PLUS Press Release by The Morton Arboretum: Expert tips for protecting trees and shrubs from historic spring cicadas After leaves emerge, preferably when they are fully expanded and hardened off, and before the cicadas arrive, cover small trees and shrubs, including those with few developed branches, with a fine protective netting, such as tulle fabric. Close gaps in the netting with binder clips, clothespins or staples and gather the fabric around the trunk as near to the ground as possible. Once the emergence event is over, remove the netting. More details here.

NOTE: Check netting daily as birds may become entangled in the netting.

May's Tips and Tasks

12 Best Fruits for Containers

20 Dreamy Hydrangea Gardens

Blueberries: Companion Plants

Can you Plant Garlic in the Spring?

How to Repot an Orchid

Why Not to Put Broken Egg Shells in your Soil

9 Disastrous Vegetable Planting Companion Pairings

7 Vertical Vegetable Garden Ways to Save Space

Why are There Ants on My Peonies

Top 10 Flowering Ground Covers

Dividing Iris the Right Way

How Much Mulch do you Need?

6 Types of Organic Mulch vs Rubber

14 Front Yard Plants That Won't Take Over

How and When to Prune Hydrangeas

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

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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) 881-8909

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