Spring Has Sprung . . . Almost!

    March 2019 / Volume 144
March Horticultural Tips
Know what you should be doing in the month of February.  A selection of garden tips (trees & shrubs, fruits & nuts, flowers, turf, vegetables and much more) can be found by clicking GARDEN TIPS.
Tulsa Master Gardeners: Did You Know?
Tulsa County Master Gardener Plant Sale Fundraiser
Tulsa County Master Gardeners
Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser
For several months this year a short video will be highlighted in the newsletter to illustrate what your Tulsa Master Gardeners are doing around your community. Last two months, the video highlighted your Master Gardeners in the classroom (K - 5) as well as in Senior Living Centers around Tulsa. This month focuses on our BIG SPRING PLANT SALE.  The Tulsa Master Gardeners are a non-profit organization and all proceeds go to supporting the various educational and beautification programs around the Tulsa community.  You won't want to miss this one!


March Short Story #1
Veggies To Plant In March


April (Looking Ahead) - Watch Out For A Late Frost!

For the full Oklahoma Garden Planning Guide, click on HLA-6004.
Soil Testing - Now Is A Great Time

Oftentimes, about mid growing season, we wonder what we are doing so wrong that causes our plants to look so weak and sometimes sickly. After all, we fertilized.  What else do we need?  Yes, we need to fertilize, but we need to fertilize smartly!

Giving our lawns and gardens what they need and the minerals and elements required for proper absorption can only be determined by a soil test. Blanket application without test results may result in a waste of time, money, and effort. More importantly, they may pose serious environmental problems such as excess chemicals flowing into waterways.

Click on SOIL TESTING to learn about the benefits of soil testing, how to properly take a soil sample and additional informational fact sheets on the subject.
Lawn Weed Pre-Emergent Application

It has been said that a weed is but an unloved flower. Not for the majority of us! Most of us hate those weeds, especially the ones that come up early in the season. Furthermore, most of us like as weed-free of a lawn as possible, but a truly weed-free lawn requires a multi-faceted approach and must be repeated.

To achieve a lawn that is (nearly) free from weeds that propagate themselves by dropping seeds (especially crabgrass), it is imperative to interrupt its propagation cycle by using a pre-emergent. Pre-emergent weed control is using an herbicide that forms a barrier at the soil line which interrupts this propagation cycle by keeping the seeds from germinating in the first place.

However, there is a bit more to it than simply spreading the herbicide.  To learn more about timing and other aspects critical to successful application for w eed prevention,  c lick on PRE-EMERGENT.
March Short Story #2
Six Pre-Emergent Myths Busted

#1 No prior crabgrass issues = no need for pre-emergents
Crabgrass seeds can be transported great distances, by the wind or by animals. And, weed seeds are viable for a long time in the soil.  Best  to treat the yard every year.

#2 Thick lawns don't need to be treated
While it is true that thick, healthy lawns are able to shade the soil surface and reduce crabgrass germination, there is no guarantee that the lawn will be able to maintain its lushness throughout spring and summer.  Applying a pre-emergent herbicide can serve as an insurance policy on the off chance the yard suddenly loses its luster.

#3 Soil aeration breaks the pre-emergent control barrier
Because pre-emergent herbicides create a barrier in the soil, it is a commonly-held belief that aeration will disrupt this layer.  T here have been several published research articles that demonstrate no reduction of weed control with spring aeration.

#4 Spot-treating is more effective
The consensus among scientists is that this method is ineffective.   It is better to treat the entire yard with a pre-emergent herbicide to create a complete soil barrier.

#5 Post-emergent herbicides are better
Pre-emergent herbicides have very little chance of affecting the established turf and require far fewer applications. P re-emergent applications are easier to schedule because the products won't degrade if applied early. For  the cheaper and easier option for  controlling crabgrass , beating it to the punch by putting down a pre-emergent is the preferred method

#6 Pre-emergents must be applied at an exact time
There are several timing factors that people tend to go by, either waiting for a specific month depending on their region, or monitoring soil temperatures. Crabgrass starts to germinate when the soil temperature has been above 50 degrees for several days.  The most important thing is to remember that it is better to apply early than too late.

In 1999, the faculty of Oklahoma State University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture began the Oklahoma Proven Program - a program designed to evaluate, recommend and market plants best suited for our challenging Oklahoma climate and soil conditions.

Every year since, winning selections are released in the four categories - tree, shrub, perennial and annual - just in time for planting! 

Click on OKLAHOMA PROVEN for descriptions of the 2019 winners (shown below) as well as a link that shows all of the Oklahoma Proven selections dating back to 1999. .

Proper Tree Planting - It DOES Make A Difference!

All across Oklahoma, opportunities abound to plant flowering trees, fruit trees and some trees that will one day reach heights well beyond thirty feet. The proper time to plant a tree in our zone is from October to March, essentially from fall to early spring. During that time, a newly planted tree has an opportunity to attach itself to the soil, benefit from the organic matter and countless organisms that together support its life. Plant-ready trees come in either a container or what is referred to as ball and burlap (B&B).  The following are general instructions to ensure proper planting and thus providing the tree with a strong chance for success.

Click on TREE PLANTING to learn how to properly plant both container trees as well as Ball & Burlap (B&B) trees.  
Pine Tree Diseases: Part 2

            {Dothistroma Needle Blight}                      {Tip Blight Spore Structures}
Pine tree needles turning brown?  Don't panic! As we learned from last month's newsletter (in Part 1 of this mini series), all pine trees drop needles in autumn as part of their natural life cycle. The shedding process can take 2 to 3 months to complete. However, if browning needles occur in other seasons, it's a good indication that something is not right. 

Click on  PINE TREE DISEASES to look at some of the issues that might be causing the problem.
Pine Wilt Disease: Part 1
(In Case You Missed This Last Month)

{Early symptom of Pine Wilt}                       {Mature pine killed by Pine Wilt}
What's not to love about pine trees? Many are drought resistant, cold hardy, and adaptable to poor soils. And, especially now in the midst of winter, pines present bold statements. Defiantly green, they shrug off bitter cold temperatures, icy rains, and thick snows.  But, u nfortunately, non-native pines are susceptible to one of the most devastating pine tree diseases - Pine Wilt.  Once infected, a tree will die within a few weeks to a few months and there is no cure.

For more on pine trees, this disease, and what can / should be done about it, click on PINE WILT DISEASE.

Planning An Herb Garden

There are a variety of reasons for planting an herb garden. All the reasons will likely lead to your enjoyment. First, they are fragrant in your kitchen AND in your garden. They are tasty and add zest to many recipes. They add texture, shapes and a variety of green shades to your gardens.  Many herbs attract butterflies, providing them nectar and places to lay eggs. And, some herbs even have medicinal purposes. But, some of the best news is that most herbs are pest free.

It just takes a little know how to plan for a successful herb garden.  For more information and some planning "rules of thumb", c lick on PLANNING AN HERB GARDEN.
How To Tackle Challenging Soil Conditions

Talk about starting at the root of the problem . . . garden soil is much more than just simple dirt. Our soil is actually a complex mixture of mineral particles, organic material, moisture, living organisms, and chemical nutrients that give life to our greenery.  And, if one or more of those ingredients is missing, less than optimum growing results will occur.

Soil can be divided into three main types: clays, loams and sands. Each of these soil types have both pros and cons.  Some are better for growing than others. For more information on how to determine which soil type you have as well as what to do about improving it (short term and longer term), click  on CHALLENGING SOIL CONDITIONS for information as well as some very helpful research-based fact sheets.


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
Did you know that we have been around for over three decades, since 1983?  And, we plan to be around for many more decades.  Did you know that  we are one of the top five Master Gardener county programs in the entire nation?  We are, indeed, because of the size of our Foundation membership, the diversity and activity level of our 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 program, click on   TULSA MASTER GARDENER ENDOWMENT FUND.
If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund our annual expenses, click on  TULSA MASTER GARDENER AGENCY FUND.
We thank you for having been such faithful contributors both in the past and in advance for your future consideration and participation!  The Tulsa area is such a giving community!
Got a Question? Or Maybe a Soil or Plant Sample?
MG logo
Our Master Gardeners are on hand to assist you with even the toughest gardening questions. Visit us in person, by phone, via email or online! Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 4116 E. 15th Street, Gate 6 at the Fairgrounds
Phone: (918) 746-3701

Need More Information?
law n fertilizer
complex leaves
All about butterfly gardening in Tulsa County.

How to Take a Soil Test
How to collect a good sample of soil from your lawn or garden and get it tested at the OSU lab.

Once you have collected your soil test and gotten the results back, now what? Find out here. 

Show and tell.
Cool Season Lawn Care (Fescue)
12-month maintenance calendar.
State horticulturists, nurseries and growers pick favorite plants, shrubs and trees for use in the Oklahoma landscape. See the winners for this year and years past.

A list of recommended trees with descriptions. 

A list of over 60, by size and color.

Visit our demonstration garden on  15th Street, open 7 days a week. 

Current and historical source of rainfall, air temperatures, soil temps and much more. Click on Bixby station.  

                                    Like what you've seen
Tulsa County Logo
OSU Extension Logo 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.