APRIL 2021

The OSU Tulsa County Extension Office is open again to the public so feel free to drop by to ask a Master Gardener any questions you may have and/or drop off your soil samples. You will be required to wear a mask while in the office.

Several Tulsa Master Gardener events are back on schedule for 2021:
  • 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)

MGs are back in the office answering the phone lines so call us with all your questions.

MG e-mail traffic is being monitored daily from the office phone room and will be responded to as quickly as possible.

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

Learn about what you should be doing in the month of APRIL. A selection of Garden Tips (Fruit & Nut, Tree & Shrub, Flowers, Vegetables, Landscape, and Lawn) can be found by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.
The online pre-order process closed at the end of March. The drive-through pick up will occur on Thursday, April 22nd at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Exchange Building from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Exchange Building is located directly north of the large River Spirit Expo Building. Enter through Gate 1 off 21st street. There will be no Day-Of-Sale plant sale this year. For the picking up of your pre-orders 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.
Available through Tulsa Master Gardeners and Tulsa Central Library Facebook pages.
From Green Country Master Composters

Ahh, spring is in the air and our minds turn to gardening. That’s right - love of beautiful gardens and gardening. That’s why this month’s article looks at the renewed interest in compost tea. Never heard of compost tea?  Well, you are in the right place.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Compost tea is a liquid produced by extracting beneficial microorganisms (microbes), bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, and micro arthropods – from compost using a brewing process.” Basically, it is a natural, liquid fertilizer that replenishes the soil which seems to make compost tea a topic worth investigating.
If that is not enough to interest you, click on COMPOST TEA to find out more about needed materials, how-to-make directions, and recommendations. Also, you will find several helpful resources at the end in order to delve further into this subject.

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

Water Gardens:
Opening Up For The Season
Well, our long winter is starting to lessen its grip and spring is here. Your sleeping pond is ready to awaken, so help your pond or water garden make a healthy and stress-free transition back to life. 

Remember that spring is a critical time to ensure you have a healthy and enjoyable pond system for the rest of the year so, before you “fire up” the water garden for its first use, there are a few things to keep in mind. Click on WATER GARDENS to find out what those things are.
#1 No prior crabgrass issues = no need for pre-emergent
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. There 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. Pre-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-emergent 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.

law n fertilizer
Lawn care in the Spring does not have to be complicated. In fact, knowing just a few facts and tips on dethatching, aeration, fertilization and watering will go a long way to creating a successful lawn. For those recommendations and tips, click on SPRING LAWN CARE.
In February we featured Part One of a four-part series on Designing, Building, Planting, and Maintaining a vegetable / herb garden. It focused on the planning and designing phase. If you missed it or would like to review such, click on PART 1.

Last month, we covered the building phase of a new vegetable garden, including in-ground, forms of raised bed and container layouts, as well as soil types and preparation for the new garden. If you missed it or would like to review such, click on PART 2.

Well, now Spring has finally arrived and it's time to get to planting that vegetable and/or herb garden. So, welcome to the third installment of our four-part vegetable gardening series. Assuming you have completed the work outlined in the first two articles, it’s PLANTING TIME! But, wait. Part One discussed important temperature and timing issues, and this is recapped again in this edition along with "making arrangements" and companion planting. So, click on PLANTING THAT GARDEN to learn the in's and out's of planting a successful garden.

Next month we will complete this series on Maintaining the Garden.

Untreated (Dimensional) Lumber: Cheapest of all options but will degrade much faster than other materials. May only last 3-5 years.

Treated (Dimensional) Lumber / Landscape Timbers: Relatively inexpensive. Will last 5-15 years, depending on environmental conditions.

Red Cedar: Looks better and decays slower like treated lumber but will cost more.

Stone Pavers/Blocks: Much more durable, makes a nice looking border, but heavier to handle and more expensive.

Plasticized Lumber: Very durable, gives a more formal look, comes in several colors, lasts many years, but clearly most expensive (particularly the thicker widths). Thinner widths will likely require more inside bracing or risk warping under the weight and pressure of wetted soil.

No liner is needed unless building on top of known contaminated soil.
APRIL Planting Summary

Later In The Month (After Last Frost/Freeze) . . .

  • Beans: Pole, Green, Wax, Lima (seed)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Okra (seed)
  • Pepper
  • Pumpkin (seed)
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Corn (seed)
  • Tomatoes


Wait A Bit For . . .

  • Cantaloupe
  • Southern Peas (seed)
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Watermelon (seed)
Lasagna gardening, also known as sheet composting or sheet mulching, is an organic gardening method that results in rich soil with very little effort. It is a no till method that uses yard waste, kitchen scraps and other compostable items that would often be thrown away. 

Interested in learning more about a type of gardening that, overall, takes less effort? Click on LASAGNA GARDENING to read the whole story.
There are many opportunities to provide trees, shrubs, and flower beds mulch. Although mulching has many benefits, such as helping to reduce soil moisture loss and minimizing weed germination and growth, there is a tendency to misuse this beneficial landscaping resource.

Click on PROPER MULCHING to find out what TO DO and NOT TO DO.
By far, tomatoes are almost everyone's favorite vegetable (that's actually a fruit). We love to eat them but not always sure how best to grow them around these parts. Since they originate from the South American Andes mountains (about 700 AD) it can be a bit of a challenge to grow them in this climate vs where they came from.

This month we feature Part 1 of a multi-part series on growing tomatoes. Part 1 focuses on the environmental conditions necessary to have good success - proper air and soil temperatures, nutrients/fertilization, weed control, watering/moisture, and harvesting. Click on TOMATOES PART 1 for a PowerPoint slide show on such. NOTE: unlike Word documents that immediately appear on your screen when you click on the hyperlink, PowerPoint documents may download to the bottom lefthand corner of your screen, so be sure to look there and click on it to open it up.

Next month, we will begin to delve into the pest and disease challenges that almost everyone faces when growing tomatoes in Oklahoma, so you won't want to miss that.

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:

Jackie Rago

Nancy Kniatt*

Vija Sevier*

Bill Sterling

* Contributed to the MG Endowment Fund
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