APRIL 2023 / VOLUME #193

A variety of topics (Vegetables, Fruit & Nut, Lawn, Tree & Shrub, Flowers, and more) are highlighted this month. So, learn about what you should be doing in the month of APRIL by clicking on GARDEN TIPS.
Well, the shopping (and spending) is over, and the planting fever is rapidly growing by the day, particularly on these warmer days. All that is left now is to pick up your plants and flowers and get 'em planted. Drive-through plant pick-up is from 7am to 7pm on Thursday, April 13th at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds Exchange Center (enter from Gate 1 on 21st street just west of Yale, as shown in the above map). It's easy - navigate yourself to the fairgrounds and get in line. There will be plenty of flags and signs to guide you - you can't miss it. Master Gardeners will greet you and navigate you through the pick-up line. You don’t even need to get out of your car. Just pop your trunk and we will place your order in your car for you. It doesn’t get much easier than that. See ya on the 13th.

And to learn more about your Tulsa Master Gardeners, the organization, and the community outreach programs in which we participate, click on TULSA MASTER GARDENERS.
Note that this year's Tulsa Master Gardeners Spring Lunch and Learn series is being held at both the Downtown Central Library on Tuesdays and at the Hardesty Regional Library on Thursdays.
Compost vs Mulch   

The differences and uses of compost vs mulch can be confusing to beginning gardeners. It’s good to know the differences between them and when to use each one. Compost AND mulch can both be used as a noun and a verb. So, with that, let’s take a closer look.

Compost - the noun - consists of decayed organic materials that help amend, condition, or fertilize soil. Compost - the verb - is the “process” of converting decayed organic matter, plant debris, and vegetable or food scraps into the “product”, which is the compost. It is important to note that compost is not considered soil. By itself, it lacks the structure to support healthy root systems. Compost is considered an amendment that has nutrients and microorganisms to be added to soil, thus it is used to add to soil to improve the quality of such. It is not to plant in, like soil.

On the other hand, mulch - the noun - is material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. Mulch - the verb - is the act of treating or covering with mulch. The most common advantages of mulch are inhibiting weed growth, preventing erosion, retaining soil moisture, and moderating soil temperature. There are many mulch varieties and products.
All gardeners are encouraged to find sources for new information such as the best types of mulches for specific zones or for specific types of soils. Decisions and information should be based on area, size of garden, and uses for mulch. Whether the need is to cover a few plants, a large garden, or small flowerbed will guide your search for information and decision. 

Please visit the Tulsa Master Gardeners website at 
tulsamastergardeners.org. Also, some excellent additional information on this subject can be found by clicking the links below:

Our newest column for the monthly MG e-Newsletter will be focused on weather-related topics, courtesy of Frank Mitchell who spent 30 years as a television meteorologist including KTUL in Tulsa. He is now a member of the 2022 Tulsa Master Gardeners Class.
Unless you own a sailboat or wind farm, you probably don’t appreciate windy days. I despise them. They make my eyes water, cause me to sneeze, and make my contacts feel like nails hitting me in the eye. Not to mention, the number they do on my tulips!

The winds of spring have arrived . . . in full force. So, have you ever wondered why it’s always so windy in the spring? Let’s start with the jet stream - that river of high winds that runs west to east across the US. In the summer it is way up north. In the winter it is way down south, but in the spring it runs right across the central united states. The result is storms and cold fronts crossing Oklahoma. Recently, we had up to 65 mph winds that caused damage in the Tulsa area due to one of those storm systems. This is why April is the beginning of our severe weather season which peaks in May and winds down in June. So, expect more windy days until we hit the Dog Days of Summer when we wish we could buy a breeze!
April is a great time to start planting vegetables in Oklahoma as the weather begins to warm up and the ground thaws. Oklahoma is known for its diverse agricultural industry, and the state’s climate is perfect for growing a variety of vegetables. When deciding what vegetables to plant in April, there are many options to consider. Some of the more popular include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and squash.

For a little more in-depth information on each veggie type, click on APRIL VEGGIES.
Tomatoes are a very popular garden vegetable that can be grown in a variety of climates and soil types. Having said that, in Oklahoma where the climate is warm/hot and dry, there can be certain challenges for tomato plants. However, with the right preparation and care, home gardeners, like yourself, can successfully grow juicy, flavorful tomatoes.

For more information on how to get tomatoes properly started in Oklahoma, click on TOMATOES. Contained therein will be a listing of the most popular types with their disease-resistant ratings. In addition, there will be several very helpful tips on preparing the soil/beds and properly maintaining the plants for maximum production/yield. Can't you just taste them now?
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 OK PROVEN and read on for descriptions of the 2023 winners. Then, check out the links at the end of this article for more information on previous years’ selections!
READY . . . SET . . . GROW
Gardens can provide a wide variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables to the home gardener by applying sound knowledge of the elements and components that will allow plants to thrive and produce.

The right first step is to start with a soil test from your local extension agency. The test results will provide information on the major plant nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), as well as soil pH.

The next step is . . . to click on GARDEN SOIL PREP to learn more about these and other necessary soil nutrients and the role they play to help deliver excellent results in your garden, flower beds, and turf.
Warm season grass . . . cool season grass . . . isn’t it all just grass? No, then which type is best for my lawn? Here in Northeastern Oklahoma the answer is actually both. Warm season grasses can take our high summer temperatures and often-limited rainfall better than cool season grasses. Cool season grasses are more shade tolerant and will stay green from October through April when warm season grasses are dormant and brown.
Click on TURF TYPES to find out what the first step is for any successful lawn as well as the basic difference between the two types. As a bonus, there is also a terrific series of additional resources at the end of the article for your further learning and reading pleasure.
A couple of years ago we ran a 4-part series on the basics of vegetable gardening, from the Planning phase, to Building it, then Planting it, and finally to Maintaining it. So, 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 or refresher, welcome back.

Last time, these articles were spread out over four spring months. This time all four articles are here in one place for your reading pleasure. It's Spring, so let's get going.

Running these two articles one more time in case you are an allergy sufferer and missed them last month. Spring allergy season starts with eastern red cedar, followed by elm, maple, oak, cottonwood, and poplar, just to name a few. Even though the two articles below are for other seasons, both have some excellent tips on managing this pesky issue even in the spring.


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

========================================================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.
You can get answers to all of your gardening questions:

4116 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74112