Ask a Master Gardener

Watering Your Plants

Watering Your Plants

Saturday, June 22, 2024

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the large quantity of rain we were receiving and its effect on our plants and gardens. Now that monsoon season appears to be over, we have a different task: making sure our plants get the amount of water they need.
Water is absorbed into the plants through their roots. The plants lose water through their leaves by a process called transpiration. When the plants have the proper amount of water available, the leaves look like they should. They are standing up or...

IPM Part 2

IPM Part 2

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

If you are a regular reader of this column, last Tuesday we began a discussion about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with integrated pest management being defined as an approach to gardening in which we attempt to manage or minimize the problems we have with pests in our gardens without reaching for the pesticide as a first response.
Last week we talked about Cultural Controls; things you could do to help minimize the opportunity for a pest problem to arise. In the case of disease, you could...

Hypoxylon Canker

Hypoxylon Canker

Saturday, June 15, 2024

By now, everything that is going to green up, has greened up. So, if you have a plant that hasn’t green up, there’s likely an issue. But what if it’s one of your beautiful oak trees? Here’s what you need to know.
Oak trees are a one of the standard trees we find across Oklahoma. They are durable, and for the most part problem-free trees to have in your landscape. However, there is a disease that can kill a mature oak tree. It is called hypoxylon canker aka biscogniauxia canker.
Hypoxylon...

IPM part 1

IPM part 1

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Now that most of us have our summer vegetable crops in the ground, let’s talk about what happens next, and by next I mean the arrival of all those uninvited guests that want to eat the fruits of our labors before we can.
I mean, it stands to reason. We are growing food and we should probably get used to the idea that the food we are growing will also be seen as delicious to many insects and a variety of plant diseases.  We tend to call them pests. But in reality, we are the ones who planted...

Good fungus found in soil - Mycorrhizae

Good fungus found in soil - Mycorrhizae

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Fungal diseases in plants are always a problem, likely even more so this spring since we’ve been living through monsoon season. Likely, many of you are starting to experience powdery mildew or some other form of moisture induced disease on some of your plants. However, as we learn more about soil chemistry, we are becoming aware of the relationship between plant roots and fungus, especially one called mycorrhizae.
Mycorrhiza means “fungal root” and this fungus exists in a relationship to plant...

Landscapes of Love Garden Tour

Landscapes of Love Garden Tour

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Spring has to be the favorite time of year for gardeners. It’s a time when a lot of the things we love about being gardeners converge; being outside, prepping our garden, planning our garden, planting our new annuals, and watching our perennial favorites come back to life. But as gardeners, we are always on the lookout for something new of interesting for our garden, or something new to replace those plants that didn’t come back this year.
Shopping in the local garden center is a great way to...

Water, Water, Everywhere

Water, Water, Everywhere

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Water, it seems like in Oklahoma, we either get too much or too little. As a rule we kind of know that we are going to have an over-abundance of rain in the spring, but when summer hits in full strength, water is going to be hard to come by. Let’s talk about some of the water challenges we face each year.
We all know that life without water is impossible, and we start to get a little nervous when we go a while without any rain. This is likely due to the cultural memory of the dust bowl which...

Bagworms

Bagworms

Saturday, May 25, 2024

While we haven’t seen a lot of bagworm activity yet, they are out there, and here’s what you need to know.
Most of us are familiar with bagworms having seen their bag-like home on a variety of plants and structures. For the most part, bagworms seem to prefer eastern red cedar, arborvitae, or other junipers. However, they can take up residence most anywhere, even on buildings.
Bagworm eggs overwinter inside the bags and begin to hatch sometime in April or early May. Once they hatch then exit...

Growing Beans

Growing Beans

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Beans are a great garden crop for home gardeners here in NE Oklahoma and there are a variety of beans available that should fit most anyone’s growing style. I say growing style, because whether we acknowledge it or not, each of our personal gardens has a particular style and by style, I mean our approach to growing vegetables.
Some of us have nice, neat rows of vegetables where weeds that want to crowd our vegetables are quickly dispatched to the trash. While others may be equally weed free...

Growing Seedless Watermelons

Growing Seedless Watermelons

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Summer brings the arrival of one of our garden favorites - watermelon. One of the primary challenges to eating watermelon can be those pesky seeds. We don’t want to eat them because, you know, a watermelon will grow in your belly (just kidding). Or, we embrace our inner child and consider seed spitting as a recreational activity, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Seedless watermelons can overcome this challenge. But how in the world do they grow watermelons without seeds, since this is the...