Ask a Master Gardener

Gardening for Birds

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

It seems like the older I get, the more interest I have in birds. They are so beautiful and fun to watch. What can I do in my yard to attract more birds? KM
Birds are another one of nature’s pleasures to enjoy and appreciate. I’m not sure an interest in watching birds is age related, but we’ll just leave that right there.
I saw a post on social media recently showing a variety of birds and they were all identified as “Bird.” The tagline was something like “This is how I look at birds.”...

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I am seeing webs of some kind of insect in my tree where the branches join. What are these and what should I do about them? EC
It sounds like you are describing Eastern Tent Caterpillars. These insects are similar to the Fall Web Worms we see each fall, but they manifest differently.
One of the main differences you will notice is the webbing. Eastern Tent Caterpillars tend to build their webs where the branches split off the main stem while Fall Web Worms build their webs out at the end...

Lady Beetles

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

I really love ladybugs and I’ve heard they are good for your garden. Is that true? JG
Ladybugs have to be one of our favorite garden visitors: right up there with butterflies and bees. Technically, ladybugs are called lady beetles or ladybirds although I don’t remember the last time, I heard someone call them ladybirds. Even though there are approximately 450 varieties of lady beetles in North America, the one we are probably most familiar with is the convergent lady beetle aka Hippodamia...

Hummingbirds

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

I love watching and listening to the hummingbirds in my garden. When should I put my hummingbird feeder out? CC
I agree. I love hummingbirds. My wife and I have a hummingbird feeder right outside the window where we eat our meals. So, we get to see their comings and goings up close through the window. And if the window is open, getting to hear the buzzing that comes from their wings is an extra bonus we enjoy.
Hummingbirds are migratory and it looks like they are headed our way. There...

Planting Dates

Sunday, March 28, 2021

In this week’s Ask a Master Gardener article we are going to discuss one question, and it’s one question we get thousands of times: “Is it too early to plant vegetable transplants?” It’s a question that usually starts to pop up in mid-February and continues throughout March.
It seems like, as gardeners, we all have a common malady: we want to get our plants in the ground and our gardens started as soon as possible. It makes sense. Gardening is something that, once it gets in your blood, you...

Rust Disease and Bradford Pears

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Last year my Bradford Pear’s leaves were covered with rust fungus. What can I do this year to prevent that from happening again? CS
You are correct. It seems like rust disease was everywhere last spring. There are a variety of rust diseases such as cedar-apple rust, Asian pear rust, cedar-hawthorn rust, and cedar-quince rust to name a few. While these diseases are not terribly harmful to their host, they can diminish the vitality of the host plant and reduce production on fruit trees. You...

Pollinator Gardens

Saturday, March 20, 2021

I read your article on Monarch butterflies and milkweed. What do I need to know if I want to make my flower garden more attractive to all pollinators? JM
I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm in creating a pollinator habitat in your landscape. Some might ask why we need to care about pollinators. Well, here are some interesting tidbits of information. Of the approximately 1400 plants that are grown for food and plant-based industrial products, about 80% require pollination. More than 50%...

Educational Opportunities

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Don’t you all usually have some gardening classes in the spring? How do I find out about those? PJ
Yes, we usually have several educational opportunities for Tulsa gardeners and this year is no exception.
One of the mandates for Tulsa Master Gardeners (the prime directive if you will) is to be a resource of university/research-based information for the people of their home counties. Tulsa County is no exception. Let’s run through some of the opportunities that are available to you this...

Monarchs and Milkweed

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I’ve seen posts on social media about how important it is for us to plant milkweed for the Monarch butterflies. What is the big deal? BF
I am glad you are seeing these posts, that means word is getting out and more people are realizing the importance of Milkweed in our gardens. Here’s the deal.
For the most part, there are two Monarch populations in the United States. There are the Eastern Monarchs and the Western Monarchs. The Rocky Mountains serve as the dividing line between the two.

Raised Beds

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

I am wondering if the flowers in my garden will survive the deep-freeze we just endured. Should my perennials survive or am I looking at having to replace a lot of plants. PF
Oftentimes the term perennial can be confusing so let’s talk a bit about plant classifications and growing zones.
When we go shopping for flowers, we tend to find them grouped into two categories: annuals and perennials. But annuals can be perennials and perennials can be annuals - depending on their growing zone...