Ask a Master Gardener

Fall Soil Testing

Fall Soil Testing

Saturday, October 23, 2021

I have been told I should get a soil test. Should I wait to do that until the spring growing season? MM
Soil testing to find out your soil nutrient levels is one of the best, most cost-effective things you can do for your lawn or garden and now is a great time. Here’s what you need to know and why.
To get your soil sample you will need two things: something to dig with and a bucket. We have special tools available to check out at the OSU Extension office here in Tulsa for gathering soil...

Growing Azaleas

Growing Azaleas

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

I have always enjoyed azaleas and would love to have some in my landscape, but I’ve heard they are a lot of trouble. Is that true? BK
Oklahoma’s hot summers and cold winters can make growing azaleas challenging, but if you need any inspiration, just schedule a trip to Honor Heights Park in Muskogee next spring to see a spectacular display of azaleas that prove you can be successful with azaleas in Oklahoma.
Rhododendrons and azaleas are in the same family. The term azalea is used to distinguish...

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Every year I enjoy the tulips I see around town in the spring. When do I need to plant those? LW
Tulip bulbs (among others) should be planted in the fall/early winter. It’s hard to give a definite date, but you should wait until soil temperatures are in the 50s. At the time of this writing, 4” soil temperatures in our area are in the high 60s so we have a few weeks yet (probably…it is Oklahoma). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead and get your bulbs now because as bulbs continue to...

Gophers

Gophers

Saturday, October 9, 2021

There are mounds of dirt appearing in my yard like something is digging. How do I stop this? SH
Your problem can probably be traced back to gophers; pocket gophers to be more specific. Pocket gophers are most active in the spring and the fall. They are called pocket gophers because they have fur-lined pouches on each of their cheeks they use to carry food back to their underground dens.
The mounds of dirt let you know you have gophers actively digging in your yard looking for food. These...

Praying Mantids

Praying Mantids

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

I have several praying mantids in my garden. Do I need to be concerned? EW
Praying mantids are part of the order Mantodea which is where the mantid part of their name comes from. The praying part comes from how the position of their front legs makes it look like they are praying. In reality you will hear this insect referred to as a praying mantis or praying mantid. Mantid in Greek means soothsayer or prophet so let’s talk a little bit about this insect called the praying prophet.
While...

Cold Frames

Cold Frames

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Now that the weather is cooling down, what is a good way to extend my vegetable growing season? NB
Many of us have been enjoying fresh vegetables from our gardens this summer. It’s hard to give that up, but we know freezing temps are a couple of months away. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to extend our growing season.
One of the things we can do is build a greenhouse but most of us are probably not going to be able to do that. If you can, greenhouses are great; especially...

Stink Bugs

Stink Bugs

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Some sort of insect is damaging my tomatoes. My neighbor told me they are stink bugs. What should I do? AR
Stink bugs are at their peak about now, so your neighbor is likely correct. Their unfortunate name comes from the fact that they can release a strong odor when disturbed. We have a couple of different kinds of stink bugs here; green ones and brown ones. Both varieties grow to between 1/2 and 2/3 of an inch in length and if you have sufficient numbers, they can do some damage.
Stink...

Trees for Tulsa

Trees for Tulsa

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

In a previous article you talked about fall being the best time to plant trees. Which trees do you recommend for our area? KW
Yes, fall is the best time to plant most trees. When you visit a nursery to select a tree to plant, it can be a little overwhelming, so let’s look at some Master Gardener recommended trees for Tulsa and surrounding areas. And just to add another layer, let’s concentrate on trees that are considered native to our area.
Why would we concentrate on native trees? Well,...

Dragonflies

Dragonflies

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

As a kid I remember seeing dragonflies all the time, but now I never see them. Do we still have dragonflies? TK
Yes, we still have dragonflies, depending on where you live. Let me explain.
There are about 5000 different species of dragonflies with almost 15% of those in danger of extinction. Since dragonflies are essentially aquatic insects that spend most of their life in the water, I am going to guess that as a kid you used to live near a pond or water source but now you don’t. Those...

Reseeding Fescue

Reseeding Fescue

Saturday, September 11, 2021

My fescue took a beating this year in the heat. Should I reseed in the fall or the spring? AC
Fescue is our primary grass for shady areas here in Tulsa. It can work in areas with full sun, but you might not want to pay the water bill that it takes to make that happen. However, saying that fescue is a grass for shady areas is a little misleading because all grass needs sun, fescue just does better in shady areas than Bermuda does. Part of the reason for this is that fescue is essentially a...