Wednesday, May 24, 2017 By: Ask A Master Gardener

Master Gardener School Programs are Fun and Very Popular

Bill Sevier: Master Gardener
Master Gardener School Programs are popular
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Q: I teach second grade and would like to have a Master Gardener school program for my students. How do I go about this? N.M., Tulsa
A: These programs are popular, and the demand often exceeds what can be supplied. The programs consist of Master Gardeners going into a classroom and teaching one of the eight different preset presentations.
The average classroom size is about 24 children at the K-1 through fifth-grade level. The Master Gardeners are busy with this program and taught one of these gardening-related programs to 645 different classes this past year. This amounted to teaching 15,592 Tulsa children.
To get started with your request, go to the Master Gardener website ( and select “School Programs” on the home page to access a form having information about each program’s content and availability. A school program will then be scheduled, if available.
The set programs presented by Master Gardeners are outlined below.
Insects and Spiders: Friend or Foe — Students are taught the difference between insects and spiders, as well as which of these to avoid.
Seedy Side Show — Teaches about the different types of seeds, what they consist of and how they germinate and form plants. They get to dissect their own seeds.
Six-Legged Super Heroes — Discussion and video about beneficial insects, including pollinators, and why it is important to protect them.
Soil Detectives — Discusses what soil consists of and how it was formed. Students will use a supplied hand lens to inspect the different components of soil.
Something to Sprout About — Informs students about how seeds “sleep” until it is time to germinate. They learn about the different types of sprouts and get to plant and germinate their own seeds from materials supplied by the Master Gardeners.
Tree Time — Students are taught about the parts of a tree, including how to determine its age by counting rings. The importance of trees to our environment is stressed. Comparisons are made between the needs of humans and trees.
Whirling Wings — Teaches how to tell the difference between butterflies and moths and how their behavior is different. The fact that they are not only pretty but also serve as important pollinators is taught. Visual aids of samples of flowers that attract both types of insects are presented.
Worms to the Wise — Students learn about how earthworms are “nature’s plows.” What worms eat and what makes them so valuable to gardeners and farmers is stressed. Students get to observe their own worms from the Master Gardener’s portable worm farm.
As mentioned, these programs are in great demand. They also cost money for supplies. The OSU Tulsa Master Gardeners have no outside source of funding for their volunteer activities and depend on profits from the spring plant sale, garden tour and donations to be able to offer these activities to Tulsa-area schools.
Garden tips
·        Insect alert: Now is the time to be on the lookout for bagworms on juniper and arborvitae and lace bugs on sycamore, pyracantha and azaleas. Contact Tulsa Master Gardeners for control suggestions.

·        Do not work soil if it is too wet. Tilling it while wet will cause damage to the structure, and it will take a long time to recover.

·        Thatch is a layer of dead and living stems, shoots and roots that pile up on top of the soil at the base of lawn grasses. If it is more than ½-inch thick, it should be removed with either a core-aerator or power-rake. Now is the time to de-thatch Bermuda and zoysia. De-thatch fescue, if needed, if the fall.


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