Sunday, January 5, 2020 By: Ask A Master Gardener

Resolve to Grow A Better Garden This Year

Resolve to Grow A Better Garden This Year
Tom Ingram: Ask A Master Gardener
Sunday, January 5, 2020

First of all, Happy New Year. It’s a time of new beginnings, a chance to reflect upon the previous year and determine how we can do better this year.
It’s no different for gardeners. Last year, some of what we did worked, and some of what we did didn’t work. Our gardening successes were great fun, whether that was tending beautiful flowers or being the caretaker of delicious fruits and vegetables.
But gardening can be tough. Many things conspire against us, such as the heat, the cold, the rain, the lack of rain and the invasion of insects who think our garden was just for their nutritional enjoyment, etc.
But what about this year? What are we going to do differently? What are our gardening resolutions?
To find out the answer to that question, I polled the Tulsa Master Gardeners to see what their gardening resolutions were for 2020. Here is what they said (in no particular order):
 Do something in the garden every day so that the work doesn’t pile up.
 Don’t buy more plants until the last ones I bought are planted.
 Finally purchase the tools I have been needing.
 Clean and maintain my garden tools better.
 Keep a garden journal from year to year so that I can remember what worked and what didn’t.
 Do some stretches after being down on my knees for an extended time in the garden.
 Actually, have a plan for my garden rather than just buying all the pretty things.
 Try to stay ahead of the weeds.
 Actually, build in “garden time” into my day rather than just squeeze it in.
 Try some new plants rather than just do what I did last year.
 Divide some of my plants and share with friends so they, too, can have a jungle in their yard.
 Get a plan and stick with it.
 Lean more toward organic solutions.
So there you have it. You’re not alone. Surely, there is something, or maybe many things, on this list that resonate with your garden experience.
The Tulsa Master Gardeners not only feel your pain but also want to help you become a better gardener. Here’s some of the ways we can help:
 First of all, you’re reading one of those resources right now: the Ask a Master Gardener article in the Tulsa World. Stay tuned.
 You can also call our Diagnostic Center, drop by or email Master Gardeners from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the OSU Extension.
 Visit our website at We have an extensive website with an abundance of resources in our Lawn and Garden Help section.
 Attend classes. We teach classes throughout the year, such as our Urban Gardener series, our Lunch & Learn classes at the Tulsa Central Library and our classes at the Mother Road Market.
 Watch the videos. We have a new Garden Talk video podcast with lots of current and timely garden information for you. You can find it on YouTube, Facebook and on our website.
So, here’s to 2020. The year we keep our garden resolutions!
 .Garden tips
  • Ornamental perennial grasses, such as pampas grass, may be cut back to 4-6 inches anytime in winter. However, because of winter attractiveness, most gardeners choose to wait until early spring to cut them back. All of the dead tops of these grasses should be removed by early spring, allowing sun to get to new growth.
  • Liriope or "monkey grass" — which is not a grass but in the lily family — stays green year-round; it also benefits from trimming to 2-3 inches before new growth begins in spring. Liriope and all ornamental grasses will benefit from nitrogen fertilizer in spring when pruned.
  • Prune fruit trees in January, February and March. OSU has a good fact sheet on pruning fruit trees, "Annual Pruning of Fruit Trees."


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