Sunday, February 16, 2020 0 comments By: Ask A Master Gardener

Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale

Brian Jervis: Ask a Master Gardener
Sunday, February 16, 2020

Q: Each year, I have mixed results with flowers in my garden. Do you have any recommendations for what might work well in our area? AM
A: Success in the garden can sometimes feel so random, especially for new gardeners. On our website, we have several resources to help you make good choices for your garden, and you can always contact our Diagnostic Center with any questions you may have.
But a great resource with appropriate plants for your garden is our annual plant sale. In this sale, we offer varieties that have performed well in our gardens, and we should know, with about 400 Master Gardeners in Tulsa County.
This year, we have more than 250 varieties of plants in our online plant store listed by category to help you make selections that best meet your garden needs. These categories include annuals, perennials, tomatoes, herbs, succulents, stepables, grasses, pollinator plants and new this year — organic pollinator plants.
I am guessing most of you have been to Tulsa’s horticultural extravaganza (and awesome park), Gathering Place. Have you ever walked around Gathering Place, seen a beautiful plant and thought: “I wish I could have something like that in my garden?” Well, now you can. Working in conjunction with the horticulturalists at Gathering Place, we have identified 15 selections in our online plant sale that are part of the ecosystem at Gathering Place. So if you order some of these beauties, you can have a little piece of Gathering Place at home. We are pretty excited.
How does an online plant sale work? Well, the plant sale functions like other online shopping experiences. As you browse through the selections, you can click on a plant that interests you and read about that particular plant. The descriptions will tell you whether it does best in sun or shade or both or grows tall or grows small or just about any other piece of information you may need to make your selection.
Once you have identified the ones you can’t live without, proceed to the online checkout, pay, and this part is done. Then we begin to do the hard part: getting the plants ready for you.
Pick-up is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 16 in the Exchange Center at Expo Square. On this day, you just go to the Exchange Center, tell us who you are, drive around to the pick-up area, and we will load your flowers in your vehicle for you. How easy is that?
Also on that day, we will have a pop-up plant sale where you will be able to shop for additional varieties that would be great additions to your garden, including milkweed for the Monarchs.
All the proceeds from this sale go to help fund our educational programs throughout Tulsa County. To shop, just visit We appreciate your support and look forward to helping you make your garden even more beautiful.
Garden tips
  • Mid-February is a good time to begin pruning and fertilizing trees and small fruits.
  • Now is a good time to cut back your perennial ornamental grasses, such as pampus grass. Cut back to remove the dead grass but avoid damaging new buds and early green growth at the base.
  • Begin planting blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops this month

Sunday, February 2, 2020 0 comments By: Ask A Master Gardener

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
Tom Ingram: Ask a Master Gardener
Sunday, February 2, 2020
In this article, we typically answer your gardening questions. However, I won’t even pretend that this installment sprang from one of your questions. Instead, it is the result of my getting curious about something, doing some investigating and wanting to share what I learned with you. Who knows? It may even help you win a trivia completion someday.
What topic might cause us to stray from the mission-at-hand? Groundhog Day, of course! So here are some facts that you may or may not know about groundhogs and Groundhog Day.
Did you know the groundhog is also known as the woodchuck, or my new favorite name, whistle pig? That’s right … whistle pig.
These extra-large rodents are mainly brown with strong legs and curved claws, perfect for digging. An adult groundhog can weigh between 6 and 10 pounds and grow to be 16 to 20 inches in length. That is a fairly sizable rodent. Groundhogs are primarily vegetarians that like to look for their food during the day. Spring is mating season and an adult female can give birth to four or five offspring.
In Oklahoma, they can be found along the edges of forests or perhaps near rocky bluffs and ravines. They are primarily in eastern Oklahoma, but have been sighted in Pawnee, Payne, Lincoln, Logan, Okfuskee, Pittsburg and Oklahoma counties.
They are a burrowing animal whose burrows can sometimes reach 30 feet in length. Burrows can have several chambers, including one used as a place to relieve themselves, which helps them to keep their living chambers clean and free of disease. I’m all for that. It is believed that they hibernate in Oklahoma for four to six months.
But how did this tradition of Groundhog Day get started, you might ask? Good question.
Feb. 2 is associated with a Christian tradition called Candlemas. There are deeper historical roots but suffice it to say that Feb. 2 became the day Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed. As far as we know, there was no animal associated with this European tradition.
However, German folklore tells us that at some point a ceremony with an animal was introduced and if the animal saw its shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter.
In the original German tradition, a hedgehog was used. However, as Germans migrated to this part of the world, there were no hedgehogs to be found, so the groundhog (aka whistle pig) became the weather prognosticator and central character in one of our more whimsical traditions.
So now you know.
Happy Groundhog Day!
Garden tips
  • Early February through March is the recommended time to plant strawberries. It is important to plant them in full sun and in well-drained soil. There are several types from which to choose. June-bearing varieties do best in our area. They have a single crop usually early May to mid-June. Ever-bearing strawberry is another variety that fruits May to June, a few during summer and again in the fall. The quality and size of this type of strawberry plant may not be as good as June-bearing varieties.