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Pat Neasbitt Master Gardener Articles

The most recent article is on top in blue font (content in paragraph form is the information in the email that Pat sends along with article):

BUTTERFLY & POLLINATOR GARDENS 06MAY2020

MAY GARDENING 29APR2020

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CREPE MYRTLES 22APR2020

It’s a great time to catch up on things at home and enjoy working in our yards. Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are all free and can do wonders to make us feel better. Luckily, pulling weeds is great therapy. You can take out your frustrations on them all you want and feel rewarded by having a beautiful landscape when you are done.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, & have a great week!   Pat

SPRING IS A GREAT TIME FOR LANDSCAPING 15APR2020

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE IN OKLAHOMA 31MAR2020

Social distancing is working well for me because I have gotten lots of weeds pulled on the few days it wasn’t raining or storming, at least. The main problem is that everyone is ready to plant, and we can’t spend hours at local nurseries shopping for new plants right now. I actually dug up some Garden Phlox yesterday that needed to be thinned anyway and put them in containers on the patio since I couldn’t shop for annuals. I have seen that some nurseries and garden centers will take your order and deliver to your car. You can also shop for seeds and plants online; although, it is not as much fun as touching and smelling them in person. One thing is for certain, gardeners are creative, and they will find a way to garden no matter what weather or crazy evil viruses come along. Happy Gardening, Stay Safe, and Stay Healthy!!!

HOW TO TURN YOUR GARDEN OF WEEDIN’ INTO A GARDEN OF EDEN-1 24MAR2020

Since most of us are staying home and practicing social distancing now, it really is a good time to catch up on garden reading, watching gardening programs, and working in our own yards. The sun is out in southern Oklahoma, and it isn’t raining, finally, so it really is the perfect time to work outside. The fresh air, sun, and exercise really are therapeutic and really do make us feel better, as long as we pace ourselves after being inside all winter.

I am going to leave all the lovely henbit and dandelions in my 2-acre lawn for the pollinators. They are actually quite attractive and will die out when it gets warmer – then I will have lovely summer weeds! I am going to start trying to get rid of most of the weeds in my beds and borders; however, because I don’t want them to go to seed and because they are getting so big they are crowding the Larkspur and Poppies that are coming up now. I think I may have to cut them this year since they are so lush and healthy from all the rain; hopefully, that will also keep more weed seeds from being exposed as they are when weeds are pulled.

This social distancing thing is fine with me since I’m an introvert at heart and am happy working in my yard or reading. Happy Gardening, Stay Home, and Stay Healthy!!!  Pat

GROW YOUR OWN VEGETABLES 2-1 17MAR2020

Now that we can’t go anywhere, it would be the perfect time to work in the yard. There is that little problem of the soil being so wet you can’t even walk outside, and storms are predicted for the rest of the week. I have the biggest, loveliest weeds I have ever had this time of year. The purple Henbit looks great with the yellow Dandelions. At least there is plenty of early nectar for insects and butterflies, and I have seen lots of native bees enjoying them when the rain stops long enough for them to get out. For me, I’m not going anywhere, and the weeds will still be there. I’m just enjoying sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of tea and catching up on gardening reading and lots of mysteries I haven’t had time to read on my Kindle. Please stay safe and healthy! Pat

ROSE PRUNING TIME 12MAR2020

MARCH MEANS A NEW GARDENING SEASON IS HERE 03MAR2020

If you are in the Southern Oklahoma area or know of anyone who might be interested, Betty Sue Tow and I are teaching Home Gardening & Landscaping at Southern Tech on Mondays from 6-8, March 23rd thru May 11th for the Spring semester which is enrolling now. We try to make our classes fun and informative and will help you learn what, when, where, and how to plant in Southern Oklahoma, and how to work with what you have to make a lovely yard that is beautiful and environmentally friendly. Classes will include Xeriscape Gardening, Native Plants, Vegetable Gardening, Oklahoma Proven Plants, Lasagna Gardening, Crepe Myrtle planting & care, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Pass Along Plants, Cottage Gardening (New American Gardening), Soil Testing & Preparation, Plant Propagation, Landscaping, and lots more. Hope to see you in class and Happy Gardening!

GROWING SWEET ONIONS IN OKLAHOMA 25FEB2020

If you are in the Southern Oklahoma area or know of anyone who might be interested, Betty Sue Tow and I are teaching Home Gardening & Landscaping at Southern Tech on Mondays from 6-8, March 23rd thru May 11th for the Spring semester which is enrolling now. Call 580-223-2070 for information or stop by to enroll soon – class size is limited. We try to make our classes fun and informative and will help you learn what, when, where, and how to plant in Southern Oklahoma, and how to work with what you have to make a lovely yard that is beautiful and environmentally friendly. Classes will include Xeriscape Gardening, Native Plants, Vegetable Gardening, Oklahoma Proven Plants, Lasagna Gardening, Crepe Myrtle planting & care, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Pass Along Plants, Cottage Gardening (New American Gardening), Soil Testing & Preparation, Plant Propagation, Landscaping, and lots more. Hope to see you in class and Happy Gardening!

VEGETABLE GARDENING 101 19FEB2020

FEBRUARY IS A GOOD TIME TO PRUNE 19FEB2020

It’s been another typical winter week in Southern Oklahoma – temperatures in the seventies for several days this week after lots of rain and then in the thirties with more rain. We never know what to expect weather wise in Oklahoma, and there is no normal. At least we have gotten plenty of rain this winter, and that will really make sure the plants are ready for spring and summer, no matter what they may bring. The most plants that were lost was several years ago when we had a really long, cold, dry winter. At least we haven’t had a tornado this February like the one not long ago that destroyed so much in Lone Grove and Springier areas near Ardmore. Have a great week, and Happy Gardening!!!  Pat

FEBRUARY GARDENING ST 08FEB2020

FEBRUARY IS THE TIME TO PLAN AND PLANT 31JAN20

JANUARY IN THE GARDEN

January 23, 2020

GARDENING CATALOGS – READ BEFORE YOU SEED

JANUARY 17, 2020

It’s great weather to check out the new gardening catalogs that are arriving in the mail. Most seed/plant catalogs are also online. The main thing I would recommend is to look for plants that have been grown in our same zone 7 or hotter – not colder – areas. Plants, especially, grown in northern areas just cannot survive our Oklahoma heat, wind, and constantly changing weather. I have; however, had good luck with plants grown in Florida, Texas, etc. They still need to be recommended for zone 7, and I have quite a few zone 8 plants that do well in southern Oklahoma – unless we have one of those days when it goes from 78 degrees in the morning to 28 with freezing rain and ice that afternoon (that has happened), and they haven’t had a chance to go dormant first. Sometimes it’s worth the risk, though!

                   Have a great week and Happy Gardening!!!  Pat

GARDEN RESOLUTIONS (BOOK)

January 07, 2020

JANUARY IN THE GARDEN 01JAN2020

Happy New Year!!!   Pat

DECEMBER IS A BUSY TIME IN THE GARDEN 18DEC2020

DECEMBER GARDENING IN OKLAHOMA 02DEC2020

Do Mess with Mother Nature 26NOV2020

FALL BLOOMING PERENNIALS FOR OKLAHOMA 20NOV19

Proven variety that starts blooming in late spring and blooms throughout the
summer with peak blooms of bright, dark pink in the fall. It makes a rounded
mound up to 3’ tall and wide. The foliage is evergreen except in extremely
cold winters. Cut back by 1/3 in early spring before new growth for thick
compact plants and lots of flowers.
Pink Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris is a native grass that forms a
mound of slender upward growing leaves 3 – 4 feet tall and wide. In the fall,
plumes of rosy pink inflorescences float above the foliage and wave in the
wind. A mass planting or border is beautiful in the fall. Pink Muhly Grass
needs to be cut back almost to the ground in late February before new
growth begins.
Sedums are some of the easiest plants to grow. They are succulents;
therefore, they need full sun and can handle Oklahoma wind, sun, heat, and
drought. Almost everyone has ‘Autumn Joy’ that has pinkish flowers in late
summer and turns rust colored for fall. ‘Autumn Fire’ Sedum has deep rose-
pink flowers that turn coppery in fall. It is an improved variety that has
longer-lasting flowers, sturdier stems, and is hardier than ‘Autumn Joy’.
Sedums are good as cut flowers and also make good dried flowers.
Monarda or bee balm is a perennial that grows up to 5’ tall and blooms from
early summer through fall in full sun. It is rabbit and deer resistant – if they
are hungry enough, no plant is deer proof. Monarda is a member of the mint
family, so make sure you have plenty of room for it to spread without taking
over other plants. ‘Jacob Cline’ is an especially good variety that is a deep
red color and resistant to powdery mildew.
These plants will add color and beauty to your landscape each fall after
most summer perennials have quit blooming for the season. Happy Fall
Gardening!

Helping birds survive winter in Oklahoma 20NOV19

RED TIP PHOTINIAS & ENTOMOSPORIUM 10NOV19

OCTOBER GARDENING TIPS

SEPTEMBER GARDENING TIPS

I have absolutely loved the rains this past week in Southern Oklahoma! It went from 112 degree heat index one day to 79 degrees the next. I’m afraid the only problem is that when the temperatures go back up, probably in only a few days, it will feel even hotter. Oh well, every little bit of rain and cooler temperatures help us and the plants. You gotta love Oklahoma weather!!!

If you are near Ardmore and are interested in taking a Master Gardener class, there will be one beginning September 5th through December 19th on Thursdays from 6-9 at the beautiful OSU-IAB building east of Ardmore. You can call the OSU Extension Office to enroll at 580-223-6570.   Have a great week and Happy Gardening!   Pat

Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale in Oklahoma 15OCT19

OCTOBER IS A GREAT TIME TO GARDEN IN OKLAHOMA 15OCT19

My excuse for not pulling weeds all summer was that it was just too hot. Now, it is just too cold, rainy, and windy.

The article I attached on CMBS – Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale – is relevant now because I have seen quite a lot of it on Crepe Myrtles this summer and fall. The good news is, it won’t kill your Crepe Myrtles and it doesn’t affect other plants in your landscape. The bad news is, it will look really ugly and get worse and spread to other Crepe Myrtles if not controlled. The tiny little insects that cause CMBS can be easily spread by wind, and we all know we have plenty of that. The best thing to do is catch the next warm, sunny day (for your sake), get a bucket with Dawn added to it and a scrub brush, and remove as much scale and sooty mold as possible. Treat with Dormant Oil Spray at the recommended winter rate as soon as the leaves fall from your Crepe Myrtles. Make sure you get good coverage, and treat every other month until leaves appear next spring.

OCTOBER GARDENING TIPS 02OCT19

SUMMER WATERING IS CRITICAL TO PLANT SURVIVAL (BOOK)AUGUST

GARDENING TIPS

FALL GARDENING IN JULY

It seems the rains have finally come to an end, and very hot temperatures are predicted for the coming weeks. It’s time to just leave the hoses out, because they will need to be used often.

SUMMER FLOWERS (BOOK)

I have quite a few flowers blooming right now, and the cooler weather this week is certainly making it easier to do needed maintenance in the garden. The main things that need to be done are weeding (always), deadheading, and watering. The Garden Phlox are starting to have less blooms, so I am cutting them back and they will put out new growth and blooms. This is the first year that I’ve had quite a bit of powdery mildew on the leaves because it has been so wet. It will not harm the plants – just looks a little bad. Keep everything deadheaded if you want annuals and perennials to keep blooming until frost. I see new seedlings of zinnias and cleome coming up to take the place of older plants that can be removed when they look really sad from the long Oklahoma summer. Most plants can just be cut back by about 1/3 and given a good watering and shot of fertilizer in the form of fish emulsion, seed weed extract, or compost tea in order to revive them and keep them blooming until frost. Happy Summer Gardening!!!   Pat

SUMMER FLOWERS (BOOK)BEAT THE HEAT

Lucky you if you were under the right cloud at the right time and have gotten some showers recently. There was a really nice rain yesterday 4 miles from me; however, I didn’t get any! Guess I’ll be dragging hoses today – that’s my least favorite thing to do in August for sure!   Happy Gardening and Stay Cool!!!   Pat

PLANTING FOR BUTTERFLIES AND HUMMINGBIRDS (BOOK)

GARDENING IN JULY IN OKLAHOMA OCTOBER GARDENING TIPS