Ask Tom Ingram Master Gardener
One of the most common questions asked in various ways is which flowers and vegetables would you recommend for a homeowner’s personal landscape.
You’ll probably get slightly different answers from each Tulsa Master Gardener.Plant preferences and garden styles are very personal. That’s why we’re happy to announce the start of our annual plant sale and fundraiser, beginning Wednesday morning, to encourage eco-friendly gardens where you can choose plants that are better for your environment. This is my second year and I am very excited about the plant options I have in store for you.
The last few years have been a little tough as we had to cancel sales in 2020 due to COVID-19. But with the need to deal with social distancing and keep everyone safe when picking up plants, we had to find new and better ways to get them.
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As a result, drive-thru pickup is now available. Simply park your car at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds, head to the Exchange Center, and stay in your car. A master gardener will direct you to where you can pick up the plants. I put it in the trunk too. It’s not that easy.
We call this an online plant sale/fundraiser because all your shopping can be done online. Choose from 256 different plants in our online store. We also offer earthworm casting and potting soil bags.
At this year’s plant sale, you’ll find annual flats with 36 plants in each flat, as well as individual annuals, perennials, herbs, milkweed, ornamental grasses, and fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you can see these plants online in groups that are best suited for sun, shade, or partial sun. Being able to view the recommended plants for your growing region is very helpful in making choosing your favorites a lot easier.
In addition to these standard botanical collections, we added a new category last year. This year, it is a native plant. Native plants are best suited for gardens as they are well adapted to local growing conditions. Summers in Oklahoma can be hot with little rainfall, making these native plants well suited not only to survive but to thrive in local conditions. Because of their familiarity with them, native plants are the best pollinators. So if you plant native species, be prepared to see more butterflies in your landscape.
Speaking of pollinators, there is also a group of plants that we have identified that are not only pollinator friendly, but can also serve as pollinator attractants to your garden. .
We also have a selection of milkweed plants that will not only attract monarch butterflies to your garden, but will also support their migration to and from Mexico. For those who don’t know, milkweed is the plant that monarch butterflies look for to lay their eggs. caterpillars will devour your milkweed, but that’s why you planted it… right?
Then there is a large selection of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, and strawberries. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 20+ herb selection.
So why have we been doing this for 30 years? Proceeds from the sale of the plants enable the various programs we offer to residents of Tulsa County. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year. The Tulsa County Extension maintains a diagnostic center that is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Volunteers can answer gardening questions in person, by phone, or by email. He also maintains an extensive library or his OSU Factsheets on nearly every gardening topic.
I also teach elementary classes on topics such as earthworms, seeds, soil and trees. Each year we typically stand in front of about 18,000 students and hope to inspire them to explore the world’s natural wonders.
I also landscaped all of the Habitat for Humanity Homes in town, visited the Senior Living Center for horticultural therapy, and last year started a small farm to grow vegetables and donate them to the local food pantry. Don’t forget the beautiful flower pots in the Brookside area.
Tulsa Master Gardeners do a lot. We hope that you will not only support our efforts through this fundraiser, but will also get beautiful plants for your landscape. Visit tulsamastergardeners.org and click on the plant sale graphic. Tulsa, thank you. See you in the garden!
Call the Tulsa Master Gardeners Help Line at 918-746-3701, stop by the Diagnostic Center at 4116 E. 15th St., or email firstname.lastname@example.org for all gardening questions. can get the answer.