by Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension
University of Missouri Extension is the part of the University of Missouri System that brings information and programming from University Specialists and research, to the public. Areas of interest you will find include Agriculture and Environment, Business and Community, Health and Safety, and Youth and Family. There are many ways you can access this practical and reliable information on a wide range of topics.
The main MU website is a good place to get started. Click on “Find your interest” to begin your exploration- https://extension.missouri.edu/
There is a great deal of information on gardening, landscaping, plants, plant diseases, and garden insects from MU Extension. Try searching your topic in the search bar in the upper right-hand corner. Here are links to some examples of helpful MU Extension Horticulture Publications:
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6700 Cool-season grasses: Lawn Establishment and renovation
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6201 Vegetable Planting Calendar
https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6800 Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees
Have you heard about MU Extension Town Halls? These are free, online, hour-long sessions with MU Extension Field Specialists. Horticulture Town Halls cover gardening and small producer questions on Wednesday mornings. Do you or someone you know raise livestock and maintain pastures?
Try joining the Thursday Forage/Livestock Town Hall to take part in the discussion. Here’s a link to free registration for either town hall- https://ipm.missouri.edu/townHalls/
Want more free and reliable horticulture information? Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City staff the Gardeners’ Hotline. You can call the hotline or send an email: 816-833-TREE (8733) firstname.lastname@example.org
When emailing, please include your county, phone number and any pictures that would help the Extension Master Gardeners assist you with your gardening questions and concerns.
At the time of writing this article, it is late July and the temperature is 98 degrees! Here are some timely tips to help your yard and garden survive heat and drought:
Water trees and shrubs- Trees and shrubs play an important part in your landscape. They are also expensive additions to your yard. During prolonged droughts they need supplemental water to survive. Soaking them is a good way to get water to the roots. Here is a link to more information on watering trees and shrubs- https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6879
Water vegetable gardens and flower gardens. Most plants need 1-3 inches of water per week. Water around the roots of the plants. Watering the leaves does not help the plant survive droughts and hot weather. Water container gardens often. Be sure that container gardens have adequate drainage holes.
Mulch- while sheets of plastic mulch can help control weeds and keep moisture in the soil, they do not add organic matter to the soil. Mulch, such as straw, composted leaves or cotton burr compost, helps control weeds, keeps the soil cooler and moist, and, as it decomposes, adds organic matter to the soil. Organic matter helps hold moisture in the soil and helps to improve soil texture. Here is a link to more information on mulches- https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g6960
Contact Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension, email@example.com. 816-252-5051, if you have any questions about gardening or Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.