Master Gardener Newsletter - Master Gardeners of Hamilton County

Master Gardeners Hear it …
Through the Grapevine
UT Extension The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Volume 21, Issue 8
August 2014
…...News from your President
With the heat of summer not relenting in August, I found myself wondering what should
we do in the garden? There are the obvious chores of watering and weeding but what
else could or should we be doing? Here are a few tips that I found:
Plant a fall crop of peas. The roots of peas “fix” nitrogen into the soil for next spring
Gather herbs and flowers for drying and preserving.
Keep deadheading and harvesting your summer garden.
Begin taking cutting for new plants.
Start collecting seeds of annual and perennials.
Divide and transplant iris.
This is also a good time to dig and divide daylilies.
Avoid pruning trees and shrubs starting in late August. Doing so can stimulate new growth that will not harden off before frost.
Keep the moisture coming, but not too much. Surface watering only encourages plant roots to come to the
surface, this will make them more vulnerable to drying out. Deliver localized water to the base of the
Possibly the best tip of all….sit back (in the shade), iced beverage in hand and take in all you have worked
for. Watch the bees, smell the flowers and snack on those wonderful little red cherry tomatoes..
Please remember to keep yourself hydrated and stay safe while you are working!
Lisa Clark
To quote Mirabel Osler: “There can be no other occupation like gardening in which if you were to creep up behind
someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”
News In a Nut Shell:
News from President
News from Vice President, Secretary
Education Committee and Garden Checklist
Tom’s Tips
“A Friend Has Gone Away”
Over the Garden Gate
Scheduled Activities
…...News from your Secretary
Hello everyone,
In last month's newsletter, I mentioned how our organization is growing up and experiencing the
phenomenon of "becoming adults". We are experiencing more and more opportunities to work in
our community while at the same time finding reasons to accept more and more responsibility.
A new opportunity was presented by Audubon Acres. They would like to establish a partnership
with MGHC for future projects and volunteer opportunities. They have some exciting plans for the
future of this historic farm. After a little discussion the partnership was approved and we look forward to seeing what
projects they will submit.
For some time now the board has been exploring our financial obligations and how we function financially under the umbrella of UT. Some of your officers met with a financial consultant who recognizes and recommends our need to file for
Non-profit status and become a 501(c)(3) Organization. This was presented to the entire board and voted upon with a
unanimous vote to proceed and was followed up by presentation to (and approval by) the membership at our July meeting. The first steps are already underway.
Once again, I am impressed by how many wise and caring people sit on the MGHC Board. We are in good hands!
Shirley Stewart
…...News from your Vice President
I would like to invite all of our Master Gardener Members to our August 21st, Monthly Organizational Meeting.
A great deal of important information has been researched by Lisa, Peggy, Shirley and Tom along with
our new Tax Adviser Mr. Joe Livingston (Husband of Bertha Livingston) regarding our status as a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
They have found that we are in need of making a few updates as to how we handle our finances and tax filings.
We should soon know who has been brought on board in Knoxville as the new MG Administrator to help each of our
counties run our MG organizations similarly across the state.
Please join us for our Organizational Meeting at the First Cumberland Presbyterian Fellowship hall at 6:00 pm to discuss
some of the information we have to date.
Bud Hines
Have you been meaning to take the Rain Barrel Class? There are two classes coming up on
August 30th. One class is at 4:00pm and another class at 5:15pm.
Go to our website to sign up. Click on
Both classes will be held at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank Pavilion behind the warehouse on Curtain Pole Road. Attendees should wear clothes that they can get dirty and be in a vehicle big enough
to transport their 55 gallon barrel home at the end of the workshop.
Sign up is limited to 12 barrels per workshop. The cost is $35 per barrel with all necessary fixtures,
cash or check, and can be paid at the workshop. Attendees, please notify me if you have to cancel in
time to allow others to attend. Contact [email protected] for further info.
News from your Education Committee Chairman
July 19th was Composting Day for MGHC.
We were few in number but those present
left with a wealth of knowledge about all
aspects of composting. Bud Hines did his
usual wonderful presentation along with a
quiz which all participants passed. Thanks
to Freeman Powell and Carol Mathews for
bringing the worm bins and sharing their
Next month we will have a study on
Fall and Winter Vegetables.
Katie Bishop will lead in this one. Katie is
our lady guru for growing vegetables. No
reason to let the beds go empty when you
can still eat fresh veggies all the way to Christmas. Go to to register.
Come along and join the fun on Saturday, August 16th, 10:00am at the Extension classroom.
Carol Mathews
Gardening throughout the Year — August
Trees and Shrubs
 Fertilize azaleas, pieris, mountain laurel and other acid
loving plants one more time before mid-month, using
an acid based soluble fertilizer containing iron.
 Fertilize roses one last time for the summer.
 Dig potatoes after the tops have died down.
 Visit the vegetable garden daily and harvest as needed
to keep production up.
 Direct-seed dill, parsley, cilantro and late crops of
beets, bush beans, cabbage, carrots, peas and greens.
 Transplant broccoli, early cabbage, cauliflower and
Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs
 Harvest herbs, dry some; make vinegars.
 There’s still time to purchase and plant fall-blooming
Miscellaneous — Keep up that weeding!
Continue to aerate and moisten the compost pile to
speed up decomposition.
Treat soils with milky spore or beneficial nematodes
to control Japanese beetle grubs.
Keep hummingbird feeders full during migration.
Reduce mosquito populations by finding and draining sources of stagnant water.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Keep bird baths clean and filled with water through
the hot weather.
 Prune out old flowering canes after the last raspberry
Photograph your garden to help you remember your
likes and dislikes...for next year.
 Plant some fall-blooming crocus bulbs, order spring
 Be sure to keep garden mums well-fertilized until buds
show color.
 Sow wildflower seeds.
 Continue to fertilize annuals and container plants.
(not ever-bearing) for the year.
Tom’s Tips
By Tom Stebbins
Poison Ivy- A Rash of Bad Luck
This is the time of year that many people finally get outdoors to do various activities. Poison ivy also begins to grow actively
and can be found in many unexpected places. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a woody perennial shrub or vine that
spreads by underground runners and by seeds. It grows in all types of soil and under all conditions of sun and shade. It
grows along roadways, fence lines, stone walls, woodlands and stream banks and may even appear among shrubs and perennials in the home landscape. You can almost count on poison ivy growing at the edge of every field, forest or road!
“Leaflets three, let it be.” That old saying sums up the most easily identified characteristic of poison ivy. The leaflets are two to four inches long, dull or glossy
green with pointed tips. The middle leaflet is the largest of the three. As a vine it
will grow on trees or other objects for support. It has aerial roots along the stem
that give it the appearance of a "fuzzy rope”. There are several other plants that
resemble poison ivy. Poison oak is common in some TN areas. The leaves are
in threes and each leaflet looks like a small oak leaf. Poison sumac leaves are
different and not common in Tennessee. It would be found in swampy areas.
The best defense is to be cautious around all of these until the skill is gained to
quickly recognize it.
What causes the itch?
The “poison” in poison ivy is an oil called urushiol. The plant has to be
crushed, broken, or in some way injured to release the resin. When the oil
contacts skin, it can cause an allergic reaction, ranging from reddening and
swelling, to blistering or open sores. Reactions will vary depending upon
the sensitivity of the individual. 80-90 percent of adult Americans will get a
rash if they are exposed to just a tiny droplet of the sap. This reaction can
last up to three weeks even with treatment. The oil persists in dormant
and dead plants. Poison ivy should never be burned since the smoke
can carry the oil and cause problems to anyone inhaling the smoke.
Wood cutters using a chain saw to cut logs with attached poison ivy vines
have been known to suffer serious allergic reactions when inhaling urushiol
that was volatilized during the cutting process. Herbarium specimens 100 years old have been known to cause dermatitis.
The tacky oil is persistent and can be spread indirectly by contact with pets, garden tools, garden gloves, shoes, golf balls, or
any other object that has come in contact with a bruised poison ivy plant. If you happen to wander into a patch of poison ivy
you may still be able to avoid a rash. After contacting poison ivy, the affected area of skin should be washed immediately
with soap and cool water. Warm water may hasten skin penetration of the oil. The rash caused by poison ivy, is not spread
by contact with open blisters. Contact your family physician or pharmacist for recommendations for effective non-prescription
Aerial Roots…
Herbicides containing either glyphosate or triclopyr are commonly used for
chemical control of poison ivy. Garden centers are a good source for brands
or formulations with these herbicides. Check the label carefully to be sure poison ivy is
listed among the plants to be controlled. These herbicides work best when applied to young
actively growing poison ivy. Thorough coverage of the plant foliage is essential. Avoid windy
days when droplets might drift onto the foliage of nearby trees. Where poison ivy is growing
among ornamental plants, carefully apply the material to poison ivy leaves using a wick or
brush applicator so that the chemical is not applied to surrounding plants. Cut vines at ground
level and apply the chemical to the cut surface. More than one application may be needed
since poison ivy is a tough plant to kill. Wait two weeks or more between applications. Don't
apply herbicide after poison ivy foliage begins to show fall color.
A Friend Has Gone Away
Everyday of the year, someone passes away. This is the way life is and we are all
very aware. Sometimes it is a prominent person, politician, actor or sports figure
and the whole world makes mention. The newspapers and TV reporters spread
their names all over the networks. Those we know in name only for the most part
and the loss is not felt personally.
This month we have a loss that is closer to home and one we all will feel personally and share fond memories about. Tommy was a friend to all he met and for
MGHC he was Mr. Faithful, Mr. Vegetable Man and/or a Dear Friend.
When I joined MGHC 8 years ago there were two older men who stood out for
their knowledge, devotion and promotion of the Master Gardeners. One man was
Eugene Howard and the other Tommy Jackson. Both were extremely knowledgeable about growing vegetables and for a short time we had Dick Fehrenbacher and
he too was a vegetable man. What these men could tell you about growing veggies would astound you and everything they said, worked. All have passed now
with little fanfare from the world but for all of us who knew them, we appreciate all
they gave and they are remembered.
Tommy was a constant in the Q&A tent for the fair, Sunday market, Garden Expo, monthly meetings, and anywhere
else he was able to go. Always a smile on his face and eager to share anything he had with others. As Mike Payne
noted, he was the perfect example of a master gardener. The only meetings or special events that Tommy missed
were the ones where he was in the hospital or very ill. Wheeling himself about and popping in and out, overcoming
obstacles just to be in his place of service. While in the nursing home this year, he was having a ball growing vegetables in the raised bed some of our MG men built for him.
Tommy was so proud of the special “MG Shovel” that he was presented at Winter School. So much so, he requested it be displayed at his funeral service and it was incorporated beautifully into the arrangement atop his casket.
Next month in the middle of the room there will be an empty spot where a wheel chair always sat. That chair held a
man who stood tall above the rest in his devotion and servitude to the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County. We all
share treasured memories of this dear man. He will be missed!
Tommy Hugh Jackson
August 2, 1944 - July 23, 2014
Article by Carol Mathews, Peggy Dyer & Connie Giles
Hummingbird Trivia
By Melissa Mayntz
There are more than 325 hummingbird species in the world. Only eight species regularly breed in the United
States, though up to two dozen species may visit the country or
be reported as regular vagrants.
A hummingbird’s brilliant throat color is not caused by feather
pigmentation, but rather by iridescence in the arrangement of
the feathers and the influence of light level, moisture and other
Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop, though their feet can be
used to scoot sideways while they are perched. These birds
have evolved smaller feet to be lighter for more efficient flying.
Hummingbirds have 1,000-1,500 feathers, the fewest number of
feathers of any bird species in the world.
The average -throated hummingbird weighs 3 grams. In comparison, a nickel weighs 4.5 grams.
From 25-30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral
muscles, the muscles principally responsible for flight.
A hummingbird’s maximum forward flight speed is 30 miles per
hour, though the birds can reach up to 60 miles per hour in a
dive, and hummingbirds have many adaptations for unique flight.
Hummingbirds lay the smallest eggs of all birds. They measure less than 1/2 inch long but may represent as
much as 10 percent of the mother’s weight at the time the eggs are laid. A hummingbird must consume approximately 1/2 of its weight in sugar daily, and the average hummingbird feeds 5-8 times per hour.
Hummingbird’s wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight and air
An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute.
At rest, a hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths per minute.
The ruby-throated hummingbird flies 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico during both its spring and
fall migrations.
Depending on the species, habitat conditions, predators and other factors, including threats to hummingbirds, the average lifespan of a wild hummingbird is 3-12 years.
Hummingbirds have no sense of smell but have very keen eyesight.
Hummingbirds do not suck nectar through their long bills, they lick it with fringed, forked tongues.
A hummingbird can lick 10-15 times per second while feeding.
Article above reprinted from
Be sure to check out the new pamphlet on Hummingbird Gardening found on the
UT Extension website!
Pamphlet W 305
Click on the little hummer to go directly to the site.
Top Ten Perennials
According to various
internet sources
Can you name them? Of course,
you can! You probably have all
of them in your garden! Names
coming next month.
Over the Garden Gate
Flower Pictures courtesy of HGTV
Dill Pickles
Yield: about 7 pints or 3 quarts
Recipe originally from the Ball
Canning book but comes to us
from our own MG, June Scoggins.
8 pounds 4 to 6 inch cucumbers
( cut length-wise into halves)
Looks like June got a good pickin’
of cucumbers from her garden on
this morning!
¾ cup sugar
½ cup Ball Salt
1 quart vinegar
1 quart water
3 tablespoons Ball Mixed Pickling Spice
Green or dry dill (1 head per jar)
Ball Pickle Crisp (optional)
Wash cucumbers; drain. Combine sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large saucepot. Tie spice in a spice bag; add spice bag to
vinegar mixture. Simmer 15 minutes. Pack cumbers into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace; put one head of dill in each jar.
Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving ½ inch headspace. Add Pickle Crisp to each jar, if desired. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints & quarts 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
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For more details on scheduled activities, check out our MG website at and/or be
sure you are a member of our yahoo group in order to receive the latest information on all Master
Gardener activities.
Regularly Scheduled Opportunities for CEU Hours
MG Monthly Meeting
3rd Thursday
6:00 p.m. at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church
(social hour at 6; meeting begins 6:30 p.m.
MG Educational Classes
3rd Saturday
10 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at Ag Center
Chattanooga Herbies
2nd Tuesday
6:30 p.m. at the Ag Center
TN Valley Bonsai Society
2nd Saturday
2 until 4 p.m. at Ag Center
Please check the websites below for the latest information on meetings for the following groups:
TN Valley Chapter of the Wild Ones
Chattanooga Hosta Society
Tennessee Valley Daylily Society
Regularly Scheduled Opportunities for ACT Hours
MG Board Meeting
1st Thursday
6:00 p.m. at Ag Center
MG Hotline
Monday & Wednesday
10:00 a.m. until Noon
CAF Greenhouse Workdays
Contact Holly Martin at
[email protected]
Events Think
Check website
for complete
Aug 16th
MG class “Growing Fall/Winter Vegetables
Aug 30th
Rain Barrel Classes
Sept 27th & 28th
Oct 21st –24th
Hamilton County Fair
Southern Regional MG Conference
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For more info, click here:
Please send any information for the MG newsletter by the 25th of each month to:
[email protected]
Articles may be edited or delayed due to time and/or space considerations.
Helping Tennessee Grow Better Communities
UT Extension-Hamilton County
6183 Adamson Circle
Chattanooga, TN. 37416
Phone: 423-855-6113
Fax: 423-855-6115
Board Members & Chairpersons
2014 Master Gardener Officers:
Committee Chairpersons
President – Lisa Clark
Vice President – Bud Hines
Bonny Oaks Arboretum
Jim Davenport
Secretary – Shirley Stewart
Treasurer – Peggy Dyer
Certification Officer —Gretchen Rominger
1 Year Board Members
Connie Giles
Samantha Pfieffer
Bill Apps
2 Year Board Members
Jim Gumnick
Bob Kemp
Cindy Rutledge
MG Coordinator –Tom Stebbins
Peggy Dyer
Chattanooga Market
Connie Giles
County Fair Committee
David Hopkins
Communication Dee Clark
Webmaster Holly Jones
Webmaster Holly Colf
Membership Directory Pam Bare
Newsletter Editor Peggy Dyer
FaceBook Chad Pickeral
Education Committee
Carol Mathews
Food Bank Garden Tour
Jo Lawrence
Garden Expo & Speakers Bureau
Sue Henley
Jane Goodin
Hospitality Committee
Lori Ashton
Hummingbird and Butterfly Garden
Mike Payne
MG Hotline
Bill Apps (Mon.) Diane Slover (Wed.)
Mentor Coordinators
Shirley McMasters (Day Class)
Clyde Mathews (Night Class)
Nominating Committee
Barbara Blankenship
Project Committee:
Freeman Powell
Scholarship Committee
Tom Stebbins
State Advocate
Patsy Boles