TEMG Newsletter

This is an online e-newsletter that covers statewide updates across the state!!  In this issue, don't miss the introduction of our Master Gardener Month of May event called 'Hit the Trails.'

MCMG Newsletter

July 2021

It was so exciting to see everyone in person for our June monthly meeting. We had 112 in-person attendees and 14 Zoom attendees. I am glad we could offer virtual attendance for those who could not join us in person.

Jason Reeves took this picture as we were getting started with the meeting. Look at all those smiling faces!

Manuel McKnight, Vice President of Projects, has been working hard to make sure our projects are running smoothly. We will be adding new volunteer opportunities at various projects, both old and new, so please keep checking the Sign Up page on the Madison County Master Gardener website to sign up and participate in those events.

There will not be a July meeting, but we will see everyone on August 5th at 6:30 p.m. Celeste will make an announcement closer to the meeting date regarding the bring-a-dish portion of our meeting and whether the meeting will be offered virtually.

Charlotte Jaquet, President

PROGRAM NOTES from Nancy Blair

No July Meeting

July is such a busy month and we are usually very busy getting ready for the Summer Celebration plant sale, so we don’t meet in July. Check out the Educational Opportunities for a list of many learning opportunities being offered in July and the registration for virtual Summer Celebration. Never fear, we are already making plans for August-November meeting programs. August program will be our own Celeste Scott and will include a day of workshops. Be watching for more information and signups for a hands-on workshop experience. More about that later! Let me know of any additional meeting ideas or suggestions for next year’s programs you might like to have. We are already making plans!

Nancy Blair Vice President, Programming

Madison County Master Gardener yearly membership dues are $20.00 and should be paid now. Please make your check payable to MCMG and mail it to:

Mary Nenarella
245 Henderson Rd.
Pinson, TN 38366

You will receive an email receipt unless you request a receipt by mail.
Please note: Interns and those who are working towards certification do NOT pay dues.

July Educational Opportunities

Tuesday’s 9 am: Jason and Celeste FB Live In the Garden. Join live on the UTGardens Jackson FB page

July 19: Gardeners Toolshed, Noon. Cut flower Arrangement. Register from the link on madisoncountymg.org web page

July 16: Weekend Warrior 10 am. Fun with Succulents Hosted from the Madison County Master Gardener FB page. No registration

July 15: 10am CT. TEMG Friday Focus: Small Fruits for Tennessee Register from the TEMG web page

Summer Celebration 2021

Join Us Online for Summer Celebration 2021This year, Summer Celebration is coming to your home. Join us online for a LIVE TOUR of the UT Gardens-Jackson, followed by educational presentations covering a variety of landscaping, ornamental, and horticultural topics. Live Content Begins on Thursday July 8, 2021 at 9am.

Preview the program and register now (https://westtn.tennessee.edu/summer- celebration-2021/),then use this same link to attend!
•Presentations will cover landscaping for pollinators, moss lawns, mushrooms in the

yard, watering tips, medicinal herbs, and much, much more! •Special guests include UT Ag Research Dean Hongwei Xin, UT Extension Dean Ashley Stokes, and Mr. Morgan Adcock, TN Nursery and Landscape Association president.

July Tasks

• Pumpkins should be planted by early July
Order seed for Fall-Cool season planting
Keep weeding!
• Record your harvests and keep up with better producing varieties
• Late July, start seeding for fall cool-season transplants
• Remove blackberry floricanes after fruiting
• Monitor for diseases, lots of harvest if plants remain healthy

Grass and Ornamentals

Propagation of many ornamentals by layering is an easy way to expand the garden. Hydrangea, viburnums, weigela, and climbing roses are a few ornamentals that layer easily. Fasten a limb to the ground with a brick or other heavy object and cover with soil
Deadhead hydrangea arborescens for continued bloom
Raise the height of the mower to reduce stress on your lawn
• Keep pinching chrysanthemum and asters till mid month
Deadhead perennials to lengthen bloom time. Remove fading flowers to a leaf node or new bud Cut-back by 1/3 annuals that are getting leggy. Give them a shot of fertilizer to help them bloom into fall.
•Cut flowers for bouquets in the early morning and immediately place in water

Gardening Safety
Manuel McKnight
July 2021

It’s time to address the most dangerous safety issue that can affect gardeners. That issue is heat related illness. In the past, there were 5 issues. There are now seven. I will list them in order from the most serious to “you’ve probably had the symptoms already and you recovered”. All of the information for this article comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) website.

The most serious is Heat Stroke which can be fatal if not recognized and treated immediately. Symptoms: Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, hot dry skin, profuse sweating, seizures, very high body temperature (103F or higher) First aid: Call 911 and stay with gardener until EMS arrives, get the gardener to shade, fan to keep cool, DO NOT give them anything to drink.

Heat Exhaustion can occur when the gardener has an excessive loss of water and salt through sweating. Gardeners who are older with high blood pressure working in hot conditions are most prone. Symptoms: Headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, change in skin tone and decreased urine output. First Aid: Call 911 and stay with gardener until help arrives, move to cooler place, give frequent sips of cool water.

Heat Cramps can occur when the gardener sweats a lot during strenuous activities. Loss of salt causes painful cramps similar to heat exhaustion. Symptoms: Muscle cramps, pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs. First Aid: Drink water, have a snack, drink a sports drink, avoid salt, get medical help if the gardener has heart problems or the symptoms do not go away in 1hour.

Rhabdomyolysis can occur when heat stress and prolonged physical exertion results in the rapid breakdown, rupture and death of muscle. When muscle tissue dies, electrolytes and large proteins are released and can cause irregular hear rhythm, seizures and kidney damage. Symptoms: Muscle cramps, weakness, abnormally dark urine, unable to exercise, symptoms may not present themselves immediately. First Aid: Stop activity, increase water intake, go to nearest medical facility and ask to be checked for rhabdomyolysis.

Heat Syncope is a fainting episode or dizziness that can occur with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Symptoms: Dizziness, fainting, light-headedness. First Aid: Sit or lie down in a cool place. Slowly drink water, clear juice or a sports drink.

Heat Rash is a skin condition caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. Symptoms: A red cluster of pimples or small blisters appears on the neck, upper chest, groin and/or elbow creases. First Aid: Go to a cooler, less humid location. Keep the area dry, Do not use ointments or creams .

Sunburn occurs when the skin becomes irritated from too much sun exposure. Symptoms: Blisters on any part of the exposed skin and/or painful, red warm skin. First Aid: Stay out of the sun, take a cool bath or shower, do not break blisters, apply moisturizing lotion to the sunburned area. This entire article was condensed from the cdc.govwebsite. At the website you can find a Heat Related Illnesses Poster to print or just save the website to your phone. Some of the illnesses are very similar and deal with specific body temperatures. If you have an emergency that you suspect is heat related and you don’t know how to classify it, call 911. Better safe than sorry!

Be safe, stay cool, garden during the early morning or late afternoon.
M. McKnight


You can earn volunteer hours by writing about some garden you visited, some technique you tried which worked (or did not), or share your enthusiasm for some special plant, recipe, or condensing a gardening article you read.

Keep contributing.
Keep reading.
Keep sharing.

Please send your contributions to:  lizv@tds.net

Madison County Master Gardener Officers
President: Charlotte Jaquet
Vice President Projects: Manuel McKnight
Vice President Programs: Nancy Blair
Secretary: Laura Tomlin
Treasurer: Mary Nenarella

Board Member: David Collomp
Board Member: Phillip Mullins
Board Member: Stephen Pope
Board member: Marie Kyper

June 2021

President’s Message

Another successful plant sale is in the books. Madison County Master Gardeners were able to see a net profit of $10,927.44 from this year’s sale. Thank you to everyone who helped make that happen. The plants donated by our members were healthy and beautiful and sold out quickly. The plant sale team once again made it look easy, but the work and planning that goes into the sale is amazing.

Our fundraising efforts allow us to give back to the community. We have awarded a $2,500 scholarship to this year’s winner, Nicole McRae, a senior from South Side High School in Jackson. Nicole has been active in her school’s agriculture programs and will be attending JSCC and then UT Martin to pursue a degree in agriculture.

Remember to check out volunteer and education opportunities at madisoncountymg.org. Interns who attended classes in the fall of 2019 and 2020 need to make sure they are making plans to complete their 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continued education before the end of this year. Our Growth Team will be reaching out to interns to answer any questions they may have and to guide them along in their journey to become certified Master Gardeners.

Charlotte Jaquet, President


The June meeting will be in person at the WTREC. No add a dish meal.

PROGRAM NOTES from Nancy Blair

June Program: Flavor in the Fence Row

June Program Speaker, Carol Reese is the UT Extension Horticulture Specialist for the western region. She's spoken at many gardening symposia across the US, blending equal parts gardening knowledge, natural lore, and quirky humor. Her B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture are from Mississippi State University, and she could also add her PhD. if she “had ever written that damn dissertation!” There she taught classes in Plant Materials, and co-taught Landscape Design for non LA majors alongside a “real” landscape architect.

She is a prolific writer and has produced innumerable newspaper columns and magazine articles, and was the Q&A columnist for Horticulture Magazine “back in the day”. She attributes her love of horticulture to being raised on a farm by generations of opinionated plant nuts, including a grandfather who dynamited his garden spot each spring to “break up his hard pan”.

Carol’s very personal appreciation of natural lore is at least partially a result of her near daily rambles through the wild areas near her home with her motley collection of mutts, aka known as the strong-willed breed of “Amalgamations”. Yes, they are a hunting breed, mostly of newly planted bulbs.

June Program: Flavor in the Fence Row. Foraging for wild food may be seen as extreme, but if it is tasty as well as easy to gather and prepare, why wouldn’t you? Garnishing and flavoring cuisine with wild flowers and berries is a longstanding tradition in many cultures, and has largely been forgotten in today’s kitchens, yet can make your dish the talk of the potluck. Learn how to identify and harvest tasty edibles in the wild through stories of Carol’s own fence row foraging exploits.

June Educational Opportunities

Tuesday’s 9 am: Jason and Celeste FB Live In the Garden. Join live on the UT Gardens Jackson FB page

June 7 and 21: Gardeners Toolshed, Noon. June 7, Native Plants for Downspouts and Rain Gardens. June 21, Pollinator Party. Register from the link on madisoncountymg.org web page

June 18: Weekend Warrior 10 am. Rain Barrels Hosted from the Madison County Master Gardener FB page. No registration

June 24: TEMG 3rd Thursday with Plants, What is a Sustainable Landscape? Register from the TEMG web page

Madison County Master Gardener yearly membership dues are $20.00 and should be paid now.  Please make your check payable to MCMG and mail it to:

Mary Nenarella

245 Henderson Rd.

Pinson, TN 38366


You will receive an email receipt unless you request a receipt by mail.

Please note:  Interns and those who are working towards certification do NOT pay dues.

Continuing Education By Jenifer Trimble

It is getting that time of year when people start getting cabin fever. You are itching to get out and explore. How about attending a garden symposium of conference outside of Tennessee? Bonus is that you can also earn continuing education units. Here is what is found in happening in 2021

June 2021
American Public Garden Association Virtual Conference June 7-10. Registration begins in March. https://www.publicgardens.org/professional-development/events/2021- virtual-annual-conference

July 2021
National Children & Youth Garden Virtual Symposium July 7-9. Cost $80 for non members https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-programs/youth-gardening/ncygs/ncygs- 2021/

Cultivate'21 July 10-13. Columbus, Ohio Cost $499 for Non American hort members.
Registration open in March. https://www.cultivateevent.org/registration#Packages

Hybrid National Virtual Symposium. July 27-29. https://perennialplant.org/page/attendees

September 2021
International Master Gardener Virtual conference September 12-17.
Registration opens in April. https://www.internationalmastergardener.com/

America in Bloom Virtual Conference & Award. September 29-October 1.
Registration opens in spring https://americainbloom.org/programs/symposium-awards-celebration/

November 2021
Northeast Greenhouse Conference & Expo. November 3-4. Cost $130. Boxborough, Massachusetts.
Registration open in July. https://www.negreenhouse.org

Is a greenhouse or cold frame worth it?
by Jenifer Trimble

Last year I started volunteering at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center (WTREC). I was so excited to work in the greenhouse because I am thinking about getting a greenhouse. The WTREC has a greenhouse and a cold frame. Here is what I have found out.

I did not realize that there is a difference between a greenhouse and a cold frame. I thought all structures that have a door to grow plants are a greenhouse. Well, there is a difference. Greenhouse is a structure that can be heated or cooled. A greenhouse is a micro climate. Cold frame is a structure that is not heated or cooled. A cold frame is used to extend a growing season by a few weeks. It also protects plants from adverse weather (usually excessive cold) or wetness.

The cost A greenhouse could be expensive. The cost depends on how big the greenhouse will be, the materials used, heating and cooling methods. How tall, how long, how wide will the greenhouse be? How many door and windows will your greenhouse have? What type of flooring will you have? Will you use gas, solar, or electricity to cool or heat the greenhouse? A cold frame usually cost less and require less maintenance. You will need to consider the size, material just as you do for the greenhouse.

What will you be growing You have to decide if you only want to grow plants from one zone different than where you live or to start or extend the growing season by a few weeks or to store potted plants over winter, a cold frame might work for you. Growing plants that are more than one growing zone from the zone you live in or you want to grow plants year-round or start seeds early, a greenhouse might be what you want.

Other considerations Since cold frames usually don't have power, you will need a way to release the heat: will you have windows or doors? Since a green house has power you can have automatic windows and fans to help control the temperature. What type of flooring will you have: concrete, pavers, dirt, or maybe landscape fabric? How will the water drain from when you water the plants? I have realized that a flat floor does not let the water run off. My recommendation is to have the floor slightly sloped to allow the water to run off. Standing water can also cause mold and other unwanted stuff growing on the floor. On a sunny, cold day, a greenhouse can get really hot. The sun makes a big difference on how it feels inside a structure where the ambient air temperature is raised from the sun’s radiation. I was shocked that on cold days and the sun was-shinning on the greenhouse, that I was sweating. On cold and overcast day, the greenhouse stayed comfortable.

Examples of cold frames

Examples of a greenhouse


Gardening Safety 3

Sometimes when I start to write this article, it is about something that I have thought about for almost a month. This month, it is about insects in the garden that are not necessarily pests, but they are. We usually think of pests as something that crawls, flies, is born or is wind blown into the garden. Something that will cause harm to our plants in one devastating way or another. Very rarely has anyone mentioned a threat to personal safety as a pest. The top contender on the list of living things found in the garden considered a threat is snakes. Not all snakes are a threat. But to some, any snake is a threat. “I don’t want to get close enough to tell if it is poisonous or not” is the most common reply. Another one is “Am I supposed to ask the snake if it’s eyes are cat-like or not”. And I can’t count the times I’ve heard “He has teeth and crawls on his belly, that’s all I need to know”. If we know how many snakes are in or have been in our gardens or yards, some of us would scream and not go outside until someone came over and checked the yard or garden all clear.

The thing we least suspect as a threat to personal safety is the ant. They come in all varieties and sizes. Most just want to take care of the queen and grow more ants. But some are very defensive. They will do whatever they can to defend their queens and eggs. The fire ant is the most defensive against all intruders.

The fire ant is ferocious. They have no middle ground. They are either one of the thousands of ants in their nest or they are attacking any and everything that disturbs them. These little things can attack by the thousands in a matter of seconds. They do not run from aggression, they attack it. If you encounter them in your garden and you do not have the means to eradicate them 100%, call a professional as soon as possible. I might also mention that their bite is not their sting. They bite to hold on and then they sting. Each fire ant will deliver two injuries. If a couple thousand of fire ants cause injuries over any part of your body, you will probably need medical attention.

Another small threat to safety might be a spider. Most of the spiders in our gardens will not hurt you, but help you, by eating other insects. The spiders that can hurt you hide in the dark inside of closets, storage sheds or under anything that hasn’t been moved for several months. You know them as the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. But with the warming climate tread, we should be aware that some spiders that could not survive our winters might adapt enough to be able to survive. We have wood piles next to our houses, we put wood in raised beds. As the wood decays, it warms the surrounding area enough for eggs to survive enough to hatch young spiders. People are constantly releasing their caged-in or glassed-in pets into the civilized areas. Some of them could be poisonous spiders such as a trap door spider. Make sure you know what’s in that hole in the ground in your yard or garden. Be careful looking under your plants, the snake might slither away, but the ants and spiders

might not. There are many more things that can cause small injuries and bites. Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or any number of specialized insect sting medicines will probably be able to reduce pain and swelling until your body’s defense mechanisms can take over. But if the pain and swelling does not reside over time, seek medical attention. Even if it is nothing more than a phone call to a medical professional, your well-being is worth it.

As always, we invite our members to share their garden experiences (good or bad) with us through the newsletter. Until the next time, Be Safe!

Garden Safety
Manuel McKnight
June 2021

Tree Trivia

  1. How old is the oldest tree in the United states?
    A 750 Years Old            B. 1 Million            C. 50 Million

  2. How many people rely on forests for clean drinking water in the United States?
    A 180 Million           B. 1 Million           C. 50 Million

  3. How many species of trees are there in the United States?
    A. 850            B. 375            C. 2,000

  4. How many trees does the average American use each year in paper, wood, and other tree products ?
    A. 1            B. 7            C. 15

  5. Baseball bats are made out of wood from which species of tree?

     A.            Ash            B. Oak            C. Pine

  1. How Many gallons of maple sap are needed to make one gallon of maple syrup?
    A. 5-7            B. 10-15            C. 30-40

  2. At what rate will most tree seedlings grow per year?
    A. 6 inches            B. 1 foot            C. 2 feet

8. What is the biggest tree in the world in terms of overall height and circumference?
A. Giant Sequoia            B. Douglas Fir            C. White Oak


1. C Methuselah, a pine tree in California, is 4,800 years old 2. A 180 million 3. A. 850
4 .B 7 5. A. Ash 6. C 30-40 A sugar maple tree can produce up to 60 gallons of sap a year, which yields two gallons of syrup. 7. B. Most tree seedlings will grow about 1 foot per year, depending on growing conditions and species/type of tree 8. A. The biggest tree in the world is a giant sequoia in California named General Sherman. It is 102 feet in circumference and 207 feet tall

May 2021

President’s Message

It’s a wonderful time to be a gardener.  Springtime is beautiful as the plants awaken, and we are blessed with warmer weather and longer days to enjoy the outdoors. 

Plant sale time is upon us.  Thank you to the members who have been readying their plants for our biggest fundraiser of the year.  As always, our Plant Sale Team and their volunteer members are behind the scenes making sure the sale comes off without a hitch.

Our project leaders are busy organizing and scheduling work days, so be sure to check our website www.madisoncountymg.org for volunteer opportunities that are available.

Come Unity Café garden in downtown Jackson is the class project for the 2020 Master Gardener interns.  The café recently received a donated greenhouse from Lowe’s and some of the interns were on hand to help with the construction.

Jack Baudo and Tammy Buchanan held a cleanup day at Liberty Park Garden on April 10.  The event was well attended, and we appreciate everyone’s participation.





     If you haven’t paid your $20 dues payment for this year, please send that to our treasurer, Mary Nenarella, 245 Henderson Road, Pinson, TN 38366.  Make your check payable to MCMG.  You will receive an email receipt unless you request a receipt by mail.  REMEMBER: Interns and those who are working toward certification DO NOT pay dues.

Charlotte Jaquet, President

Program Notes
from Nancy Blair

Melody Rose is the Horticulture Extension Agent in Greene County and coordinator of the Big Spring Master Gardener Association.  She has experience with Burly Tobacco Production, Fruits & Veggies Production, and Adult Leadership and Volunteer Development.  A few of her many interests include Appalachian Natives, Woodland habitats, Viticulture and Oenology.

Melody will be sharing a presentation with us titled ‘The Power of Plants’  This discussion takes a deeper look at the chemical pathways that plants possess and how they have been put to use throughout history.   

May Task Reminder

 Home Vegetable Garden

* Harvest cool season crops

* Prepare beds for transplants

* Transplant warm season crops and plan for succession seeding of direct sown seed

* Peppers and eggplant like warmer soil they will be happier if planted a week or 2 ```behind tomatoes and other transplants

* Young transplants need water and a starter boost of fertilizer

* Set up stakes, trellises, cages or other supports now to be ready for future growth.

* Weed, weed, weed

Yard and Flowering Gardens

* Plant dill, parsley, fennel, butterfly weed and others to encourage   butterflies and pollinators to your garden

* Plant vinca and caladiums after night temps are above 60. They like warm soil.

* Prune early flowering shrubs such as azalea, forsythia, flowering quince, and loropetalum. Only prune if needed and select branches down in the shrub rather than prune to look like meatballs

* Early May is a good time to cut back on rosemary, lavender, rue, artemisia, and Santolina. 

Proven Winners Twist ‘n Plant auger.  Let this solid steel auger do the work for you.  It drills the perfect size hole to plant in your landscape or containers.  Fits in a ½-inch or larger drill (18V minimum).  As with any tool, use caution.  Keep drill on the lowest setting to avoid risk of damage to your wrist in rough ground or heavy clay.  Available in three sizes.  Check out this information video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNTGJxsjOm4&t=3s

April: Virginia Bluebells

Submitted by Jason Reeves, horticulturist, UT Gardens, Jackson

From the moment the blue green mouse-ear shaped leaves break the soil in the spring until they disappear in the summer, these plants provide immense pleasure," says Allan Armitage in his second edition of Herbaceous Perennial Plants. I could not agree more! I fell in love with Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) the first time I saw them more than 30 years ago. The gardener shared some plants with me, and I haven't been without since. My home garden would not be complete without Virginia bluebells or our native columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. These two wildflowers have become my favorites because they thrive and naturalize with little or no care while putting on a great spring show.


May Educational Opportunities

Every Tuesday at 9 a.m.,
Facebook Live with Celeste and Jason

   UT Gardens Jackson | Facebook

May 10, 12:00 noon, Growing a Cut Flower Garden, Gardeners Toolshed Series with Celeste (Lunch & Learn) Register Here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

May 20, 10 a.m. Zoom: Heritage Vegetables.

Register: Tennessee Extension Master Gardener Program

May 21, 9 a.m. Facebook Live - Container Craze, Weekend Warrior Series with Celeste. Live on MCMG group Facebook page

    Madison County Master Gardeners | Facebook

May 24, 12:00 noon, Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale, Gardeners Toolshed Series with Celeste (Lunch & Learn) Register Here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

May 7,14,21,28: Hit the Trails Series featuring Tennessee State Parks. Part of the

TEMG Friday Focus Series. Sign up here: https://forms.gle/bg6HaoSDSGHE5Dc4A

Columbia's Largest Plant Sale

Saturday May 8 from 8:00 am till Noon 

The Baker Building at the Fair Grounds – 1018 Maury County Park Drive, Columbia, TN  

An exhibition hall full of flowers, veggies, herbs, vines, bulbs and much more grown by the Master Gardeners. All at great prices ,

Come early for best selection, we always sell out

Make Your Own Flower Arrangements (or made for you) Starting at $2  

Free Kids Activity

Make a Hypertufa Container Only $15 Pre-Registration Required

Garden Puzzle

Five friends have their gardens next to one another, where they grow three kinds of crops: fruits (apple, pear, nut, cherry), vegetables (carrot, parsley, gourd, onion) and flowers (aster, rose, tulip, lily).
1. They grow 12 different varieties.
2. Everybody grows exactly 4 different varieties
3. Each variety is at least in one garden.
4. Only one variety is in 4 gardens.
5. Only in one garden are all 3 kinds of crops.
6. Only in one garden are all 4 varieties of one kind of crops.
7. Pear is only in the two border gardens.
8. Paul's garden is in the middle with no lily.
9. Aster grower doesn't grow vegetables.
10. Rose growers don't grow parsley.
11. Nuts grower has also gourd and parsley.
12. In the first garden are apples and cherries.
13. Only in two gardens are cherries.
14. Sam has onions and cherries.
15. Luke grows exactly two kinds of fruit.
16. Tulip is only in two gardens.
17. Apple is in a single garden.
18. Only in one garden next to Zick's is parsley.
19. Sam's garden is not on the border.
20. Hank grows neither vegetables nor asters.
21. Paul has exactly three kinds of vegetable. 

 Who has which garden and what is grown where?

*Answer at the end of the May newsletter.

Garden Safety

To get into the aspects of being safe while gardening does not focus solely on the home garden.

     As Master Gardeners, we should take into consideration gardening at public places. Our methods are tried and true. We can make things grow. We can make a garden space beautifuland neat. But are we thinking about the public’s use of the garden space and what that truly entails?

     In reality, we probably should be wearing dish washing gloves in public gardens, especiallywhile working the soil. I am not going to use words that might offend or disgust anyone.

     We’ll start with the animals that might traffic a public garden. Most of us will not touch a wild animal in a zoo. One that has been cared for and confirmed free of any problems that mightcross over to humans. We will however, readily stick our bare hands into soil that is not sterileand has been crossed and used many times by any number of wild animals. Probably within the last 12 hours.

     Then we consider the possibilities of the human use factor. One scenario is the person who needs a cool place to sit down at 1am after a few too many at the local pub. There’s nothing wrong with a public location for resting. There might arise a need for one to rid oneself of some of things ingested from the pub that the body wants to eliminate. A possible place could be into the soil of the darkest area of the location. The soil is strong and quickly absorbs most of the things and the plants quickly use some of it. The rest resides in the soil. There is also the possibility that an animal might take it in and move it to another place in the same location.

     When it comes to digging in the dirt, I’m going to be one of the first in line. But I’ll be there with my gardening protective gear and practices. As I’ve learned to garden in locations other than my own yard, there are certain things a gardener needs think about to protect the largest organ - the skin. My assessment today contains 3 elements - location, animal usage and human usage.

     My protective gear is a good pair of gloves and plenty of hand sanitizer. My practices include keeping my hands away from my eyes, nose, mouth and ears. I hope this wasn’t to graphic and no one will be turned off from gardening. It’s like driving.

     Ninety-nine percent of the time, we’re going to be ok. As long as we take a few precautions and be aware of some problems that could be introduced into the soil. Most of which, we can avoid with knowledge and preparation.

M. McKnight

Garden Puzzle Answer

Hank: Pear, Apple, Cherry, Rose
Sam: Cherry, Onion, Rose, Tulip
Paul: Carrot, Gourd, Onion, Rose
Zick: Aster, Rose, Tulip, Lily
Luke: Pear, Nut, Gourd, Parsley

APRIL 2021

President’s Message

Spring is here!!  It won’t be long now until we will be putting annuals in the landscape and planting our vegetable gardens.  Be on the lookout for plants from your garden to add to our plant sale.  Thanks to David and Carol Sams for generously allowing a “dig day” at their house to provide plants for the sale.

Due to COVID restrictions, our sale will look different this year and will be held over the course of three days at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center.  On Thursday and Friday, April 29th and 30th, the sale will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  On Saturday, May 1st, the sale will begin at 7:00 a.m. and go until 11:00 a.m.  Please help spread the word by sharing the sale information with friends and neighbors.  Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information along the way.

Sign-ups are available through the Madison County Master Gardener website for upcoming projects, so check back often to see where you would like to help.                                                                                                             

Charlotte Jaquet,

Madison County Master Gardener yearly membership dues are $20.00 and should be paid now.  Please make your check payable to MCMG and mail it to:

Mary Nenarella
245 Henderson Rd.
Pinson, TN 38366

You will receive an email receipt unless you request a receipt by mail.Please note:  Interns and those who are working towards certification do NOT pay dues.

PROGRAM NOTES from Nancy Blair

Garden Heroes
Let’s face it, some plants are just better than others! With his extensive experience in gardens and landscapes, Jason has identified proven performers. In the plant world, new is not always better. This talk will have you racing to our plant sale to try out these champions of the garden that include old standbys and newer established players. These annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees are sure to please.

Jason Reeves grew up on a farm near Huntingdon, where he fell in love with the plant world. He received his Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2002, he became a research horticulturist and curator of the University of Tennessee Gardens located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, Tennessee. Jason’s colorful plant combinations and unique garden art, made by recycling everyday objects, draws several thousand people each year to the Center's annual lawn and garden show, Summer Celebration. His past experiences include work at the Opryland Conservatories in Nashville, Missouri Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, and in private gardens in New Zealand. When he’s not bringing the grounds to life with his imaginative garden displays, he’s evaluating hundreds of new and unique plants for the state’s green industry; speaking at gardening symposiums or traveling the world leading gardening tours, and serving as a contributing editor to Fine Gardening magazine. He is also a landscape designer and consultant whose influence may be seen in landscapes across Tennessee in the form of distinct plant combinations and his signature garden art. You can follow him on Facebook at Jason Reeves – in the garden.

Talk of the Town 

Celeste Scott                                                     April   2021

2020 Spring Plant Sale Plant Insights

Over the past several years, we have been taking note of plants that fly off the shelves, which ones sell after an intercom plant introduction, and which tend to be slow movers even though they are valuable landscape plants.  We have compiled this information in the table below, and hope that you can use this as a guide when planning your Plant Sale contributions.

Overall, let’s make sure that the plants we contribute are of good quality, free of pests and disease, and are clearly labeled.

Hey MCMGs,

After our hiatus from much volunteer work in 2020, I have discovered that many of you have misplaced your MCMG name badge.  Replacement name badges are for certified members and cost $10.  If you find that you, too, need a name badge, please let me know.  (If it has been more than a few weeks since you requested a replacement name badge, please refresh my memory J hahaha!!) 

Thanks so much! 


Gardener's Tool Shed Series

You can find the full schedule at http://madisoncountymg.org/

Monthly Task List

A good time to prune woody perennials, just before they put on new growth.

Prune early blooming shrubs such as azaleas, forsythias, flowering quince and loropetalum AFTER they bloom. Selectively cut old or unruly branches by reaching as deep as you can into the shrub.

Prevent azalea lace bug and spider mite infestations by applying a one-time dose of imidacloprid. This early application in liquid form should remain effective throughout the growing season.

 Direct sow annuals and vegetables after danger of frost this month. Jackson's average frost date is around April 15. Look at the 10-day forecast. There could be cold weather predicted. We had an early May frost last year.

Time to freshen up mulch. Don't pile around tree trunks or shrubs. Better to form a bowl than a volcano. If using a pre-emergent herbicide, be sure to apply under the mulch to decrease breakdown by sun exposure.

April is a good time to fertilize with a balanced, granular fertilizer scattered on the soil surface.

Begin purchase of warm season vegetable garden transplants. Watch soil temps and for possible frost.

Beans and corn may be direct sowed before a frost-free date, but the soil temp needs to be warm.

Garden Safety

Safety is one of the things in life that some of us take for granted. We don’t really take it seriously until something happens. For me, since I’ve been a certified gray-haired person, safety is a real thing, a thing that comes first and foremost in 90% of everything I do. I am striving for 100% and accidents still happen to me.

On a daily basis, I am reading warnings on bags of fertilizer, various chemicals that I use to control scale, mites and other infestations that could happen. Even though most things seem to be harmless at first site, when reading the cautions and warnings on the packages, it is clear

that most packaged gardening products should be handled with caution. I urge you to read the packaging. This should be done with any new product that you try and any old product that you might be familiar with that has a new redesigned package.

Gloves and masks are a dime-a-dozen and should be used. I am guilty of not wearing gloves and enjoying the feel of dirt and some gardening chemicals only to experience itching or minor swelling several hours later. I have also had nasal irritation after a day of gardening with no mask on windy days. I’ve got to do a better job of protecting myself. Sometimes, I wonder if the medicine I take could react with gardening chemicals or even insect repellent through the moisture and oil on my skin. Unfortunately, medicine interaction is not tested on any garden chemical that I am aware of. And if it was, we could not afford to buy it. It’s up to us to think ahead and take precautions.

We are at the beginning of the annual push to clear our yards of weeds and repair our gardens from the winter weather and early spring rains. Some of us will use chemicals. Some of us will use muscle along with hand tools and machines. Chemicals could influence our blood chemistry in ways that may take time to reveal the damage done. Machines, in my opinion, are the most hazardous and any injury is almost always immediately painful and could require a visit to a doctor. Hand tools can hurt also, but in most cases, they are not as painful or as long term as a machine injury. Machines and hand tools can cause overexertion of muscles and joints and can be very painful and also require a trip to the doctor. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s warnings labels on hand tools and machinery. Check your tools for broken or cracked wood handles. Also check how secure the working end is to the handle.

Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to my gardening friends and myself that we should be aware that a new year brings new successes. But also brings new challenges to be safe so that we garden in comfort and suffer no ill effects from it.

Our Board invites all of our members to share their gardening successes and product hit-or-miss experiences through the newsletter.  I will explore more safety objectives in the future as I learn more to share with you. In the meantime - don’t rush, enjoy gardening and be safe. 

M. McKnight

Organ and Tissue Donation Facts

. In 2020, 39,035 transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities (from 12,588 decrease and 5,728 living donors).

. More than 107,000 men, women and children are waiting for a lifesaving transplant.    Over 3,000 are Tennesseans!

. Another person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.

. On average, 20 people will die each day because the organ they need are not donated in time.

. More than 80% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average  waiting time for a kidney from a decreased donor is 3 to 5 years.

. One organ donor may save up to 8 lives with their gift of organs: Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Pancreas, Liver, and Intestines.

. One tissue donor could improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gift of tissue: Eye tissue, Skin Tissue, Heart Valves, Nerves, Pericardium, Veins and Blood Vessels, Bone and Connective Tissues.

. Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.

. More than 85,000 corneas are provided for sight-restoring corneal transplants each year. 

. To register your decision to save and improve lives, visit:

Apple Health App/RegisterMe.org
Department of Safety/DMV
Advance Directives/Living Wills


In Memoriam

William (Bill) Lee Bobbitt

Mr. William (Bill) Lee Bobbitt of Lexington, TN passed away on February 20, 2021, at the age of 85. He was born December 19, 1935 in Jackson, TN, to the late William Luther and Ione Thompson Bobbitt. He was married to Frances (Buck) Bobbitt on September 9, 1961 in Lexington, TN.

Bill graduated from Lexington High School in 1953 and graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.S. degree. He briefly taught school in Henderson County, and later moved to Memphis where he was employed by the National Bank of Commerce. He left banking to become an insurance adjustor for State Farm and then Ohio Casualty. As an employee of Ohio Casualty in 1969 he moved with his family back to his beloved hometown of Lexington. Later in his career he returned to teaching and was employed by Henderson County and the Lexington City Systems. He was an avid sports fan and a loyal supporter of the Memphis Tigers basketball and football teams. High school football was a passion. He officiated high school games throughout West Tennessee for 50 years. He loved baseball, particularly the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bill was a member of Lexington First United Methodist Church. He served in many leadership positions, volunteered at the food pantry, and traveled with the mission team for many years.

One of Bill’s hobbies was growing orchids. He enjoyed sharing the blooms from his plants with friends for numerous occasions. Upon retirement he, along with his wife Frances, became Master Gardeners with the Madison County group. Together they were selected as Master Gardeners of the Year in 2015. One of Bill’s greatest joys was traveling. He and Frances traveled extensively in the United States and all over the world.

Bill is survived by his wife Frances of Lexington; two sons William (Alla) Bobbitt, Jr. of Silver Spring, MD; Robert Bobbitt of Jackson, TN; two grandchildren, Arthur Bobbitt and Olivia Lemieux; and a brother John (Linda) Bobbitt of Lexington.

Our friend Bill was loved by all who knew him, and he will be missed by our entire Master Gardener community.  Notes to Frances can be mailed to 125 Poplar Lane, Lexington, TN 38351.

New Graduate Spotlight

Jenifer Trimble is a Retired Air Force Veteran with 20 years of logistics experience and working alongside other branches of the military. Jenifer was born at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana in March of 1972. So, you can say the military has always been in her blood from birth. Jenifer has a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University and an Associate in Applied Science Logistics from the Community College of the Air Force. Jenifer and her husband, Richard, who is also retired military moved to Bells, Tennessee back in 2016. In her free time, Jenifer likes to garden with her three cats by her side. After years of only being able to grow weeds, she decided to continue her education and take the Master Gardener class to cut down on the weeds and increase the garden's crop yield. Besides gardening, Jenifer also volunteers at the Crockett County Senior Center. She also enjoys crocheting and quilting.

Marion Cone
I was born and raised in Middle Tennessee where I taught school for 30 years.  We moved to Jackson 20 years ago for my husband's job.  In the early 2000s, I went through MG training.  Because life got in the way, I didn't complete the required service and education hours.  Thank goodness I returned!  I can't express my gratitude enough for everything I gained from Celeste's leadership!

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