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November, 2022

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Garden Talk from Leadership

The November meeting of the Maury County Master Gardeners will return to the Maury County Senior Citizens Building
November 1, 2022
Potluck begins at 6:00pm
Program: Birds and Plants by Candice Gourley

Birds and Plants
presented by Candice Gourley, MCMG Intern
A few common birds found in Maury County, TN will be shared and the fruits, plants, flowers and seeds they eat. There are over 400 different birds in Tennessee. Over 100 of them are listed as "common" in our area. This presentation will cover a few that are most likely to be seen/recognized at bird feeders and in yards by the average person without a significant amount of avian knowledge. The plants, flowers, tree, etc., are all found in Maury County, at garden centers, or can be ordered online, unless otherwise noted. - Candice Gourley
A Word from the President

I hope to see you back at the Maury County Senior Center for our meeting on November 1! Like me, I expect you’re thinking:  The November meeting already?

Well, yes, it is! Our usual potluck will begin at 6:00 p.m. for everyone who wants to participate. Door prizes will follow. Then, we’ll have our business meeting with a report from our Publicity Committee, as well as from the TN Smart Yard workshop and a discussion of next year’s Plant Sale. Please come with your best ideas for continuing to improve this successful May event. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who wants to make an addition to our November agenda.

Happy fall gardening,
Kathie Wilson
Notes from Interim MG County Coordinator, Darrell Ailshie

Fall is tree planting time! As we get rain and recover soil moisture you may want to review the publications listed here before you plant.

Fall Trees for Fall Splendor
Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place
Trees to Reconsider Before Planting
Tree News You Can Use: Fungi - The Wood Destroyers

Watch for an announcement about the 2023 Master Gardener Classes from Darrell Ailshie. Darrell is hard at work on planning for you.
Treasurer's Report from Bruce McShurley
Balance on September 15, 2022 was $8,022.91
We had deposits of  $184.00
And expenses totaling $283.47
Balance on October 15, 2022 was $7,923.44
MCMG SWAG - Please contact Sue Nagel for information about swag availability.
T-shirts (S-XL): $20
T-shirts (XL-4XL): $22
Aprons: $18
Hats: $20
A few extra items have been ordered. For more information contact Sue Nagel, (307) 640-0004.

SUNSHINE - Please send Cay McShurley information regarding a member or their immediate family regarding an extended illness or death, either active or inactive. Cay can be reached at 

MEETING VOLUNTEER HOURS - April Ray announced you earned 30 minutes service hours if you attended the October MCMG meeting.

NEWSLETTER STORIES - Promote your projects! Email newsletter stories to Belinda Moss at by the 12th of the prior month. 
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MCMG Achievements

Melanie Edwards Earns 10 year Volunteer Recognition
Kudos to MCMG Melanie Edwards for earning her 10 year volunteer nametag. Earning this nametag shows Melanie has contributed over 290 volunteer hours serving our community. Melanie, your service is appreciated!
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October MCMG at the James K. Polk Home and Museum
The October MCMG meeting was held at the James K. Polk Home and Museum. In advance of the meeting, attendees were treated to a home tour and talk led by Rachel Helvering, Executive Director at President James K. Polk Home & Museum and Beth Sands, James K. Polk Memorial Association.

Pictured top: Rachel Helvering and Beth Sands standing.
Photo Credit: Shannon Reece
MCMG Family Center Project

Members built raised beds for the center. Often our tools are shovels and spades but members pulled out their drills for this community service.
Photo Credits: Shannon Reece and Kelly Raimondo
Link provided for more information about the family center
Natchez Trace Wine Trail
Members enjoyed a tour of the Natchez Trail Wine Trail and entertainment provided by the band "Box of Rocks" in October.  Entertainment was hosted at Amber Falls Winery.
Photo Credit: Sue Nagel
UT Gardens Jackson/Madison County Master Gardeners
The field trip to UT Gardens Jackson for the annual Fall plant sale provided great opportunities to purchase cultivars of plants that grow well in Tennessee. The work done by Jason Reeves, UT Ornamental Horticulturalist (pictured), and the Madison County Master Gardeners provided gardeners two days of enjoyment. 
Photo Credit: Belinda Moss
SEED SWAP - A Seed Swap will be held January 28, 2023 at the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center. Save the date. Christine Berglund's plans include a swap, potluck brunch, speaker and auction.  More information coming soon!

LIBRARY BEAUTIFICATION - Continued work at the Maury County Public Library including planting. November 13, 2022.

SOCIAL EVENT - The upcoming Christmas party is in planning stages. Contact Shannon Reece for more information. Dawn Arnold will be serving as Social Events chair.
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Camellia sasanqua 'October Magic Bride'
Photo Credit: Belinda Moss
November Gardening
-Now is an ideal time to plant or transplant trees, shrubs and fruit crops. Be sure to mulch newly planted plants with a good 3-4" layer of mulch.
-Prune back late season blooming trees and shrubs. Make certain you know if your shrub blooms on old wood or new wood - especially with hydrangeas - before you prune. Don't prune shrubs that bloom on old wood or prepare to reduce blooms.
-Fertilize trees and shrubs before the ground freezes so that food is available to plants in early spring.
-Protect roses for winter.
-Cut chrysanthemum stems and other perennials to 4-5" from the soil once they have begun to die back, but leave ornamental grasses to provide winter interest until spring.
-You can continue to transplant perennials throughout the fall and winter, as long as they remain dormant.
-Cold season annuals such as calendulas, Iceland poppies, primroses, pansies and violas, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale, can still be planted. The earlier in the month the better.
-It is the ideal time to plant spring flowering bulbs. 
-Dig and store Dahlias.
-Mulch flower beds with 3-4" of good compost or fine mulch to keep soil temperature stable and prevent winter plant injury from frost heaving.
-It is not too late to fertilize your cool season lawn.
-Keep heavy layers of leaves raked from the lawn. Alternatively, you can just mow over a light layer of leaves, turning them to a mulch. Keep in mind the leaves are home to good insects.
-Incorporate fertilizer in the annual and vegetable  gardens for next growing season.
-Cut the tops off your asparagus plants and add winter dressing of aged manure to the bed.
-Cover strawberries two inches deep with hay or straw to reduce weeds and increase winter protection.
-Secure your raspberry canes to stakes to protect them from wind whipping.
-Force bulbs indoors like Narcissus, Hyacinths and Amaryllis for color early in the new year; start paperwhites in late November for Christmas flowering.
-Keep feeding the birds.
-November blooms: Camellias, chrysanthemums, roses, witchhazel.

Excerpted from Brian Townsend, Tennessee Extension Master
Gardener Program (and the Garden Girls) and the Mid-South Garden Guide
For further details, follow Tennessee Extension Master Gardeners on Facebook
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Gardening Tip
This month's tips are from The Garden Professors, a science-based, home garden and landscape group of university professors dedicated to translating scientific information.

The newest Garden Professors are John Porter, Extension Agent, University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Dr. Jim Downer, Extension Agent, University of California.
Submit gardening tips to
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Master Gardener events  available to MC Master Gardeners through personal registration. Click on each image to register. All are available online except the international conference.
Click on each image for registration information.
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Each month we would like to recognize a MCMG's favorite gardening book or research-based online resource on a volunteer basis. 
Choosing a favorite book is like asking yourself what is my favorite flower. The answer is easy - the one I am holding right now. Bending the question a bit, let's go with one of my favorite gardening authors and a few books he has written. These books are treasures for all gardeners and I certainly treasure them in our home.

Michael A. Dirr, professor emeritus, horticulture, University of Georgia, is widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts on trees and shrubs for landscapes and gardens. He holds BS and MS degrees in horticulture from The Ohio State University and the Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. Dirr has introduced over 200 woody plants to cultivation and holds 29 patents with the UGA Research Foundation. With two partners, he established Plant Introductions, Inc., a breeding and introduction company in 2006, selling it to Bailey Nurseries in 2015. Dirr continues to work in lockstep with the American nursery industry to introduce and promote new trees and shrubs. (Timber Press) He is the author of over 12 books and numerous pieces of research.

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses contains information about over 1800 species and 10,000 cultivars. If you are looking for the right plant right place this is the book for you. About 1200 pages of woody plants with reliable, research-based information. You can stop relying on plant tags or nursery websites for information that may or may not be accurate. Each plant entry includes alternate names, family, pronunciation, leaves, buds, stems,

size hardiness, habit, rate, texture, bark, leaf color flower, fruit, culture, diseases and insects, landscape value, cultivars, propagation, native habitat, and related species. For more interest, he includes additional notes which could be anecdotes from students, history, opinion or additional references. The book is available in editions from as early as 1975 but buy the most recent edition your budget allows for the most current cultivars.

A second Dirr favorite is the 2021 publication,  The Hydrangea Book, The Authoritative Guide. And it is. The five major species are covered as well as second tier plants and worthy but lesser known plants. Dr. Dirr provides a reference to guide your hydrangea experience from selection, through care and propagation by species and cultivar. He even provides insight into the world of the grower and the nurseries' work with various cultivars. The photographs of the various cultivars are worth the price of the book alone.

And finally, Dr. Dirr's The Tree Book co-authored with Keith S. Warren bears mention. While lengthy, The Tree Book is a concise collection of tree selections for "landscapes, streetscapes, and gardens." Photos clarify differences between cultivars and depict distinguishing features. Briefer information than in Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, information includes foliage, flowers/seeds/fruits/cones, native range, adaptability, landscape use, street tree use, and a wealth of information in the trade section.

These books are not currently available in the Maury Co or Spring Hill libraries. They are readily available online through ebook stores and ebook thrift stores or through your favorite local bookstore.

Belinda Moss
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Gardening Sunshine

November Thankfulness
     Recently, I was reading about the first Thanksgiving. In 1620, Pilgrims came from Plymouth England, searching for prosperity, land ownership, and freedom to practice their faith. Their journey took 66 days and was NOT smooth sailing. They landed near the tip of Cape Cod. It was much further north than where they had intended to land.
     A month later they crossed the Massachusetts Bay, where they began to settle and establish a village at Plymouth.  The winter was brutal. Most of the people stayed onboard the ship. They suffered from Hypothermia, Scurvy, and contagious diseases, losing about half of their people. I can't even imagine what this was like. They were in a strange land, little food, terrible weather, and not much shelter. After the weather broke, the remaining people settled ashore.  A visitor from the Abenaki tribe greeted them in English.  A few days later, he returned with a member of the Pawtuxet tribe named Squanto. Squanto has quite an amazing history. He had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold in to slavery. He escaped to London and made his way back to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, extract maple syrup, catch fish, and avoid poisonous plants.

     I consider him to be like a Master Gardener. He worked alongside the Pilgrims and  shared what he knew about gardening. In November 1621, the Pilgrims first corn harvest proved successful. William Bradford, the governor, organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the colony's Native American allies to share in their harvest. This is remembered as the first Thanksgiving. It was 1863, when Thanksgiving became a national holiday. President Lincoln, at the height of the Civil War, wrote a proclamation. He told all Americans, to ask God to "commend to his tender care all those that have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife." and "to heal the wounds of the nation."  He scheduled it for the last Thursday in November. He did this after the persistence of Sarah Josepha Hale. She had petitioned thirty-six years for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday.

     In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. I am very thankful for those that have gone before us, sharing their knowledge about gardening, their successes and failures. I'm thankful that even though they came from different backgrounds, they worked together and shared in the harvest. I'm thankful for Sarah Hale who persisted to make Thanksgiving a holiday, a reminder that we have so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for President Lincoln, listening to what Sarah had to say and acting upon her request. Most of all, I'm thankful that God has put each of you in my life. I look forward to working alongside and learning from you.  I hope you have many things to be thankful for!
Until next month,

Reference: The History Channel
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Tennessee Wild Turkeys

Photo Credit: Belinda Moss

MCMG Calendar

October 27 - Smart Yard Workshop, 6-8 pm, Sr. Citizens Center

November 1 - MCMG Meeting, Senior Citizen Center, 6:00 pm
November 5 - Mulch Service Project, 8:30 am, Polk Home
November 12 - Newsletter submission deadline
November 13 - Library Beautification, 3:00 pm, Maury County Public Library
December 6 - MCMG Christmas Party
December 12 - Newsletter submission deadline

January 28 - Seed Swap, 8:00 setup, 9:00 swap begins, Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center
May 13 -  MCMG Annual Plant Sale
Helping Tennessee Grow Better Communities
MCMG Facebook
MCMG Website
MCMG Newsletter
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