Meeting Date and Time


Meetings scheduled for FIRST TUESDAY of the month @ 1pm at the Cassville Library basement meeting room.

Master Gardeners of Barry Co.

Master Gardeners of Barry Co. organized in January of 2015 following the first Barry Co. Master Gardening class offering. Master Gardeners are trained by University of Missouri Extension to provide research-based gardening information and volunteer in their community. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener please call or email the office.

2017 Officers are:

Chair: Sharon Wilson
Vice-Chair:EJ Adams
Secretary/Treasurer: Liz Renkoski


List of Current Projects

Cassville Library Grounds

Other projects include:
Bayless House
Cassville Senior Center
Eagle Rock Community Association  
  Community Center
  Community Connection Thrift Store
Golden Post office
Golden Community Center
Roaring River State Park

List of Completed Projects

Monett senior Center



Learn more about Master Gardeners, find a club, see upcoming events and news at the MOMGA home page





Annual Fundraiser: Plant Sale

Learn more about the Master Gardening Program at


"We had a great time recently with the Barry County Master Gardeners"

It was good food, lots of stories and laughter and some great information shared.

Barbara Cowan opened her home to us where we toured her garden and shared a salad supper.

Sharon Stuart and Zeta Van Wye gave a demonstration on how to inoculate logs with spores to grow shiitake mushrooms.





New online Master Gardener training class begins

Register now for January 22 start


Source: David Trinklein, 573-882-9631

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new session of online core training to become a certified Master Gardener begins Jan. 22.

“The motto of the Master Gardener program is ‘Helping others learn to grow,’” said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

The popularity of the online classes has grown steadily since MU Extension began offering them in 2013. In the past, some people had to travel many miles to attend Master Gardener classes.

“These classes represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person,” Trinklein said.

Trinklein and MU Extension regional horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler teach the 14 online sessions. Classes are delivered as a series of scripted and narrated PowerPoint presentations. To pass the course, participants need a composite score of 70 percent on chapter quizzes.

Subjects include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, insects and diseases, landscaping and landscape plants, turf management, and pesticide safety.

Core training is the first step toward Master Gardener certification. Trainees must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service, Trinklein said. Local Master Gardener chapters help online trainees find volunteer opportunities to meet the service hour requirements.

“There are Master Gardener programs in every state of the union and in most provinces of Canada,” Trinklein said.

The registration deadline for the online spring session is Jan. 15. Classes begin Jan. 22.

For more information, including registration instructions, go to

The course also may be taken for personal enrichment only (no volunteer requirement) for a higher registration fee. For details, visit





 Good soil makes for green thumb gardening


For more lawn and garden articles from MU Extension, go to
Source: David Trinklein, 573-882-9631

COLUMBIA, Mo. – “You don’t need to have a green thumb to be a good gardener, but it certainly helps to have good soil,” said David Trinklein, University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist. Unfortunately, most Missouri soils are less than ideal for gardening.

One of the most beneficial things a gardener can do to improve soil is to add organic matter, Trinklein said. Organic matter improves soil structure, increases nutrient content and exchange, aids in water retention and enhances the microbial population of the soil.

Perhaps the easiest and least expensive way to incorporate organic matter into garden soil involves planting cover crops, he said.

Vegetable gardeners frequently plant cover crops in late summer when harvest is complete. “Although the foliage provides valuable organic matter, it actually is the extensive root systems of cover crops that contribute most to soil improvement,” said Trinklein. “Many cover crops produce more biomass below ground than they do above ground.”

Cool-season grasses that thrive in the mild days and cool nights of autumn are ideal candidates as cover crops. Annual ryegrass is one of the most popular and reliable grasses to plant as a garden cover crop. It grows quickly, competes well with weeds and does a fine job of building soil structure because of its extensive root system, said Trinklein.

Choose grasses that show greater winter hardiness, such as rye and oats, if cover crop planting is delayed. Both tolerate cold weather quite well and may grow throughout the winter, weather permitting.

Cover crops often are used as “catch crops” to take up and fix any fertilizer that remains in the garden. This is especially true for nitrogen that would be lost through leaching in fall and winter.

Cover crops should be turned under in early spring, when the soil is dry enough to work. Preferably, this will be at least three to four weeks before planting the garden. Adequate time is needed to allow soil microbes to break down the organic matter in cover crops to a more stable form.

When turning under cover crops, do so as thoroughly as possible. Exposed parts of the plant may decompose slowly or not at all. Partially decomposed organic matter tends to tie up nitrogen when soil microbes complete the decomposition process, Trinklein said.

“In the soil, organic matter continually is broken down in a biological process carried out by soil flora and fauna,” he said. “For this reason, the yearly addition of organic matter to garden soil is considered a best management practice.”

More information: “Cover Crops Improve Garden Soil,” Missouri Environment and Garden newsletter,

Favorites Plant List

Barry County Master Gardeners - 2016

Here is list of our favorite plants


Capturing hated cucumber beetles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The new yellow milk jugs in the Kitchen Garden portion of the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, are a novel and successful idea for capturing striped and spotted cucumber beetles.

Cucumber beetles are one-quarter-inch-long beetles with either 12 spots (spotted cucumber beetle) or three black stripes (striped cucumber beetle) on their abdomens. Both species can overwinter in Missouri and become active in April when daytime temperatures exceed 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Without proper management, adult beetles can transmit bacterial wilt, viruses, gummy stem blight, defoliate plants and cause cosmetic damage to fruits. Larvae of the striped beetle also cause damage by feeding on cucurbit roots and stems. These beetles can kill or stunt seedlings and can damage stems and fruits of older plants.

“They also love to eat on garden favorite plants like cucumbers, watermelon, squash and pumpkins,” said Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator, University of Missouri Extension. “Managing these two pests in gardens and small farms can be challenging.”

Insecticides can be an effective control option but harvest interruption due to pre-harvest intervals, and the potential impact on pollinators must be considered. Many of these insecticides will also be “restricted-use,” requiring private pesticide applicator training and licensing.

Researchers at Lincoln University in Jefferson City have developed a simple, mass trapping system. This system has proven to be an effective component of an integrated pest management strategy in commercial cucurbit production systems and can be replicated on a smaller scale for home vegetable gardens.

“When deployed in the cucurbit field, the cucumber beetles are drawn to the traps and away from the cash crop. Upon entering the trap, beetles are killed by their consumption of a carbaryl-laced bait,” said McGowan.

The three components of the trap are a juice or milk jug, a commercial floral-based lure, and a stun pill composed of carbaryl (Sevin), paraffin wax, and powdered buffalo gourd.

Details on the trap and how to construct one can be found at

Examples of the trap in action can be seen at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo.

— Kelly McGowan, University of Missouri Extension

Flowering annuals: Year of the begonia

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Source: David Trinklein, 573-882-9631

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Once considered a denizen of the shade, begonias today are versatile garden plants that can be used in a variety of ways. This year, the begonia has its moment in the sun as the National Garden Bureau’s flowering annual for 2016.

“Some begonias are grown for their uniquely shaped leaves; others are prized for their flower. Many work well as container plants, and if you’re looking for pretty edger for a formal bed or border, begonia is a great choice,” said David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

Begonia is a very large plant genus that contains more than 1,700 species. Most belong to one of two broad categories based on their root structure.

Fibrous-rooted begonias

These are also called “wax-leaf begonias” because the leaves are shiny as if they’ve been oiled. They can also tolerate a variety of exposures.

“They will put up with shade or full sun, but need highly organic soil that retains water when grown in sunny areas. Additionally, they must receive adequate water,” Trinklein said.

Wax begonias produce a multitude of small flowers and come in shades of red, pink and white. They also are available in two leaf colors, green and bronze. In full sun the bronze-leafed types often turn an attractive reddish-orange.

Trinklein says they are perfect for edging in formal flower beds or along a formal border.

“Fibrous-rooted begonias are what I call a very prim and proper plant,” he said. “They’re very neat, very slow to enlarge and never get out of bounds.”

Tuberous-rooted begonias

These shade-loving plants can thrive in very little direct sun.

“Which is good news because there are very few plants that will give us good color from flowers when there’s a limited amount of sun,” Trinklein said.

Tuberous-rooted begonias make great bedding or border plants as long as the sun exposure isn’t too severe, he said. They also work well in container gardens located in a shady setting.

As with the fibrous-rooted begonias, they need a highly organic soil, or amended garden loam, and sufficient water.

“Begonias of all types have very fine feeder roots,” Trinklein said. “The root system can’t reach down into the soil profile for water, so you must keep them watered. Not soaking wet, but moist.”


While most tuberous-rooted begonias are vegetatively propagated, fibrous-rooted begonias are grown from seeds. This can be a challenge for the average gardener because the seeds are very small, almost dustlike in appearance, Trinklein said.

“A very fine-textured and porous germination medium is required to successfully start begonia seeds,” he said. “If you try to start them a coarser medium, the tiny seeds will drop into cracks and crevices and might not be able to emerge before depleting food reserves.”

Even when placed in a proper growing medium they grow very slowly. When the seedlings first emerge, they’re barely big enough to see.

“It may be eight weeks or more before they’re large enough to be transplanted into a bedding plant container,” Trinklein said. “Then it will take more time before the plant is large enough to be transplanted into the garden.”

Because the fibrous-rooted begonias are such a challenge to grow from seed, Trinklein recommends that home gardeners buy these begonias as started plants.

So, if you’re looking for ways to add color to shady areas or need attractive border or edging plants, take another look at begonias.

For more information, the MU Extension publication “Flowering Annuals: Characteristics and Culture” (G6629) is available for download at

Photos available for this release:


Journal your garden


photo: Garden Journal and garden tools

The most challenging aspect of successful gardening just might be the difficulty recalling what worked and what didn't from year to year. Many gardeners believe the keys to successful gardening are getting your plans on paper first and keeping records. MU Extension publication MP928, From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar, gives you an easy way to record your garden plans, observations and ideas.

This publication also includes year-round resources to guide gardeners at all experience levels. Written by MU Extension horticulture specialists who teach Master Gardeners, this publication brings you reliable and relevant information.


Seeds of Prosperity

Beyond the Farmers' Market