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Oklahoma Education Television Authority (OETA) annual home and garden television show marks 37th season

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

Oklahoma Education Television Authority (OETA) annual home and garden television show marks 37th seaso
Whether you are a gardener or just enjoy the diverse beauty that Oklahoma has to offer, gardening enthusiasts have long been tuning in to their local OETA stations to catch the latest episode of “Oklahoma Gardening.”

Currently in its 37th season, faithful viewers, and newcomers, too, will continue to learn valuable gardening information that can be applied to their own gardens.

Host Kim Toscano said the “Oklahoma Gardening” team has developed some new partnerships to bring the audience an exciting season of programming.

“Oklahoma Gardening” airs at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and at 3:30 p.m. on Sundays on local OETA stations. Episodes contain informative segments on gardening, lawn and care, landscaping, design and maintenance.

“We are proud to join the IPM Oklahoma Program and will be introducing gardeners to the many simple tools that make up an Integrated Pest Management System,” Toscano said “IPM is more than simply managing garden pests – it’s a holistic system of managing the landscape and protecting the health of humans and the environment.”

She said the “Oklahoma Gardening” team has developed a demonstration garden at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University to help educate visitors about IPM. The demonstration garden will feature physical and mechanical control tactics such as the use of traps, barriers and mulches to prevent and avoid pest problems.

In addition, the garden will incorporate a variety of cultural techniques including crop rotation, trap crops and the use of disease-resistant plant material.

“We have installed a bed of nectar-rich plants that will attract natural enemies to the gardens,” said Toscano. “Natural enemies are beneficial insects that prey on pest insects. Visitors to the garden will have a chance to learn more about the use of IPM and this topic will be featured on the show this season.”

In keeping with tradition, the team will continue to provide balanced programming that addresses all areas of consumer horticulture.

Programming also will feature the new theme garden, “Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.” Each of these elements shapes the land on which we live and plays an important role in the balance of nature.

“We’ll have scientists on the show this season who will explore these natural forces and the impacts they have in our own backyards,” she said. “The new garden also incorporates artistic elements and bold plantings in a minimalistic design.”

Viewers this year also will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with butterflies.
The “Oklahoma Gardening” team has partnered with Bryan Reynolds, founder of the Butterflies of the World Foundation. He will visit the garden on a monthly basis throughout the season to hunt butterflies. Viewers are in luck because some varieties of butterflies are already active.
“We’re also planning to continue our gardening around the state and will be traveling to northeastern Oklahoma during the season,” Toscano said. “We have so many things planned for the 2012 season so be sure to join us each week on “Oklahoma Gardening.”
Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension produces “Oklahoma Gardening” through the department of horticulture and landscape architecture, Agricultural Communications Services and the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
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