Biweekly Update – February 19th, 2020

New Announcements:


1.    Master Gardener College 2020 – Blacksburg, VA – June 25th-28th, 2020

a.     Don’t miss Master Gardener College this June! Master Gardener College 2020 will return to Blacksburg on Virginia Tech’s campus June 25-28, 2020.

b.    Registration opens in April.

c.     Be on the lookout for the Master Gardener College edition of “In Season” this March.

d.    The advanced training at Master Gardener College this year will be Land Care Steward training.


2.    Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate Program – Petersburg, VA – March 7th 2020 – May 30th 2020

a.     Registration is now open for the 12-weeks Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate Program. The program starts on March 7th and runs through May 30th, 2020. Instruction consists of morning lectures and afternoon hands-on outdoor and lab activities. The registration fee is $250 payable by the February 28th deadline.

b.    To learn more about the program, please click the link below:


3.    Giving Day 2020 – March 18th-19th 2020

a.     Giving Day is coming! March 18 at noon to March 19 at noon is our chance to solicit small donations to the EMG program via our online Giving Day portal. Get more info on Giving Day here.

b.    As soon as we have the link to our specific Giving Day page, we will send it out over the VMS with instructions on how to give. Please share this info widely!


4.    Free Programs from the Halifax VCEMG office – South Boston, VA

a.     March 6 – Best of the Best Vegetables for the Southern Piedmont of Virginia

                                              i.     This is an updated 2020 version of the program that Bill McCaleb has done several times during the past 20 years for home gardeners and producers.  New resistant varieties continue to come out each year. And we’ll explore some of these along with disease resistant varieties vs. non-resistant varieties.  Bill will cover A to Z in the vegetable category (Asparagus – Zucchini) 

b.    March 20 – Gale Washburn, retired from the Virginia Department of Forestry, will present “Native Edible Plants”

                                              i.     Gale has worked with native plants in Virginia for many years and loves to promote ‘what we have.’  Come join us and learn more.

c.     Due to space, we do need folks to call and register for these free programs put on by the Halifax Virginia Cooperative Extension Office. The programs will be presented at the South Boston-Halifax County Museum located at 1540 Wilborn Avenue, South Boston.  Both programs will begin at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Register by calling the Halifax VCE office on 434-476-2147 ext. 0 or you can email” style=”color:blue”> or” style=”color:blue”>


5.    NC State Online Learning opportunities

a.     NC State is preparing to launch a 2020 Online Learning Program! Discounts available for Master Gardeners and Agents – please email Devon at for information on discount eligibility.


6.    Piedmont Master Gardeners’ 2020 Spring Lecture Series – Charlottesville, VA

a.     March 5 – Tim McCoy, extension associate with the Virginia Tech Entomology Department, presents “Pesticides and Pollinators: What Gardeners Should Know.” McCoy will discuss how pesticide misuse threatens solitary bees and will offer practical ways to help these pollinators thrive in our landscapes.

                                              i.     Location: Room A of the Albemarle County Office Building on 5th Street Extended, just off I-64.

                                             ii.     Time: 7 p.m.

                                           iii.     Admission: $8 at the door or in advance at

b.    March 12 – Doug Tallamy, professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, presents “Nature’s Best Hope: Creating a Vibrant Ecosystem in the Home Landscape.” Tallamy is author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens and the newly published Nature’s Best Hope.

                                              i.     Location: Lane Auditorium in the Albemarle County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville.

                                             ii.     Time: 7 p.m.

                                           iii.     Admission: $8 at the door or in advance at

c.     March 19Keith Nevison, manager of farm and nursery operations for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, presents “Year-Round Vegetable Gardening.” He will explain the latest approaches to ensuring successive harvests through all four seasons in Central Virginia, such as building healthy soil, utilizing season-extension tools and techniques, and effective crop planning.

                                              i.     Location: Room A of the Albemarle County Office Building on 5th Street Extended, just off I-64.

                                             ii.     Time: 7 p.m.

                                           iii.     Admission: $8 at the door or in advance at

d.    March 26 Robyn Puffenbarger, chair of the Department of Biology and Environmental Science at Bridgewater College, presents “Robins to Raptors: Observing Birds in Our Backyards.” She will help participants build their skills for identifying bird species in Virginia and will provide insights on bird habitats, migration patterns and diets, as well as strategies to attract more birds to our backyards.

                                              i.     Location: Room A of the Albemarle County Office Building on 5th Street Extended, just off I-64.

                                             ii.     Time: 7 p.m.

                                           iii.     Admission: $8 at the door or in advance at


7.    Louisa County Free Backyard Gardening Seminars – Louisa, VA – March 7th-28th 2020

a.     Please join us at the Louisa County Office Building, 1 Woolfolk Ave., Louisa, VA, from 9 a.m. to noon for a series of lectures featuring:

                                              i.     March 7 – “Annuals and perennials, what makes your garden smile” with Pat Willis

                                             ii.     March 14 – “What You Need to Know Before You Dive into Beekeeping” with John Beers

                                           iii.     March 21 – “Gardening with Essential Oils” with Heather Bilek

                                           iv.     March 28 – “Organic Vegetable Gardening” with Ira Wallace

b.    For more information, call (540) 967-3422

February Announcements:

1.    EMG Webinar: Andrea Davis, School Gardens – February 20th 2020

a.     Join the EMG state office for an exciting webinar with agent Andrea Davis discussing best practices and practical tips for running school garden programs. Use this link to pre-register for the webinar 2/20 at 10 a.m.:

March Announcements:

1.    NSVMGA Gardening in the Valley Symposium – Winchester, VA – March 7th 2020

a.     From 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at:

Shenandoah University Hester Auditorium,

Henkel 1460 University Dr,

Winchester, VA  22601

b.    The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association sponsors a day of VCE educational offerings each spring. 

                                              i.     All proceeds benefit the NSVMGA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The cost is $65 through PayPal at the link below or $70 at the door, and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

                                             ii.     Visit for more info


2.    27th Annual Gardening in the Northern Neck Seminar – White Stone, VA – March 21st 2020

a.     Join the Northern Neck Master Gardeners for its 27th annual Gardening in the Northern Neck Seminar on March 21 in White Stone VA. This year’s theme is “Spring Fever! Adventures in Gardening” and features guest speakers C. Colston Burrell, Nancy Lawson and Vincent A. Simeone.

b.    The registration form is attached, and more information about the Seminar and its guest speakers is available at

April Announcements:

1.    8th Annual Living in the Garden Symposium – Falmouth, VA – April 4th 2020

a.     Join the Master Gardener Association of the Central Rappahannock Area for our annual symposium with featured speakers Bryce Lane, Michael Judd, and Barbara Ellis. Fee includes light breakfast, buffet lunch, and “How to Prune Trees & Shrubs” handbook.  

September Announcements:

1.    Virginia is hosting International Master Gardener Conference 2021 – Norfolk, VA – September 12-17, 2021

a.     Have you heard? Virginia is hosting IMGC 2021! IMGC is an opportunity to come together with other EMGs from across the nation for a week of tours, workshops, and speakers. Check out our keynote speakers and start planning your trip to Norfolk now:


2.    IMGC 2021 Call for proposals – Norfolk, VA – September 12-17, 2020

a.     IMGC 2021 is soliciting speakers for concurrent sessions and workshops. If your unit has had a great guest speaker who might be interested in this opportunity, please forward them this info! If you or someone you know is interested, please fill out our application form here:

b.    Learn more:

Other Announcements:

1.    Follow the State Office on social media:

                                              i.     Facebook

                                             ii.     Instagram

                                           iii.     YouTube

2.    Home Gardening Mini- Course Lecture Series – Newport News, VA

a.     The Newport News Master Gardener Association announces our new Lecture Series, Home Gardening Mini-Course, a series of eight, free, monthly lectures covering a wide variety of horticultural topics.

b.    The Mini-Course is FREE and will be held at the Virginia Living Museum.

c.     Located at:

Virginia Living Museum,

524 Clyde Morris Blvd,

Newport News, VA 23601

d.    Pre-registration is required:

by calling the NN VCE office at: 757-591-4838.

e.     Lecture Schedule:

                                              i.     2/25/20 Residential Landscape Design

                                             ii.     3/24/20 Environmentally Responsible Lawn Maintenance 

                                           iii.     4/21/20 Growing Edibles – Eat Your Yard!

                                           iv.     5/28/20 Flowers We Love – MG Favorites

                                             v.     6/18/20 Backyard Actions for a Cleaner Bay

                                           vi.     7/23/20 Tree and Shrub Pruning, A Hands-on Workshop in Riverview Farm Park

                                         vii.     8/27/20 Native Selections – Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials


3.     Resources for fertilization of lawns and for those involved with Healthy Virginia Lawns programming  

4.    Do you have questions coming in to your Extension Master Gardener program and need to find some answers? Extension Search Resources for EMG Questions

5.    Registration now open for online Plant Identification Classes by Longwood Gardens and NC State – Click Here

6.    An update from National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture: 2018 accomplishments letter

7.    Visit the VCE Lawn and Garden Calendar!

8.    Every Kid in a Park Program

9.    Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive pest insect– found in Winchester, VA- January 2018

a.     For information regarding the quarantine please see attached link

10. eXtension Good and Bad bugs webinar series – Feb 1 – Dec 6, 2019

11. Biennial 2018 EMG Summary – from the Extension Master Gardener National Committee

a.     Data collected indicates there are 86,076 EMG volunteers throughout the United States and Washington, D.C, contributing 5.6 million hours educating the public, providing youth programming, and facilitating produce donated to local food banks.

b.    While this is only the beginning of the value EMGs provide in their communities each year, 2018 efforts are estimated to have contributed 140 million dollars in value to the general public. Our volunteers reported over 8.6 million contacts and continue to be the front line of Extension’s consumer horticulture efforts. Forty-six states participated in this report.


12. Basil Downy Mildew: Occurrence Monitoring and Info Website for Gardeners

a.     A new website, created by Margaret McGrath and the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University, on monitoring occurrence of downy mildew on basil in the US and Canada:

                                              i.     It maps occurrences and replaces them into a GoogleDocs spreadsheet since 2009. There is information about BDM at the website that is geared for gardeners. Gardeners have been the primary and most important reporters in helping with monitoring this disease.

b.    A handout for gardeners about reporting occurrences of BDM and 2 other important diseases: late blight and cucurbit downy mildew.

13. New VCE Master Gardener Photo Submission!

a.     Here at the Extension Master Gardener State Office, we want to showcase YOU

Posted in biweekly update.

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