Biweekly Update December 17, 2020

New Announcements:

1.    New “IDs and Diagnoses” webinar series features representatives from VCE labs who will provide information on their work, highlight top issues they see in Virginia, and go through how local EMG help desks can be most effective when submitting samples. This series is open to all EMGs and will be appropriate for anyone who takes part in public programming, not just help desk or plant clinic volunteers! All webinars will be recorded and posted to our website.

a.    Dates and topics:

Tuesday, January 26, 1pm: Soil
Tuesday, February 2, 1pm: Insects
Tuesday, February 9, 1pm: Weeds
Tuesday, February 16, 1pm: Plant Disease

Register in advance:   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

2.    State Office Webinar Series:

a.    February 18 10:00 am | Building strong EMG Mentoring Programs – This webinar will focus on the importance of mentoring programs and how you can build one for your unit.

Register in advance:   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

3.    Webinar: The Emerging Invasive Fire Ant – Solenopsis invicta – January 19, 2021 10:00 AM -12 noon

a.    Hosted by Halifax EMGS: As most of you know by now, we have fire ants in the southeastern part of Halifax County with our neighboring counties of Mecklenburg and Charlotte as well as our bordering NC counties also having areas of infestation. We hope to share with you enough information so that when asked about these ‘critters’ you will be an informed EMG. I am also opening this virtual training up to other Master Gardener groups in Virginia and North Carolina, but we will be concentrating on the mitigation processes available to us in Virginia. Bill McCaleb will be presenting as well as Rebekah Slabach, ANR agent, who has been quite active as well checking out possible infestations along with staff from VDACS. We have asked a specialist with VDACS to join us as well.

b.    Pre-registration is required for this training at this link:   

4.    Request for resource suggestions: A Northern Virginia EMG is compiling information on gardening with children and needs your help! Many parents and childcare providers are looking for books, projects like 4-H's Nature in a Box sponsored by VCE/4-H, and other resources that can help adults work with children on gardening projects.”  

a.    Please help us identify resources and projects for gardening with children! Send your ideas to

5.    Virginia Horticultural Foundation Home Gardener Day – Jan 11, 2021

a.    Join us January 11, 2021, for Growing Wild as we explore native plants, the important role they play in ecosystems, and how we can incorporate more of them into our home landscapes. Our four speakers – Doug Tallamy, Ryan McEnaney, Brie Arthur, and Ian Caton – will talk about why we should all plant native, the breeding of cultivars, using natives in food gardens, and how to propagate these plants.

b.    More information and registration:

6.    Virginia Tech Giving Day – February 24-25 2021: Virginia Tech is hosting its annual “Giving Day” from February 24 at noon to February 25 at noon. If you manage social media pages for your unit, stay tuned for pre-written posts with instructions on giving to the EMG program for Giving Day


Old Announcements

1.    Continuing education reading list: Reading a book from this list counts for up to 3 CE hours:

a.    More CE opportunities here:

2.    New guidance for digital contacts reporting: If you are responsible for reporting contacts, there is new guidance available for reporting webinar contacts. The social media guidance remains the same as previous years. Complete guidance available here:

3.    Creating a Facebook event for an EMG program? Please add the state office as a cohost!

4.    IMGC: Virtual Tours

a.    With the switch to a virtual platform for IMGC 2021, we have had to reimagine how we will offer tours to participants. We are asking EMGs from across Virginia to submit links to virtual tours that have taken part in, seen, or created. From these submissions, our IMGC Tours Team will put together a Virginia Tours page for conference goers.

b.    Additional details and virtual tours submission can be found here:

5.    VMGA Speakers bureau list: View VMGA’s current list of topics which speakers in the state are willing to give. The site sends an email to the VMGA 'owner' of the list with contact information for the person who delivers that topic.

6.    Send us your COVID photos! If you have photos of EMG volunteer projects during COVID, such as masked volunteers working in a garden, please send them to us! Email them to Devon,

7.    Call for presentations: Have you created a presentation you're proud of & would like to share with us? We are creating a presentation repository and need your presentations!

·      Repository will be available for EMGs and Agents/Coordinators to draw from for speaking requests, training, etc. Master gardeners and agents may submit. Presentations will undergo editing and formatting before being posted. Email presentations to Devon

8.    Plant sale guidance availableExtension Leadership has released guidelines for Extension Master Gardener Plant Sales in light of the current steps toward reopening. You can find that information on the VCE COVID-19 page ( under “Administrative Documents and Updates.” It’s at the bottom of that list under “EMG Plant Sale Guidance.


Old January Announcements:

9.    5th Annual Seed Swap, Central Rappahannock, January 23, 2021 – Save the Date and your Seeds for the Central Rappahannock Area Master Gardeners 5th Annual Seed Swap on January 23, 2021 from 10AM to 1PM in King George. The event is FREE and open to all. More info here.


Other Announcements:

1.    Send us your announcements! Have you converted educational programs to an online format? You can still submit those announcements for the biweekly email! Submit an item for the biweekly update here.

2.    Follow the State Office on social media: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

3.    Subscribe to In Season, our quarterly newsletter

4.    View our most recent webinar

a.    View a recording of our most recent state office webinar – Jamie King on urban forestry


  1.  Resources for fertilization of lawns and for those involved with Healthy Virginia Lawns programming  
  2. Do you have questions coming in to your Extension Master Gardener program and need to find some answers? Extension Search Resources for EMG Questions
Posted in biweekly update.

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