Biweekly Update – January 19, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    View a special end-of-year message from the State Coordinator’s Office:

2.    IMGC Search For Excellence – Deadline May 1. The David Gibby Search for Excellence (SFE) Awards recognize the outstanding volunteer work of Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) & Volunteer Coordinators. Please submit your projects! It would be great to see lots of VA entries/awards! Apply here:

3.    Call for recipes for a Virginia IMGC Cookbook (email recipes to Wanda Gerard Wanda Recipes should feature Virginia agricultural products or have some historical/cultural significance to the commonwealth.

4.    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. 

5.    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

6.    How to have the best lawn in the neighborhood – February 22nd (7pm-8pm EST),

a.    Spring is the perfect season to begin thinking about your lawn. Lawns and their problems is one of the topics that master gardeners get a lot of questions about, and now is the time to “bone up” on your turf grass knowledge. Adam Nichols, Research Manager for Turfgrass and Weed Science at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research Station, will focus on how to establish and maintain your lawn. The presentation will be on Zoom and is free and open to the public. Zoom Link:


7.    GreenScapes Symposium – (Early Bird ends Jan. 8)February 19, 2021

a.    Join the Greenscapes Symposium for a fascinating day of live virtual presentations on designing and gardening with native plants to sustain wildlife and natural ecosystems.

Don’t miss out on the Early Bird registration fee that ends on Friday, January 8. For more information and to register online, visit  


8.    The 5th Annual Seed Swap postponed: Based on the Governor's current guidance, the Central Rappahannock Area Master Gardeners have postponed the 5th Annual Seed Swap originally scheduled for January 23, 2021. We hope to reschedule the event in March, at an outside location, and will let everyone know once a new plan has been approved.

9.    Tree Classes and Walks– Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards is a series of 6 free classes and walks in the first half of 2021 either on weekday evenings or weekends so that all can enjoy them. Please follow the link below for more details and registration information.

10. Canva is now approved for use by VT – Some of you may be aware that Canva was not approved for official use and VT employees were discouraged from using it. It has recently been approved! Canva is a great free graphic design tool you can use to make social media posts, flyers, handouts, and more.


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.    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

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:


Old January Announcements:   

5.    POSTPONED 5th Annual Seed Swap, Central Rappahannock, January 23, 2021


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
boxes of produce sit on a stone path with yellow flowers in a garden behind them

Fred Heutte Demonstration Garden COVID Response

By: Paul Ziegler, Norfolk Extension Master Gardener

For over 10 years, Norfolk Master Gardeners have operated a Demonstration Garden at the Fred Heutte Center in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood. The garden, consisting of 40 4ft X 4ft raised beds, utilizes Square Foot Gardening techniques to demonstrate how to maximize food growing potential in an urban environment.  The entire garden is maintained by a cadre of extremely dedicated Norfolk Master Gardeners and a few neighborhood volunteers. All produce is donated to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.  It has served as a hands-on educational opportunity for not only our Interns, but for our “seasoned perennials” as well.  It has been a central focal point to helpgroups and individuals interested in growing their own produce.

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