Biweekly Update – February 8, 2021

New Announcements:

1.    Hours requirements have been updated for 2021, view here

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.    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, February 9, 1pm: Weeds
Tuesday, February 16, 1pm: Plant Disease

b.    View recorded sessions:

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

4.    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

5.    Garden Basics Workshop: Starting Plants from Seeds, February 20, 2021:

a.    The Piedmont Master Gardeners will offer “Starting Plants from Seeds,” a free online Garden Basics workshop, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, February 20. Learn seed-starting techniques for vegetables and flowers and how to care for seedlings once seeds have germinated. To reserve a spot in the workshop, register by February 15 at  An invitation to the Zoom session will be sent the morning of the class.

6.    Grow The Good Life, February 20 and 27: Bedford Area Master Gardeners Association is sponsoring a two-weekend education event, called Grow The Good Life, to give gardeners a head start on their 2021 garden plans. The program will be conducted by Zoom on February 20th and 27th and will cost $15 per day.  Presentations will include introduction to trending garden crops, composting advice and recommendations for beginners to “seasoned” gardeners, advice on how to control critters in the garden and gardening ideas for small areas.   More info on the flyer, here. Sign up for both weekend sessions is available on the association’s web site,

7.    Communications workshop with Inga Haugen, February 24: Inga Haugen, Life Science, Agriculture, and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Virginia Tech, has created training materials on image attribution, creating presentations, and other technology content. You can be among the first to see the new materials, and you will have a chance to give feedback on how you prefer to view online training materials.

a.    Register (must be current VA EMG): Registrations deadline is 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. Please only register only once.

8.    Piedmont Master Gardeners Schedule Spring Lecture Series, Thursdays in March: The Piedmont Master Gardeners have lined up an outstanding slate of speakers for their 2021 Spring Lecture Series and will present them online from 7 to 8:15 p.m. over four Thursday evenings in March. Online registration starts February 1 on PMG’s Events webpage ( and is required to receive an invitation to the Zoom sessions. Schedule here: 

9.    Gardening in the Valley Symposium, March 6: Northern Shenandoah Valey EMGs present a VIRTUAL Gardening in the Valley Symposium, featuring “Urban Bee Keeping,” “Herbs for Health and Healing,” “Raised Beds vs Traditional Beds” and more. More info:

10. Plant, Nurture, Grow: Gardening In Rhythm with Nature March 20, 2021: The Loudoun County Extension Master Gardeners are proud to present our 11th Annual Garden Symposium, Plant, Grow, Nurture: Gardening in Rhythm with Nature, on March 20, 2021. This year we are virtual, so attendees can enjoy the speakers from the comfort of their own home. Registrants not available on the 20th can watch a recording of the speakers at any time until the end of March. Event information can also be found at  Registration is limited and opens on February 1, 2021. We hope to see you at the Symposium!


Old Announcements

11. 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.

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

a.    More CE opportunities here:

13. 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:

14. 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

15. IMGC: Virtual Tours

b.    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.

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

16. 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.

Old February announcements:

17. 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:

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

b.    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


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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