1. EMG Microgrant Program 2023: Environmental Stewardship
- The 2023 EMG microgrants will go to support local Extension Master Gardener (EMG) groups in their efforts to promote environmental stewardship in their local communities. This could include efforts to improve or protect water quality, gardening for climate change, pollinator gardens/gardening for wildlife, native plants education, biodiversity projects, cover crops, and more. All proposals should show strong dedication to the EMG mission of sharing knowledge and empowering communities.
- Applicants may request up to $1,000 to support EMG projects focused on environmental stewardship. Submissions will be accepted February 27 through March 26. Applications will be accepted through Google Forms this year, not through email.
- Learn more and view application requirements here: https://mastergardener.ext.vt.edu/current-resources/grant/
2. Best of the Best Vegetables for 2023 – March 17, 2023 – South Boston Halifax County Museum 1540 Wilborn Ave. South Boston, VA 24592
- Bill McCaleb, Program Assistant, ANR will give an overview of the best vegetable varieties for disease and pest resistance as identified by several Universities research. This is based on disease and/or insect resistance. We all look for the best taste, texture, and ease of care and the best for our growing zone. We’ll concentrate on those for USDA zones 7a & 7b. To register for this program, please call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147 ext 0 or email to email@example.com leaving your name and email address or telephone number by March 14, 2023.
3. 26th Annual York/Poquoson Horticultural Extravaganza – March 11, 2023 – Tabb High School, 4431 Big Bethel Rd., Yorktown, VA
- Are you eager for more signs of spring? Want to learn how to use more sustainable or “smart” practices in your garden? Want to meet, interact, and network with your fellow gardeners? Then you should plan to attend the 26th Annual Horticultural Extravaganza. Garden enthusiasts will learn from experts how to use research-based knowledge to cultivate beautiful gardens that will benefit themselves and wildlife. Whether you’re interested in growing a vegetable garden, flowers for pollinators, or pots on your patio, we can help you make the most of your garden space. Our speakers include:
- Mark Viette: Celebrated gardener, author, and host of Down Home Virginia
- Dr. Cynthia Wood: Columnist and Master Naturalist
- Kate Dooley: Owner of Kate’s Next Door Market, an urban farm
- Becky Heath: Owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
4. Scale Control: Crape Myrtle, Holly and More – March 3, 2023 – Virtual
- Scale control: Crape Myrtle, Holly and More. March 3, 2023, 10:00-11:30 am, ONLINE
- Scale insects are among the most injurious and most common insect pests in our landscape. Join Kirsten Conrad, Extension Agent for Arlington County and City of Alexandria, to learn about these sap sucking insects, their particular host plants, their life cycles, and optimal timing and methods for controlling them. Find out how you can work with and encourage natural predators to keep your landscape plants healthy and free of these pests. FREE.
- To join RSVP at https://mgnv.org/rsvp-for-public-education-classes to receive a link to participate.
Old February Announcements
- Virginia Farm to School Regional Network Meetings
- The VDOE-SNP and VCE will host Virginia Farm to School Regional Network meetings immediately following the Bringing the Farm to School Workshops. These meetings are an opportunity to gather all farm to school stakeholders throughout the region to network and discuss goals, activities, and upcoming priorities for the year. Regions are based on the Virginia Superintendent Regions. Meetings are free to attend and open to the public. Registration must be completed via the online registration form (https://virginiadoe.gov1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01iXPdIhhAIz1hI). The two upcoming meeting dates are as follows:
- Regions 3 and 4: Friday, February 24, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at the Culpeper Baptist Church in Culpeper, Virginia
- Regions 1 and 2: Thursday, March 2, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at The Smithfield Center in Smithfield, Virginia
Old March Announcements
- HOPE from the Garden – In Harmony with Mother Nature – March 1, 2023 – Webinar
- Mid-Winter Advanced Education Webinar. Sponsored by Goochland Powhatan Master Gardeners Association and VMGA. HOPE from the Garden – In Harmony with Mother Nature. March 1, 2022, 9:30am-1:00pm, via Zoom. David Close, Volunteer Engagement Specialist, VA Tech- “Trees Are the Answer’. Beth Mizell, Executive Director of Blue Ridge PRISM – “Native Alternatives for Invasive Plants in Your Landscape”. Ross Braun, former USDA Soil Conservationist – “Soil Science is not Rocket Science”. This seminar is open to all VA EMG volunteers. Register for this event at this link: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qGDYOVlkShmHbRPQVjDLHQ
- Register Now for the Green Spring EcoSavvy Symposium – March 4, 2023 – Live Zoom Event
- The 19th Annual EcoSavvy Symposium, Feel-Good EcoSavvy Gardening, Good for you, Good for our World.
- Saturday, March 4, 2023 – 10:00 AM-12:00 PM – Live Zoom Event
- The Green Spring Extension Master Gardeners invite you to join them for two fascinating presentations exploring the healing power of gardening upon our physical, mental and health and the restorative power of sustainable gardening upon all of us and our world. Kathleen Wellington, LPC, Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional will introduce us to the cultural and scientific history of how gardening affects your physical, mental and spiritual health. Laurie Fox, PhD, Horticulture Associate, Virginia Tech then will illustrate sustainable gardening techniques using plants to reclaim contaminated soil and groundwater. Presented by: VCE Green Spring Master Gardeners. Registration 703-642-5173 or online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes. Cost: $25 in county/$27 out of county. Code: GRF.K8L9 (virtual)
8. Register Now! Green Spring Extension Master Gardeners 2023 EcoSavvy Symposium, “Feel-Good EcoSavvy Gardening: Good for You, Good for Our World” – March 4th, 2023, 10:00AM-12:00PM – Live Zoom Event (A recording will be available to all registered participants for post-event viewing.)
- Come explore the healing powers of gardening and make the world a better place for you and your loved ones with experts hosted by the Green Spring Master Gardeners: Kathleen Wellington, LPC, Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, will share the cultural and scientific evidence that gardening restores our physical, mental and spiritual health. Laurie Fox, PhD, Horticulture Associate, Virginia Tech, will then show us how to put this power into practice with gardening techniques to reclaim contaminated soil and groundwater. Registration closes on Friday, March 3, 2023. To register, visit bit.ly/register-ecosavvy23 or call 703-642-5173. Cost (updated): $24 in county / $27 out of count. Code: GRF.K8L9 (virtual). A recording will be available to all registered participants for post-event viewing. Participants are eligible to earn up to 2 Landscape Industry Certified continuing education units (CEUs) from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
9. Spring Pruning – March 6, 2023 7:00 PM – Virtual Meeting/Zoom
- VIRGINIA BEACH MASTER GARDENERS PRESENT GARDENING TALKS: Join us on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 7 pm via ZOOM for a Gardening Talks presentation on: Spring Pruning: Presented by Jason Heizer of Bartlett Tree. We often think of winter as the proper time to prune, but spring flowering shrubs and trees require a different schedule to preserve their flower buds. Jason will talk techniques and timing for pruning a variety of flowering trees and shrubs. Gardening Talks is presented via Zoom and is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. No registration is required. Gardening Talks are one hour. Go to VBMG.org and click on the Zoom link! Check out upcoming Gardening Talks for 2023 as you explore our website!
- Gardening in the Valley Symposium – March 11, 2023 – Shenandoah University, Winchester
- Save the date for the Gardening in the Valley Symposium. The symposium will be held at Shenandoah University, Henkel Hall. Check our website for more information. Topics this year include, The Ecology of the Garden, The Journey from the Vineyard to the Tasting Room, Intentional Garden Design, The Best Flowers for the Best Life and Fungi of Appalachia and Home-Grown Mushrooms. Cost will be $65 per person and proceeds go to our NSVMGA Memorial Scholarship Fund. www.nsvmga.org/events/symposium www.nsvmga.org/events/symposium
- PCMG Spring Symposium – March 11, 2023 – Patrick County Community Center
- PBS naturalist Patrick McMillan will deliver two presentations — Underutilized Native Plants and Gardening for the Senses — at the Patrick County Master Gardeners’ Spring Symposium on March 11 at the Patrick County Community Center, just off Route 58 in Stuart, VA. Admission is $10, including mid-morning refreshments. Doors will open at 8:15 a.m. with the program beginning at 9 and running through noon. Early registration is recommended in light of the popularity of the speaker and the limited capacity of the auditorium. Pre-registration forms will be available at various venues in Stuart, as well as on the PCMG Facebook page or by contacting PCMG volunteer Glenda Cobbler at 932 Palmetto School Road, Stuart, VA 24171.
- Grow the Good Life 2023 – March 11, 2023 – Moneta, VA and Zoom
- The Bedford Area Master Gardeners Association offers its annual Grow The Good Life. Three presentations provide instruction and advice on how to get more out of your garden space without increasing the size of your garden. Grow the Good Life 2023 will take place on March 11, by Zoom and in person, from 9am – 3pm. The in person location is Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 13586 Old Moneta Road, Moneta, VA. Attendance fee: $25 for Zoom attendance $35 for in person attendance (includes lunch). Register in advance with the Sign Up form found on the website: www.bedfordareamastergardeners.org
- Piedmont Master Gardeners Announce Spring Lecture Series – March 2, 9, 16 and 30, 2023 – Online
- “Gardening for a Healthy Planet” will be the theme of the Piedmont Master Gardeners’ 2023 Spring Lecture Series, to be presented online from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on four Thursdays in March. Admission is $10 for each lecture. To register for the webinars, visit https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/events/. The schedule includes:
- March 2—Michael Carter Jr., Africulture and Unique Organic Vegetables You’ll Want in Your Home Garden.Michael Carter Jr. will highlight the many contributions the African continent and people of African descent have made to farming and food traditions in the United States. He will also introduce some of the unique plants he grows organically at his family’s certified Virginia Century Farm in Orange County. Carter is the fifth generation of his family to farm this property and is managing director of Carter Farms and Africulture, a nonprofit focused on educating the public about the principles, practices, plants, and people of African descent that have contributed to U.S. agriculture.
- March 9—Bob Schamerhorn, Attracting Birds and Other Wildlife to Your Garden with Easy-to-Create Water Features. Bob Schamerhorn’s multimedia presentation will demonstrate water’s powerful attraction to birds and other wildlife in every season and will suggest ways to enhance our enjoyment of nature by bringing water into our backyards. Based in Richmond, Schamerhorn is an award-winning nature photographer and a lifelong bird and nature enthusiast. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications, including Virginia Wildlife and Audubon, the National Audubon Society’s magazine.
- March 16—Kim Eierman, Designing a Pollinator Victory Garden for a Changing Climate. Kim Eierman, an ecological landscape designer specializing in native plants, will cover the dramatic decline of pollinators due to factors that include climate change and will offer simple strategies gardeners can use to support bees and an array of other pollinator species. Based in Westchester County, New York, Eierman is author of The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, among other places.
- March 30—Elisa Meara and Alex Thompson, Attractive, Functional, Sustainable Solutions to Managing Stormwater Runoff in the Home Yard and Garden. Landscape designers Elisa Meara and Alex Thompson will show how smart planting and attractive rain gardens can reduce stormwater runoff and filter pollutants that threaten rivers and streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay. A graduate of London’s Inchbald School of Design, Meara hails from the Dominican Republic and is owner of the Native Plant Landscape Design Corp. in Falls Church. Thompson grew up in the English countryside and holds a master’s degree in landscape design from The George Washington University. She strives to create “outdoor rooms that people and nature can love.”
- In Your Own Backyard: 2023 Gardening in the Northern Neck seminar – Saturday, March 25, 2023 – White Stone, VA
- The Northern Neck Master Gardeners (NNMG) have announced the date and theme for the 2023 Gardening in the Northern Neck seminar (GNN). The theme of the 2023 seminar is “In Your Own Backyard.” Gardening in the Northern Neck will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the White Stone Church of the Nazarene, 57 Whisk Drive in White Stone. This will be the 29th Gardening in the Northern Neck Seminar. Speakers will be Heather Holm, a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author; Barbara Pleasant, an avid gardener and award winning author; and Edward Olsen, Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulture agent for Henrico County. The fee for the seminar is $50. Lunches will be available for an additional fee. Additional information is available at nnmg.org/gnn/. Registration forms will be available on February 1, 2023, at www.nnmg.org/gnn.
Old April Announcements
- MGACRA Spring Symposium “Flower Power: From Roots to Blooms” – April 1, 2023 — Gari Melchers Home & Studio, 224 Washington St., Falmouth, Virginia, 22405.
- The Master Gardener Association of the Central Rappahannock Area invite you to join us for our 11th Annual Spring Symposium “Flower Power – From Roots to Blooms” . Spend the day with us learning how to grow beautiful flowers in your garden. We have three guest speakers: back by popular demand – Bryce Lane presenting two sessions “Understanding Garden Soils” and “Accenting Your Landscape With Color”, Stacy Chapman “Westwind Flowers – From our Field to Your Vase”, and Nancy Berlin “Container Gardening With Northern Virginia Natives.” All attendees will be able to explore the gardens at the Belmont Estate, spend time in their outstanding museum gift store, and visit with fellow Master Gardeners. Tickets are $80.00 which includes a full day of thought-provoking lectures focusing on purposeful gardening and includes morning coffee/tea & light breakfast, a delicious buffet lunch, and afternoon cookies. Registration is now open. You can register online at https://www.mgacra.org/2023-spring-symposium.html
Old June Announcements
- International Master Gardener Conference 2023 – June 18-22, 2023
- Registration is open for the 2023 International Master Gardener Conference in Kansas this June. Early registration of $397 runs through March 1. It includes 5 keynote speaker presentations, 8 rounds of concurrent sessions, a trade show and 6 meals. If you enjoyed our 2021 virtual conference in Virginia, you’re sure to love the opportunities that are available during this in person conference! Learn more at www.imgc2023.com.
- Share Your VCE Master Gardener College Tips
- Have you attended VCE’s Master Gardener College in Blacksburg? If so, VMGA would like your advice! What did you bring with you that was vital to staying in an on-campus residence hall? If you stayed at a hotel, what tips do you have for getting to and around campus and getting meals? What did you do in your downtime? Share any tips you have to help other conference attendees have the best experience. VMGA is writing a series of articles and a one-page “tips sheet.” Please visit bit.ly/EMGCtips to share your information or email treasurer@VMGA.net.
- Disease Alert: Vascular streak dieback on trees and woody ornamentals
- Vascular streak dieback has been observed in nurseries in Virginia as well as other states. Visit the Plant Disease Clinic’s Disease Alert webpage to learn more: https://spes.vt.edu/affiliated/plant-disease-clinic/plant-disease-alerts.html
- VA Community Engagement Index Survey
- The Virginia Community Engagement Index is an opportunity to take part in an exciting research study being conducted here in Virginia. As its name implies, this survey will ask you to consider the various ways you engage and contribute to your community — from checking in on a neighbor to volunteering and donating to causes you care about. You will also be asked to consider the challenges we face and how best to meet those challenges through greater levels of civic and community engagement. In short, your insights will be critical to helping leaders in Virginia develop more opportunities for people to give back and strengthen our communities together! This survey is being conducted on behalf of the Virginia Service Commission and will take no longer than 15 minutes of your time. All responses you give will remain confidential. No reporting associated with the results will contain personally identifiable information, and all findings will be reported in aggregate. SURVEY LINK: https://sirresearch.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8xqwTJprXcxGVbE?org=vsc