Biweekly Update – March 20, 2023

New Announcements

  1. Final Week to submit a proposal to the 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, pollinator gardens/gardening for wildlife, native plants education, gardening for climate change, 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:  
    • Please note these grants are only available to EMG groups, not to outside partners. If working with an outside organization as part of the project, the EMG group has to be the one to apply for the grant and handle the funds through their local VCE office.

2.             Extension Master Gardener handbook (2023 edition) now available!

    • Revisions and updates to the EMG Training Handbook have been completed. The 2023 edition of the handbook can be downloaded by visiting: The digital textbook version has been published and can be found here: The print version will follow shortly, more details will be provided in April.
    • Many thanks to all who assisted in this undertaking. We appreciate all of our editors, authors, and contributors!

3.             HCMGA 21st Annual Festival of Gardening – May 6, 2023 – Riverside Park, 2238 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg

    • The Hill City Master Gardener Association’s 21st annual Festival of Gardening (FOG)will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m. at Riverside Park in Lynchburg on Saturday, May 6. Many categories of plants will be available for sale including popular favorites such as Herbs, Tomatoes, Vegetables, and Native plants. Also available will be Annuals, Container gardens, Trees and Shrubs, Groundcovers, Tropicals, and Houseplants. Master Gardeners grow these selections from seed or from divisions from their own gardens and house plant collections. Plants are potted, hardened off, and nurtured until time to offer them for sale at FOG. For more information, go to


4.             Abingdon Garden Faire 2023 – Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 – Abingdon VA

    • The Master Gardeners of Washington and Russell Counties present the 24th Annual Mid-Atlantic Garden Faire, at the Higher Education Center, on the campus of Virginia Highlands Community College, Abingdon VA. on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. The event will feature a garden marketplace of plants, yard art, tools, outdoor furniture and much more. Two full days of gardening related classes and seminars will include speakers from Virginia Tech, the University of Tennessee, and others. There will also be tool sharpening, a plant clinic, shopping sprees, door prizes, and sit-down dining. More info at


5.             Popular Plant Sale Returns – May 6, 2023 from 9:00 am-12:00pm – Williamsburg Botanical Garden

    • James City County Williamsburg Master Gardener Association (JCCWMGA) is hosting a plant sale on Saturday, May 6 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Williamsburg Botanical Garden (WBG) located within Freedom Park at 5537 Centerville Road. This sale runs only on Saturday, May 6, rain, or shine. Admission to the WBG and parking in Freedom Park are free.
    • The sale offers a wide selection of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, trees, and shrubs. Much of the plant stock has been raised by the Master Gardeners themselves. In addition to plants, visitors can shop the Green Thumb Market for gently used tools, equipment, and specialty items to perk up their garden décor.


6.             Louisa County Backyard Gardening Seminar Series

    • The Louisa County Master Gardeners present their 2023 Backyard Gardening Seminar Series. These seminars take place one Saturday a month from 10:30 – 11:30am at the Louisa Co. Public Library. The next sessions include:
    • April 15: Planning a cut flower garden
    • May 20: Container Gardening
    • June 17: Irrigation and Water Conservation
    • July 15: Vegetable Garden Diseases and Stress
    • August 19: Native, Invasive and Riparian Gardening
    • For more information call, 540-967-3422 ext 7619 or email: 


Old March Announcements

7.             Piedmont Master Gardeners Announce Spring Lecture Series, final session – March 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 The schedule includes: 
    • 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.”


8.             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 Registration forms will be available on February 1, 2023, at

9.             EMG Webinar Series 2023

                                                        i. July 20th webinar with VT School for Plant & Environmental Sciences professor, Dr. Josh Kardos. Topic and registration link coming soon. 

                                                       ii. August 18th at 10am webinar with Lori Chamberlin, the Forest Health Manager for the Virginia Department of Forestry. This Virginia forest health update will cover the most common pests and diseases in Virginia’s forests. This presentation will teach participants how to identify forest health disturbance agents, and how to prevent damage. Registration link coming soon. 


Old April Announcements 

10.          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 

11.          Plants for Pollinators – April 3, 2023 – Virtual

    • Join us on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 7 pm via ZOOM for a Gardening Talks presentation on: Plants for Pollinators: Presenter – Ruth Burch, VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener – Want to attract more butterflies and beneficial insects to your garden? Join Ruth as she discusses both native and non-native plants that will bloom through three seasons, providing a food source for pollinating insects during their active periods as well as filling your garden with flowers! 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 and click on the Zoom link! Check out upcoming Gardening Talks for 2023 as you explore our website!

12.          17th Annual Spring Garden Fest – April 29, 2023 – Reynolds Community College, 1851 Dickinson Road, Goochland, VA

    • The Goochland – Powhatan Master Gardeners Association will hold its 17th annual Spring Garden Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Reynolds Community College, 1851 Dickinson Road, Goochland. This annual event, held in cooperation with RCC and the Virginia Cooperative Extension is a FREE, family friendly event that is a celebration of all things related to gardening. Spring Garden Fest 2023 will include the much loved GPMGA Plant Sale, with plants suited to Central Virginia gardens at great prices, an Ask the Master Gardener station for free gardening help, and lots of fun gardening related vendor booths.
    • For a small registration fee you can also increase your gardening knowledge through classes, workshops, and tours offered throughout the day. Examples of class topics include propagating native plants, landscape design for small gardens, vegetable gardening, native shrubs for wildlife, and exploring butterflies. If you like to learn by doing then you can take advantage of hands-on workshops including building a mosaic decorated pot, cultivating a mushroom log, or creating your own floral tiara. Finally, if you prefer observing while learning you can join tours of the college’s gardens focused on topics such as herb garden design, rain garden design, and how a landscape design matures over time.
    • Online registration for these educational opportunities is available at or contact the Goochland Cooperative Extension office at 804-556-5841. Sign-up now as classes can fill up quickly.


Old June Announcements

13.          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


Old Announcements

14.          “BMPs in Turfgrass” Trainings

    • Dr. Mike Goatley, Extension Turfgrass Specialist, has recorded and posted best management practices in turfgrass training material divided into two sections (Part 1 and Part 2) on the Virginia Tech Turfgrass web site:
    • To access these trainings, go to the Turf webpage ( Click on the Menu drop down and then expand the Extension Tab. Select the “VCE Master Gardener Volunteer Training” tab to access the recordings and accompanying handouts. You can also go to the MG page directly: 
    • Many more updates etc. are planned in the coming weeks and months. You can bookmark the VT Turf website and check back periodically for these improvements!


Posted in biweekly update.

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