Biweekly Update – April 6, 2023

New Announcements

  1. Master Gardener College registration opening soon!
  • Registration will open next week for Master Gardener College. Master Gardener College is the annual continuing education conference for EMGs throughout the state.
  • The main portion of MG College will take place from June 8th – 11th in Blacksburg. Our advanced training this year, Tree Steward Training, begins on June 7th.
  • We have a phenomenal lineup of speakers, tours, and workshops this year for College. This is a great experience for learning and for connecting with fellow EMGs throughout the state. We will be sending out a College edition of the InSeason newsletter soon with a detailed program and lots of information about the conference. Information will also be posted here in the coming days:
  • We hope to see many of you in Blacksburg! 


2.             VMGA Scholarships available to Master Gardener College 2023

  • The Virginia Master Gardener Association (VMGA) is offering scholarships to Master Gardener College this June. Please reach out to your Agent or Coordinator for application information and additional details.
  • The Scholarship recognizes those volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional potential in their local Units and is part of VMGA’s educational mission. It’s awarded to deserving Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs) to help them in their continuing education efforts through attendance at EMGC and to increase the number of EMGs able to attend the conference. Any interested active EMG is eligible for nomination; financial need is not a required criterion. Trainees, interns, and prior VMGA Scholarship recipients are not eligible. This year’s Scholarships are intended to cover most of the costs to attend EMGC.
  • Nominations are accepted through midnight April 30, 2023.


3.             Norfolk Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale, April 13 & 14, 2023 at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens

  • The Norfolk Master Gardeners are looking forward to welcoming everyone to their annual spring plant sale, which will be held on Thursday, April 13 from 10am – 7pm and Friday, April 14 from 10am to 3pm. Norfolk EMGs have expanded their sale offerings to include more native plants, in addition to a large selection of other annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees. There will also be a “green elephant” booth featuring gently used garden supplies, pots, tools, and yard decor, as well as a bargain book booth where horticultural, gardening, and plant books can be found. 


4.             Case Studies in Lawn Replacement, Friday, April 14, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Virtual Presentation

  • Join Extension Master Gardeners Alyssa Ford Morel and Carolyn Vincent to see examples of similar efforts by several Extension Master Gardeners, who will share how the process went in their own Northern Virginia yards and what lessons were learned. Free.
  • RSVP at


5.             Best Bets: Native Plants for Shade, Friday, April 21, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m, Virtual Presentation

  • Gardeners often consider it a challenge to plant in the shady parts of their gardens, but home landscapes with trees can bring welcome relief from the increasing summer heat we are experiencing in our region. Join Extension Master Gardener Elaine Mills to learn how to make the most of your shady yard. After discussing degrees of shade, the importance of using layered vegetation, and techniques for building your soil, she will introduce a variety of native plants from trees and shrubs to wildflowers, ferns, and ground covers that will bring beauty through the year while providing important support to local wildlife. Free.
  • RSVP at to receive a link to participate.


6.             Strategies for Dealing with Deer, Friday, April 28, 2023, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Virtual Presentation

  • Do deer consider your landscape to be an all-you-can-eat buffet?  These beautiful but ravenous creatures are a problem in many of our gardens.  Join Extension Master Gardener Kathie Clements to learn strategies for coping with deer. Deer pressure requires that we think creatively about our home landscapes.  She will discuss deer behavior and how it can help you develop ways to better protect your garden.   Creative hardscape options as well as resourceful use of shrubs and smart plant placement will be covered.  Find out about exclusion tactics such as barriers, repellants, and scare devices.  Advice for making wise plant choices and recommended resources to guide your selection of plant materials will be shared.  Free.
  • RSVP at to receive a link to participate.


7.             Glencarlyn Spring Celebration and Plant Sale, Sunday, April 30

  • Glencarlyn Library Community Demonstration Garden, 300 S Kensington St, Arlington 22204 
  • Join the VCE Master Gardeners of Glencarlyn Library for their annual celebration of all things Spring!  Tour the garden in all its Spring beauty, learn what plants will flourish in your garden, sip an herbal drink and munch plant themed goodies while shopping at native plant vendors.  A perfect weekend activity for all. For more information email to:


8.             Results Released for First Survey of Native Plants at Roanoke Nurseries

  • Gardeners now have a snapshot of where to find native plants in the Roanoke area. Members of the Roanoke Master Gardeners, Roanoke Master Naturalists, Blue Ridge Wildflower Society, Plant SWVA Natives, and other dedicated gardeners surveyed all independent general nurseries, not including big box stores, within the Roanoke Valley who offer native plants for sale.
  • The survey was conducted in Spring 2022 to include plants native to the SWVA mountain region, as well as some plants native to nearby regions, such as North Carolina and the eastern portion of Virginia. The survey included cultivars (cultivated varieties of native plants) offered for sale. Each cultivar was evaluated by the team to determine whether the cultivar appeared to have a similar ecological benefit for pollinators. These results were then compiled for the benefit of the public and can be found here:
  • Other groups are welcome to use the materials developed for this project to conduct a survey in their area. For more information, contact Sharon Burnham at 540-343-0080 or at

Old April Announcements 

9.             EMG Webinar Series 2023

  • The EMG monthly webinar series has returned! We look forward to bringing you a wide range of new and interesting topics. All webinars will be recorded and posted to our website ( Please plan to register for each webinar:

§  Thursday, April 20 at 9am. Register here: Topic: Compost – Basics and Beyond.

§  Friday, May 12 at 1pm. Register here:  Topic: Invasive Plant Management – Description: Dr. Laurie Fox will give a presentation on invasive plant management and answer questions on the topic. This presentation will be available as a MG resource after the webinar.

§  Save the Date: 

                                                    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.

10.          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: 


11.          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


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 May Announcements

13.          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


14.          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.

Old June Announcements

15.          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

16.          “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!

17.          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! 

Posted in biweekly update.

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