Biweekly Update – January 12

New Announcements

  1. Save the date! Master Gardener College (EMGC) 2024 will be held virtually June 5-9. This will be a 5-day conference with one day of regional, in-person tours, 4 days virtual with one keynote and one concurrent each day. Sessions will be recorded and available to registrations after the conference as well.
  2. Giving Day 2024 – Save the date for Virginia Tech Giving Day – Noon February 21-22. Donations benefit our micro-grant program!
  3. EMG Webinar Series 2024: All webinars will be recorded and posted to our website ( Please register for each webinar:
    1. February 16, 11:00 am | Gravel Bed Planting – Barb Bailey, Loudoun Extension Master Gardener Coordinator: Loudoun Extension Master Gardeners maintain a gravel bed planting project where they raise trees that will be planted at Tree Steward sites. Gravel beds are irrigated bed or pile of gravel where woody plants are planted for several months to increase fibrous root systems. Register now
    2. March 18, 11:00 am | Piedmont EMGs and Habitat for Humanity Partnership – Ralph Morini and Rozanne Oliver, Piedmont Extension Master Gardener: Piedmont EMGs have successfully worked with their local Habitat for Humanity to ensure that new homeowners have the skills and materials they need to succeed with their new landscapes. Learn about their program and partnership. Register now
  4. VT Sweet Satisfaction Survey – Did you receive edamame seeds from the VT Sweet research program? If so, please fill out this survey and let the researchers know your thoughts:
    1. Want to request more edamame seeds for an EMG project (community or school garden)? Email Patrick at

Spring symposiums and educational opportunities:

  1. Phenology: Tracking Seasonal Changes in Plants and Animals, January 22 – Zoom – VIRGINIA BEACH MASTER GARDENERS PRESENT GARDENING TALKS: Join us on Monday, January 22, 2024, at 7 pm via ZOOM for a Gardening Talks presentation on: Phenology: Tracking Seasonal Changes in Plants and Animals Speakers: Lisa Wallace, Associate Professor of Biology; and Robert Stiffler Distinguished Professor of Botany, Old Dominion University Climate change is shifting the natural world in many ways. You’ve perhaps experienced the tidal changes felt across Hampton Roads with rising sea levels, but did you know that plants and animals are changing their yearly growth patterns too? Scientists around the globe are eager to understand these responses of plants and animals to a warming climate and rely on a network of volunteers who regularly observe species at their homes and in local parks and botanical gardens. In this talk, I’ll explain what phenological research is, discuss some of the findings scientists have made recently, and show you how you can become an observer and help us learn more about the changes happening in Southeastern Virginia. 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 2024 as you explore our website!
  2. Spring to Green 2024, February 3rd, 2024, Olde Agricultural Center
    1. “Spring to Green” is Back!!!! Come join us for the Danville Master Gardeners 11th annual Spring to Green ” Work Less, More Garden ” 9am to 3pm on February 3rd 2024.@ Olde Agricultural Center 19783 US HWY 29 Chatham, VA 24531. Speakers are Pat Lust, Bryce Lane and Mary Ann Hansen. To register or go to to get a mail in registration form or to get more information.
  3. 6th Annual Prince William Native Plant Symposium – Saturday, February 10, 2024
    9:00 am – 4:00 pm Featuring keynote speaker Keith Tomlinson, Smithsonian Associates Study Leader
  4. GreenScapes Symposium 2024 – Join Brookside Gardens for a day of virtual lectures on Friday, February 16, 2024, as industry experts share valuable lessons from the field that fill in the gap between sustainable design theory and practice. Learn how to create masterpieces for all season interest using naturalistic planting designs with strong perennials and grasses. Lectures will reimagine traditional landscapes with native plants and offer the latest in ecologically focused management strategies. Take advantage of the Early Bird fee of $50 that ends on Friday, January 12. All sessions will be recorded and made available online to registrants. For more information and to register online, visit
  5. Save the Date! The Northern Neck Master Gardeners and Virginia Cooperative Extension Invite You to the 30th Annual Gardening in the Northern Neck Seminar “Creating Outdoor Spaces-Defining Your Lifestyle”. Saturday, April 13, 2024. Lancaster Elementary School, 191 School St., Kilmarnock, VA. Registration Opens February 1, 2024.
  6. MGACRA 2024 Spring Symposium “Sustainable Gardening – Growing a Greener Future” – 4/13/2024 – Gari Melchers Home & Studio, 224 Washington St., Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22405.
    1. The Master Gardener Association of the Central Rappahannock Area invite you to join us for our 12th Annual Spring Symposium “Sustainable Gardening – Growing a Greener Future.” We have three guest speakers: Dr. Leonard Githinji presenting Introduction to Sustainable Gardening, and, back by popular demand, Bryce Lane presenting two sessions “So You Want A Garden: First Steps to Growing Your Own Food.” and “Is it Warm in Here?: New Approaches to Gardening in a Changing Climate”, and Jenny Rose Carey presenting Become the Ultimate Flower Gardener! 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 $85.00 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 get a registration form online at
  7. Northern Shenandoah Valley 2024 Symposium – March 2, 2024 – Middletown, VA

Old Announcements:

  1. Extension Master Gardener handbook (2023 edition) now available!
    1. 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 is available here: