Friday, September 30, 2016

Online Continuing Education Courses

Please click here for the video

Update from Plants Map

National Extension Master Gardener Coordinators E-News Blast!

Spring to Green Symposium -- Danville, VA, February 4, 2017

2017 Virginia Biological Farming Conference -- Hot Springs, VA, January 9-11, 2017

Ginger and Turmeric Field Day -- Petersburg, VA, November 10, 2016

Gillette Forum at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden -- Henrico, VA, November 3-4, 2016

Gardening With Virginia Natives -- Arlington/Alexandria, VA, October 8, 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Water Steward Training on September 17, 18, 24, and 25 in Leesburg, VA

The training will be offered at the Loudoun County Extension Office.  For more information, please contact Sam Allaire, the Loudoun County Extension Office, or the State Coordinator's Office.  You can also click on this link for more information:

VMGA Fall 2016 Educational Symposium at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico and Maymont Gardens in Richmond on September 17, 2016

2016 – Tour of two of the Southeast’s best public gardens, Lewis Ginter and Maymont. 
Maymont, A World of Gardens in one Estate.  Join  Peggy Singlemann, Maymont’s Director of Horticulture and co-host of WCVE’s “Virginia Home Grown,” to learn how Maymont exemplifies the influence of international garden design on the landscape.   Ms. Singlemann will lead a walking tour of the hilly estate following a presentation on Maymont’s varied gardens.
Getting to Great, Growing the Garden.  The lecture will be from Grace Chapman Elton, Director of Horticulture at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  An overview of recent Garden design projects that enhance the guest experience, connect people and plants, demonstrate sustainable choices, and build focused collections.  Tours led by members of the Garden’s horticulture staff will highlight several of these recent projects, with an emphasis on the design choices and ongoing refinements.


8:30 AM -- Arrive and register at either Lewis Ginter or Maymont
9:00 AM -- Talk and Tour On-site
11:30 AM -- End of site one tour, depart promptly for second site, lunch on your own
12:45 PM -- Arrival and registration at Lewis Ginter or Maymont
1:00 PM -- Talk and Tour of site two
3:30 PM -- End site two tour, free to enjoy the garden

From Your Backyard to the Blue Ridge Somerset, Orange County, VA ----September 17, 2016

View full file and registration form at:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Save the Date: Extension Master Gardener Leadership Development Training, Charlottesville, VA -- November 2, 2016

Save the date:  Extension Master Gardener Leadership Development Training-- November 2, Speakers:  Dave Close, John Freeborn, Curt Friedel, Dan Goerlich, Martha Walker, Jeremy Johnson.  Location--Charlottesville, VA and more information will come coming soon on specific topics.

And the congragulations go to...

Cold Hardy Citrus Class, Virginia Beach, VA -- October 8, 2016

Arlington/Alexandria October Events

2016 Holiday Greenery Workshops, Harrisonburg/Rockingham, VA -- December 2, 2016

2016 Urban Agriculture Symposium, Arlington, VA -- October 1, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

You Asked, We Answer (IMGC) Portland, OR ---- July 10-14, 2017

Tree Workshop, Waynesboro, VA ---- September 16, 2016

Go Green Expo, Newport News, VA ---- September 10, 2016

Arlington and Alexandria September Events

Update on the Boxwood Blight Situation, VA ---- August, 30, 2016

Update on the Boxwood Blight Situation in Virginia (08/30/16): 

Recent outbreaks of boxwood blight, caused by the fungus Calonectria pseudonaviculata, are causing concern in Virginia. Boxwood blight can cause severe defoliation of susceptible boxwood, including English and American boxwood, and is of serious consequence to nursery growers, landscapers and homeowners. All diagnoses of boxwood blight in home landscapes made by the Virginia Tech Plant Disease Clinic since last fall are linked to new boxwood purchased from several Virginia locations of one national retailer, and new cases are likely to emerge. (See news article at:  Agents will likely get inquiries, so we wanted to update you on the disease, the current situation in Virginia, and available educational resources.

Symptoms of boxwood blight include leaf spots, black streaking on stems and severe defoliation. Other diseases of boxwood, such as Volutella blight and root diseases, can be confused with boxwood blight; therefore, laboratory confirmation is necessary. Learn to recognize symptoms of boxwood blight by viewing the image gallery on the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force web site

In all the cases diagnosed by the VT Plant Disease Clinic in home landscapes, the disease was introduced on infected boxwood plants. The fungus has sticky spores and is not adapted for movement on air currents; however, spores may stick to and be transported by spray hoses, tools, clothing, shoes, and vehicles. The fungus can also be transported in soil and likely by animals moving through infected plants, e.g. deer, dogs. Infected boxwood may also be present in holiday greenery.

What to tell clients concerned about boxwood blight:
  • Although the disease has been found in 21 counties/independent cities in Virginia, to our knowledge it does not appear to be widespread in any county. 
  • English and American boxwood are very susceptible to the disease. 
  • Other plants in the boxwood family that are susceptible to the disease include pachysandra and sweetbox (Sarcococca), so avoid introducing those plants into landscapes with highly valued boxwood. 
  • The primary way the disease gets around is on infected plant material, so avoid introducing diseased plant material, especially if susceptible boxwood are already present. 
  • Because the disease can also be transported on equipment, it is important for landscapers to sanitize tools and equipment between properties. Home growers should only hire landscapers who demonstrate awareness of the disease and who are implementing measures to prevent transport of the disease from one property to another. 
  • We strongly recommend that growers purchase boxwood from a nursery or retail outlet that has purchased boxwood exclusively from a boxwood producer in the Boxwood Blight Cleanliness Program ( These growers follow stringent practices to avoid the introduction of this disease to their nurseries. 
  • Purchase cultivars with resistance to boxwood blight (e.g. Green Beauty, Nana, Golden Dream, Northern Emerald, Wedding Ring). 
  • Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the disease and best management practices by visiting the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force web site ( 
  • Monitor all boxwood plants in areas where new boxwood has been introduced within the past year for symptoms of the disease. 
  • If you suspect boxwood blight, collect symptomatic branch samples with at least a few green leaves still attached. Double bag the samples and take them to your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office ( Samples will be forwarded to the Virginia Tech Plant Clinic for diagnosis.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Arlington and Alexandria September Events

The following events are scheduled by VCE Master Gardeners in Arlington and Alexandria in September. September events will be posted online at 

Thursday, Sept.1, Fall Lawn Care, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington 22206Fall is the ideal time to restore cool-season grass, the most common turf grass grown on lawns in the Northern Virginia area. This program will describe how to improve lawns and the underlying soil and outline steps for ensuring a beautiful weed-free lawn. Alternatives to turf will also be explored. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email

Tuesday, Sept. 6, Simpson Gardens Stroll, 11 a.m. to noon, Simpson Park Gardens, 420 E. Monroe St., Alexandria 22301 (by the YMCA). VCE Master Gardeners who maintain the Simpson Park Demonstration Gardens will be in the garden to greet visitors, answer gardening questions and describe what’s blooming in the garden. No need to register; just drop by.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, Putting your Herb Garden to Bed, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Barrett Branch Library, 717 Queen St., Alexandria 22314. Find out which herbs you should prune, pull, protect and bring inside. And yes, you can plant now! Learn tips and techniques to use and preserve all the herbs you’ve just pruned. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email

Thursday, Sept. 8, Putting your Herb Garden to Bed, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd., Alexandria 22304. Find out which herbs you should prune, pull, protect and bring inside. And yes, you can plant now! Learn tips and techniques to use and preserve all the herbs you’ve just pruned. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or

Wednesdays in the Garden, Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7 to 9 p.m., Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington 22201. This series of indoor and outdoor programs, taught by Arlington Food Assistance Center volunteers and VCE Master Gardeners, is designed to teach gardening skills to a wide audience. Topics by date: Sept. 7, Putting Your Herb Garden to Bed for the Winter; Sept. 14, Eat Fresh in December: Cold Frames and Hot Beds; Sept. 21, topic to be announced; Sept. 28, Inside Arlington Kitchens: Multicultural Cooking Techniques. All September programs will be held in the second floor Conference Room. No registration required. To confirm topic and room number, check the Arlington Library Events Calendar at or call the library at 703-228-5990

Sunday, Sept. 11, Organic Vegetable Garden Taste and Tour, 1 to 4 p.m., Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington 22207. Hosted by VCE Master Gardeners. Enjoy samples from the garden and talk with Master Gardeners about growing vegetables in Northern Virginia―with a special emphasis on planting fall crops and over-wintering vegetables. (Park in the lot and walk past the Nature Center to the garden.)  

Sunday, Sept. 11, Composting Program in conjunction with the Organic Vegetable Garden Taste and Tour, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington 22207.Arlington County Horticulture Extension Agent Kirsten Buhls will describe what to put in a compost pile, how to maintain it so the materials break down properly, and how to use compost to enrich and improve garden soil. No need to register.

Sunday, September 18―AutumnFest Celebration at Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 300 S. Kensington St., Arlington 22204. Free tastes of herbal treats and drinks, a naturalist with critters, balloon artist. Free Master Gardener-led mini-workshops. Hundreds of locally grown sun- and shade-loving perennials, ferns, shrubs, and trees for salejust in time for fall planting. Rain or shine. Sponsored by VCE Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia (Alexandria/Arlington). For information call Alyssa Ford Morel at703-907-9318 or Judy Funderburk at 703-671-5310.

Monday, September 19, Tree Selection for Urban Street and Small Yard Plantings, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Mt. Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria 22305. Sponsored by the Alexandria Beautification Commission, this program will provide participants with criteria and resources for making decisions about “Right Tree, Right Place.”  Register to attend by contacting the VCE Horticulture Help Desk at 703 228 6414 or

Sunday, Sept. 25, Simpson Park Gardens Fall Open House, 1 to 3 p.m. 420 E. Monroe St., Alexandria 22301 (by the YMCA). VCE Master Gardeners who maintain this demonstration garden welcome visitors to the garden for a display of what’s in bloom, with emphasis on native plants and plants for pollinators. Discover host plants for butterflies and their larva. Enjoy light snacks and drinks and get a closer look at your neighborhood garden.

Sunday, Sept. 25, Screening of the film, Hometown Habitat, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Arlington Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington 22201. VCE Master Gardeners of Arlington/Alexandria join with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment to present this 90-minute environmental education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, an authority on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping, provides the narrative thread throughout the film. Seating is limited, so advance registration is requested. Sign up at

Thursday, Sept. 29, Soil Evaluation & Composting, 7 to 8:30 p.m, Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria 22304. Learn the basics of evaluating your soil and how to turn yard clippings and kitchen waste into black gold that will nourish your plants. As leaves are about to fall, instead of bagging them, learn to use them to create a natural and earth friendly soil amendment for your home and garden. Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email