Master Gardeners of Loudoun County, Virginia

Master Gardeners of Loudoun County, Virginia We are Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, assisting the homeowner community with unbiased, research-based horticultural information.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital, family, or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg.
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This online event is offered by our fellow Extension Master Gardeners in Arlington/Alexandria.VCE Arlington/Alexandria: ...
06/01/2020
ONLINE: Climate Conscious Gardening – Event Details

This online event is offered by our fellow Extension Master Gardeners in Arlington/Alexandria.
VCE Arlington/Alexandria: Climate Conscious Gardening
Fri, June 5, 10:00am – 11:30am

As our changing climate brings more unpredictable weather patterns, gardeners play an increasingly important role in serving as stewards of the environment. Learn about five categories of practical actions homeowners can take in their own backyards to either mitigate or adapt to changes in our climate.

Register at: https://mgnv.org/event/online-climate-conscious-gardening-event-details/

Our Zoom Class size limit is 500. If you change your mind, please cancel, as we have a high demand. As our changing climate brings more unpredictable weather patterns, gardeners play an increasingl…

"The big shift in horticulture in the next decade will be a shift from thinking about plants as individual objects to co...
05/19/2020
Understanding What Makes Plants Happy

"The big shift in horticulture in the next decade will be a shift from thinking about plants as individual objects to communities of interrelated species."

Thomas Rainer’s work is a revelation: It turns out that plants are social, and have a body language that explains what they need.

May pruning guide!
05/18/2020

May pruning guide!

It's a great weekend to do some spring pruning! Virginia Cooperative Extension can help! Check out all of our pruning resources, including calendars for pruning your shrubs, deciduous trees, and evergreens:

🌹 Shrub pruning calendar:
https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/430/430-462/430-462_pdf.pdf

🌹 Shrub pruning guide: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-459/430-459.html

🌳 Deciduous tree pruning calendar:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/430/430-460/430-460_pdf.pdf

🌲 Evergreen pruning calendar:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/430/430-461/430-461_pdf.pdf

--
Chart text:
Shrubs:
Almond, Flowering
Azalea, Deciduous
Azalea, Evergreen
Barberry, Deciduous
Barberry, Evergreen
Bayberry
Boxwood
Camellia, Japanese
Camellia, Sasanqua
Cherrylaurel (Prunus)
Daphne, Fragrant or Winter
Eleagnus, Thorny
Euonymus, Evergreen
Forsythia
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Jasmine, Winter
Pine, Mugo
Pittosporum
Quince
Serviceberry
Spirea, Springblooming
Viburnum
Weigela
Witchhazel
Yew

Deciduous Trees:
Buckeye
Crabapple

Evergreen Trees:
Arborvitae
Deodar Cedar
Hemlock
Pine
Spruce
(Note that many evergreens seldom need pruning except to remove multiple leaders & dead and broken branches)

Great news!  Please share.The hornet was first seen in North America in fall 2019 when it was spotted in Vancouver, Brit...
05/13/2020
Asian giant hornet not expected to be in Virginia for the foreseeable future

Great news! Please share.

The hornet was first seen in North America in fall 2019 when it was spotted in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and was subsequently destroyed. At the time, no further Asian giant hornet adults were found in the Canadian province. In November 2019, a single hornet was seen around 10 miles away in British Columbia.

While there have been a couple of sightings of Vespa mandarinia — commonly called the Asian giant hornet — in North America, there have not been any sightings in Virginia or on the East Coast.

Join us Wednesday, May 13th, at 2PM for another VCE Loudoun zoom session suited for elementary aged students.VCE Master ...
05/12/2020

Join us Wednesday, May 13th, at 2PM for another VCE Loudoun zoom session suited for elementary aged students.
VCE Master Gardener Diane Bayless narrates us through a tour of her garden. Learn about the role of plants, soil and nature within our ecosystem.

https://virginiatech.zoom.us/j/98480261588

Meeting ID: 984 8026 1588
Password: 004442
Phone: 1 301 715 8592

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program
05/07/2020

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program

❄️ Cold temperature warning! ❄️ The National Weather Service has issued freeze watches and warnings for the mountains and western Piedmont ahead of cold temperatures predicted for Friday night. Sunday may also bring cold weather--even frosts--that could reach into the central part of the state.

Plan to protect any summer vegetables you've transplanted, as well as buds on blueberries or fruit trees.

How should you protect your plants? You can move containers to a sheltered location and cover garden plants with row cover or light-weight sheets/blankets. It also helps to water heavily if your soil is dry.

For more information on protecting plants in advance of cold weather, check out this resource from our friends in North Carolina: https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/01/protecting-garden-and-landscape-plants-during-cold-weather/

And our publication on season extenders:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-381/426-381_pdf.pdf
(⬆️ this publication also explains what a cloche is!!)

Check out this helpful fact guide from the Virginia Tech department of Entomology regarding the Asian giant hornet.
05/07/2020

Check out this helpful fact guide from the Virginia Tech department of Entomology regarding the Asian giant hornet.

Many people have questions about the Asian giant hornet that has been all over the news the past couple of days. We have received many requests from people who think they have found the hornet. 🐝

Fortunately this has not yet been found in our country outside of the Pacific Northwest.

We created a fact guide to help answer some of your questions and we provided some comparisons with other hornets that look similar and can be found in Virginia. 😀 The page also has information for contacting your local Extension office with any insect related concerns you might have.

https://www.ento.vt.edu/News/Asian_Giant_Hornet.html

Photo credit belongs to Allan Smith-Pardo, Invasive Hornets, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org.

#iamVTCALS

05/06/2020

Photos from April 2020 in the Loudoun County Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden
Ida Lee Park, Leesburg Virginia
A few less photos to share than usual, as MGs adjust to social distancing requirements.
http://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/demonstration-gard…/
Photo Credit 📷: Normalee Martin

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program
05/02/2020

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program

Transplant season is finally here! Depending on where you're located in Virginia, your last frost date may be long past or you may still be checking the weather each night wondering how cold it will get. Once you're sure you won't see any more frosts, it's time to get started moving your transplants outside.*

In May, you begin to direct sow some summer vegetables--including beans and cucumbers. (Remember you don't have to plant everything at once! You can stagger your planting so that you harvest over a long period of time instead of all at once.)

🍅 For more information on transplanting, including how to successfully plant transplants, check out this installment in our "Get Gardening!" series featuring Alex Hessler of Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: https://www.facebook.com/VCEMasterGardenerProgram/videos/555504228710416/

🍅 For more detailed information according to your USDA zone, check our planting guide: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-331/426-331.html

🍅 For more information on vegetable gardening at home, check out this page with all of our veggie-growing publications: https://ext.vt.edu/lawn-garden/home-vegetables.html

*Did you know you can extend your summer vegetable season by using things like cold frames to protect crops from cold? For more info check out our pub: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-381/426-381.html
--
Chart text (*denotes transplant)
Zone 6a
Beans, Brush
Beans, pole
Beets
Carrots
Chard,Swiss
Cucumbers
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Muskmelons
Onion, Bulbing
Potatoes
Squash, Summer
Squash, Winter
Sweet Corn
Sweet Potato
Turnips
Watermelon
tomatoes*
broccoli*
cabbage*
eggplant*
leeks*
lettuce, head*
peppers*

Zone 6b
Beans, Brush
Beans, pole
Beans, Lima
Beets
Carrots
Chard,Swiss
Collards, Kale
Cucumbers
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Muskmelons
Onion, Bulbing
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Squash, Summer
Squash, Winter
Sweet Corn
Sweet Potato
Turnips
Watermelon
tomatoes*
peppers*
lettuce, head*
leeks*
broccoli*
cabbage*
eggplant*

Zone 7A
Beans, Brush
Beans, pole
Beans, Lima
Beets
Chard,Swiss
Collards, Kale
Cucumbers
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Muskmelons
Onion, Bulbing
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Squash, Summer
Squash, Winter
Sweet Corn
Sweet Potato
Turnips
Watermelon
broccoli*
cabbage*
eggplant*
lettuce, head*
peppers*
tomatoes*

Zone 7b
Beans, Brush
Beans, pole
Beans, Lima
Cucumbers
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Muskmelons
Okra
Mustard
Onion, bulbing
Potatoes
Southern pea
Squash, Summer
Squash winter
Sweet Corn
Sweet potato
Pumpkins
Watermelon
tomatoes*
eggplant*
leeks*
lettuce, head*
peppers*

Zone 8a
Beans, Brush
Beans, pole
Beans, Lima
Cucumbers
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Muskmelons
Okra
Mustard
Onion, bulbing
Potatoes
Southern pea
Squash, Summer
Squash winter
Sweet Corn
Sweet potato
Pumpkins
Watermelon
tomatoes*
eggplant*
leeks*
lettuce, head*
peppers*

Help students celebrate pollinators by learning more with FREE downloadable Pollinator Materials.  Open to all Loudoun C...
05/01/2020
SWSW Poster Contest – Loudoun SWCD

Help students celebrate pollinators by learning more with FREE downloadable Pollinator Materials. Open to all Loudoun County students, the Conservation Poster contest, with the theme of “Where would we BEE without Pollinators”, is one hands-on way to promote the importance of pollinators in our community. Posters can be created with any media type, be any size and submitted digitally (however posters must be completed by hand). See more details and download your free Pollinator goodies at: www.loudounsoilandwater.com/education/swsw-poster-contest. Deadline for entries is September 15, 2020.

 Help us celebrate our awesome Pollinators during NACD Stewardship Week (April 26 – May 2) by entering our Conservation Poster Contest, and learning more with our FREE downloadable materials! Did you know we had a local winner from the 2019 Poster Contest win the State Level as well? Jiho Park ...

In celebration of Earth’s Day 50th Anniversary, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (VASWCD) 2020 Photo Co...
04/30/2020
VASWCD Photo Contest

In celebration of Earth’s Day 50th Anniversary, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (VASWCD) 2020 Photo Contest theme is “Earth Day Everyday.” Capture those vibrant moments and express what earth day everyday looks like to you! Submissions are being accepted through July 31, 2020.

The VASWCD is committed to conservation of natural resources through stewardship and education programs and we want to see it through your eyes. In celebration of Earth’s Day 50th Anniversary, our 2020 Photo Contest theme is “Earth Day Everyday.” Capture those vibrant moments and express what ...

So you want to grow an apple tree...
04/28/2020

So you want to grow an apple tree...

𝗦𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲...
There's a lot of interest in home food production right now, including growing apple trees at home. Growing your own tree fruit can be a challenge, but we're here to help with a new infographic series to provide some basic facts & get you started on your apple-growing journey!

Let's start by exploring where an apple tree comes from. Apples are not true to seed, so a tree grown from a seed will not make the same kind of apple the seed came from. Instead, apple trees are grafted. Grafting is a process where a cutting from a tree that makes the right kind of tasty apple is taught to grow on top of a cutting from an apple tree that has the right kind of roots (and other characteristics).

Success with growing fruit trees at home starts with carefully choosing the right trees (that's right--you'll probably need more than one for proper pollination) and planning to care for them properly, including yearly maintenance like fertilizing, pruning, and thinning. Not sure what that means? Check out some of our resources below and check back to see the rest of the graphics in this series:

🍎 Start here! Tree fruit in the home garden:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-841/426-841_pdf.pdf
🍎 Growing apples in Virginia:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/422/422-023/422-023_pdf.pdf
🍎 Training and pruning: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/422/422-021/422-021.html

Make your own compost!
04/26/2020

Make your own compost!

Compost! It's an important ingredient in a productive garden. Humus-rich compost holds extra nutrients in the soil that might otherwise be leached out. It provides food for earthworms and beneficial microorganisms, and allows for deep root penetration, permitting closer spacing of plants.

You can make your own compost at home! Though you don't need a fancy compost bin to start making compost, you can make one using pallets, wire mesh, garbage cans, cinderblocks, and more--check out the links below.

🍂 What is compost? Compost is produced when organic matter, such as garden and lawn waste, is broken down by bacteria and fungi. When added to soil it improves soil structure; sandy soils will hold water better while clays will drain faster. Compost also promotes a biologically healthy soil by providing food for earthworms, soil insects, and beneficial microorganisms.

Here are some resources:
🍂 Intro to making compost from yard waste:https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/426/426-703/426-703_pdf.pdf
🍂 For building your own compost bin using pallets, wire mesh, garbage cans, cinderblocks and more: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/dont-bag-it/chapter-3-composting-structures/
🍂 For using compost in your landscape: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-704/426-704.html

04/22/2020
Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program

Help us STOP the Spotted Lanternfly

Celebrate Earth Day by learning about invasive species--and this is a big one! The spotted lanternfly was discovered in Virginia in 2018 and has the potential to be a very serious pest of agricultural crops and a BIG nuisance for homeowners and gardeners.

🌎 To learn more about the spotted lanternfly: https://ext.vt.edu/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/spotted-lanternfly.html

For keeping track of news on this serious pest and to see some of its impact in Pennsylvania, check out Spotted Lanternfly Watch

Address

750 Miller Drive, Ste F-3
Leesburg, VA
20175

General information

Virginia Cooperative Extension is an educational outreach program of Virginia's land grant universities: Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, and a part of the national Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. Every state has a Cooperative Extension office and now 48 states have a Master Gardener Program. The Master Gardener Program was established to assist the Extension office in meeting the enormous increase in requests from homeowners for horticultural information and advice.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 12:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 12:00
Thursday 09:00 - 12:00
Friday 09:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(703) 771-5150

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