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.
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Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, s*x, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, s*xual 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 Polytec

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, s*x, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, s*xual 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 Polytec

Operating as usual

08/31/2021
Photos from Virginia Cooperative Extension- Madison County's post
08/27/2021

Photos from Virginia Cooperative Extension- Madison County's post

08/27/2021

Disease spotlight! Anthracnose on snap beans

Anthracnose is a major disease of the common snap
bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and can occur on other legumes. It is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. When environmental conditions are favorable, crop losses can be as high as 100 percent on susceptible cultivars of snap beans.

The anthracnose fungus can be seed-borne, but the
fungal inoculum can also survive in infested crop
debris. Air currents, water, contaminated garden tools
or insects can spread the fungus, as can people or
animals moving through the garden. The fungal spores can germinate and begin the infection process in as little as 6 hours when environmental conditions are favorable. Sporulation and infection can occur at temperatures from 55° to 79°F, but cool temperatures (approximately 63°F) are most conducive to severe outbreaks. Moist conditions favor sporulation and infection. Periods of wet weather, combined with wind that carries spores to new infection sites, can result in serious outbreaks of this disease.

Control:
Cultural- Remove or bury any plant debris to avoid harboring fungal inoculum that can cause future infections. Plant disease-free seed and do not save seed from legumes diagnosed with anthracnose. Rotate areas of the garden where anthracnose has been identified to crops other than legumes, such as corn or solanaceous crops, for two years. Avoid working in the garden when foliage is wet to prevent transport of fungal inoculum to new areas. Also, do not apply overhead irrigation which will wet and liberate fungal spore masses on foliage. Dry conditions inhibit infection and sporulation by the anthracnose fungus, so ensure adequate plant spacing which promotes foliar drying. W**d control will help promote proper air circulation and decrease moisture in the foliar canopy. Do not plant seeds before the recommended planting dates, because cool conditions favor development of this disease.

Resistance- Anthracnose-resistant bean cultivars are available. However, there are a number of races of the anthracnose pathogen and no single cultivar possesses reliable resistance to all races of the pathogen. Therefore, in cases where anthracnose has been identified, gardeners will have to test resistant cultivars to see which one(s) may prove resistant to the race(s) present in their gardens. ‘Opera’ and ‘Florence’ are two snap-bean cultivars with resistance to anthracnose.

Chemical- No fungicides are currently labeled for use by homeowners to control anthracnose on snap beans.

Pictured: Black/brown patchy pots cover green beans (Photo by E. Bush)

08/23/2021

Is your basil starting to look a little wilted and brown? It's probably basil downy mildew, an increasingly common disease of basil in Virginia. If this is happening, consider cutting your basil to freeze or eat now--it wont recover from downy mildew. 😰

The best way to prevent basil downy mildew is to plant a resistant variety, like these from Rutgers:
https://www.rutgers.edu/news/four-new-rutgers-sweet-basil-varieties-are-available-home-gardeners

Image of the bottom of a green basil leaf with spotty downy mildew.

Credit: Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org

08/10/2021

Congratulations to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Loudoun County for being recognized by the Virginia Association of Counties with a 2021 Achievement Award for the VCE-Loudoun Master Gardeners Site Assessment Program. Details here: https://bit.ly/3AoR8JW

08/09/2021
loudoun-gov.webex.com

This FREE event is now VIRTUAL! Click the link below, event PW is LCPL - Join us on THURSDAY Aug 12 at 7:00 pm.

Trails at the Museum of Shenandoah Valley -- with Perry Mathewes, Director of Gardens

Perry Mathewes’ talk will feature an overview of the area and notes about the garden. He will focus on the development of the new Trails at the MSV, which feature more than three miles of trails for walking, running, and cycling through fields, woods, and wetlands. Perry will also look at some of the art and landscape installations found along the trail.

Perry Mathewes is the Deputy Director of Museum Operations and Director of Gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Wi******er, VA. Mathewes provides a vision for and oversees the stewardship and development of the museum facilities, gardens and grounds, including the rehabilitation of the Glen Burnie Gardens and the creation of new garden spaces as outlined in the Museum’s Master Plan. He leads all horticultural initiatives for the more than 500 acres at the MSV. He is project manager for the development of the Trails at the MSV.

https://loudoun-gov.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=loudoun-gov&service=6&rnd=0.5114043231440772&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Floudoun-gov.webex.com%2Fec3300%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26%26%26EMK%3D4832534b00000005a087db5a0c699370593ece821b7671940427a92d8f35ac782efe22a168cd6646%26siteurl%3Dloudoun-gov%26confViewID%3D202189925553050572%26encryptTicket%3DSDJTSwAAAAXL4fgqcs-_MAnc9wvf6Al4CfnJI2qHr3xmwmP9dPKy5g2%26

08/05/2021

If you have apple trees (or a crabapple in your neighborhood!) you have probably seen some of these common apple diseases.

Learn more about updates on fruit disease in Virginia with the Fruit Tree Disease Update Blog. Though this blog is intended for commercial growers, home growers might find monitoring and treatment advice useful too! Even if you don't grow apples, it's interesting to see the kinds of challenges faced by Virginia's apple growers!

https://treefruitpathology.blogspot.com/

Image description:
Pictured are four common diseases of apple trees: Apple bitter rot which looks like brown soft spots on fruit, fire blight which looks like dots on leaf surface, apple blotch disease which looks like brown blotches on leaves, and sooty blotch and flyspeck, which looks like small dots on fruit surface.

08/03/2021

August is here! Get some fall veggies in the ground now for harvest this fall! What can you plant today? Broccoli, lettuce, turnips and if you live in the warmest part of the commonwealth, there's still time to get the last of your summer veggies in the ground.

For complete planting guide: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=2085

Image test:
Vegetables to plant in August

6A
Beets
Chard, Swiss
Collards, Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Mustard
Radish
Rutabega
Spinach
Turnips

broccoli*
Cabbage*
Chinese Cabbage*
Cauliflower*
Leeks*
Lettuce, head*

6B
Beets
Chard, Swiss
Collards, Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Mustard
Radish
Rutabega
Spinach
Turnips

broccoli*
cabbage*
Chinese Cabbage*
cauliflower*
leeks*
lettuce, head*

7A
Beets
Carrots
Chard, Swiss
Collards, Kale
Kohlrabi
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Mustard
Radish
Rutabega
Southern Pea
Squash, Summer
Turnips

broccoli*
Brussel Sprouts*
cabbage*
Chinese cabbage*
cauliflower*
leeks*
lettuce, head*

7B
Beets
Carrots
Chard, Swiss
Collards, Kale
Kohlrabi
lettuce, head*
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Mustard
Rutabega
Southern Pea
Squash, Summer
Turnips

broccoli*
Brussel Sprouts*
cabbage*
Chinese cabbage*
cauliflower*
leeks*
tomatoes*

8A
Beans, Bush
Beets
Carrots
Collards, Kale
Cucumbers
Eggplant
lettuce, head*
Lettuce, Baby Salad
Mustard
Okra
Peppers
Southern Pea
Squash, Summer
Turnips

broccoli*
Brussel Sprouts*
cabbage*
cauliflower*
leeks*
tomatoes*

07/26/2021

Did your squash plants suddenly wilt even though they have plenty of water? It could be the dreaded squash vine borer 😱! Read on for everything you ever wanted to know about the squash vine borer, including what you can do to control them!

Damage: Larvae bore into the base of the curcubit plant and feed internally, girdling the stem or runner. Infestation of runners may only cause dieback of the vine, but infestation of the main stem will kill the plant. Larvae may attack developing fruits later in the season. Infested plants may have more than one larva and bacterial decay can invade through the entrance holes. Often an infested plant will wilt and die before any damage is noticed. Examine the vine for wet, pulpy frass (f***l material) at borer entrance holes to distinguish squash vine borer damage from bacterial or Fusarium wilt diseases.

Management of squash vine borer can be difficult in small-scale production as just a few adult moths can infest many plants, which then have little chance for survival. Home gardens with only a few squash plants are more likely to lose entire crops than commercial fields with a larger number of plants set out.

Control: In general, cultural control methods are more effective in managing squash vine borer than relying on chemical controls.
🎃 Plant early with transplants, if possible; plantings made in early spring may bear a crop before squash vine borer can kill the vines. If feasible, consider a late planting of curcubits after the main flight period of squash vine borer, when adult females have finished laying eggs.
🎃 Floating row covers can be used to exclude the female moths from laying eggs at the base of the vines. However, row covers must be removed to allow pollinators to visit the blossoms.
🎃 Consider rotating fields of curcubits annually with non-curcubit crops to avoid squash vine borer overwintering in the same ground each year, but these adults are highly mobile and will likely find squash fields at some point during the growing season.
🎃 Promptly crush or otherwise destroy any plants killed by squash vine borer to kill larvae still within the vines before they enter the soil to pupate. Spading, tilling or disking in early fall will kill pupae in the soil and suppress adult populations the following spring.
🎃 A trap crop of Hubbard squash (Curcubita maxima) can be planted to attract squash vine borer away from summer squash. The goal is to have the Hubbard squash in a more attractive stage of development than the cash crop when the squash vine borer arrives. Treat or destroy the trap crop after the peak egg-laying period to kill any developing larvae before they enter the soil to pupate.

Common Host Plants: Squash vine borer attacks many different types of curcubits: summer squashes, pumpkins and winter squashes, and gourds. Sometimes it is found in muskmelons or other melons. Hubbard squash is a preferred host plant while cucumbers and butternut squash are largely avoided.

Image text:
Did your squash plant suddenly die? watch out for the squash vine borer!
Common Host Plants Many different types of curcubits: summer/winter squashes, gourds
Damage Larvae bore into the base of the curcubit plant and feed internally, girdling the stem or runner. Infestation of runners may only cause dieback of the vine, but infestation of the main stem will kill the plant. Larvae may attack developing fruits later in the season. Often an infested plant will wilt and die before any damage is noticed.
Control In general, cultural control methods are more effective in managing squash vine
borer than relying on chemical controls.
• Plant early with transplants
• Consider rotating fields of curcubits annually with non-curcubit crops
• Promptly crush or otherwise destroy any plants killed by squash vine borer
• Use a trap crop
• Slit open stems to locate and remove the caterpillars
Images of borer damage show stems with orange goop and small holes.
Adult squash vine borers are robust, attractive moths with dark wings and conspicuous orange abdomens dotted with black spots.

07/23/2021

If you love watching wildlife, you’ll love having native plants around because these are the plants that really bring in the bees, butterflies and birds. And because they’re naturally adapted to local climate and soils, native plants are great candidates for low-input and low-maintenance landscapes. Properly selected and established, natives can be beautiful, super functional, and largely problem free.

Native plants are the species which have been part of the balance of nature developed over thousands of years in a particular ecosytem or region. The word “native” is best used with a qualifier, such as a specific geographic region (native to Kansas) or ecosystem (native to the eastern deciduous forest). While a native species may range widely across the country, local populations of individual plants often exhibit important differences adapted to the local environment.

Why native plants: https://www.morningagclips.com/bring-life-to-your-landscape-with-native-plants/

More on Virginia plants: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=1165

07/19/2021

Common summer w**ds! You might spot these w**ds outside right now. Remember to w**d unwanted plants out before they set the seeds that will remain in your landscape for next year!

Crabgrass - Although smooth crabgrass typically acts as an annual, it may persist as a perennial. Typically, smooth crabgrass germinates in spring, grows during the summer, sets seed in the fall, and dies in the winter. Smooth crabgrass can withstand close mowing heights and is highly competitive with desirable turfgrass

Bermudagrass - A wiry perennial grass with creeping stolons and rhizomes. Foliage is gray-green to bluish green and forms dense mats. As a desirable turfgrass, bermudagrass is typically maintained at less than 1 inch mowing height. Plants grow during summer and produce seedheads through mid to late summer.

Japanese stiltgrass - Stiltgrass readily invades disturbed shaded areas like floodplains that are prone to natural scouring, and areas subject to mowing, tilling and other soil disturbing activities.

Spotted spurge -

Wild violet- Flowers are the typical violet type and are white with yellow and purple markings. Flowers are born on long stalks. The plant is more stemy than other violets and grows to over 10 in tall. Roots smell like wintergreen gum when crushed.

Smooth pigw**d - The small greenish flowers occur in terminal spikes. The male and female flowers occur in different places, the males on the terminal spikes, and the females in smaller spikes of flowers at the leaf axils.

Common purslane - Common purslane is an annual that grows rapidly in spring and summer. It thrives under dry conditions but also competes well in irrigated situations. Plants prefer loose, nutrient-rich, sandy soil.

Jimsonw**d - IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS
Strong scent is emitted from leaves and stems; fruit is a spiny capsule, and a white trumpet shaped flower. A major w**d of many agronomic crops this plant also has a reputation of being toxic and having narcotic effects when ingested.

Japanese knotw**d - The stems are smooth and swollen at the joints where the leaves grow. The stem above each joint has a thin membranous sheath (ocrea).

More on w**d id: https://w**did.cals.vt.edu/

Image description:
Crabgrass, bermudagrass, Japanese stiltgrass, spotted spurge, wild violet, smooth pigw**d, common purslane, jimsonw**d, japanese knotw**d arranged in a grid.

The case for the no-till garden by Adrian Higgins in today's Washington Post outlines the benefits and of eliminating ti...
07/15/2021
The case for the no-till garden

The case for the no-till garden by Adrian Higgins in today's Washington Post outlines the benefits and of eliminating tilling and embracing heavy mulching which helps reduce w**ds, conserves water, and over time reduces the need for fertilizers. But it takes time. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/no-till-garden-permaculture-benefits/2021/07/13/c2dd5d90-db71-11eb-bb9e-70fda8c37057_story.html

By not disturbing the soil excessively, you can reduce your watering and w**ding and use fewer fertilizers.

07/11/2021

It's raspberry season! Did you know that different raspberry cultivars produce berries of different sizes, color, and favor!?

Here are a few facts about common raspberry varieties for home gardeners:

• Caroline is an early primocane-bearing variety. Fruit is conical, medium-sized, and firm and has excellent flavor. The variety has medium vigor and good disease resistance.

• Heritage is a primocane-bearing variety. Fruit is
medium-sized, firm, and of good quality. This variety is resistant to most diseases but is susceptible to late leaf rust.

• Jaclyn is the earliest of the primocane-bearing varieties. Fruits are dark red, large, and have an excellent flavor. Used primarily for fresh consumption.

• Josephine is a primocane-bearing variety that has an
upright, vigorous plant. Berries are dark red in color, large, have excellent flavor, and a long shelf life. Plant is resistant to potato leafhopper.

For more info on raspberries, check out our guide: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=2384

And from NC State: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/southeast-regional-caneberry-production-guide/introduction-1

07/04/2021

It's July! This is a transitional month in the vegetable garden--in warmer parts of the state you can keep planting summer veggies throughout July, but in cooler parts in Virginia, the first few weeks of July are your final opportunity to get summer veggies in the ground.

Towards the end of the month, you can also start to plant your fall veggie garden with cool-weather crops. For this reason, we'll be publishing TWO July planting graphics: this one for the first few weeks of July and one for the second half of the month.

🍅 View the full planting calendar: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=2085

EARLY JULY Chart Text
* = transplant

ZONE 6A
Beans, lima
Beans, bush
Brussels Sprouts
Carrots
Cucumbers
Okra
Southern Pea
Squash, Summer
Sweet Corn

Cauliflower*
Eggplant*
peppers*
Tomatoes*

ZONE 6B
Beans, lima
Beans, bush
Carrots
Cucumbers
Okra
Southern Pea
Squash, Summer
Sweet Corn

Eggplant*
peppers*
Tomatoes*

ZONE 7A
Beans, bush
Beans, pole
Beans, lima
Cucumbers
Okra
Southern pea
Squash, summer
Squash, winter
Sweet corn
Sweet potato
Watermelon

Eggplant*
Peppers*
Tomatoes*

ZONE 7B
Beans, bush
Beans, pole
Beans, lima
Cucumbers
Muskmelons
Okra
Southern pea
Squash, summer
Squash, winter
Sweet corn
Sweet potato
Watermelon

Eggplant*
Peppers*
Pumpkins*
Tomatoes*

ZONE 8A
Beans, bush
Beans, pole
Beans, lima
Cucumbers
Muskmelons
Okra
Southern pea
Squash, summer
Squash, winter
Sweet corn
Sweet potato
Watermelon

Eggplant*
Peppers*
Pumpkins*
Tomatoes*

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 9am - 12pm
Tuesday 9am - 12pm
Wednesday 9am - 12pm
Thursday 9am - 12pm
Friday 9am - 12pm

Telephone

(703) 771-5150

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