Master Gardeners of Loudoun County, Virginia

Master Gardeners of Loudoun County, Virginia We are Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, assisting the homeowner community with unbia We are Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, assisting the homeowner community with unbiased, research-based horticultural information.

Operating as usual

Save the Date!  The 12th Annual Loudoun County Extension Master Gardener Symposium will be March 19, 2022.  We will be v...
01/20/2022

Save the Date! The 12th Annual Loudoun County Extension Master Gardener Symposium will be March 19, 2022. We will be virtual this year, and tickets go on sale in February! Watch this space and check our website for more information.

Save the Date! The 12th Annual Loudoun County Extension Master Gardener Symposium will be March 19, 2022. We will be virtual this year, and tickets go on sale in February! Watch this space and check our website for more information.

Considering a winter cleanup of your garden? Reconsider that winter cleanup - Leaving fallen leaves and dormant plants i...
01/13/2022
Winter Garden Maintenance for Wildlife Friendly Habitats - Smithsonian Gardens

Considering a winter cleanup of your garden? Reconsider that winter cleanup - Leaving fallen leaves and dormant plants in place for winter has a variety of benefits.

As we pack away the holiday decorations and look around our cold and frosty gardens, the traditional custom is to clean everything up. Well, consider

Please enjoy the winter edition of Loudoun County Master Gardeners' "The Trumpet Vine!"  https://loudouncountymastergard...
01/10/2022

Please enjoy the winter edition of Loudoun County Master Gardeners' "The Trumpet Vine!"
https://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/The-Trumpet-Vine-Winter-2021-2022-Edition.pdf

Topics in this edition include:
Fresh Sprouts for Winter Salads
Winter Goldenrod Galls
Native Ground Covers
Who Can Hügelkultur? YOU Can Hügelkultur!
Hidden Gems: Local Gardens
Floriography: The Language of Flowers
Recipes Featuring Honey
Bobcats in Virginia
Book Review: The Well-Gardened MIND – The Restorative Power of Nature

Please enjoy the winter edition of Loudoun County Master Gardeners' "The Trumpet Vine!"
https://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/The-Trumpet-Vine-Winter-2021-2022-Edition.pdf

Topics in this edition include:
Fresh Sprouts for Winter Salads
Winter Goldenrod Galls
Native Ground Covers
Who Can Hügelkultur? YOU Can Hügelkultur!
Hidden Gems: Local Gardens
Floriography: The Language of Flowers
Recipes Featuring Honey
Bobcats in Virginia
Book Review: The Well-Gardened MIND – The Restorative Power of Nature

Join Us for our free Virtual Lecture Series!  February 3, 7-8pm.  SPOTTED LANTERNFLY - Almost Everything You Need To Kno...
01/05/2022

Join Us for our free Virtual Lecture Series! February 3, 7-8pm.

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY - Almost Everything You Need To Know - presented by Beth Sastre,
Commercial Horticulturist,
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Loudoun County

Learn about the Spotted Lanternfly biology and what is at risk with its arrival. Beth will detail what the public can do to mitigate risks and help control its spread.

Beth is originally from Mexico; she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy with a minor in Horticulture and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Postharvest Physiology. Beth worked for Mexico’s government programs SOLIDARIDAD and SEDESOL, focusing on supporting marginalized farmers; also conducted research and extension education for five years.

In 1999 Beth came to the U.S.A. and for 10 years worked as full-time mom, then started a gardening business. In February 2013 she joined the Loudoun County Government. Her work experience includes horticulture, propagation, entomology, fungi microbiology, postharvest physiology, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food Safety Implementation Act -Produce Safety Alliance (FSMA-PSA), lab research, integrated pest management (IPM), Local Food Systems, extension and educational programs.

WebEx Event Details - https://loudoun-gov.webex.com/loudoun-gov/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3595ad8272979eba9ae27c2eea91a5ee
Password: LCPL

Hosted by Loudoun County Public Libraries -
In partnership with Loudoun County Public Library, this free public lecture series is supported by funding from the Loudoun County Master Gardener Association and the Stephen Dunbar Memorial Fund.

Join Us for our free Virtual Lecture Series! February 3, 7-8pm.

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY - Almost Everything You Need To Know - presented by Beth Sastre,
Commercial Horticulturist,
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Loudoun County

Learn about the Spotted Lanternfly biology and what is at risk with its arrival. Beth will detail what the public can do to mitigate risks and help control its spread.

Beth is originally from Mexico; she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy with a minor in Horticulture and a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Postharvest Physiology. Beth worked for Mexico’s government programs SOLIDARIDAD and SEDESOL, focusing on supporting marginalized farmers; also conducted research and extension education for five years.

In 1999 Beth came to the U.S.A. and for 10 years worked as full-time mom, then started a gardening business. In February 2013 she joined the Loudoun County Government. Her work experience includes horticulture, propagation, entomology, fungi microbiology, postharvest physiology, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Food Safety Implementation Act -Produce Safety Alliance (FSMA-PSA), lab research, integrated pest management (IPM), Local Food Systems, extension and educational programs.

WebEx Event Details - https://loudoun-gov.webex.com/loudoun-gov/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3595ad8272979eba9ae27c2eea91a5ee
Password: LCPL

Hosted by Loudoun County Public Libraries -
In partnership with Loudoun County Public Library, this free public lecture series is supported by funding from the Loudoun County Master Gardener Association and the Stephen Dunbar Memorial Fund.

UPDATE!!  Due to the current COVID surge, the In-Person Help Desk will be DELAYED until February 2022.  Thank you for yo...
12/20/2021

UPDATE!! Due to the current COVID surge, the In-Person Help Desk will be DELAYED until February 2022. Thank you for your understanding.

The Loudoun County Extension Master Gardener In-Person Help Desk will be opening for limited hours starting in January 2022! The Help Desk will be open for walk-ins and phone calls from 10am to noon the 2nd Monday and 4th Tuesday of the month. And, the virtual help desk will continue - you are always welcome to send a your gardening questions and photos to [email protected]!

UPDATE!! Due to the current COVID surge, the In-Person Help Desk will be DELAYED until February 2022. Thank you for your understanding.

The Loudoun County Extension Master Gardener In-Person Help Desk will be opening for limited hours starting in January 2022! The Help Desk will be open for walk-ins and phone calls from 10am to noon the 2nd Monday and 4th Tuesday of the month. And, the virtual help desk will continue - you are always welcome to send a your gardening questions and photos to [email protected]!

Congratulations Class of 2021!
12/09/2021
Loudoun County, VA

Congratulations Class of 2021!

VCE Loudoun Graduates Nineteen into Master Gardener Program

12/08/2021

Which witch hazel? It depends on what color you want and when you want it to bloom! While many witch hazels are yellow and bloom in late winter, hybrid cultivars can be orange or red and the native species common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooms in late fall!

Here's a little more info on native witch hazels:
Common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) - Native to the east coast of North America, blooms yellow October-December
Vernal witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) - Native to the central and southern US, blooms yellow February-March

There are also non-native varieties of witch hazel that make great additions to the landscape:
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Ruby Glow’ - a hybrid of Chinese witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and Japanese witch hazel (Hamamelis japonica) with bronze/red flowers in late winter
H. vernalis ‘Amethyst’ has purple/red flowers with crinkled petals.
H. x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ - bright yellow fragrant flowers, a tried and true cultivar!

More info on witch hazel: https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2018/02/which-witchhazel

12/01/2021

Know your oaks! Did you know there are more than 15 species of oak native to Virginia and many more that grow here now--including some invasive oaks! Here are just a few oaks you might find throughout the state:

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) - Native to every county in Virginia. Scarlet oak is an eastern species commonly found on dry upland slopes and ridges. It is useful for timber products and wildlife sustenance. Scarlet oak has also been planted widely as a shade tree for its ability to withstand dry conditions and its reliable scarlet autumn color. Scarlet oak is a very tough, hardy tree that is often found on dry slopes. Because of its hardiness and scarlet fall foliage, many sources agree, scarlet oak is the choice oak for urban plantings. Paul Cappiello of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, KY, states the species is easily transplanted, compared to other oaks, and can grow just as fast as other popular shade trees when supplied with a modicum of water and fertilizer.

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)- Also known as blue oak, mossy-overcup oak, mossy-overcup oak, and scrub oak, has the largest acorns of all native oaks and is very drought resistant. It grows slowly on dry uplands and sandy plains but is also found on fertile limestone soils and moist bottomlands in mixture with other hardwoods. In the west, it is a pioneer tree invading prairie grasslands, and it is planted frequently in shelterbelts. The acorns become an important source of food to wildlife. The wood is commercially valuable and marketed as white oak. The comparative ease with which bur oak can be grown makes it a fine tree for streets or lawns. Bur oak is widely distributed throughout the Eastern United States and the Great Plains.

Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima) - This native of eastern Asia was introduced in 1862 as an ornamental and gained favor during the past 50 years as a street tree and a source of food for small game such as turkeys. Its rapid growth allows it to outcompete native oaks, and the dispersal by animals of its numerous acorns has caused it to become a problem species in forests along the east coast. While it is not designated as an invasive species by the VA DCR, some localities have designated it invasive.

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) - Native to many Virginia counties. Pin oak acorns are an important food for mallards and wood ducks during their fall migration. Pin and other bottom-land oaks are the primary tree species in bottom-land duck-hunting areas (greentree reservoirs) that are artificially flooded during the fall and winter to attract migrating waterfowl (19). Pin oak acorns are also an important food for deer, squirrels, turkeys, woodpeckers, and blue jays. Also called swamp oak, water oak, and swamp Spanish oak, is a fast-growing, moderately large tree found on bottom lands or moist uplands, often on poorly drained clay soils. Best development is in the Ohio Valley. The wood is hard and heavy and is used in general construction and for firewood. Pin oak transplants well and is tolerant of the many stresses of the urban environment, so has become a favored tree for streets and landscapes.

Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) - Native to every Virginia county. Also known as common red oak, eastern red oak, mountain red oak, and gray oak, is widespread in the East and grows on a variety of soils and topography, often forming pure stands. Moderate to fast growing, this tree is one of the more important lumber species of red oak and is an easily transplanted, popular shade tree with good form and dense foliage. Northern red oak has been extensively planted as an ornamental because of its symmetrical shape and brilliant fall foliage. The acorns are an important food for squirrels deer, turkey, mice, voles, and other mammals and birds.

Native Oaks:
Quercus alba - white oak
Quercus bicolor - swamp white oak
Quercus coccinea - scarlet oak
Quercus falcata - Southern red oak
Quercus ilicifolia - bear oak
Quercus laurifolia - swamp laurel oak
Quercus michauxii - swamp chestnut oak
Quercus montana - chestnut oak
Quercus muehlenbergii - chinkapin oak
Quercus nigra - water oak
Quercus palustris - pin oak
Quercus phellos - willow oak
Quercus rubra - Northern red oak
Quercus stellata - post oak
Quercus velutina - black oak
Quercus virginiana - live oak

Find more native plants including oaks here: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/native-plants-finder

Image description: a row of five dry green leaves. Small, pointy leaf with many delicate tips labeled scarlet oak, elongated narrow oak with rounded points labeled bur oak, very small ovular leaf with sawtooth edge labeled sawtooth oak, wide large leaf labeled pin oak, compact small leaf with regular pointy tips labeled Northern red oak.

Join Us!  VCE Loudoun Master Gardener's Free Virtual Lecture SeriesDecember 9, 11am- 12pmColonial Williamsburg's Christm...
11/17/2021

Join Us! VCE Loudoun Master Gardener's Free Virtual Lecture Series
December 9, 11am- 12pm
Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas Decorations
with Laura Viancour, Horticulture Education Manager, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Learn about the history of Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas decorations and the magic that goes on behind the scenes to create the Historic Area's iconic natural arrangements. The assortment of materials used and tips on assembling the arrangements will be shared while looking at a variety of decorations that have adorned the buildings.

WebEx Event Details -- https://loudoun-gov.webex.com/loudoun-gov/onstage/g.php?MTID=eca5b8ca1bb62c9aed2c4858484b492ed
Password - LCPL

Join Us! VCE Loudoun Master Gardener's Free Virtual Lecture Series
December 9, 11am- 12pm
Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas Decorations
with Laura Viancour, Horticulture Education Manager, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Learn about the history of Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas decorations and the magic that goes on behind the scenes to create the Historic Area's iconic natural arrangements. The assortment of materials used and tips on assembling the arrangements will be shared while looking at a variety of decorations that have adorned the buildings.

WebEx Event Details -- https://loudoun-gov.webex.com/loudoun-gov/onstage/g.php?MTID=eca5b8ca1bb62c9aed2c4858484b492ed
Password - LCPL

11/12/2021

Did you know...

Many beneficial and desirable insects overwinter in leaf litter- so please read this from the Xerces Society before you go raking your entire property!

https://xerces.org/blog/leave-leaves-to-benefit-wildlife

Image and blog post from The Xerces Society

~WL

Have you seen a two-horned Trapa plant?  Take note of this invasive aquatic plant settling in ponds that is now in Loudo...
11/01/2021

Have you seen a two-horned Trapa plant? Take note of this invasive aquatic plant settling in ponds that is now in Loudoun County. The seeds attach to geese feathers and can go from one pond to another very easily. Report it and send photos as stated.

Have you seen a two-horned Trapa plant? Take note of this invasive aquatic plant settling in ponds that is now in Loudoun County. The seeds attach to geese feathers and can go from one pond to another very easily. Report it and send photos as stated.

10/27/2021

In the summer, mulch helps reduce w**ds growing in your garden, but in the winter, mulch acts as insulation for the soil and plant roots (which are more sensitive to cold than stems).

Newly planted trees and shrubs may require a layer of mulch to help survive winter.

As freezing weather approaches, make a plan to mulch any susceptible plants you have after the soil cools off but before it's frozen.

For more information on winter mulching: https://resources.ext.vt.edu/contentdetail?contentid=1279

Image text:
Winter Mulch 101

WHAT: Winter mulches are used primarily to protect shrubs and flowers from severe winter temperatures and frost heaving. They are laid down in late fall and serve as insulation during the winter.
WHEN: Winter mulches should be laid down in early winter, once the soil has cooled but before it has frozen.
Mulch made from organic materials:
Straw makes a good winter mulch or mulch for the vegetable garden. It is inexpensive, suppresses w**ds, conserves moisture, and insulates well. But it's not very attractive, may contain seeds, & extremely flammable.
Purchase “straw” rather than “hay,” as hay contains many w**d seeds. Mulch 6 to 8 inches deep
Bark mulches resist compaction, will not blow away, are very attractive, and are readily available. Some shredded barks, such as cypress, decompose slowly.

Pine needles are attractive, decompose slowly, resist compaction, and are easy to work with. They are often available commercially or are free if you have pine trees on your property.

Leaves that have been shredded with a composting mower are sometimes used as a summer mulch, although they decompose very quickly. Whole leaves can be used instead, but they tend to mat together and block water movement into the soil.

Loudoun County hardiness zone is 6b and 7a!
10/18/2021

Loudoun County hardiness zone is 6b and 7a!

First frost season has arrived! ❄️ Have you experienced a frost in your part of Virginia yet? In the cooler parts of the state frosts could come any day now, if you're in a warmer part of the state you have a little longer--HOWEVER these dates are just an estimate. As always, check your weather and be aware of any unusual climatic trends (for example, if you've got a microclimate).

Image text: first frost dates
Zone 6a
First Fall Frost
10/5 - 10/15

Zone 6b
First Fall Frost
10/5 - 10/15

Zone 7a
First Fall Frost
10/15-10/25

Zone 7b
First Fall Frost
10/25 - 11/5

Zone 8a
First Fall Frost
11/5 - 11/25

Address

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

Opening Hours

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

Telephone

+17037715150

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