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Resources by P. Diane Relf

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
Plant Propagation from Seed Oct 11, 2019 426-001
Propagation by Cuttings, Layering and Division Oct 11, 2019 426-002
Care of Specialty Potted Plants Dec 12, 2022 426-101 (SPES-449P)
Seed For The Garden Apr 8, 2022 426-316 (SPES-392P)
Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden
The amount of fertilizer to apply to a garden depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the amount of organic matter present, the type of fertilizer used, and the crop being grown. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is to have the soil tested. Soil testing is available through your local Extension agent, through private labs, and with soil test kits which can be purchased from garden shops and catalogs.
Jan 14, 2021 426-323 (SPES-295P)
Mulches for the Home Vegetable Garden
Mulching is a practice adaptable to nearly all home gardens. To mulch is simply to cover the soil around plants with a protective material, organic or inorganic.
Sep 16, 2020 426-326 (SPES-256P)
Fall Vegetable Gardening May 1, 2009 426-334
Vegetable Gardening in Containers
If you don’t have space for a vegetable garden or if your present site is too small, consider raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables in containers. A window sill, patio, balcony, or doorstep can provide sufficient space for a productive container garden. Problems with soil-borne diseases, nematodes, or poor soil can also be overcome by switching to container gardening.
Sep 16, 2020 426-336 (SPES-255P)
Weeds in the Home Vegetable Garden Oct 25, 2023 426-364 (SPES-525P)
Minimum Chemical Gardening
Home gardeners often use more pesticides per square foot in their gardens than farmers do in the fields, thinking that if a little is good, more will be better. This is a serious mistake and a serious misuse of pesticides. This publication will take the reader through different ways to manage home gardens using integrated pest management strategies, including using cultural and biological control methods for pests. It provides the reader with proven ways to manage pests responsibly by using the least amount of naturally derived or man-made pesticides possible.
Jun 12, 2023 426-366 (SPES-503P)
Asparagus Sep 16, 2020 426-401 (SPES-250P)
Sweet Corn Sep 16, 2020 426-405 (SPES-251P)
Cucumbers, Melons and Squash
Varieties include both the slicer or fresh salad type and the pickle type (which can also be used fresh); vined, dwarfvined and bush varieties; all female or all-female seedless (no pollination required); burpless; and, various mixtures of these characteristics. Disease resistance is available in many varieties.
Sep 16, 2020 426-406 (SPES-252P)
Leafy Green Vegetables
Lettuce, a cool-season vegetable crop, is one of the easiest to grow. Lettuce withstands light frost; however, sunlight and high summer temperatures usually cause seedstalk formation (bolting) and bitter flavor. Slow-bolting or heat-resistant varieties are available and are recommended for extending the lettuce-growing season.
Mar 16, 2015 426-408 (SPES-253P)
Onions, Garlic, and Shallots
Onions are often grouped according to taste. The two main types of onions are strong flavored (American) and mild (often called European). Each has three distinct colors, yellow, white, and red. In general, the American onion produces bulbs of smaller size, denser texture, stronger flavor, and better keeping quality than European types. Globe varieties tend to keep longer in storage.
Sep 16, 2020 426-411 (SPES-254P)
Tomatoes
Tomatoes are valuable garden plants in that they require relatively little space for large production. Each standard tomato plant, properly cared for, yields 10 to 15 pounds or more of fruit.Diane Relf, Retired Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Alan McDaniel, Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Ronald Morse, Former Associate Professor, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Reviewed by John Freeborn, Assistant Master Gardener Coordinator, Horticulture, Virginia Tech
May 5, 2021 426-418 (HORT-288P)
Sprouting Seeds for Food
Seeds themselves are a very nutritious form of food because they contain proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and oils that a beginning plant needs to grow. Many of these nutritious components are increased greatly when the seeds are sprouted.
Apr 6, 2022 426-419 (SPES-394P)
Root Crops Sep 16, 2020 426-422 (SPES-249P)
The Art of Bonsai Oct 7, 2020 426-601 (SPES-246P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Rare and Unusual Trees
There are many tree species that can be successfully grown in Virginia, but are rarely seen in our landscapes. Although not ordinarily recommended or readily available, these trees may be useful to carry out a specific landscape theme, to substitute for an exotic type which is not locally adapted, or may be prized for unusual form, flowers, fruits, bark, or foliage.
May 19, 2021 426-604 (SPES-320P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees May 19, 2021 426-611 (SPES-321P)
Planting Trees Jun 24, 2022 426-702 (HORT-248NP)
Building Healthy Soil Jun 1, 2017 426-711 (HORT-244NP)
The Value of Landscaping
Landscaping is an integral part of our culture and plays an essential role in the quality of our environment, affecting our economic well-being and our physical and psychological health. If we are to keep our communities strong and prosperous, we must take responsibility for our environment.
Sep 23, 2022 426-721 (SPES-404)
Home Landscape Practices to Protect Water Quality
In Virginia, we rely on reservoir systems, wells, and other sources for our freshwater. In recent years, our previously plentiful clean water supplies have been threatened not only by overuse, but also by contamination. Pollutants are carried down with water soaking through the soil to the water table. Runoff (water that does not soak into the ground) flows over the surface, often taking soil and polluting chemicals with it into lakes and streams.
Dec 12, 2022 426-723 (SPES-439NP)