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
Gardening & Your Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Gardening with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be very difficult, especially when a long day of shoveling, raking, or weed pulling leaves you with a painful or “tingling” hand or wrist. These aches and pains are often caused in part by improper techniques or tools used in gardening.
Jun 1, 2017 426-060 (HORT-245NP)
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.
Apr 16, 2015 426-323 (HORT-144P)
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)
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)
Minimum Chemical Gardening Apr 22, 2015 426-366 (HORT-161P)
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
Sep 29, 2016 426-418 (HORT-288P)
Sprouting Seeds For Food Jun 1, 2017 426-419 (HORT-154P)
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.
Jun 18, 2015 426-604(HORT-107P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees May 1, 2009 426-611
Planting Trees Jun 1, 2017 426-702 (HORT-248NP)
Using Compost in Your Landscape Jun 1, 2017 426-704 (HORT-251NP)
Storing Pesticides Safely Jun 1, 2017 426-705 (HORT-250NP)
Building Healthy Soil Jun 1, 2017 426-711 (HORT-244NP)
Landscaping for Less in the Landfill Jun 1, 2017 426-716 (HORT-243NP)
Establishing Lawns Jun 1, 2017 426-718 (HORT-247NP)
Selecting Turfgrass Jun 1, 2017 426-719 (HORT-249NP)
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. Environmental responsibility is a step beyond awareness, developed only through experience. Through our gardens and landscapes, we acquire a personal awareness and responsibility for the environment while we relieve the tensions and frustrations of everyday life.
Nov 17, 2016 426-721 (HORT-234)
Reducing Erosion and Runoff
Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind and deposited somewhere else such as into a stream or at the bottom of a bay. Often soil particles are carried by runoff, water that does not soak into the ground, but flows over the surface and runs to another area – such as into stormdrains, streams, or lakes.
Jun 1, 2017 426-722(HORT-242NP)
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.
Jul 7, 2017 426-723 (HORT-246NP)
Mulching for a Healthy Landscape
Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind and deposited somewhere else such as into a stream or at the bottom of a bay. Often soil particles are carried by runoff, water that does not soak into the ground, but flows over the surface and runs to another area – such as into stormdrains, streams, or lakes.
Jun 1, 2017 426-724 (HORT-241NP)