Resources for Gardening & The Environment
|Sod Source Selection, Installation, Maintenance, and Producers in Virginia||
While high-quality sod is available outside of the VCIA-certified sod program, the consumer is encouraged to be aware of factors that are important in determining sod quality. Quality sod contains excellent turf varieties with good sod strength (i.e., easy to handle for both harvest and installation) and has no serious insect, weed, or disease problems.
|Feb 3, 2021||418-040 (CSES-151P)|
|What Is a Watershed?||
This publication defines watersheds, why they are important to everyone, and how people positively and negatively impact them.
|Sep 11, 2023||426-041 (SPES-2P)|
|Winterizing the Water Garden||
Water gardens require maintenance throughout the year. Preparation for the winter months is especially important for the survival of both the aquatic plants and the wildlife in and around the pond. Some plants will not tolerate winter weather and must be removed from the pond while cold-hardy plants need only to be completely immersed in the pond. Debris such as leaves and dying plants must be removed, especially if there are fish in the pond. Fall is the time to take action. Prepare the pond for the winter months by managing the plants, cleaning the pond, and monitoring the water conditions. If treated properly, many aquatic plants and wildlife can survive in the water garden for years.
|Mar 1, 2020||426-042 (SPES-261P)|
|Rain Garden Plants||
A rain garden is a landscaped area specially designed to collect rainfall and storm-water runoff. The plants and soil in the rain garden clean pollutants from the water as it seeps into the ground and evaporates back into the atmosphere. For a rain garden to work, plants must be selected, installed, and maintained properly.
|Dec 21, 2018||426-043 (SPES-57P)|
|Urban Water-Quality Management: Wildlife in the Home Pond Garden||
Small home pond gardens support aquatic plants and also attract a variety of wildlife. Turtles, frogs, birds, snakes, lizards, and raccoons as well as many other animals may use these ponds. Most wildlife needs water to survive and will seek out ponds for drinking, bathing, habitat, and in some cases, reproduction.
|Sep 2, 2020||426-045 (HORT-126P)|
|Planning the Vegetable Garden||
How much time will you be able to devote to your garden on a regular basis? The answer to this question will dictate the size of your garden. You must remember that, once planted, the garden will have to be weeded once a week, irrigated during droughts, and vegetables harvested when ripe. Depending on the type of vegetables, you may also need to undertake pest control measures.
|Nov 4, 2020||426-312 (HORT-209P)|
|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)|
|Getting Started in the Production of Field-Grown, Specialty Cut Flowers||
Specialty cut flowers are one of the most profitable field crops you can grow. Lynn Byczynski, editor of Growing For Market newsletter (see Resources section), estimates a value of $25,000 to $35,000 per acre for field-grown cuts. The most basic requirements are at least half an acre of open, arable land, a rototiller, and, of course, time and effort. This publication is directed to those new to market gardening, but commercial vegetable growers, tobacco farmers, and young people interested in summer income are all potential candidates. Even grain and livestock farmers have increased profitability in their operations by adding cut flower production. For many greenhouse and nursery operations, mid-summer business is slower, relative to spring. A field-grown cut flower business is a viable option to fill in the summer production and cash flow gap.
|Nov 13, 2019||426-618 (SPES-171P)|
|Making Compost from Yard Waste||Sep 2, 2022||426-703 (SPES-393P)|
|Using Compost in Your Landscape||Mar 13, 2021||426-704 (SPES-304P)|
|Building Healthy Soil||Jun 1, 2017||426-711 (HORT-244NP)|
|Creating a Water-Wise Landscape||Feb 2, 2021||426-713 (HORT-200P)|
|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)|
|Fertilización de árboles y arbustos (Fertilizing Landscape Trees and Shrubs)||
Los árboles y arbustos necesitan nutrientes para crecer y estar sanos. Los tres nutrientes más importantes son nitrógeno, fósforo y potasio. Un análisis de suelos es siempre la mejor manera de saber qué nutrientes se necesitan y la cantidad necesaria de cada uno.
|Jul 12, 2021||430-018S (SPES-338P)|
|Mowing To Recycle Grass Clippings: Let the Clips Fall Where They May!||Jul 8, 2021||430-402 (SPES-337P)|
|Insect Identification and Diagnosis Request||Feb 27, 2020||444-113 (ENTO-196NP)|
In Virginia both the 17-and 13-year cicadas damage many ornamental and hardwood trees. Oaks are commonly attacked but the most seriously damaged are newly planted fruit and ornamental trees such as apple, dogwood, peach, hickory, cherry, and pear. Pines and other conifers are not commonly attacked.
|Jul 7, 2021||444-276 (ENTO-455NP)|
|Plant Disease Diagnostic Form||
Plant Disease Diagnostic Form
|Jun 16, 2023||450-097 (SPES-487NP)|
|Instructions for Completing the Plant Disease Diagnostic Form (#450-097)||
The Plant Disease Diagnostic Form was designed to accommodate a wide variety of plants and growing situations; therefore, certain entries on this form may not be appropriate for a particular specimen or situation. Much of the information requested helps reconstruct the "field situation" for the diagnostician. Consider each section of the form carefully; the information provides important clues to the diagnostician that are significant in guiding the diagnostic process and formulating the control recommendation. Your local Extension office staff can assist you in completing the form and include the relevant information requested on the form, so when possible, complete the form with the assistance of your local VCE agent or VCE staff member.
|Sep 2, 2023||450-097-A (SPES-512NP)|
|Reducing Pesticide Use in the Home Lawn and Garden||
Pesticide use affects the quality of human health, the environment, and nontarget organisms in the ecosystem. Therefore, any pesticide application warrants a careful assessment of the expected benefits and risks. Too often, however, homeowners use pesticides inappropriately or without careful consideration of alternatives. This fact sheet outlines general pest control tactics that can easily be implemented for home lawns and gardens, along with other information that home owners can use to make sound pest management decisions. The intent is to ensure that homeowners are aware of alternative control tactics and pesticide characteristics, and that pesticides are used properly and only when necessary.
|Sep 11, 2018||450-725 (SPES-22P)|
|Botryosphaeria Canker and Dieback of Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape||
Most trees and shrubs are susceptible to dieback and cankers caused by several species of the fungal genus Botryosphaeria. Botryosphaeria fungi are typically opportunistic pathogens. Opportunistic pathogens only cause disease on plants that are stressed. Therefore, avoiding plant stress, which predisposes plant tissue to infection and colonization by this fungal group, is the best strategy to prevent Botryosphaeria disease problems.
|Nov 17, 2023||450-726 (SPES-527P)|
|Compost: What Is It and What's It To You||Feb 15, 2023||452-231 (SPES-479P)|
|Explanation of Soil Tests||
The accompanying Soil Test Report will help you assess your plant's need for fertilizer and lime.
|Dec 7, 2018||452-701 (SPES-75NP)|
|Soil Test Note #4 - Trace Elements||Dec 7, 2018||452-704 (SPES-76NP)|
|Virginia Master Naturalist Brochure||
The Virginia Master Naturalist program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.
|Jun 7, 2023||465-300 (CNRE-171NP)|
|Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training||May 16, 2023||ANR-66 (SPES-505NP)|
|How to Plan for and Plant Streamside Conservation Buffers with Native Fruit and Nut Trees and Woody Floral Shrubs||Aug 30, 2018||ANR-69P (CNRE-27P)|
|Reading Pesticide Product Labels||Jan 7, 2021||ENTO-390NP|
|Spiders: An Undeserved Bad Reputation||Jan 4, 2021||ENTO-393NP|
|Lepidopteran Insecticide Menu for Vegetable Growers||Jan 7, 2021||ENTO-395NP|
|Jumping Worms (Amynthas spp.)||May 24, 2023||ENTO-427NP (ENTO-559NP)|
|UPDATED List of Commercial Suppliers and Insectaries/Laboratories Selling Predators and Parasitoids for Augmentative Biocontrol||Feb 4, 2022||ENTO-480NP|
|Food Safety For School and Community Gardens: A Handbook for Beginning and Veteran Garden Organizers||
Creating and maintaining community and school gardens has been identified as an effective strategy to increase healthy food awareness and consumption. Unfortunately, fresh fruits and vegetables have been linked to more than 450 outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S. since 1990. In commercial food production, employing a set of risk-reduction steps — known as good agricultural practices (GAPs) — has been pointed to by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the best prevention against foodborne, illness-causing pathogens.
|May 29, 2013||FST-60P (FST-296)|
|For the Birds, Butterflies & Hummingbirds: Creating Inviting Habitats||May 13, 2020||HORT-59NP (HORT-74NP)|
|Care Sheet for Sabal minor or “Dwarf Palmetto” in Virginia Landscapes||May 29, 2019||HORT-60NP (SPES-137NP)|
|Therapeutic Gardening||Dec 12, 2022||HORT-66NP (SPES-432NP)|
|Chemical Blossom Thinning in Virginia Apple Orchards||Feb 11, 2019||SPES-110NP|
|How to Evaluate a Tree||May 19, 2021||SPES-313P|
|Glyphosate: Health Controversy, Benefits and Continuing Debate||Sep 20, 2018||SPES-63NP|
|Gardening for Health: Benefits for Adults||May 11, 2022||SPES-389NP|
|2022-23 Virginia Turfgrass Variety Recommendations||Aug 17, 2022||SPES-421NP|
|Comparison of Raised Bed Methods, Materials, and Costs||Sep 29, 2022||SPES-425NP|
|Virginia Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook||Jun 8, 2023||SPES-504NP|
|Basic Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) Physiology and Morphology||May 31, 2023||SPES-508NP|
|VCE Ag Today: Fall Armyworm: 2021 Recap||Feb 7, 2022||VCE-1027-60NP|