Resources for Gardening & The Environment

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
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? Aug 29, 2018 426-041 (SPES-2P)
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)
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)
Using Compost in Your Landscape Mar 13, 2021 426-704 (SPES-304P)
Storing Pesticides Safely Jun 1, 2017 426-705 (HORT-250NP)
Building Healthy Soil Jun 1, 2017 426-711 (HORT-244NP)
Creating a Water-Wise Landscape Feb 2, 2021 426-713 (HORT-200P)
Landscaping for Less in the Landfill Jun 1, 2017 426-716 (HORT-243NP)
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)
Fertilización de árboles y arbustos
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)
Periodical Cicada
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)
Supermarkets as Alternative Market Outlets for Virginia-Grown Berries
Plant Disease Diagnostic Form
Sep 22, 2021 450-097 (SPES-261NP)
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.
Mar 18, 2020 450-726 (SPES-23P)
Compost: What Is It and What's It To You Feb 28, 2018 452-231 (CSES-204P)
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
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.
May 1, 2018 465-300 (ANR-307NP)
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)
Improving Pest Management and Pollination with Farmscaping Aug 30, 2019 ENTO-325NP
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 Mar 4, 2021 ENTO-427NP
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)
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
VCE Ag Today: Fall Armyworm: 2021 Recap Feb 7, 2022 VCE-1027-60NP