Volume 04  | April 2017
The Busiest Garden Month
Happy Average Last Frost Date!  That's right - it's generally safe to plant in Tidewater once April 15th arrives. For many, the warm temperatures have meant that most things were safe to put outdoors for a few weeks.

April is a busy - maybe the busiest - month in the garden, finishing spring cleanup, pruning, and putting those first plants in the ground. It's the best month to prune boxwoods, camellias, and forsythia. Virginia Cooperative Extension provides a handy  pruning calendar showing the best month to prune some of the most common landscape shrubs.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to finish cutting back perennials that were left standing through the winter. Annual beds and containers can be prepared and planted. Tomato transplants can go in the garden, and direct seeded warm season vegetables can go in now, too. If you planted early spring crops like lettuce and radish, it may be time to begin harvesting. As the days warm up, lettuces can be extended in the garden by providing some shade, or sow seed for more heat tolerant varieties.

When planning your vegetable garden, it is recommended to rotate the type of plants you put in each space, so don't plant tomatoes where you planted them last year. This helps avoid the buildup of disease pathogens in the soil. For more on planting tomatoes - click here

If you are looking to purchase plants for your garden, the local VCE Master Gardeners are holding their annual plant sales over the next several weeks.

Chesapeake Master Gardeners - Apr. 28 & 29 at the Chesapeake Municipal Center
Virginia Beach Master Gardeners - May 6 & 7 at the Virginia Beach Farmer's Market 
Norfolk Master Gardeners - May 20 & 21 at Stockley Gardens

Hours for the Virginia Beach Master Gardener's sale are Saturday 9am - 3pm & Sunday 10am - 2pm. The sale features a good selection of native plants, blooming annuals, vegetables and herbs, perennials for shade and sun, shrubs, trees, hanging baskets, succulents, and container gardens.

Have gardening questions? Help is available year round through the Master Gardener Help Desk by calling 757-385-8156 or email your question to vbmghelp@vbgov.com

Upcoming Events
Apr. 25 & May 4* - VBMG Intern Orientation
10am - 12 noon
2449 Princess Anne Rd, Building 14
*Attend either date.

Apr. 29 - Plant Doctor Clinic - Oceana
Our Plant Doctors will be at Oceana's NEX Garden Center from 10 am - 2 pm to answer your gardening questions.

Vegetable Garden 101
 Virginia Cooperative Extension publishes guides to answer most questions about growing fruits and vegetables at home. This resource list will get you started, and Virginia Beach Master Gardeners are available at the Help Desk Monday - Friday, 9am - 3pm, to answer your questions. Give us a call at 757-385-8156.   

  Fruit & Vegetable Resources

Join the Fun - Become a
VB Master Gardener!

The VCE Master Gardener program is for you if you are among the many Virginia Beach residents who desire to improve their communities by sharing horticultural knowledge. Master Gardeners come from all walks of life. They are a group of enthusiastic volunteers connected by their love of gardening and desire to educate their community. In addition to working in the gardens, our projects range from working with children to growing plants in the greenhouse. We take trips to visit some of the best gardens in our part of the state and host fantastic garden speakers at our trainings.

To become a Master Gardener, you must attend an orientation meeting, complete an application process and the 50-hour Master Gardener training. This program has been established to provide both novice and experienced gardeners a basic background in horticulture.

A mandatory program orientation is held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 and Thursday, May 4, 2017 (from 10 am-12 am each day) at the Virginia Beach Cooperative Extension Office located at the Municipal Center, Building 14, 2nd floor.

Classes begin September 12, 2017 and run through November 14, 2017 (every Tuesday and Thursday) from 9:00am to noon at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center/Bldg. 14 and the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC) located at 1444 Diamond Springs Road. Each training class is taught by a specialist in that field. Attendees can only miss one class.

After graduation the Master Gardener Interns have a full year to volunteer 50 hours in order to complete their training and to be recognized as official Master Gardeners. Annual re-certification is maintained through ongoing continuing education and volunteer service.

Plan Ahead
May 6 & 7 - Spring Plant Sale
Virginia Beach Farmer's Market, 3640 Dam Neck Rd. Saturday: 9am - 3pm
Sunday: 10am - 2pm

May 13 - Rain Barrel Workshop
Rain Barrel Workshops will take place the second Saturday of the month, March - October from 9:00am - 10:00am at the Virginia Beach Farmer's Market. Workshops are $50 and registration is required.  Click here to register.  Participants will build a 55-gallon sealed rain barrel and be given a free diverter kit to help with installation on their existing down spout. This is a family friendly event - children are welcome to come participate with their parents!

May 22 - Gardening Talk
Fighting Mosquitos in a Pollinator-Friendly Landscape - Demaris Yearick - VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener and Jessica Ruthenberg, Watchable Wildlife Biologist
Jessica will focus on the habitat that discourages mosquitos, and Demaris will discuss preventative methods of control.
FREE, No registration required. 7-8pm, Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Jill Wright at 757-385-4769 during the business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. TDD number (800) 828-1120.   

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.