Volume 05  | May/June 2017
Summer's on the Horizon
First things first - we'd like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who attended our Spring Plant Sale! It is one of the highlights of our year - sharing our love of plants and gardening with so many wonderful people. We hope you found what you were looking for. If not, or if you have any suggestions about the sale, drop us a note at vbmgevents@gmail.com.

May is usually a transition month in Tidewater gardens. Spring blooms have faded and cool season vegetable crops are coming to an end, which means it's time to finish planting heat-loving veggies and summer-blooming annuals and bulbs. The weather is transitioning as well, and we've gotten our first few really hot days. With these changes come a medley of chores, depending on how you garden.

  • Cut back spring bulb foliage that has yellowed or browned
  • Pay attention to moisture levels in containers and around new plantings. Wind and sun dry out soil quickly.
  • Be on the lookout for fungal diseases like powdery mildew and black spot. These thrive in the garden after wet weather. For advice on what to use to treat or prevent disease, consult the 2017 Pest Management Guide, which has information on disease and insect problems, including organic methods of control.
  • Deadhead (remove spent blooms) roses and annuals regularly to encourage more flowers
  • Plant caladium bulbs, as well as summer-blooming bulbs and tubers such as gladiolus, lilies, dahlias, and crocosmia.
  • Plant pepper and eggplant transplants in the garden. 
  • Replace spring annuals with summer annuals.
  • For warm season grasses, May/June are appropriate times for planting and nitrogen fertilization.
  • For cool season grasses, you can still seed and fertilize through the end of May. Otherwise, wait until August.

Once June arrives and the first days of summer are upon us, planting is done and it's time to enjoy your hard work! Still keep an eye on insects and disease. If you need help identifying a problem, Master Gardeners are here to help. Plant Doctor Clinics are held on Saturdays at five locations throughout Virginia Beach. For a complete listing of Clinic dates and times, click here. The Master Gardener Help Desk is staffed Monday - Friday, 9am - 3pm, and can be reached at 757-385-8156. The Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center is also open to help the public identify and manage garden and landscape problems. Samples can be taken to 1444 Diamond Springs Rd for identification and management recommendations at no charge.

The Gardening Talks and Workshops committee has added three workshops to the 2017 schedule. In conjunction with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, three workshops will be held at the Brock Environmental Center. The first was held on May 20. Additional workshops will be held on July 29 and October 21. The workshops center on the rehabilitation of a pollinator garden and feature lectures and hands-on activities. More information about the July and October workshops will be coming soon. Follow our Facebook page for the most up-to-date announcements about registration and program details. Click here for a schedule of the remaining 2017 Garden Talks & Workshops. 

See you in the 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
  May 22 - Gardening Talk: Fighting Mosquitos in a Pollinator-Friendly Landscape
Demaris Yearick, VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener & Jessica Ruthenberg, Watchable Wildlife Biologist Jessica will focus on the habitat that discourages the mosquitos, and Demaris will discuss preventative methods. Free and Open to the Public; No Registration Required;
7 - 8pm.  Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Jun 3 - 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.

Jun 5 - Gardening Talk: Permaculture
Jeff Hancock, VCE Suffolk Master Gardener Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems and home landscapes to include diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. Free and Open to the Pubic; No Registration Required
7 - 8pm.  Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Know Your Good & Bad Bugs
Late spring and summer bring insects to our gardens, but which ones are friends (beneficial) and which ones foes? Virginia Cooperative Extension offers an online insect identification tool, along with fact sheets, to help you get to know the six-legged life in your garden.   

  Insect I.D. Tool

Annual Trial & Display Gardens

Located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, the purpose of this project is to propagate and display annual flowering plants and demonstrate various flower bed design choices to the public, nursery staff, and other Master Gardener volunteers. Plants are started from seeds and cuttings provided by growers from around the country and evaluated throughout the season for how they perform in the Hampton Roads climate. A report is sent to the growers at the end of the season that they utilize for marketing decisions in our region. We are an All-American Selections Garden. The beds are open to the public from late April until October, during daylight hours. Volunteers work on Wednesday mornings and are available in the garden to answer questions during that time.

Plan Ahead
  July 17 - Gardening Talk: Butterflies in the Garden
Ruth Burch, VCE Virginia Beach Master Gardener, Butterfly Society of Virginia
Ruth will focus on some of the most common butterflies in our area and how to identify and attract them to your garden. Their life cycles will be shown and discussed. Free & Open to the Public. 7 - 8pm, Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452.

Aug 2 - Workshop - Herbs Then and Now
9am – 10am
Lynnhaven House, 4405 Wishart Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Workshop will take place in the VBMG Herb Garden at Historic Lynnhaven House. Learn about herbs used from Colonial times to Victorian times, to counteract odor in the street and during a time when people bathed infrequently. Make your own little bouquet, a simple craft item that can act as potpourri later as it dries. Free and Open to the Public. Registration is required. Register at herbsthenandnow1.eventbrite.com. Registration opens June 1, 2017.

Sept 23 - Fall Gardening Festival
Save the Date for the 2017 Fall Gardening Festival - Fall Into Spring! The festival features speakers, demonstrations, a plant sale, exhibits, and children's activities.

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.