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DATE:                  13 July 2021

TO:                 Arlington/Alexandria Community Organizations

FROM:            Publicity@mgnv.org, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia(Alexandria/Arlington)

SUBJ:             August 2021 Public Education Programs


VCE-MGNV Virtual Classroom public education events for August 2021 are online and open to all. RSVP online at https://mgnv.org/events/ to receive the link to participate. Click on the event titles to RSVP for each event. If you can’t join us for a live online presentation, video recordings of the sessions will be posted to https://mgnv.org/reading-room/master-gardener-virtual-classroom/.

Friday, August 6, 10:00 – 11:30 am, ONLINE

Native Vines for the Home Garden

Vines can fill a variety of roles in the garden, either serving as ground covers or providing an attractive vertical element in the landscape as they grow on fences, trellises, or walls. In addition to offering privacy screening, shade, attractive flowers, and colorful fall foliage, native species supply critical support for local wildlife. Extension Master Gardener Elaine Mills will discuss about a dozen vines native to the Mid-Atlantic region and how they can be used as excellent substitutes for such invasive non-native vines as English ivy, Asian wisteria, Japanese honeysuckle, and porcelain berry. She will present characteristics and attributes of the native vines as well as explain maintenance tips and ideas for their landscape uses. Elaine Mills is a creative force behind the resource Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic and serves as a co-coordinator at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, a Virginia Cooperative Extension Demonstration Garden in Arlington, Virginia. Free. RSVP at https://mgnv.org/events/ to receive link to participate.


Friday, August 13, 10:00 – 11:30 am, ONLINE

Soil Health

Want to grow more flavorful tomatoes? Want to produce more colorful blooms? Healthy plants need healthy soil to do their best. Join Kirsten Conrad, Extension Agent for Arlington County and City of Alexandria, for the basics of how you can improve your soil ‘health’, improve water retention, increase your garden’s ability to fight off diseases, and reduce your need for fertilizers and pesticides. Bring your questions about what a ‘living’ soil does, soil test interpretation, the use of compost, and the importance of good soil drainage, for a session on best practices that are part of a holistic approach to garden health. Free. RSVP at https://mgnv.org/events/ to receive link to participate.


Wednesday, August 18 through Sunday, August22

Arlington County Fair “Nights, Lights & Bites”

Have you had a spectacular garden this year? Are your beans beautiful and zinnias amazing? Come to the Arlington County Fair and enter the Competitive Exhibits for Fruits and Vegetables or Flowers! Entries will be judged by Extension Master Gardeners and there are prizes galore to give you bragging rights in your neighborhood. Residents of Arlington County, Alexandria City, Falls Church City and Joint Base Myers-Henderson are eligible to enter. Kids welcome! Registration is online only at https://arlingtoncountyfair.us/participants#competitive-exhibits


Friday, August 20, 10:00 – 11:30 am, ONLINE

Challenges of the Summer Garden – Part II

In the July 16 session Challenges of the Summer Garden, Extension Master Gardener Beth Buffington offered tips and techniques to alleviate garden woes that bedevil us during the wilting days of summer. In a world where such a big topic deserves a Part II sequel, Beth invites you to submit specific questions on summer weeds, insects, disease or water concerns to a panel of Extension Master Gardeners with a wealth of experience. A diagnostic form to describe your specific garden problem and directions on how to take a helpful photograph so that the panel can give you an accurate diagnosis are at https://mgnv.org/summer-gardening-questions/.Please submit your question, diagnostic form and photo, if you have one, by August12. Don’t miss this panel discussion exploring real-world garden problems! Free. RSVP at https://mgnv.org/events/ to receive a link to participate in the August20 session.

Friday, August 27, 10:00 – 11:30 am, ONLINE

Fall Weed ID in the Garden

Join Extension Master Gardener Joyce Hylton as she discusses some of the most common weeds in our area that flourish in the Fall. While a weed may be just a wildflower in the wrong place, learn why they may like your lawn and garden and how you can safely and effectively control them. Joyce Hylton trains and mentors Extension Master Gardeners in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria and teaches sustainable landscaping best practices to the public. For her over two decades of public service, the City of Alexandria bestowed Joyce with the 2020 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award. Free. RSVP at https://mgnv.org/events/ toreceive link to participate.



Note to All:

Check out our Plant Clinics, now operating (through September 25th)!  The Arlington Farmers Market Plant Clinic, is open on Saturday mornings from 8-11 am, and is located at N. 14th St and N. Courthouse Rd.  The Del Ray Farmers Market Plant Clinic, is open8:30-11 am at 203 E. Oxford Ave, Alexandria. The Alexandria Farmers Market Plant Clinic, located at 301 King St., Alexandria, operates from 7:00 -9:30 am.

The Extension Master Gardener Help Desk is still answering emails! We welcome your garden-related questions, including those related to plant and insect identification. Please include photos to assist us with identification. The Help Desk is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon).Contact us at mgarlalex@gmail.com.

Also check out the resources on our website, mgnv.org. You’ll find Gardening Basics for Arlington & Alexandria, VA listing our hardiness zone and frost dates, a list of problem plants and better alternatives, and an extensive compilation of Tried and True Native Plants for the Mid-Atlantic Area, complete with great color pictures and descriptions. Our schedule of gardening programs is posted on this website ,so be sure to check it often!