Garden Myth Busters! Eggshells & Blossom End Rot

Based on an intern project by Rachel Vecchio, Certified Master Gardener

 broken EgghshellsTHE MYTH: Adding eggshells to a tomato plant’s planting hole prevents blossom end rot.

THE REALITY: Blossom end rot is a disfiguring black spot on the bottom of a tomato. This problem can occur on peppers, eggplant, squash, and watermelon too.  It can be a maddening blight for anyone who has invested the time and effort to grow tomatoes. Can eggshells help avoid this frustrating situation?  Continue reading

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August 2018 Public Education Events

MGNV LogoThe following public education programs are scheduled by VCE Master Gardeners in Arlington and Alexandria in August 2018

ClassesPlant Clinics |   Wednesday Library Garden Talks


Classes

Wednesday, August 1, 1–3 p.m.
Long Branch Nature Center
625 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington 22204 

Common Landscape Pests and Diseases of Trees in Landscapes

2018 Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals CoverLearn how to manage and control garden diseases and pests affecting your trees, ornamentals, and the lawn with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent.  This will be an entertaining look at the 2018 Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals.

Free. Advance registration requested at mgnv.org.
Questions? Call 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com.
Continue reading

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2018 Master Gardener Training Application Period Closed

2014-master-gardener-of-northern-virginia-annual-plant-sale-at-green-spring

The  2018 Master Gardener  Application Period is now closed. If you are interested in training in the fall of 2019, please contact Master Gardener Coordinator Leslie Fillmore at leslief7@vt.edu.

Posted in MG in the Garden

GROUND COVER: Polemonium reptans

Polonium reptans, Jacob’s Ladder, Greek Valerian  - Flower detail

Polonium reptans, Jacob’s Ladder, Greek Valerian – Flower detail
Photo © 2018 Elaine Mills

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

In the Mid-Atlantic Region, this attractive wildflower is most common in Pennsylvania. In Virginia its occurrence is spotty, although it is native to Fairfax County. At home in moist woods and along stream banks, this Phlox family member features leaflets arranged like rungs on a ladder (the ladder dreamt of by Jacob in the Bible story), thus the common name.

Learn more . . .

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Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) with Pollinators

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Have you seen any of these pollinators in your garden? Enjoy this great video from Mary Free featuring a variety of pollinators visiting Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), at the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden on June 25 and 28, 2016. Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) is one of MGNV’s Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic.

Pollinators in order of appearance are

  • Bombus bimaculatus (Two-spotted bumble bee)
  • Augochlorini sp. (Green sweat bee)
  • Bombus griseocollis (Brown-belted bumble bee)
  • Bombus auricomus (Black and gold bumble bee)
  • Toxomerus geminatus (Syrphid fly)
  • Apis melifera (European honey bee)
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PERENNIAL: Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Monarda fistulosa

Photo © Mary Free

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic)

Similar in appearance to the Beebalms, Monarda fistulosa provides color and contrast for the herb garden, wild garden, native plant garden, meadow, or perennial border.  Its aromatic leaves can be used to make mint tea. The Virginia Native Plant Society named  Wild Bergamot Wildflower of the Year in 1993.

Learn more . . .

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