March 2020 Public Education Events

MGNV LogoThese public education events for are open to all, but space may be limited. To reserve a spot, please register online https://mgnv.org/public-education-events/vce-horticulture-programs-registration/.


Microgreens: What Are They, Why They Are So Fabulous, and How to Grow Them

Tuesday, March 3, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Barrett Branch Library
717 Queen St., Alexandria 22314

microgreensMicrogreens – You’ve likely seen them, but what makes them so good for you? Join us to learn their many benefits, and some simple ways to grow these delicious, nutritious and inexpensive baby plants and sprouts in your own home. Plus, we provide supplies for you to plant your own container. So come prepared to get a bit dirty while you make your own microgreen garden in class!
This event is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

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


Grow What You Eat!

Thursday, March 5,
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Arlington Mill Community Center
909 S. Dinwiddie Street Arlington 22204
OR Sunday, March 8,
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Beatley Central Library
5005 Duke Street
Alexandria 22304
Spring crops in May 2018 at the Organic Vegetable Garden. Photo © 2018 Judy Salveson

Photo © 2018 Judy Salveson

Learn easy to implement practices for selecting a site, evaluating and improving your soil. We will discuss which plants grow best locally, which are best planted as seeds and which are typically transplanted as seedlings. Discover how to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects while identifying and managing pests, weeds and diseases. Get free seeds and a vegetable garden calendar customized for our region. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

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

 


HOAs and Condo Associations:
Sustainable Solutions to Landscaping Headaches

Friday, March 6, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus
Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center Building
The Forum Meeting Room
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale 22003

Plant NOVA Natives - Naturally Beautiful - logo with buildingsThis half-day symposium will focus on how HOAs and condo associations can develop plans to upgrade the green infrastructure in their communities. Learn about the role of native plants in sustainable landscaping, the resources available for investing in ecologically focused community projects, and how to work with your community bylaws or committees to ensure positive outcomes. Hear success stories from local communities and ask questions of a variety of experts in the field. Sponsored by Plant NOVA Natives.

Register at https://www.plantnovanatives.org/symposiums-for-hoa-and-condo-assoc-.
Questions? Telephone 703-244-9174 or email plantnovanatives@gmail.com


Plot Against Hunger 6th Annual Spring Garden Kick-Off

Saturday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Arlington Central Library
1015 N Quincy St, Arlington VA 22201

St. Andrews Plot Against Hunger garden

St. Andrews Plot Against Hunger garden

Learn how you can support our partner, the Arlington Food Assistance Center, with fresh produce donations from your garden or community plot. There will be growing tips for new and experienced gardeners. Hear from community garden coordinators about lessons learned. Join a team that harvests bamboo for garden structures.

Find out more at  Plot Against Hunger Spring Garden Kick-Off 2020.

AFAC logo


Selecting Native Plants for Your Home Garden

Monday, March 9, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Westover Branch Library
1644 N. McKinley Road, Arlington 22205

The butterfly garden at Simpson Demonstration Gardens in Alexandria, filled with native plants and pollinator attractors. All of Simpson Gardens is made on the site of a former paved road and parking lot. Photo: Christa Watters

The butterfly garden at Simpson Demonstration Gardens in Alexandria, filled with native plants and pollinator attractors. Photo © Christa Watters

Learn how to choose beautiful native plants appropriate for the conditions of your yard. We’ll explain what native plants are and their benefits for our local environment, how native plants differ from cultivars, and provide you with best practices for planting and seasonal management. Want to attract birds, butterflies and pollinators to your yard? We have tips and techniques that can help you create a biodiverse oasis. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

MGNV - Native Plants Logo

 

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


Turf Talk: How to Have a Healthy Lawn

Lawn bannerThursday, March 12, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, 22206

Dr. Mike Goatley, an entertaining and award-winning Virginia Tech professor, will discuss his research on turf grass and lawn management from across Virginia, focusing on what everyone from “turf managers” to home gardeners should be doing to maintain optimal lawn growth while minimizing pesticide and fertilizer usage. This program will touch on lawn grass selection, management and care, and pests and diseases.

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


Winter Pruning for Woody Plants

Saturday, March 14,
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
4029 N Tazewell Street, Arlington 22207
Rain date March 21
OR Sunday, March 29,
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Beth El Hebrew Congregation,
3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria 22304
Extension Agent Kirsten Conrad demonstrates pruning a Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luykens' (common cherry laurel) hedge during a pruning practicum at the Fairlington Community Center. Photo © 2019 Christa Watters

Extension Agent Kirsten Conrad pruning.
Photo © 2019 Christa Watters

Winter is the best time to prune many trees and shrubs. Come for hands-on training on the how, when, and why to prune hedges, multi-stem shrubs, small trees, and large branches. The results will be healthier and fuller growth, better flowers and fruit, and attractive landscaping. Bring your own tools, and remember to dress for the weather! Entire class is held outdoors. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

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


Tomato Love

Monday, March 23,
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Burke Branch Library
4701 Seminary Road
Alexandria 22304
OR Tuesday, March 31,
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford Street Arlington, 22206
colorful heirloom tomatoes

These beautiful heirloom tomatoes were at St. Peter’s Food Co-op in St. Peter, Minnesota
Photo © 2011 Diane Krebs

Americans love tomatoes – whether that first bite of a BLT, a bowl of cool gazpacho or cherry tomatoes picked off the plant and popped into your mouth – and tomatoes are the second most consumed vegetable in the world! Learn everything you need to know to grow exceptional tomatoes: understand the many varieties, select those that suit your needs, prepare your garden, plant and nurture your plants, and harvest tasty tomatoes of your own this summer. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

MGNV - Urban Agriculture LogoFree. Advance registration requested at mgnv.org.
Questions? Telephone 703-228-6414 or email mgarlalex@gmail.com.


Turf Grass Alternatives

Saturday, March 28, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Lee Community Center
5722 Lee Highway, Arlington 22207

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) lawn
Photo © Elaine Mills

Are you tired of the time and costs to mow, water, fertilize and maintain your lawn? Are you tired of a yard that looks just like all the others? Come learn about alternatives for reclaiming all or part of your lawn to create a more sustainable and interesting landscape. Discussion will include manageable techniques to reduce the size of your lawn and plant replacements for traditional turf grass. This class is offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

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


Check out our Plant Clinics!

  • The Arlington Central Library Plant Clinic is open from March 25, 6:45 – 8:45 pm, and is open every Wednesday into October. It is located in the East Lobby of the Library, 1015 N. Quincy St.
  • The Beatley Library Plant Clinic at 5005 Duke St, Alexandria, 22304 will be open 7:00 – 8:30 pm Tuesdays beginning March 17 through October 20.
  • Our Extension Master Gardener Help Desk  operates year-round and we welcome your garden-related questions, including those related to plant and insect identification. MGNV---Extension-Master-Gardener-Help-Desk-The Help Desk operates from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays at the VCE office at the Fairlington Community Center
    3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, 22206 

Contact us at 703-228-6414 or mgarlalex@gmail.com, or drop by to speak with our Help Desk volunteers.  It’s best to call before you come to make sure we’re available.

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