Advice from Extension Master Gardeners
Ever wonder what Extension Master Gardeners (EMGs) know that you don’t? In this talk, you’ll learn some of what EMGs have learned either through training or hard experience. Expect a mix of affirmation of tried and true techniques, myth busting, and ideas worth exploring. EMG Alyssa Ford Morel has gathered helpful tidbits from her colleagues with the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and compiled them in this light-hearted celebration of getting things done in the garden.
Zoom session, recorded April 1, 2022
Video of Presentation
- 00:00 Introduction
- 01:53 You Can Be Successful
- 03:32 Do a Soil Test
- 07:56 Improve Your Soil
- 13:51 Learn to Share Your Yard with Other Creatures
- 18:15 How to Find Reliable Information
- 20:14 Good Pruners are Worth the Investment
- 22:58 Be Safe
- 25:01 Dig the Right Hole and Plant Safe
- 30:35 Take Care of Your Tools
- 32:21 Know How Much Sun You Have
- 34:33 Find Good Gloves
- 36:57 Climate Change is Here
- 41:58 Dealing with Black Walnuts
- 44:10 Gardens Grow
Chapter Breaks Continued
- 46:00 Always Plan for the Full Size of Your Plant
- 48:54 Garden Design
- 53:55 Smother Your Grass
- 57:25 There is a Difference Between Roots Grown in Water and Roots Grown in Soil
- 1:00:14 Hand Pull Your Weeds
- 1:01:58 Hori Hori Knife
- 1:03:23 Cobrahead Weeder
- 1:04:18 Keeping Herbicide on Weeds
- 1:07:23 Seeds Are Not Scary
- 1:09:18 Use an Ammo Box to Store Seeds
- 1:10:11 Some Plants Pair Really Well
- 1:11:51 Try the “Chelsea Chop”
- 1:14:13 Plan for Proper Support
- 1:16:02 The Right Clothes Make a Difference
- 1:16:40 How to Keep Track of Your Tools
- 1:17:33 Shovels
- 1:18:12 Plant Containers
- 1:22:15 Water Wisely
- 1:23:50 Hose Timer
- 1:24:26 Stretch Out Watering with Ollas
- 1:25:59 Resources
- 1:26:17 Questions
Further Answers to Questions from the Class
I found a few references that I think give some great tool sharpening instructions:
I am hoping to make a video about how to sharpen tools within a few months. When complete, it will be posted on the mgnv.org website.
How long does juglone last in soil?
A publication from Iowa State University answers this question specifically, saying that it takes only a few months after a black walnut is removed for the juglone to break down in the environment. You can read the entire explanation at How long does juglone last in the landscape? Iowa State also has a comprehensive article: Black Walnut: The Killer Tree.
See also MGNV Best Plants for Particular Uses: Black Walnut Tolerant Plants.
What did I plant in my back yard to prevent erosion after removing the ivy?
This question was raised in the chat and answered by another Master Gardener who knows my back yard. But in case anyone else wondered the same thing, I am happy to respond here. I tried to put in as many shade-friendly native plants as possible, combining heavy use of ground covers to hold surface soil, as well as plants with much deeper roots that would hold deeper soil. For ground covers I primarily used Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox), Asarum canadense (Wild ginger), Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower) as well as a variety of ferns. I put in a number of shrubs including Clethra alnifolia (Sweet pepperbush), Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’ and ‘Merlot’ (Virginia sweetspire), Lindera benzoin (Spicebush), Ilex verticillata (Winterberry), Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood), Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw), Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry), and Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea). There are also a variety of native perennial species and ephemerals, as well as some non-native species.
Special thanks to the Extension Master Gardeners who contributed content to this presentation by sharing their wisdom, photos and insight including: Bob Besse, Nancy Brooks, Susan Bruns, Mary Nell Bryant, Beth Buffington, Sandy Burkholder, Majorie Burnett, Nancy Davis, Nicola Farris, Madeleine Faust, Judy Funderburk, Susan Hepler, Joanne Hutton, Joyce Hylton, Beverly Johnston, Paula Kaufman, Kathryn Kellam, Colleen Kennedy, Alison Kindler, Alda Krinsman, Mary Lou Leary, Joan McIntyre, Angela McNamara, Elaine Mills, Wendy Mills, Molly Newling, Paul Nuhn, Susan Pollack, Anne Reed, Elena Rodriguez, and Kirsten Conrad, Extension Agent.