Welcome to NSVMGA Web Site – Your Gardening Resource Center

Sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardeners are volunteer educators within our community who serve the public by assisting local Extension Agents to provide sound and practical gardening information to area property and homeowners.

You will discover Master Gardeners answering questions at your local farm markets, providing garden demonstrations, writing articles for the local media, and responding to inquiries on the “Green Line”.

Navigate this site to find answers to garden questions or to expand your knowledge by utilizing the wide array of resources. Better yet, consider becoming a Master Gardener. Regardless of your outdoor interests, come grow with the Master Gardener Program!

Interested in Learning More About Being a Master Gardener?

Do you enjoy gardening? Love nature? Appreciate the environment? Want to share your outdoor passions with others? Join the next year’s class of Master Gardeners and meet others with your interest(s), update your current knowledge, and help the community grow through your volunteering at education events and programs.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners Association will be holding the 2015 VCE Master Gardener Class in Front Royal, Virginia, beginning in February. Classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and will run until early May. Participants are required to complete a minimum 50 hour course to be followed by 50 volunteer hours to become certified.

Join us for a SEED EXCHANGE this Saturday!

Join VCE Master Gardener Volunteers, Foundation of the State Arboretum Volunteers, and fellow gardeners at the Annual Seed Exchange this Saturday, January 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet in the Library at Blandy Farm.

Bring seeds to share, if you have them, and take home more! There will also be a gardening magazine and book swap, and a few vendors will be on hand. No seeds of invasive species please.

For more information, please call 540-837-1758 extension 224 or contact Donna Downing at 540-667-3778.

Low Cost Water Testing in February — SPACE IS LIMITED!

Virginia Cooperative Extension is offering Northern Shenandoah Valley residents the opportunity to have their water tested in February for 14 common contaminants.  The Drinking Water Clinics give people with private water systems access to affordable water testing, help interpreting their water test results, and information about possible treatment options.  Space is limited.  

At a brief informational meeting, participants pick up a sample kit and get instructions on collecting a household water sample.  Participants collect a sample from their tap at home, complete a short questionnaire, and drop off their sample at the designated location and time.  About four weeks later, participants attend a follow-up meeting to get their confidential test results, an explanation of what the numbers mean, and information on how to handle any problems that are present.

The water testing covers 14 common contaminants, including Iron, Manganese, Sulfate, Hardness, Sodium, Copper, Nitrate, Arsenic, Fluoride, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, Coliform Bacteria, E. Coli Bacteria, and Lead.  The cost for the sample analysis is $49, which is due with pre-registration or at the kick-off meeting where participants receive their sample kit.  Please make checks payable to VCE-Frederick County.

For more information about the Drinking Water Clinics, call your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension at the number below or visit the following link for a copy of the flyer:  http://offices.ext.vt.edu/frederick/WhatsNew/2015-feb-drinking-water-clinic-flyer.pdf

Garden Care Consultations for Homeowners

As you may know, Master Gardeners currently work with homeowners to answer a full range of plant, tree, and lawn care questions by phone and e-mail. As an extension of that service, Master Gardener Teams will now meet with homeowners for site visits to discuss those problems and concerns. The Master Gardeners will then offer suggestions and solutions. This program will cover landscaping issues, plant and disease identification, proper planting and care, and other issues that could arise for homeowners.

Anyone interested in having a Master Gardener Team visit their yard should contact the local Extension Office. Go here to find the nearest Extension Office to you.