Plants Map at Earth Day Events


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Earth Day, General Interest, Plants Map | Posted on 06-04-2014

Every April communities around the world celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, an environmental movement that began on April 22, 1970. 

Plants Map is excited to be participating in two local Earth Day events to introduce our website. Come out and join us!

April 12 – Fredericksburg (VA) Earth Day at Old Mill Park from 11am to 3pm

April 26 – Richmond (VA) Earth Day at the 17’th Street Farmers Market from 11am-5pm

Read More:

Fredericksburg Area: 2nd Annual Living in the Garden Symposium


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Cooperative Extension, Gardening, General Interest | Posted on 31-03-2014


Location: Lee Hall, University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Time: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Sponsors: Master Gardener Association of the Central Rappahannock Area & The Virginia Cooperative Extension, Stafford County.


The Flora of Virginia Project & Recent Changes in Plant Names

Seeing Tees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees

Revolution of the Kitchen Garden Past to Present

Tour of the University of Mary Washington Grounds

Registration Deadline is May 10

Cost (includes a box lunch): $40

For more information: Guy Mussey at VCE Stafford Office 540-658-8000

Symposium Brochure:

The Plants Map Survey Results


Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 24-03-2014

As we were launching Plants Map in February, we ran a survey on gardening activities and interests. We want to share with you what we learned and also thank everyone who took the time to help us out. We had terrific participation from people all over the country: 35 states were represented! We were even more impressed that the completion rate on the survey was above 90%.  To read about the survey results and the winner of the iPad, please read our Plants Map Journal entry: The Plants Map Community by the Numbers


Once again, thank you for taking the Plants Map survey and we hope that you will soon be sharing what your planting and growing in your gardens with us!



King George & Stafford County Well Water Clinics from Virginia Cooperative Extension


Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 20-03-2014

The Stafford and King George County Virginia Cooperative Extension Offices are conducting a Well Water Clinic & Testing meeting on March 24th.

For just $49 you will be given a sampling kit and instructions, as well as an informational meeting to explain it all. The samples are sent to Virginia Tech for analysis. It is a very extensive test and gives you a good read on the condition of your well water. The interpretation meeting will give you an explanation of possible treatments should your results indicate an issue.  For more information visit the Virginia Household Water Quality Program.

Kickoff Meeting: March 24
Sample Drop-off Date: March 26
Interpretational Meeting: April 30

If you live in King George call the King George Extension Office at 540-775-3062 for details.

If you live in Stafford contact the Stafford Extension Office at (804) 633-6550 for details.

Last year I participated and the report was very detailed, the collection process was clearly explained and simple to do, and the follow up meeting on the results was very educational. Well worth the time and money.  A test of this extent by a commercial provider would be around $200 I believe.




Proper Pruning


Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 20-03-2014

One of my favorite gardening activities is pruning. I admit that I am addicted to it. I like to observe the way plants respond to pruning with new growth and I love to ‘groom’ my plants.

So what is pruning? Please see my article at Plants Map on How to Properly Prune Trees & Shrubs. Thanks!



Plants Map Launches Non-Profit Organization Profiles


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Botanical Gardens, Cooperative Extension, General Interest, Plants Map, Social Gardening | Posted on 18-03-2014

Explore Organizations on Plants MapPlants Map is reaching out to non-profit organizations like plant societies, garden clubs, public gardens, arboretums, neighborhood parks, botanical gardens, community gardens, civic tree programs and others to join Plants Map. One of our goals is to connect people who want to explore and discover plants, trees, and gardens to related non-profit organizations.

For more information visit: Non-Profit Organizations on Plants Map 

Explore Organizations at:

Grow your world on Plants Map: Explore, Map, Discover.



Fredericksburg Area: Spring Seedling Sale & VCE Lawn and Home Landscape Programs


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, General Interest, Lawn Care, Plant Sale, Trees | Posted on 13-03-2014

I just wanted to share a few local items of interest for those in the Fredericksburg (Virginia) area.

1) The Tri-County Soil &  Water Conservation District is holding their annual Tree Seedling & Rain Barrel Sale. Visit their website for more information and for a pre-order form (must be received by March 28, 2014). The pick up date is April 5th and you can choose from 4 area locations to pick-up. I have purchased the rain barrel previously and it’s better than others I have owned. Easy to install, nice capacity, and less expensive than the same one available at box retail stores.  The seedlings are between $10-$20 in bundles of 3, 6 or more and include a lilac, dogwoods, birch, indigobush, pines, redbud, and more.  Reminder, these are little seedlings. But a great opportunity to plant with children that love to watch things grow! Or for the new homeowner that wants a lot of trees and shrubs and doesn’t mind the wait of them to mature.

If you are not in the Fredericksburg area?  Many soil and water conservation districts across the country have spring seedling sales so search for your state and local soil and water conservation district. They are a great resource for information, education and programs on water conservation and other environmentally friendly best practices that relate to lawns and gardening.


2) The VCE Stafford County Office will be offering their very popular Smart Green Lawn Program again this year.  When a homeowner submits the enrollment form with a nominal fee, a master gardener will come to your home and take soil samples and measure your lawn. After the soil test results, you will receive a lawn care handbook and a customized lime & fertilizer plan for your lawn.  Reminder: it is always best to do a soil test before applying any fertilizer. It saves you money and saves the environment too.


3) The VCE Stafford County Office is also offering an 8 week program, The Home Landscape Course for the Gardening Novice for homeowners. Topics include soils, fertilizing, pruning, lawn care, composting, plant pests and more.  The course is Thursday evenings (6:30pm-8:30pm) from April 3-May22. Contact the  VCE Stafford County Office for more information and to register. 


Check out these great local resources and remember, it’s almost Spring folks! 






Starting Seeds? Resources and Tips


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Cooperative Extension, Gardening, General Interest, Seed, Vegetables | Posted on 07-03-2014


seedlingsThinking about starting some plants from seed? It’s that time of year again.

I have to admit I am really just a small scale seed starter sticking to the easiest vegetables and annuals. My favorite vegetables to start are tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, radishes, corn, cucumbers, summer squash, and mini-pumpkins. You can see my  2014 Vegetable Garden  plans on Plants Map.

My favorite annuals to start are Angelonia, Ornamental Peppers, Violas and Pansies.  This year I have winter sown a couple of perennial seeds given to me as a gift and started a 2014 Seeds Started Collection for my garden on Plants Map.

Read More on Plants Map: How to Start a Garden From Seed

If you are like me and need some visual ideas to help get you started see this Pinterest Board: Plants Map/Seed Starting Ideas.

I also invite you to plant a seed and start your garden on Plants Map! Share what your starting from seed and growing this year by starting a garden on Plants Map too.




And For Further Reading: The New Seed-Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel


A better way to share your gardens: Plants Map!


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Botanical Gardens, Gardening, General Interest, Plants Map, Social Gardening | Posted on 05-03-2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 7.05.16 PM

Plants Map is a new social media website to connect people with plants. We invite you to share your plants and gardens with others to help us grow Plants Map.

Visitors have open and free access to Explore and Discover plants, gardens, and organizations. There are no pay walls to the plant database. Individual profiles are free and do not require a membership or subscription.

How to Grow Your World on Plants Map:
Start an Individual Profile



Protecting Plants and Gardens from Winter Damage


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, General Interest, Weather | Posted on 03-03-2014

Snow Pic


March 2014: Here we snow again!  Another winter storm system sweeping the country with ice, snow, wind, and extreme cold.  We are all now familiar with the term Polar Vortex: it means really stinking cold.

For resources on how to protect plants and gardens from potential winter issues see Plants Map: How to Protect Plants and Gardens from Winter Damage

And a benefit of the winter season?  It allows us time to review last years garden and to plan and dream for this year’s garden.  Look through photos and make lists of new ideas.  On Plants Map you can explore gardens and plants and add your own garden today while it’s still snowing.