New Grow for Your Neighbor initiative, Fredericksburg (VA)


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, General Interest, Square Foot Gardening, Vegetables | Posted on 17-04-2014

Grow For Your Neighbor kick-off event on Saturday, May 3rd

at the Fredericksburg Home Depot (Gateway Boulevard) Community Day; 9am-2pm

“What is Grow For Your Neighbor? GFYN is the people, organizations and businesses who support and participate in the movement to provide homegrown food to the recipients of the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. Did you know the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank accepts donations of homegrown fruits and vegetables?”

This year Grow For Your Neighbor and donate a portion of your garden produce Saturdays at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market. Please consider donating a portion of your homegrown produce Saturdays from 9 AM until 12 PM at the Spotsylvania Farmers Market Route 3/Gordon Road Commuter Lot Spotsylvania,VA

to order a Square Foot Gardening Kit to pick up on May 3rd. 

Kick-Off Event: May 3, 2014 Square Foot Gardening Demos! 
GFYN is proud to host The Square Foot Gardening Foundation of Columbia, South Carolina as we kick off the growing season with garden installations, workshops and demonstrations. Join us Saturday May 3rd at The Fredericksburg Home Depot (Gateway Shopping Center) or The Spotsylvania County Farmers Market for free Square Foot Gardening for Demonstrations and Instruction by The Square Foot Gardening Foundation.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CERTIFIED SQUARE FOOT GARDENING INSTRUCTOR? Join the Square Foot Gardening Foundation on May 5th and 6th for their intensive course.

For more information on GFYN, the May 3rd kick-off event, to order a Squar Foot Gardening Kit, or to register for the May 5 & 6 SFG course visit


Grow For Your Neighbor is also on Plants Map!
Visit Plantsmap: Grow For Your Neighbor


What are we going to do about the Lawn?


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Gardening, General Interest, Lawn Care, Plants Map | Posted on 17-04-2014

“What are we going to do about the lawn?”

Do you often find yourself asking this same question? A common question when your lawn doesn’t look nearly as beautiful as a PGA golf course.

But should it?

See: Lawn Care Tips & Resources from Plants Map

Soil is the Secret


Posted by justtracy | Posted in General Interest | Posted on 09-04-2014

“Consider what each soil will bear, and what each refuses.” Virgil 

Your soil is an underlying important aspect to growing healthy and happy plants and gardens.

I grew up in Illinois where the soil was acidic. In Virginia my first garden was in clay soil. I moved to Alabama where the rocky soil was referred to as chert. And while we lived in New York I got a taste of alkaline soil. And now I am back to good old Virginia clay.  When people ask me how different gardening most be in those various climates I actually respond that the climate was not as much a factor as was the difference in the soils. When I transitioned from master gardener programs, I would always take over again the soil class. Knowing your local soil characteristics is the key to choosing plants and making informed gardening choices to amend if needed.

Read more at Plants Map: The Secret is in the Soil: Growing Healthy Plants

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!