Resources by P. Diane Relf

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
Plant Propagation from Seed May 1, 2009 426-001
Propagation by Cuttings, Layering and Division May 1, 2009 426-002
Daylilies in Virginia May 1, 2009 426-030
Gardening & Your Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Gardening with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be very difficult, especially when a long day of shoveling, raking, or weed pulling leaves you with a painful or “tingling” hand or wrist. These aches and pains are often caused in part by improper techniques or tools used in gardening.
Jun 1, 2017 426-060 (HORT-245NP)
Gardening and Your Health: Protecting Your Knees and Back
Many gardening tasks require knee strength and stability, whether kneeling, sitting, standing, or walking. The best way to protect knees from the stress and strain is to condition them with strengthening exercises and stretching.
May 22, 2015 426-065(HORT-128P)
Gardening and Your Health: Plant Allergies
Allergic reactions are caused by an overactive immune system response to a foreign substance such as pollen, dust, or molds. When this reaction affects the eyes or nose, it results in allergic rhinitis. Typical symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy watery eyes. When an inflammation affects the bronchial tubes, it results in asthma. Typical symptoms include wheezing and shortness of breath.
Mar 18, 2015 426-067 (HORT-129P)
Home Hydroponics May 1, 2009 426-084
Care of Specialty Potted Plants May 1, 2009 426-101
Annuals: Culture and Maintenance
Annual flowers live only for one growing season, during which they grow, flower, and produce seed, thereby completing their life cycle. Annuals must be set out or seeded every year since they don’t persist. Some varieties will self-sow, or naturally reseed themselves.
Jan 14, 2015 426-200 (HORT-85P)
Flowering Bulbs: Culture and Maintenance
“Bulbs” is a term loosely used to include corms, tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes as well as true bulbs. This publication will refer to all of the above as bulbs. Many vegetables are propagated from or produce edible organs of these types (e.g., tuber, Irish potato; tuberous root, sweet potato; rhizome, Jerusalem artichoke; bulb, onion).
Jan 21, 2015 426-201(HORT-88P)
Planning the Flower Border
Much of the excitement of creating an herbaceous border lies in its great flexibility of design. In form, placement, and selection of plants, the contemporary border follows few rigid rules and allows fullest expression of the gardener’s taste.
Jan 14, 2015 426-202 (HORT-87P)
Perennials: Culture, Maintenance and Propagation May 1, 2009 426-203
Seed For The Garden Apr 21, 2015 426-316 (HORT-153P)
Fertilizing the Vegetable Garden
The amount of fertilizer to apply to a garden depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the amount of organic matter present, the type of fertilizer used, and the crop being grown. The best way to determine fertilizer needs is to have the soil tested. Soil testing is available through your local Extension agent, through private labs, and with soil test kits which can be purchased from garden shops and catalogs.
Apr 16, 2015 426-323 (HORT-144P)
Mulches for the Home Vegetable Garden
Mulching is a practice adaptable to nearly all home gardens. To mulch is simply to cover the soil around plants with a protective material, organic or inorganic.
Mar 20, 2015 426-326(HORT-140P)
Fall Vegetable Gardening May 1, 2009 426-334
Vegetable Gardening in Containers
If you don’t have space for a vegetable garden or if your present site is too small, consider raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables in containers. A window sill, patio, balcony, or doorstep can provide sufficient space for a productive container garden. Problems with soil-borne diseases, nematodes, or poor soil can also be overcome by switching to container gardening.
Mar 18, 2015 426-336 (HORT-141P)
Weeds in the Home Vegetable Garden Apr 22, 2015 426-364 (HORT-157P)
Minimum Chemical Gardening Apr 22, 2015 426-366 (HORT-161P)
Season Extenders Apr 22, 2015 426-381 (HORT-159P)
Asparagus Mar 6, 2015 426-401(HORT-152P)
Beans Apr 16, 2015 426-402 (HORT-145P)
Cole Crops or Brassicas Apr 21, 2015 426-403 (HORT-156P)
Sweet Corn Mar 16, 2015 426-405 (HORT-151P)
Cucumbers, Melons and Squash
Varieties include both the slicer or fresh salad type and the pickle type (which can also be used fresh); vined, dwarfvined and bush varieties; all female or all-female seedless (no pollination required); burpless; and, various mixtures of these characteristics. Disease resistance is available in many varieties.
Mar 16, 2015 426-406 (HORT-147P)
Leafy Green Vegetables
Lettuce, a cool-season vegetable crop, is one of the easiest to grow. Lettuce withstands light frost; however, sunlight and high summer temperatures usually cause seedstalk formation (bolting) and bitter flavor. Slow-bolting or heat-resistant varieties are available and are recommended for extending the lettuce-growing season.
Mar 16, 2015 426-408 (HORT-148P)
Onions, Garlic, and Shallots
Onions are often grouped according to taste. The two main types of onions are strong flavored (American) and mild (often called European). Each has three distinct colors, yellow, white, and red. In general, the American onion produces bulbs of smaller size, denser texture, stronger flavor, and better keeping quality than European types. Globe varieties tend to keep longer in storage.
Mar 16, 2015 426-411(HORT-143P)
Potatoes, Peppers and Eggplant Apr 16, 2015 426-413 (HORT-146P)
Tomatoes
Tomatoes are valuable garden plants in that they require relatively little space for large production. Each standard tomato plant, properly cared for, yields 10 to 15 pounds or more of fruit.Diane Relf, Retired Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Alan McDaniel, Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Ronald Morse, Former Associate Professor, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Reviewed by John Freeborn, Assistant Master Gardener Coordinator, Horticulture, Virginia Tech
Sep 29, 2016 426-418 (HORT-288P)
Sprouting Seeds For Food Jun 1, 2017 426-419 (HORT-154P)
Root Crops Mar 5, 2015 426-422 (HORT-150P)
Vegetables Recommended for Virginia May 1, 2009 426-480
Managing Winter Injury to Trees and Shrubs
It is often necessary to provide extra attention to plants in the fall to help them over-winter and start spring in peak condition. Understanding certain principles and cultural practices will significantly reduce winter damage that can be divided into three categories: desiccation, freezing, and breakage.
Apr 9, 2015 426-500 (HORT-121P)
The Art of Bonsai Mar 3, 2015 426-601 (HORT-158P)
Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons
The spectacular spring flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons make them among the most popular garden shrubs. However, azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. Throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep‑green color to the garden. Some deciduous azaleas add bright fall color before the leaves drop. In winter, some varieties stand out with large, evergreen leaves.
Mar 30, 2015 426-602 (HORT-103P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Rare and Unusual Trees
There are many tree species that can be successfully grown in Virginia, but are rarely seen in our landscapes. Although not ordinarily recommended or readily available, these trees may be useful to carry out a specific landscape theme, to substitute for an exotic type which is not locally adapted, or may be prized for unusual form, flowers, fruits, bark, or foliage.
Jun 18, 2015 426-604(HORT-107P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Conifers
Conifers, also known as narrow-leaved or needled evergreens, are planted primarily for the attractiveness of their evergreen foliage. The variety of sizes, shapes, and colors available contributes to their popularity. Conifers range in size from prostrate plants growing only a few inches tall to large trees. Shapes include flat ground covers; horizontal spreaders; upright, pyramidal forms; and even weeping and contorted forms. Foliage color ranges from a gold and cream variegation to all shades of green, gray-green, and blue-green.
Apr 6, 2015 426-605 (HORT-108P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-Leaved Evergreens
There are a large number of highly ornamental broadleaved evergreens. However, many of them require special attention if they are to develop into attractive, long-lived plants. Wide fluctuations in temperature, prolonged dry periods, drying winds, and bright sunshine are not ideal conditions for most broad-leaved evergreens, yet these conditions frequently occur in Virginia. Good soil preparation and a carefully selected location will help ensure the success of these plants. However, the year-round beauty and special effect that they give to the landscape make them well worth the extra care needed to grow them.
Apr 3, 2015 426-607 (HORT-105P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees
Trees are the basic element for any landscape plan. They set the stage for the entire home grounds design. The type used and their location determine to a great extent what other plantings are appropriate. Providing shade usually requires tall, sturdy, long-living species. Density of foliage, which determines the amount of shading, is important. A tree such as a Norway maple will produce a very dense shade that prevents other plants from growing under it, while a honey locust will produce a light partial shade which is not a hindrance to other plants growing below it. Deciduous trees should be used to shade the south windows of a home in the summer, thus allowing the sun to penetrate in the winter.
Apr 1, 2015 426-610 (HORT-104P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees May 1, 2009 426-611
Environmental Horticulture: Guide to Nutrient Management May 1, 2009 426-613
Pest Management for Water Quality
Research has shown that consumers find reading and understanding the label to be the most difficult aspect of applying pesticides. However, an understanding of the label information is essential before work begins. The label printed on or attached to a container of pesticide tells how to use it correctly and warns of any environmental or health safety measures to take. Read the label when you purchase a pesticide and again before mixing or applying it. If you are confused about any part of the label, consult your Extension agent or a representative of the company that makes the product. Many pesticides now list a toll-free number for consumers. The label includes specific information that you should be aware of and learn to understand.Diane Relf, Extension Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech Reviewed by David Close, Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardener Specialist, Horticulture, Virginia Tech
Mar 18, 2015 426-615 (HORT-138P)
Planting Trees Jun 1, 2017 426-702 (HORT-248NP)
Using Compost in Your Landscape Jun 1, 2017 426-704 (HORT-251NP)
Storing Pesticides Safely Jun 1, 2017 426-705 (HORT-250NP)
Building Healthy Soil Jun 1, 2017 426-711 (HORT-244NP)
Landscaping for Less in the Landfill Jun 1, 2017 426-716 (HORT-243NP)
Establishing Lawns Jun 1, 2017 426-718 (HORT-247NP)
Selecting Turfgrass Jun 1, 2017 426-719 (HORT-249NP)
The Value of Landscaping
Landscaping is an integral part of our culture and plays an essential role in the quality of our environment, affecting our economic well-being and our physical and psychological health. If we are to keep our communities strong and prosperous, we must take responsibility for our environment. Environmental responsibility is a step beyond awareness, developed only through experience. Through our gardens and landscapes, we acquire a personal awareness and responsibility for the environment while we relieve the tensions and frustrations of everyday life.
Nov 17, 2016 426-721 (HORT-234)
Reducing Erosion and Runoff
Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind and deposited somewhere else such as into a stream or at the bottom of a bay. Often soil particles are carried by runoff, water that does not soak into the ground, but flows over the surface and runs to another area – such as into stormdrains, streams, or lakes.
Jun 1, 2017 426-722(HORT-242NP)
Home Landscape Practices to Protect Water Quality
In Virginia, we rely on reservoir systems, wells, and other sources for our freshwater. In recent years, our previously plentiful clean water supplies have been threatened not only by overuse, but also by contamination. Pollutants are carried down with water soaking through the soil to the water table. Runoff (water that does not soak into the ground) flows over the surface, often taking soil and polluting chemicals with it into lakes and streams.
Jul 7, 2017 426-723 (HORT-246NP)
Mulching for a Healthy Landscape
Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind and deposited somewhere else such as into a stream or at the bottom of a bay. Often soil particles are carried by runoff, water that does not soak into the ground, but flows over the surface and runs to another area – such as into stormdrains, streams, or lakes.
Jun 1, 2017 426-724 (HORT-241NP)
Calibrating Your Lawn Spreader May 1, 2009 430-017