Version Notes

This book replaces the 2015 version of the Virginia Master Gardener Handbook. It includes significant changes to organization, factual corrections, content additions, and deletions.

Overall or Major Changes

  • Drawings replaced with photos: Drawings have been selectively replaced with real photos. All drawings related to specific insects and plant damage have been replaced.
  • Changes to wording and sentence structure throughout as recommended by the 2022 Handbook Review Team in order to improve comprehensibility.
  • Corrections to errors and typos throughout.
  • Addition of “call out sections” which highlight EMG projects or special horticultural topics.

Chapter Numbering

  • Previous Chapter 1 “Introduction to Extension Master Gardenering” has been removed and will be replaced with separate manual
  • Combination of previous Chapter 2 “Soils” and Chapter 3 “Nutrient Management” into new Chapter 2 “Soils and Nutrient Management”
  • Previous Chapter 9 “Pesticide Use & Safety” replaced by new Chapter 7 “Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety”
  • New chapter order
  • Addition of Chapter 19 “Virginia Native Plants”

New Chapter Order

  • Chapter 1: Botany (Original CH 2)
  • Chapter 2: Soils and Nutrient Management (Original CH 3 and CH 4)
  • Chapter 3: Entomology (Original CH 5)
  • Chapter 4: Plant Pathology (Original CH 6)
  • Chapter 5: Abiotic Stress (Original CH 7)
  • Chapter 6: Diagnosing Plant Damage (Original CH 8)
  • Chapter 7: Integrated Pest Management (Original CH 9)
  • Chapter 8: Plant Propagation (Original CH 10)
  • Chapter 9: The Vegetable Garden (Original CH 13)
  • Chapter 10: Fruits in the Home Garden (Original CH 14)
  • Chapter 11: Lawns (Original CH 15)
  • Chapter 12: Indoor Plants (Original CH 12)
  • Chapter 13: Woody Landscape Plants (Original CH 16)
  • Chapter 14: Pruning (Original CH 11)
  • Chapter 15: Herbaceous Landscape Plants (Original CH 17)
  • Chapter 16: Landscape Design (Original CH 18)
  • Chapter 17: Water Quality and Conservation (Original CH 19)
  • Chapter 18: Wildlife habitats (Original CH 20)
  • Chapter 19: Native Plants (New)

“Call out Box” Topics and Authors:

  • Ch 1: Green Spring Gardens “Planting Seeds of Hope” A Master Gardener approach to Therapeutic Gardening Kathleen Wellington, Extension Master Gardener, Green Spring Gardens
  • Ch 2: Northern Neck Shoreline Evaluation Program By Ian Cheyne, Extension Master Gardener, Northern Neck
  • Ch 3: Tick populations densest in suburban forests By David Gaines, State Public Health Entomologist Virginia Dept. of Health, Office of Epidemiology
  • Ch 4: Importance of disinfecting tools to prevent spread of plant disease By Mary Ann Hansen, Extension Plant Pathologist, Virginia Tech
  • Ch 9: Lost Crops of Africa for Virginia Farmers By Harbans Bhardwaj, Professor, Virginia State University
  • Ch 11: Healthy Virginia Lawns: Grassroots in Chesterfield By Seth Guy, Environmental Educator, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Chesterfield
  • Ch 12: Indoor Plants and Toxicity for Pets By Marion Ehrich and Dennis Blodgett, Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech
  • Ch 14: Norfolk Master Gardener Crepe Myrtle Pruning By Paulette Crawford, Extension Master Gardener, Norfolk
  • Ch 15: Adapting the Garden for Therapeutic Benefits By Phyllis Turner, Extension Master Gardener, Bedford
  • Ch 16: More Than Just a Pretty Space By Scott Douglas, Director Hahn Horticulture Garden, Virginia Tech
  • Ch 17: From the Rooftops to the Roots – An Integrated Approach to Harvesting Rain Water By Shawn Jadrnicek, Extension Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Roanoke
  • Ch 18: Goochland-Powhatan Extension Master Gardener Habitat Demonstration Garden By Linda Toler, Extension Master Gardener, Goochland-Powhatan

Specific Chapter-Level Changes

Chapter 1: Botany

  • Moved discussion of taxonomy to end
  • Added section on plant cells to beginning
  • Replaced many figures with more clear/demonstrative images
  • Moved discussion of cultivar, taxon, etc. from “Woody Plants” to “Botany”

Chapter 2: Soils and Nutrient Management

  • Combined duplicate discussions of pH
  • Addition of images, including Virginia soils map
  • Added paragraph on urban soils
  • Added paragraph on soil food web
  • Added paragraph on Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

Chapter 3: Entomology

  • Replaced drawings with photos, insect ID lab has reviewed diagrams adapted from the original handbook

Chapter 4: Plant Pathology

  • Replaced drawings with photos

Chapter 5: Abiotic Stress

  • Addition of discussion of CO2 and atmospheric CO2 charts
  • Additional diagrams in salinity section

Chapter 6: Diagnosing Plant Damage

  • Diagnostic key reviewed and updated

Chapter 7: Integrated Pest Management (New, replaces previous “Pesticide Use and Safety” chapter)

  • Chapter rewritten
  • Beginning focuses on IPM and second half deals with pesticide safety

Chapter 8: Plant Propagation

  • Replaced all diagrams of propagation techniques
  • Added coconut coir as an option everywhere sphagnum moss is mentioned

Chapter 9: Vegetables

  • Reworded weed section
  • Removed pest management in the garden and organic pest control (see new Chapter 7 “Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety” instead)
  • Deleted pesticide recommendations and instead refer people to VCE “Pest Management Guide”
  • Rewrite of “Plant Health Management” section
  • Added paragraph on no-till gardening

Chapter 10: Fruits

  • Moved pruning images to pruning chapter

Chapter 11: Turf

  • Removed duplicate discussion of turf varieties
  • Moved “Grass choices for Virginia beach” from end to the recommended varieties section

Chapter 12: Indoor plants

  • Removal of all plant species care sections; replaced with more general descriptions of types of indoor plants
  • Corrections to scientific names

Chapter 13: Woody

  • Moved discussion of cultivars, variety etc. to Chapter 1 “Botany”
  • Moved discussion of buds to botany
  • Addition of woody plant botany section

Chapter 14: Pruning

  • Rearranged chapter
  • Shortened discussion of pruning tools
  • Added pruning fruits images from fruits chapter

Chapter 15: Herbaceous Landscape Plants

  • Corrections to scientific names

17: Water Quality and Conservation

  • Moved and updated section on regulatory agencies
  • Corrected statements on cost of irrigation systems/updated irrigation section

Chapter 18: Wildlife habitats

  • Update name change from Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
  • Updated statements regarding regulatory information

Chapter 19: Native Plants (New)

  • New chapter


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Virginia Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook Copyright © 2023 by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book