News & Features

Virginia Farm Bureau News & Features is your place for news and information from around Virginia. From gardening tips and recipes to politics and events, stay up to date with what matters to Virginians.

Lilacs not blooming? See if they get enough light

Lilacs not blooming? See if they get enough light
Lilacs in bloom are a lush, purple highlight on a home landscape, but if your lilac bush didn’t bloom this year, horticulturalist Mark Viette of Viette Nurseries in Augusta County has a solution.



Recycled trees are post-holiday gifts for the environment

Recycled trees are post-holiday gifts for the environment
Jennifer Gagnon, Virginia Forest Landowner Education program coordinator, said fresh-cut Christmas trees can be recycled or repurposed into natural products, wildlife habitat or feeding areas to attract wildlife.



New list identifies invasive plants in Virginia

New list identifies invasive plants in Virginia
Virginians considering adding English ivy, golden bamboo or Japanese barberry to their yards might want to reconsider. Those plants and 87 others are on the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s new list of non-native invasive plants at dcr.virginia.gov.



Sweet potatoes: The other orange seasonal standout

Sweet potatoes: The other orange seasonal standout
Pumpkins may take center stage in fall decorations and desserts, but sweet potatoes are the real autumn stars when it comes to home gardens.



Make the holidays last longer—plant your Christmas tree

Make the holidays last longer—plant your Christmas tree
Enjoy your Christmas tree year-round when you buy it live and plant it in your garden or home landscape.



Giving bulbs as holiday gifts is long-standing tradition

Giving bulbs as holiday gifts is long-standing tradition
The practice of giving flower bulbs as a gift dates back to Colonial Virginia. And so do questions about how to care for the resulting blooms through the winter.



Blending your own birdseed draws a diverse flock to feeders

Many Virginians enjoy feeding birds in their garden, and a custom-blended birdseed mix can draw a loyal and diverse crowd to the feeder.



Mulch has multiple functions in the garden

There are many types of mulch to choose from when buying garden supplies. Some is mixed into soil as a conditioner, while other types are used as a top layer that holds in moisture, stabilizes soil temperature and deters weeds.



Plant hardiness zones shift; conditions average 5 degrees warmer

Just in time for spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an updated Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the country.



Soil tests can get home gardens off to a good start

Virginia gardeners are no doubt eager to start planting flowers, vegetables and lawns. But slow down and make sure you have the right information first, said Chris Mullins, a Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist.



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