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Garden Notes: Feb. 17, 2013

By Staff reports

Extension workshops

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Preparing gardeners for the spring season is the focus of a new series of workshops, hosted by the West Virginia State University Extension Service at the Kanawha County Public Library. The series targets backyard gardeners, as well as groups looking to establish community, youth or adaptive gardens.

"With the spring season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider planting a garden of your own or combining efforts with others to establish a community garden," said Melissa Stewart, extension specialist for agriculture and natural resources. "Community gardens are wonderful for uniting residents to work together toward achieving a common goal."

The courses will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. with the following topics and dates:

Feb. 26: Site selection and preparation

March 12: Garden design and plant spacing

March 26: Plant selection and growing techniques

April 23: Raised beds and container gardening

April 30: Insect and disease management

Each workshop is free and open to the public. To register, contact Brad Cochran at 304-541-3301 or bcochran2@wvstateu.edu. The Kanawha County Public Library is located at 123 Capitol St., Charleston.

Centennial tomatoes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the state of West Virginia begins preparations to celebrate its 150th birthday, West Virginia University Extension is offering home gardeners a limited supply of seeds for the West Virginia 63, a blight-resistant tomato developed at WVU. The seeds are "open pollinated," meaning the seeds may be saved year after year.

The tomato, bred by WVU professor emeritus Mannon Gallegly, was created to resist late blight and was unveiled in 1963 as part of West Virginia's centennial celebration.

"Overall, it's a good canning tomato and a good slicing tomato for the table," said Gallegly, who retired in 1986.

To claim a packet of seeds, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to WV-63 Tomato, P.O. Box 6108, Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Unit, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108.

Seeds will be mailed out beginning March 4, with a limit of one packet per household, while supplies last. Seeds also can be requested through local WVU Extension offices. Extension agent John Porter says that the Kanawha County Extension office will be offering seed packets on a first-come, first-served basis and that there are plans to distribute seedlings in early May.

Call 304-720-9573 or email John.Porter@mail.wvu.edu.


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