Lawn, Gardening & Pests
A yard that feels and looks like home. A bountiful harvest. Grow your own and sow something beautiful.
Get the 2024 Garden Calendar
The WVU Extension Garden Calendar is produced and distributed each year as a service to West Virginia’s many home gardeners and agricultural producers.Fresh from the Garden Calendar
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Master Gardener Program
The WVEMGA helps West Virginians understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, and locations throughout the state.How to Join WVEGMA
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Growing Traditional Winter Potato Onions
Onions are a staple crop in central Appalachia. Before the popular green bunching scallions and bulb onion, multiplier onions were widely grown in gardens throughout West Virginia.
Multiplier onions are often called potato onions or shallots. Unlike traditional onions, multiplier onions produce clusters around a central bulb. As a result, the yield from multiplier onions is much greater than traditional bulb onions.
Gardening is a Way to Connect to Your Appalachian Roots
Dear Friends and Garden Enthusiasts,
A new year always brings a renewed sense of purpose and spirit. Gardening truly feeds our body and our soul. Growing fresh foods and vegetables creates community and fuels better health.
For Appalachians, gardening also is a deeply rooted art form in our culture (hence the title of this year’s calendar - “Back to Our Roots”). To celebrate this heritage, our 2024 garden calendar features a look at some of our traditional, staple crops that hail from Appalachia, as well as some of the lesser known “wild” vegetables that can be added to our garden bounty.
As always, you’ll find interesting articles written by our experts, as well as planting tips, recipes and other great information to make the most of your gardening experience. Our WVU Extension agents and staff are happy to help you grow a plentiful bounty. Feel free to contact your local county office with any questions.
Best wishes for a healthy harvest and wonderful growing season!
Grow a Colorful Potato Patch
Growing Irish potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum) is a family tradition here in the Mountain State. Potatoes are a staple food across the world due to their adaptability, yield, nutritional value and storage quality. Irish potatoes are not roots, but specialized underground storage stems called “tubers.”
Plan ahead for your potato patch. One pound of seed potatoes will yield 10 pounds of usable potatoes. Purchase certified seed potatoes. Do not buy potatoes from a grocery store for planting – most have been chemically treated so they do not sprout.
The Color of Beets
Beets come in many colors – white, golden, red, purple and even candy-striped. Plus, the bright green tops are edible too! Plant a rainbow in your own garden by planting a mixture of varieties like Red Ace, red beets with red-veined leaves; Kestrel, deep red, sweet baby beets; Bull’s Blood, a dark red beet used for the tops; Touchstone Gold, a beet with a bright gold inside and green tops; and Guardsmark Chioggia, an Italian heirloom beet variety that is exceptionally sweet and has concentric rings of white and red inside.
Beets are a cool-season crop harvested for their leaves and roots. Start planting beets in April and seed or transplant every two weeks; however, remember that extended hot, dry weather will not produce quality beets. Beets are an excellent fall crop that can be seeded in August for harvest in October. While beets can tolerate partial shade, they don’t grow successfully with uneven moisture or crowding. Loose soil high in organic matter is best for beets, and keep them covered with soil as they grow to avoid a tough, corky layer from developing. Beets are botanically related to spinach and Swiss chard, so avoid planting beets in the same areas you had these crops for about two years. Harvest when beets are between 1 and 3 inches in diameter.
Rainbow Roots - Colorful Root Crops to Grow in WV
Many West Virginia gardeners grow traditional garden vegetables, such as beans, corn and tomatoes, as well as common root crops, like potatoes. And recently, a variety of new and unexpected colored vegetables have come to market for home gardeners to try and enjoy.
If gardeners are looking to add more color to their garden harvest, there are several bright and unique options that growers might not think about because their produce develops beneath the soil. In addition to potatoes, other root vegetables like radishes and turnips are an excellent choice for gardeners and come in a range of colors.