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Lawn, Gardening & Pests News

Native Winter Squash

Delicata squash on the vine in the garden.

As summer turns into fall, most of the produce we harvested will begin to decay if not properly frozen, canned or pickled. If you are looking to add another crop to your garden that will keep for a longer period and double as decoration, look no further than a winter squash.

Persimmons

Yellow orange persimmon fruit hanging from tree.

Rich in fiber, antioxidants and countless nutrients – persimmons have been cultivated for hundreds of years. Native persimmons (diospyros virginiana) can grow to 30 to 40 feet. While you can start a persimmon from seed, using a stem cutting will give you an identical copy of the parent tree. There are several different methods that can be used to propagate native persimmon. 

Apple Trees

A red apple hanging from tree.

Although apples are an adapted species, they hold a significant place in West Virginia’s history. One of today’s most popular apple cultivars, Golden Delicious, was found in Clay County in 1912. West Virginia’s star apple was marketed by Stark Brother’s Nursery to obtain nationwide, and eventually worldwide, fame. The Golden Delicious apple was designated as the state fruit in 1995. However, West Virginia was growing apples long before the discovery of the Golden Delicious.

Pawpaw Trees

Green pawpaw fruit hanging from a tree.

With the outward look of a mango and the tropical taste of a banana, native pawpaws may seem as if they belong in more tropical regions. However, pawpaws have a range covering much of the southeastern United States, including West Virginia.  

AgAlert! Cucurbit Downy Mildew

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) has now been found in Monongalia County, West Virginia, as well as neighboring states – Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland. For the latest information, visit the CDM regional map at https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

Cucurbit downy mildew (CDM) is a destructive disease that can affect most members of the gourd family or Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumber, cantaloupe, pumpkin, squash, watermelon and zucchini. However, cucumbers are the worst affected cucurbit that can be completely killed in two weeks from the onset of the disease. 

Join the Fall 2022 Master Gardener Training

female planting in a garden

WVU Extension Master Gardener training, typically offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension offices around the state, will once again be available online via Zoom sessions. 

Three Sisters Gardening Method

Seed packets for each item in the Three Sisters Garden, squash, corn and beans, pinned to a wire fence around a garden.

The Three Sisters Garden can be a fun and rewarding experiment for the family in the backyard vegetable plot. This ancient method dates back to Native American culture. 

Peaches

Ripe peach hanging from a tree.

Peaches are a favorite fruit of many, but growing a peach tree from seed is not the easiest or best way to add this fruit to your home orchard. Vegetative propagation is more common and reliable to ensure that the new tree has the desired characteristics, such as bloom time, disease resistance, cold-hardiness, and the color, size and flavor of the fruit. 

Raspberries & Blackberries

Ripe black raspberry surrounded by unripe raspberries that are still red on the cane.

Blackberries and raspberries spark memories of picking with grandma and mashing them to make a pie. Brambles, which include blackberries and raspberries, are easily grown, and with some care, those memories can continue.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Red heirloom tomato on the vine.

When talking about heirloom tomatoes, West Virginians cannot help but mention the Mortgage Lifter – one of the favorites in the state.