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Lawn, Gardening & Pests News

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.

Rhubarb

Red stalks of rhubarb plants in a garden.

Rhubarb is a venerable garden crop in West Virginia, but it is becoming a forgotten vegetable. Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that can produce for more than 10 years. The rhubarb plant has very large leaves with thick leaf stalks. The leaf stalks can be red or green and are typically harvested when they reach a length of 12 to 18 inches in mid- to late spring in West Virginia. While red stalks are slightly sweeter, green stalk varieties yield more.

Wild Ramps

Bunches of wild ramps along forest floor in spring.

Ramps announce the arrival of spring in the woods. Many folks eagerly anticipate using the savory plants as a spring tonic to get them out of the winter blues. Ramps are known as wild leeks, which are native to West Virginia. They belong to the lily family and are close relatives of the onion and garlic. Ramps take advantage of the early spring sunlight to grow before the trees leaf out. The foliage remains green for approximately six weeks, turns yellow and then disappears. The bulbs, like onions, remain in the soil.

Wild Elderberries

Elderberries hanging from wild elderberry plant.

Elderberries are native to eastern North America and have many essential nutrients for health. To grow wild elderberries from your own land, identify a healthy wild plant that produces abundant fruit. Then, follow one of the three methods below. 

Become a Master Gardener in Spring 2022

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. 

Grafting as Plant Propagation

An apple hangs from a tree branch.

Vegetative, or clonal, propagation is the only way to get genetically identical copies of an individual plant.  

How Pathogens Infect Plants

An unidentified culture.

Pathogens are disease-causing organisms usually in the group of microscopic biotic agents. These organisms can survive all over the environment – air, water, soil and even on the surface of seeds and transplants.