Lewis County Agriculture & Natural Resources
Lawn, Gardening & Pests
Get a yard that feels and looks like home. Get a bountiful harvest. Grow your own and sow something beautiful. WVU Extension has lawn, gardening and pests information you can use.
Lawn, Gardening & Pests News for Lewis County
Boxwood blight is a fungal disease that affects one of West Virginia's most popular landscape shrubs.
Boxwood blights are a fungal disease that can be fatal if no measures are taken to manage the disease at the early stage of infection and symptom appearance. There are two different fungal pathogens involved with blights – Volutella buxi and Calonectria pseudonaviculata.
WVU Extension Master Gardener training, which used to be offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension offices around the state, will once again be available online via Zoom sessions.
WVU Extension will continue offering online Master Gardener training classes for late winter/spring 2024 term, beginning on January 11 through May 2. Classes will be held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Compost has traditionally been used by growers not only for supplying nutrients to the soil and plant but also due to its multiple beneficial attributes, such as balancing pH, enhancing water holding capacity, and boosting soil structure and beneficial microbial populations to improve overall soil quality for plant growth and development. Compost can hold nutrients for a longer time and deliver to plants when needed. Nutrients found in compost are released slowly as the compost decomposes, reducing nutrient loss through prevention of off-site movement. Despite all these benefits, herbicide contaminated composts can do lots of harm to plants, especially to those belonging to the family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Plant distortion due to growth regulator type herbicide is shown in Figure 1.
Practical economic strategies. Investments in local growers. Farming like our future depends on it. WVU Extension offers timely, research-based agriculture information you can put into practice.
Agriculture News for Lewis County
Ben Goff, WVU Extension Agent in Mason and Putnam counties, offers recommendations for landowners and tenants who want to prepare for the upcoming farming season and work to minimize their respective risks.
Goff covers a variety of tips for farmers and landowners regarding farm leases, including:
The Pasture Management Certificate Training is offered as part of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College Agricultural Innovation Workforce Trainings & Certifications.
Instructed by Kevin Shaffer, Ed Rayburn and Ben Goff from WVU Extension, this certification will teach farmers how they can improve sustainability to their operation by improving their pasture management so there is more available forage year-round.
Join us and our special guests every Friday at 10 a.m., for Mountaineer Farm Talk! Learn, share, laugh and enjoy a cup of cowboy coffee (or herbal tea for non-coffee drinkers). We encourage audience participation so have your questions ready.
Meeting ID: 989 9130 7779O or call 888-475-4499 and 877-853-5257 US Toll-free.
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Land you can take pride in. Nature you can appreciate. Keep wild and wonderful just that. WVU Extension has natural resources information from trusted experts.
Natural Resources News for Lewis County
Join us as we dive into the opportunities and challenges related to sustaining and harvesting white oak trees in West Virginia.
Tuesday, February 2
Join us as we dive into a variety of educational topics and learn more about how we can be better stewards of West Virginia's woodlands.
Tuesday, February 9
Forms are available as PDFs. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free, if needed.
Soil testing is the easiest and most reliable method of assessing a soil’s nutrient status. It provides a basis for recommending the correct amount of lime and fertilizer to apply for crops and pastures. Soil testing also allows an expert to predict the probability of obtaining a yield or growth response to lime and fertilizer application.
How Often to Sample
- Row crops and hayfields: Every one or two years or when crops are rotated.
- Permanent pastures: Every 3 - 4 years.
- Vegetable gardens: Every 1 - 2 years.
- Lawns and turf: Every 3 - 5 years.
West Virginia University offers free soil analysis to residents. Your county Extension agent can assist you in your effort to collect good soil samples and also to understand the results of analysis.
When to Sample
Soil samples taken in late summer and fall are better than those taken in winter through early spring because they come closer to representing the soil’s nutrient status as it affects crops. Avoid taking samples when soil is wet or frozen because it will be difficult to handle and mix them. Do not take soil samples immediately after applying lime or fertilizer; wait several months or even longer if the weather is dry.
Send samples to a soil testing laboratory well before you need the recommendations. Allow about three weeks for the samples to be processed and the results to be sent to you. Samples sent to the laboratory between March and June may take longer to process. Avoid delays by sending samples between July and December.
Where to Sample
Adequately assess the nutrients that plant roots may encounter in soils, at least five to ten randomly selected soil borings should comprise the composite sample submitted to the laboratory. Five to eight borings will be enough for small areas such as lawns and gardens. If a field is large, subdivide it into 10-acre sections and take at least 20 borings from each 10 acres (or about two to three borings per acre). In West Virginia, it is helpful to divide the field into distinct slope/soil classes and take borings within each class to make a sample. Different slope classes generally have different parent materials and different soils.
Exclude or take separate samples from areas not characteristic of the field, lawn or garden such as wet spots, eroded areas, bare spots, back furrows, field edges. When the field has several soil types or crop conditions, take separate borings for each soil type or slope class and send a separate sample for each. No single sample submitted to the laboratory should represent an area larger than 10 acres.
How to Sample
Using an auger, shovel or spade and a clean plastic pail or container, take small uniform cores or thin slices from the soil surface to the recommended depth (see the following paragraph). Gently crush the soil and mix it thoroughly, discarding any roots or stones. Do not send wet soil, but air dry it on a clean surface in a shady spot before mailing. Not only does wet soil cost more to mail, but your results also will be delayed because the laboratory must still air dry the sample. Do not heat the sample.
Send at least 1 cup (a handful) of soil to the laboratory in a plastic bag. (The
WVU soil test mailer contains a sandwich bag to fill and place in the cloth bag.)
Remember to include your name and address and other information on the sheets provided
by the laboratory.
How Deep to Sample
Sample the soil to the depth in which your crops are or will be growing.
- Permanent pastures: Remove organic debris from the soil surface; sample the top 2 inches.
- Hay fields: Remove organic debris from the soil surface; sample the top 4 to 6 inches.
- Row crops: Sample the soil to the depth of tillage.
- No-till crops: Sample the top inch and take a second sample from the depth of 1 to 6 inches.
- Vegetable gardens and planting beds: Sample the soil to tillage depth.
- Lawns and turf: Sample the top 2 inches in established lawns and turf and the top 1 to 4 inches in new turf plantings.
How to Complete the WVU Soil Test Submission Form
Soil test submission forms are available at your local WVU Extension office or you can download a copy directly from this website. Two versions of the submission form are available — a print-only version that can be filled out with a pen or pencil OR a digital version that can be completed using a computer or tablet. If possible, it is recommended that you use the digital version of the form because the typed information is easier for our lab staff to read as they enter it into the database.
Using the digital version also allows you to save a copy to your computer or tablet so your customer information will be included for future use. The digital version has drop-down menus to assist the customer with entering their county location and planned crop code. If you are planning to grow an agronomic crop, which includes crop codes C01 through C021, you'll also need to enter the predominant soil series using that drop-down menu.
If you need help, you can learn more by reading our instructions to determine your field's soil series. Determining your predominant soil series and then entering it in the submission form allows the recommendation system to incorporate the soil's productivity potential.
If your planned crop has a crop code starting with H, W or V, then leave the soil series box blank. Soil productivity potentials have not been developed for these crops.
The WVU Soil Testing Lab provides a basic analysis, including soil pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and degree of phosphorus saturation. Additional analysis is available. These include organic matter determination (OM), electrical conductivity (EC) and a micronutrient package (MN). Select the optional test you need by checking the box on the form, and then, go to the WVU Soil Test Store to make the purchase.
Visit WVU Extension's store online. Once you have completed your purchase, record your transaction number on the submission form.
Each soil sample that you wish to have tested requires a separate submission form.
This is another benefit to using the digital form. Your customer information
will remain the same, so all you'll need to do is edit the sample data information
section with sample ID, crop code and size of area, and then, print the form for
each sample. Fold the form in half and wrap it around the soil sample in the plastic
bag. Use a rubber band to keep the form and the sample bag together. Always identify
the soil sample bag with the sample ID in case the form and sample become separated
Weston Tailgate Market
A tailgate farmer’s market operates through the growing season in front of Appalachian Glass along Rt. 33, east of Weston. Most, if not all, vendors are certified to accept vouchers from the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
When operating, the tailgate market is open Tuesday from 3-6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
New producers/vendors are welcome. There are a just a few simple guidelines that must be followed.
Questions? – contact Bruce Loyd