Taylor 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 Taylor 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 Taylor 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 Taylor 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.
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.
The WVU Extension Master Gardener Program provides people interested in gardening with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills by taking part in Basic/Level 1 and Advanced/Level 2 training programs that provide in-depth training in various aspects of horticulture.
The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.
Benefits of becoming a WVU Extension Master Gardener
Among the many benefits for getting involved with the WVU Extension Master Gardener program, here are the highest-ranking ones:
- Getting to know more about gardening and horticulture to expand personal horizons and be able to help others
- Significant improvements in quality of life, including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem and nutrition
- Offers opportunities for professional development through continuing training opportunities
- Meeting like-minded people and engaging in the garden activities you are passionate about
- Opportunities to assume responsibility
- Encourages individual independence
- Gaining respect in the community for your newly developed horticultural skills
- Flexibility to conduct volunteer work
How do you join?
The first step is to contact your county office and ask about the training program.
Under normal circumstances, the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program is offered
local WVU Extension offices. The training program has been migrated to an online-hybrid platform.
You will still need to contact your local WVU Extension office to go over the registration,
fees, paperwork and how to get the manuals.
The Winter/Spring 2024 training series will run from January 11 until May 2. Classes will be held every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Over the course of the 17-session online training program, you will receive 51 hours of instruction in a variety of topics, including botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil science and nutritional management, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants, garden wildlife management and West Virginia native plants.
From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener.Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Application
Extension Master Gardener Policy Statement & Guidelines
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Agreement
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Code of Conduct