For a lot of people, lawn maintenance means little more than an occasional mow and watering as needed. For some, the low-maintenance method may create a decent carpet of greenery. However, for a lawn to thrive, there are many more steps that need to be taken in order to cultivate a healthy, disease-and-weed-free yard. That is where the VA Cooperative Extension comes in. There is a lot of science behind lawn and landscape care. While you may not need a degree in horticulture to grow a green lawn, it helps to have access to the knowledge of professors, scientists, researchers, and other turf care experts without having to pay through the nose for it.
About the VA Cooperative Extension
The Virginia Cooperative Extension program is a tag-team effort between Virginia State University and Virginia Tech. Their objective is to put university knowledge into the hands of people. Their efforts include over 100 local offices throughout the state committed to making a difference in the way we use and preserve our natural resources. For the average homeowner or lawn care professional, this knowledge can be invaluable in helping manage the way we look at agriculture–both at home and the workplace. The extension programs are designed to make a difference and improve the lives of people not only across Virginia but around the world for generations to come.
Valuable Lawn Care Research
The Cooperative Extension program uses the land-grant model for research, education, and outreach. Their website is filled with relevant knowledge for homeowners and lawn service professionals to take their yard care skills to another level and enhance communities, families, agriculture, and the world.
These pages are committed to answering questions as it pertains to growing and maintaining a home garden and landscape. Questions such as, “what will make this plant grow better?” and “how can I protect and improve the soil?” are addressed by Extension turf care specialists and master gardener volunteers.
In these pages, users can find just about any information pertaining specifically to maintaining and cultivating a beautiful and healthy green lawn. With over 40 different topics addressed here, users can learn about everything lawn care related, from establishing lawns from seed or sod to calibrating their fertilizer spreader properly to using lawn spraying equipment. Other topics touch upon lawn treatments, including weed control recommendations based on specific weed types and lawn fertilization based on grass type.
Here, users can find much of the same information as in the “lawn care research” pages, though there is more geared towards lawn care professionals. Also in these pages is a wealth of information regarding urban turf care and maintenance, pest control, soil sampling, and dozens of other topics to make turf care a breeze.
Weeds are the bane of existence for lawn care services and homeowners on properties that have not adhered to lawn treatment programs that prescribe consistent weed control applications throughout the year. They are also the number one reason for diminished yields in crops, pastures, lawn and garden, and many other areas. These pages contain information on weed identification and lawn treatments to help control and eliminate these invasive plants and promote the health and wellness of your plants and turf through smart weed control measures.
With weeds wreaking such havoc on plant life, this weed directory is a great resource to help identify weeds and weed seedlings that are commonly found throughout Virginia and the Southeastern United States. Users can search by common name alphabetically, and click on pictures to help aid in identification. There is also a link to extension research literature, references, and identifying grassy weeds.
In these pages, users can read articles pertaining to all things weeds. In-depth research and articles help understand the impact weeds can have on agriculture and the environment. Topics include prevention and control of specific species, pesticide applicator manuals, and dozens of other issues as they pertain to weeds and invasive plants.
Disease is another fairly common issue among plants, and identifying and treating disease is extremely important to eliminate the complete blight of crops and plants. These pages cover a variety of plant disease issues in an in-depth look at them and their impact on horticulture.
These pages are dedicated to resources for garden insect pests. Among these articles are in-depth research pages that cover everything from applying pest control agents to insect identification guides. One of the most valuable resources on this page for all homeowners is the annual Pest Management Guide for Home Grounds and Animals.
Planting trees and shrubs is as much skill and knowledge as it is an art form and a little bit of luck. It is rarely as easy as merely digging a hold and stuffing the roots inside and covering them up. These pages are designed to help homeowners plant trees, identifies low-maintenance options for Virginians, fertilizing, watering, identifying diseases, and dozens of other topics of relevance to planting and maintaining trees, shrubs, and groundcovers.
For those who prefer to learn by watching videos, the VA Extension Program offers a multitude of educational videos. Many of them are how-to in nature, though there are plenty of educational videos to help enhance and expand knowledge. Topics include lawn aeration, composting, plant viruses, cover crops, and many more for the audio-visual learner.
The combined efforts of Virginia State University and Virginia Tech give homeowners a head start on grass care and maintaining a wonderfully healthy and beautiful landscape. By having access to the knowledge of researchers, professionals, and master gardeners with programs and resources, the Extension Program gives homeowners a leg up. Lawn care pros can also glean a lot of knowledge from these pages by applying the research and knowledge to their business practices to create environmentally friendly solutions to lawn care needs.