WVU Extension

Sponsors Needed for
4-H Camp T-Shirts
Sponsors are needed for the Pocahontas County 4-H Camp T-shirts this summer. All sponsors are asked to contribute $50 and their names will be printed on the back of the camp T-shirts that are given to every 4-Her attending county camp. If any business, organization, or individual is interested in being a 2015 sponsor, please call the Extension Office at 304-799-4852 by April 20.

4-H Recycling Contest
The Solid Waste Authority is sponsoring a contest among all Pocahontas County 4-H Clubs to see which club can collect the most newspapers, magazines and catalogs (by weight) between March 6 and April 25. Contact your local 4-H club leader today for all the details on how your club can participate and compete for cash prizes.

Pocahontas Producers Spring Sale Schedule
Regular Sale/Cow Sale – Saturday, April 18, 2 p.m.
Regular Sale – Saturday, May 23, 2 p.m.
Regular Sale – Saturday, June 20, 2 p.m.

Smart selections
Beyond the longer days, warmer weather and budding trees, spring’s onset signals that the last pesky frost is right around the corner, and seedlings will soon take their place in the soil to begin the growing season.
While the sidewalks of grocery and box stores may be stacked with flowers and plants ready for purchase, Larry Campbell, West Virginia University Extension Service agriculture and natural resource agent for Harrison County, advises garden- ing hopefuls to consider a few critical elements before hitting the checkout line.
Because frosts are still cause for concern well into May, it is important to not purchase plants too early. Doing so will just cause the grower to preserve them until the appropriate planting time, which can contribute to a plant’s declined condition, warned Campbell.
Approaching the date of the last frost – which the WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar predicts to be around May 15 —gardeners should visit a reputable nursery or vendor that sells healthy, disease- and pest-free plants.
When browsing the selection, gardeners should consider what varieties to plant based on – sunlight, soil and space.
Campbell first recommends observing the proposed garden space to see if it drains properly and receives the proper amount of sunlight. Most plants need approximately eight hours of sunlight, and only some plants will thrive in shady or partly sunny locations.
Beyond sun and moisture conditions, first-time gardeners should test their soil for proper nutrients and pH levels. If the soil needs improvement, supplies should be purchased several months in advance of planting.
“Soil is critical to a plant’s success,” Campbell said. “Our first recommendation before starting a garden or flowerbed is to do a soil test, which will reveal how acidic or alkaline the soil is.”
West Virginia soil tends to be acidic, which can be corrected by routine lime applications several months before planting, he said.
West Virginia has a range of temperature zones, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the majority of the state’s elevations are best suited for zone-six plants.
Campbell advises gardeners to have fun with the gardening process.

“You can follow every bit of advice and still have the occasional gardening misstep,” said Campbell. “Gardening is a learning process, and good gardeners are ones who roll with the punches and let that be a lesson learned for the following year.”
For more information on planning a spring garden, visit the “Gardening 101” section of WVU Extension Service’s website at www.anr.ext.wvu.edu/lawn_garden/gardening-101.

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