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Virginia Certified Pesticide Applicator Training

We offer multiple opportunities each year for Commercial Pesticide Applicators to renew their licenses.  Commercial Pesticide Licenses expire every two years on June 30.

Upcoming Commercial Recertification Classes for 2022-2023

We will hold the following classes in person. Registration is required.  Check back for more  details or contact the office listed below.
  • January 6, 2023 - Virginia Beach VCE 757-385-4769
    Public Utilities Operations Building, Virginia Beach, VA
    Categories 3a, 3b, 10, 60
    Registration coming Winter 2022
  • March 15, 2023 - Portsmouth VCE 757-393-5314
    Portsmouth Moose Lodge, Chesapeake, VA
    Categories 3a, 3b, 10, 60
    Registration coming Winter 2022/2023

    May 11, 2023 - Hampton VCE 757-727-1401
  • Location TBD
    Categories 3a, 3b, 5a, 6, 7a, 7b, 8, 10, 60
    Registration coming Spring 2023
If you have questions relating to turf and lawn, horticulture, gardening, pruning,  pesticides, master gardener or pond questions, please email the Horticulture Extension Agent, Cyndi Wyskiewicz at or call (757) 393-5314.
Winter is for Prunin
Below are several VCE publications on pruning trees and shrubs.   See PDFs.

Gardening Classes and Workshops

Master Gardener lectures at the Portsmouth Library- Churchland Branch, on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
        January 18, 2023 - Growing Succulents                   March 15, 2023 - Pruning
        February 15, 2023 - Seed Starting
Extension Master Gardener Helpline
Get your lawn and garden questions answered by our Extension Master Gardener Helpline. We
are available to help from April - October,  on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am-
2pm at our Portsmouth Extension Office.  Walk-ins are welcome.  We are also available via
phone at (757) 393-5319 or email

Insect Identification Laboratory

Homeowners and can submit insect samples for identification by bringing a dead insect sample (well preserved in Isopropyl Alcohol) to the Portsmouth Extension Office. Bring sample in a pill bottle or jar. Master Gardener volunteers or Extension Agent will try to identify and make a recommendation if insect is a pest. If we are not able to identify, we will mail your insect sample to the Insect ID Lab at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 15-20 days.

Plant Disease Laboratory
Homeowners  can submit plant samples for disease identification by bringing a plant sample with root intact in a Ziplock bag to the Portsmouth Extension Office. If the Extension Agent or Master Gardeners are not available or able to identify disease, we will mail to the Plant Disease Laboratory at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 15-20 days.

Weed Identification Laboratory
Homeowners can submit weed samples for identification by bringing freshly dug weed with root wrapped in a moist paper towel inside a Ziplock bag to the Portsmouth Extension Office. If Extension Agent or Master Gardeners are not available or able to identify weed, we will mail to the Weed ID Laboratory at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 15-20 days.

Soil Testing
Homeowners can submit soil samples to the Soil Testing Laboratory at Virginia Tech by picking up soil sample boxes at the Portsmouth Extension Office. We will provide you with the application form and instructions for taking the soil sample and mailing to the lab. A report will be mailed to you from the Soil Testing Lab with recommendations for the plant/crop you plan to grow. Soil samples generally take two weeks to receive a report back in the mail.


The 2023 Portsmouth Master Gardener training  will be a day training.  We will be offering in- person classes with some virtual and recorded lectures.  The 12-week training will begin on February 2, 2023 and run through April 27, 2023.

For 2023, the training sessions will be held at the Portsmouth VCE Office conference room, 105 Utah Street, Portsmouth, VA , from 9am-12pm on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  A few Saturday mornings may also be required for off-site instruction.

You will need to attend a mandatory orientation session and have a background check completed before being accepted into the program.

Deadline for applications is November 1, 2022.  For any questions, please contact Cyndi Wyskiewicz, Portsmouth VCE - Horticulture Agent, (757) 393-5314.
Become an Extension Master Gardener
Extension Master Gardeners are trained volunteer educators.  VCE-MGs work within their local
communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through
sustainable landscape management education and training. As an educational outreach
component of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardener program brings the
resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities – Virginia Tech and Virginia State University to
the people of the Commonwealth.
Orientation sessions are in the fall.  After completing an application process, participants will
attend a 12-week training course from February through April.  All volunteers are trained with
at least 50 hours of horticultural classes and return at least 50 hours of volunteer community
service through their local Extension Office.  Contact our office for dates of the next training. 
Click here for more information on the Virginia Master Gardener Program.
To find out more information about the Portsmouth Master Gardeners, click here: