Virginia Certified Pesticide Applicator Training

This year we are offering three spring/summer Pesticide Re-certification Classes.  On March 9, 2022, we will offer for Commercial Pesticide Applicators Categories 3A, 3B, 10 and 60.  Location will be Lamberts Point Community Center in Norfolk 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM.  Registration will begin at 8:30 AM. Contact Chris Epes in the Norfolk VCE Office for more information (757) 683-2819,   Please Click this link to Register

May 18, 2022 - York County - Contact Megan Tierney, VCE Agent ( 757) 890-4940

June 15, 2022 - Chesapeake - Contact Mike Andruczyk, VCE Agent - (757) 382-6348

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

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Portsmouth Master Gardeners have not been able to hold
in-person workshops or classes.  They have been able to do some virtual classes via zoom. 
Below are the links to the most recent virtual library lectures:
Fall Vegetable Gardening - September 16, 2020, given by Bob Perkins, PMG
Pollinators in the Garden - August 19, 2020, given by Bob Perkins, PMG
Hot Trends in Houseplants - October, 2020, given by Amand Mines, PMG
Holiday Plants and Spices - November 18, 2020, givenby Kathy Halliday and Bob Perkins, PMGs

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

Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, some of the following services are not available.  Please

call the Horticulture Agent, Cyndi Wyskiewicz at (757) 393-5314 for more information.


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 with one pint of moist soil 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.


MG Intern Training 2021 Update.  We have had some inquires regarding the Master Gardener
Intern Training Class for 2021.  Unfortunately, we will not be offering a Master Gardener Class
for 2021, as we still have to finish the Master Gardener Class of 2020, which was placed on hold
due to COVID-19.  We thank you for your interest and hopefully we can have a new Master
Gardener Class for 2022.
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: