Learn to battle weeds at Spring Garden Symposium

By Debbie Brown

The Patrick County Master Gardeners will welcome garden enthusiast, Dr. Mark Blevins as a keynote speaker at their Spring Garden Symposium.

The symposium will be held March 14, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Reynolds Homestead, 463 Homestead Lane, Critz, Virginia.

If you are ready to battle the weeds in your garden, then Blevins’ presentation, titled “Reading the Weeds” is for you. The plant pests in your lawn and landscape are sending you a message, but can you crack the code?

Blevins will tell us the secrets those turf invaders are revealing about your soil, and what the menaces in the mulch don’t want you to know about the conditions they love in your garden. Turn the tide and win the battle against these floral foes by better understanding the enemy. He will brief us on some of the most common weeds for Southside Virginia and the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina so we can stand firm against the onslaught of weeds and support others in the fight.

Blevins serves as the Brunswick County Extension Director and Agriculture Agent in North Carolina.  He and his staff specialize in educational programs on sustainable agriculture, horticulture, youth development, and family & consumer sciences. These programs make a difference in the lives and families, as well as on the farms and landscapes of the Cape Fear Region – the only place in the world where the Venus Fly Trap is native.

Blevins has an ornamental horticulture background with three degrees from NC State in Agricultural and Extension Education and Horticultural Science. He is involved in extension professional associations to support and improve the next generation of Extension Educators.

He also has served as the national president for Epsilon Sigma Phi and has held local, state, and national roles with the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Blevins and his wife Anna live just outside Southport, with their three young daughters; they all enjoy spending time outdoors, camping, and occasionally binge-watching any given internet streaming service’s latest show. His favorite tree genus is Osmanthus, and he is particularly fond of starting heated discussions with those who love raised garden beds.

The Spring Gardening Symposium, Mastering Your Garden, will be a fun and interesting program, and feature three keynote speakers, lunch, vendors, and door prizes.

Anyone wishing to register may mail their contact information along with the registration fee of $35 payable to Patrick County Cooperative Extension to: Master Your Garden c/o Glenda Cobbler, 932 Palmetto School Road, Stuart, Virginia, 24171.

Dr. Mark Blevins will be the keynote speaker with his “Reading the Weeds” presentation at the Patrick County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Symposium on March 14.


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