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Keep Virginia green and growing this spring


earth-newSpring brings longer days, warmer temperatures and the opportunity to refresh our landscapes and gardens after a cold winter. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) joins the Virginia Green Industry Council to encourage Virginians to add plants to their home and community landscapes this season.

After the threat of frost has passed, spring is an excellent time of the year to plant trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals to rejuvenate outdoor spaces and support a healthy environment. Through its “Grow Some VA!” promotional campaign, the Virginia Green Industry Council recommends adding Virginia Grown plants to gardens and landscapes to help reduce the flow of storm water runoff and pollutants into streams and, eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. Plants grown in Virginia are best acclimated to local growing conditions. In addition, consumers should consider plants native to the region, which are typically more beneficial to pollinators, more resistant to insects and disease, and require less water and fertilizer.

On its “Grow Some VA!” campaign website, www.growsomeva.com, the Virginia Green Industry Council lists participating local, independent retail garden centers across Virginia. These garden centers will have signs pointing shoppers to Virginia Grown plants. They will also carry “Grow Some VA!” campaign posters, flyers and stickers.

In addition to the environmental benefits of planting, consumers who purchase Virginia Grown trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals are supporting one of the state’s fastest growing agriculture segments. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the greenhouse and nursery industry ranks as Virginia’s 6th largest agricultural commodity with annual cash receipts of more than $262 million.

More information about the Virginia Green Industry Council is available on its website, http://www.virginiagreen.org. Consumers can search for local products, nurseries and farms on VirginiaGrown.com.



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