Helping You Garden


Roanoke Valley Climate

Hardiness Zone:  7b (5 - 10 degrees) (city)  7a (0 - 5 degrees) (valley)
Heat Zone:  7 (60 - 90 days above 86 degrees)
Average Last Frost: May 1 - 12
Average First Frost:  Oct. 20 - 30
Average Growing Season:  190 days
Average Rainfall: 40 inches
Record High:  105 degrees
Record Low:  -11 degrees
Normal Daily High (July):  87 degrees
Normal Daily Low (January):  25 degrees

Master Gardener Help Desk 

for Roanoke VA area:

Virginia Extension Educational Publications 

1.     Index to all publications:

2.     Home Vegetable Gardening:

Natural Enemies

Monarch Butterfly Resources

The monarch butterfly population has been reduced by about 90%. Habitat loss, climate change, and lack of milkweed all contribute to this sad decline. The monarch can only lay its eggs on milkweed. Milkweed used to fill roadways and ditches, forming a kind of "pathway" for the monarchs as they migrate north -- not so true anymore. You can help fill the gap by planting a swatch of milkweed in your yard. See these resources to help you get started.

Milkweed for Monarchs

Brochure on Milkweeds, Butterfly Larvae, and Host Plants

Monarch Watch - Conservation Organization

Follow the Monarch Migration

Why Raise Composting Worms?

A cheap and easy worm bin is a great way to compost your kitchen waste, especially if you don't have space for an outdoor composter. Besides taking care of your waste, the worms give you the best fertilizer you can get for those killer tomatoes you want to grow. Check out these resources and get started today.

Vermicomposting: Composting with Worms

Vermiculture: How To Build A Worm Bin the Cheap and Easy Way

 A Step-by-Step Guide to Vermicomposting

Raising Meal Worms for Birds

Are you a bird lover who keeps your feeders and water sources filled? You can cheaply add some high protein meal worms to supplement the diets of your favorite birds. Meal worms will also attract birds -- such as bluebirds -- which won't come to feeders. Get started today using these resources.

Raising Mealworms for Bluebirds

Meal Worm Care

How to Raise Mealworms 

With a garden, there is hope.

Grace Firth

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