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Thursday, July 22, 2010

I’m going to be a Master Gardener!

 by Dale 


Master Gardeners is a program offered by the University Extension in most counties in the U.S. The purpose of the program is to train gardeners to be knowledgeable about gardening methods so that they can volunteer to train other people in gardening techniques. I am enrolled in the Master Gardener training course in Frederick County, Maryland. It is exciting and fun. The course runs from 6:00-9:00 pm on Wednesdays and from 9:00 am–3:00 pm on Saturdays through July and August. – 40 hours of instruction. We cover A LOT of material. The seminars are taught by University Specialists and Master Gardeners. They are all knowledgeable and interesting.  Here are some of the topics we cover:
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Trees and fruits
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Vegetables
  • Turf grass
  • Soils and fertilizers
  • Plant  propagation
  • Pruning
  • Diseases
  • Entomology
  • Weeds
  • Integrated pest management
  • Botany
  • Ecology
 We get great resource materials, take field trips, make presentations, and have to pass an examination. We commit to volunteer at least 40 hours a year to help others. Some of these activities include speaking at garden clubs, teaching seminars, staffing plant clinics, answers questions at the telephone bank, writing articles for newspapers and the internet, etc.
But the best thing is improving your own gardening techniques. I have gardened for years but I am amazed at how little I know and how much I am learning. Each seminar teaches me new ways to improve my garden. I would encourage everyone who wants to take gardening to the next level to enroll in the Master Gardener training program in your county. Just contact your local University Extension office. 

by Dale

5 comments:

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Rachel said...

Congratulations!

Jenny said...

I took the master Gardening course in NY about 2 years ago. It's an excellent program. I have learned so much and love the chance to teach others. Enjoy!

Penny said...

Great! It is an excellent program and well worth the time investment. I took the classes several years ago and enjoyed them immensely.

daisy said...

Taking the Master Gardener course is on my wishlist. Where I live it's only offered on weekdays, and we homeschool, so that leaves me out. Enjoy the experience!