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Master Gardener classes to be offered in Troy

Pike County’s Auburn University Extension System is once again offering the Master Gardener course in Troy.

This unique program trains volunteer to assist friends neighbors and the community in their gardening and beautification efforts, said Tammy Powell, Pike County Extension coordinator.

“The program is open to those who are interested in increasing their gardening knowledge,” Powell said. “Master Gardener candidates will receive 40 hours of instruction in plant science and horticulture.”

Introductory sessions will include such topics as plant physiology, soils and fertility, plant pathology and entomology.

“These general subject will be followed by more specific sessions on landscape design, ornamental plant materials, annuals and perennials, vegetable gardening, laws, home orchards and plant propagation,” Powell said.

To supplement the lectures, each Master Gardener will receive an extensive library of Extension System and Auburn University publications on the subject covered.

“Instructors for the different session will be some of the most knowledgeable professionals from throughout the state,” Powell said. “Most will be university professors, Extension System specialists or other horticulture experts.”

The first class will begin Jan. 20, and continue each Tuesday at the same time and location for 10 weeks.

Applications for the 2009 Master Gardener Course are now available at the Pike County Extension Office.

Applications must be receive by Friday, Dec. 12.

The course fee of $100 will cover expenses. And, in exchange for the training course, Master Gardeners will be asked to volunteer 50 hours of community service in the area of horticulture.

“This volunteer work may be fulfilled through community beautification projects, local Extension horticulture programs or by helping a friend, neighbor, school or church,” Powell said. “The type of volunteer horticulture activities that are available will be varied and flexible. All volunteer activities are designed to allow the Master Gardeners to share their knowledge with less informed gardeners.”