Master gardener class offered through extension office

Published 7:58 pm Friday, July 30, 2010

Local gardeners or gardener wannabes have an opportunity to receive master gardener volunteer training through a program offered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training classes will be held at the Dale County Government Building beginning Aug. 11 and will include almost every area of horticulture, said Brandon Dillard, Pike County interim extension coordinator.

“This is an outstanding program for those who want to learn more about home grounds horticulture,” Dillard said.

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“And, it’s an opportunity that the people of Pike County will want to consider because it will be a while before we are able to offer a Master Gardener Volunteer Training class here. Our agent, David Koon, who normally conducts the class for Pike County residents is serving in Afghanistan.”

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Class will be conducted by Rachel Dykes, regional agent for home horticulture. Specialists from Auburn University will teach classes on a variety of subjects including vegetable gardening, fruits, flower gardening plant nutrition, plant identification, soils, landscape management, landscape design, entomology, plant diseases, waterscape design and turfgrass.

“The point of the Master Gardener Volunteer Training is to train gardeners to give back to the community through some capacity of education,” Dykes said.

“That doesn’t mean that the gardeners will have to stand in front of a class and teach. There are many ways to provide educational opportunities such as putting together booths at fairs or farmers markets, assisting young people with beautification projects and identifying plants in public places with signs. There are many ways and many opportunities.”

The Master Gardener Volunteer Training is a 12-week class that meets from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Aug. 11 through Nov. 3.The deadline for registration is Aug. 6. Registration forms are available at the Pike County Extension Office at 306 South Three Notch Street in Troy. The fee for the 12-week class is $110.

“That might sound like a lot, but the class provides a lot of information in 12 weeks,” Dykes said.

“It’s a very good value for the money.”