Master gardener program returning to Columbiana

FROM STAFF REPORTS

COLUMBIANA – Those interested in sharpening their gardening skills will soon have a chance to do so, as the Shelby County Extension System is hosting a Regional Master Gardener Volunteer Program beginning Aug. 5 at the Extension Office in Columbiana.

The purpose of this volunteer program is to train interested gardeners to help others solve their home horticulture problems. The course is designed for non-professionals with an interest in increasing their gardening skills and helping others with the knowledge they gain.

The classes will be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Wednesdays from Aug. 5 until Oct. 28, and after completing the course interns will be expected to give 50 hours of volunteer service to Extension and their communities. Any volunteer effort that relates to gardening will be accepted. Examples of volunteer efforts would include speaking to garden clubs, community garden projects, diagnosing plant problems and/or assisting the local Cooperative Extension Office in some way.

Auburn University professors, Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialists, Regional Extension agents, Master Gardeners and friends of Extension will be the instructors for the course. The topics to be covered include soils and plant nutrition, plant physiology, entomology, plant pathology, care of landscape plants, landscape design, plant selection, lawn care, weed identification, houseplants, vegetable gardening, home orchards and plant propagation.

To become a Certified Master Gardener, interns have to complete 40 hours of class work with a 70 percent average on tests, cannot miss more than two classes and complete 50 hours of volunteer work after class work is done.

The class is limited to 25 students. For more information about this fun and informative class, or for an application form, contact the Shelby County Extension Office at 669-6763 or Nelson D. Wynn at wynnnel@aces.edu, or 438-3725.