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Master Gardener Volunteers class returns in 2018

Master at work

Submitted photo Master Gardener Carole Massey works at the plant propagation workshop at Cooperative Extension.

By Amy-Lynn Albertson

Rowan Cooperative Extension

The Rowan County Agriculture Center is a great place to look at how different varieties of plants behave in the landscape.

We have a pollinator garden for those interested in promoting pollinators, a Southern Living garden with plant selections from Southern Living magazine. Right now the camellias are blooming and the pink muhly grass is lovely.

All of the plants at the Agricultural Center were selected and planted by the Master Gardener Volunteers. The gardens at the Agricultural Center are just one of the many volunteer projects the Master Gardeners work on. They are also involved in many school and 4-H programs, and speak for different civic and community clubs. Each year, the volunteers put up a booth at the Rowan County Fair with different themes in order to educate the public on different gardening techniques.

The Master Gardener program is an educational program designed to enhance public education in consumer horticulture. It provides educational assistance to the citizens of the county concerning lawns, fruits, vegetables, trees and ornamentals through the use of a trained and supervised volunteer staff.

Rowan County Cooperative Extension is now accepting applications for the 2018 Master Gardener Course. The course is 45-plus hours of instruction on horticulture topics, including lawns; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition; vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; and water conservation.

You will receive a North Carolina Master Gardener training manual full of comprehensive horticultural subjects. It will be a valuable tool in answering any of your plant questions.  The class will meet Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m., Jan. 31- May 16 at the Rowan County Agricultural Center. The cost is $150. Scholarships may be available to those needing assistance with the fee. The rewards of becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer include:

  • Participation in a quality horticultural course
  • Receiving answers to their own gardening questions
  • Interacting with other people who have a common interest
  • Helping people expand their gardening knowledge
  • Making a difference in their community

An information/interest meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 1-2 p.m. at the Rowan County Extension Center. This meeting will introduce you to the N.C. Extension Master Gardener program and explain what is expected of a volunteer. You will also get a chance to talk with members of the Master Gardener community and get answers to your questions.

Applications will be available at the conclusion of the meeting. Please call the Rowan County Extension Center at 704-216-8970 for an application or to sign up for the Master Gardener Information/Interest Meeting.

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