E. Appleby

If you’re interested in learning more about gardening, the Penn State Extension office in Potter County is accepting applications for the next Master Gardener basic training course.

If you have an interest in gardening, a desire to learn more about horticulture, and a commitment to community service, consider training to become a Master Gardener in Potter County.

Penn State Extension is in the process of restructuring its Master Gardener program in Potter County with the goal of increasing the number of certified Master Gardeners to enable them to expand services to the community. Potential projects include establishment of a community garden on the Extension Office grounds, gardening workshops for the public, a certified pollinator garden, an enhanced garden hotline, preparing Master Gardeners to make presentations to local organizations, publication of gardening-themed articles, children’s gardening activities, and more.

Participating in Master Gardener Basic Training is the first step in becoming a Master Gardener. Basic Training classes are designed to provide experienced home gardeners with the information and skills necessary to serve as volunteers who share their experience and knowledge with others in their communities. Classes are taught by Penn State Horticulture educators, program assistants and Master Gardeners. Topics covered include: botany, plant propagation, insects and diseases, plant identification, vegetables, native plants, pruning, controlling pests safely, lawn care, and much more.

After completing Basic Training, volunteers move into the apprenticeship phase of the program during which they work alongside certified Master Gardeners to further increase their knowledge and gain valuable experience. To be considered for certification as Master Gardeners, apprentices are required to provide 50 hours of volunteer service within one year of successfully completing their basic training.

In subsequent years, Master Gardeners maintain their status by providing 20 hours of volunteer service and completing a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education training annually. In addition to helping their communities, Master Gardeners often enjoy getting to know and work with others who share their gardening interests.

In Potter County, classes are scheduled to start the week of Jan. 3, 2022 and will continue through April. Access to an internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone is required. For questions or additional information, contact Amy Strong, Master Gardener program assistant, at als7485@psu.edu or visit https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/counties/potter/becoming-a-master-gardener-potter-county.

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