Master Gardener class to begin Jan. 11

Published 5:32 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A green thumb is not required to participate in the Master Gardener Volunteer Program beginning Jan. 11 at the Chilton County Extension Office in Clanton.

This nationwide extension education program is designed to train anyone interested in gardening to help others solve their home horticulture problems.

The class is open to non-professionals with an interest in increasing their gardening skills and reaching out to others in need of advice or assistance.

The class will meet every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for 12 weeks, and after completing the course, Master Gardener interns will be expected to fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service for their communities.

“They become a certified Master Gardener when they complete all their classes and their 50 hours of community service,” said Gay West, county extension coordinator. “Once they get that, they can get their Master Gardener badge.”

Examples of volunteer efforts that will count toward the 50 hours include giving garden club programs, community garden projects, diagnosing plant programs or assisting the Cooperative Extension Office in some way.

“We try to target what their strengths are, what they like to do,” West said. “They help us in so many different ways.”

Specialists from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Chilton County Extension Office will be the course instructors.

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.

Registration is $100 per person or $150 per couple, and the class is limited to 20 people.

Registration will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and will remain open until the 20 spots are filled.

“It is a great opportunity for people if they love gardening and want to know more,” West said. “There is something for every kind of gardening.”

For more information about the class, or for an application form, contact the Chilton County Extension Office at (205) 280-6268.