Become a master gardener volunteer

Do you love to garden and want to learn more about the best techniques to produce beautiful, productive plants? Does the science of horticulture interest you? Do you like socializing and working with others who share your passion for gardening? Do you want to give back to your community? Become a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteer by applying for the fall Carson City/Douglas County Master Gardener training program.

Master gardeners are trained volunteers who take a series of classes to improve their own gardening skills and knowledge, and then teach others in their communities about water-efficient landscaping, reduced pesticide use and research-based gardening practices. The classes cover botany, plant care, pruning, entomology (insects), plant pathology (diseases), turf management, fruit trees, vegetables, plant identification, landscape design, weeds, pest management, pesticide safety and plant problem diagnosis.

Experts from the cooperative extension, Nevada Department of Agriculture and local horticulture businesses teach the classes. While there are many short gardening presentations throughout the year at various locations, master gardener training is an in-depth series of scientific classes similar to a semester of schooling at a local college. However, these classes are taught in such a way that even if you have no gardening experience or scientific background, you can develop the skills to become a knowledgeable, successful gardener.

Although the training begins in September, the orientation meeting will be held at 6 p.m., June 23, at the Carson City Cooperative Extension Conference Room, 2621 Northgate, Suite 12. The orientation will be repeated at 6 p.m., June 25, at the Douglas County Cooperative Extension office, 1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville. At these orientations, you will meet program coordinator Wendy Hanson, who will talk about what to expect from the training, available volunteer and continuing education opportunities and what is expected from a master gardener volunteer.

Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 - 9 p.m., Sept. 9 through Nov. 6, at the Carson City Cooperative Extension Conference Room. The classes will be delivered via live video conferencing to the Douglas County Cooperative Extension office. The fee for the program is $165 and covers the cost of the manual, supplies and newsletter and, once certified, master gardener T-shirts and badges. The master gardener program is open to all, no matter what county of residence.

Master gardeners are leaders in horticulture education and environmental stewardship. If you are interested in finding out more about the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program, call Wendy Hanson at (775) 784-4848 or at Join our green team today.

For more information on gardening, contact me, 887-2252 or, or your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Check out many useful horticulture publications at "Ask a Master Gardener" at

n JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension Educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.


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