Are you a gardener new to the Southside and want to learn about our soils and what plants thrive here? Maybe new to gardening and want to learn the right way to approach it? Then the Master Gardener class may be just the ticket. The Halifax VCE Southside Master Gardener Association will once again be holding a Master Gardener class beginning on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
The course is held on Tuesday mornings at the Halifax Extension Office from 9 a.m. to noon and will run for 16 weeks. Topics cover soils and fertilizers, botany, entomology, pruning, landscape design and water quality and everything in between. The course includes classroom sessions as well as hands on activities. You will learn lots and make new friends and generally the food is good also.
Now for the downside. There are tests but they are take home and open book so don’t freak and the Master Gardeners can help out if needed. No one has failed yet. Also the course costs $125 and this includes the Master Gardener Manual and the Pest Management Guide. Cost for a couple is $140 if they share a book.
Once you’ve graduated, you need to volunteer for 50 hours to achieve Master Gardener status. Volunteer opportunities are vast. If you enjoy working with children, there are opportunities at the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens and with 4-H. Prefer seniors, there are opportunities with the Therapy Gardens and nursing homes. Working the Help Desk at the South Boston Farmers Market or in the office are good for some people. Second Saturdays at the Halifax Farmers Market are fun way to help the public by tool sharpening, Fairy Garden Contest, making hypertufa and activities for kids. If none of those suit your fancy, you can create a project for something important to you.
Applications are available for the Master Gardener class at the Halifax Extension Office or on the website at www.ssmga.org. Select becoming a Master Gardener. The link will take you to the list of Cooperative Extension Offices and select Halifax. Deadline to return the application with the course fee is Friday, December 13, 2019. You will increase your horticultural knowledge and be able to use that knowledge to education the public.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.