TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Wyoming County want you to start thinking more about your garden’s soil health. Have you ever tested your soil? Do you compost? Want to learn the benefits of planting cover crops? On Saturday, August 21, the Master Gardeners will present Soil Health: Essential Building Block during the Tunkhannock Farmer’s Market at Creekside Gardens, 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m.. The program consists of four components designed to equip participants with the knowledge to build healthy soil garden beds and encourage them to grow a portion of their own food.
Before you reach for the fertilizer, Master Gardeners want you to “Don’t Guess… Soil Test!”. The program begins at 10:00am with a lesson on the when, why, and how of soil testing. Complimentary Penn State Extension soil test kits will be available while supplies last. The program continues with a hands-on composting demonstration at 10:30am. Master Gardeners will introduce you to the benefits of this valuable soil amendment, show the raw materials used to build a compost pile, and discuss how to maintain it. At 11:00am Master Gardeners will share information on the topic of cover crops in the home garden and their own experiential project designed to study the effects of different cover crops on rebuilding soil health in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden. The program will close with an introduction to a new Master Gardener course offering, Seed to Supper, at 12:00noon.
Seed to Supper is a comprehensive beginning gardening program that provides novice, adult gardeners with the tools they need to learn how to grow a portion of their own food on a limited budget. The classes, taught by Master Gardeners, cover vegetable gardening fundamentals: soil preparation, garden planning, planting, maintenance, and harvest. A course manual and other supplies are provided to qualifying class participants at no charge. Preparations are underway to offer the classes in Wyoming County in early 2022. Interested in registering for the course? Ask a Master Gardener for a Seed to Supper brochure or contact the Master Gardener Coordinator, at 570-836-3196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to become a Penn State Extension Master Gardener? The Master Gardeners of Wyoming County are currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Master Gardener Basic Training course. Master Gardeners are volunteers who support Penn State Extension’s mission by providing educational opportunities to the community on practical science-based home gardening techniques. Gardening experience and knowledge are certainly helpful, but they are unnecessary for enrollment in the Master Gardener volunteer program.
Master Gardeners in Wyoming County maintain a demonstration garden located at Creekside Gardens in Tunkhannock. They also staff an annual exhibit at the Wyoming County Fair, record observations for a Pollinator Preferences study, answer home gardening questions submitted through a County Garden Hotline: email@example.com, and offer educational outreach programs including Seed to Supper, the Mr. Yuk Poison Prevention Program, and Speaker Bureau engagements. We would love to welcome new trainees who can help us extend our outreach!
Master Gardener trainees are required to participate in a minimum of sixty hours of basic training, score 80% or better on an exam, and fulfill fifty hours of volunteer service to obtain certification. Master Gardener Basic Training weekly classes will begin on Oct. 7 and continue through March 2022. Classes will be held Thursday evenings online via Zoom webinar at 6-8pm. Access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone is necessary to complete the course. Monthly in-person learning opportunities will be scheduled as well. The course is designed to provide home gardeners with the information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others. Course topics include Basic Botany, Plant Diseases, Soil Health, Plant Propagation, Weeds/Invasive Species, Pruning, Vegetable Gardens, Indoor Plants, Native Plants, Tree Fruits, Landscape Design, and more.
There is a course fee of $200 to cover the cost of training materials, a hard copy of the award- winning Master Gardener Manual and other training expenses. Financial assistance may be available upon request. Applications are being accepted through the first week of September. To apply or for more information, please contact Melissa Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Penn State Extension Wyoming County Master Gardener website: https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener/counties/wyoming. Penn State Extension Wyoming County is located at 71 Hollow Crest Rd, Ste 2, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.
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