The Master Gardeners are now taking names for the next WSU Master Gardener training course for Grays Harbor and Pacific counties that will be held in 2018, beginning with a January orientation.
You’ve seen them at plant diagnostic clinics, local garden tours and other local events answering gardening and landscaping questions. You may have seen them in the Demonstration Garden they maintain at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds in Elma and the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Native Plant Garden in Ilwaco. Maybe you’ve participated in educational workshops or special events they’ve hosted. You may have thought, “I would like to be involved in those projects” or “I’d really like to learn how to make my garden better,” So, how does one become a Master Gardener?
The WSU Master Gardener program began in Washington state when a King County Extension Agent realized that a group of well-trained volunteers could be of enormous assistance in promoting best gardening practices and answering homeowner’s gardening questions. Since then, the program has spread to all 50 states as well as other countries.
WSU Master Gardeners are committed to providing education to the public in order to foster the enjoyment of home gardening, using research-based information provided by Washington State University. While this program offers gardeners opportunities to gain personal knowledge in a variety of different gardening subjects, the focus is to develop community educators. Once training is completed, Master Gardner volunteers help deliver information related to sustainable gardening, composting, landscaping, plant disease diagnosis, integrated pest management, and insect identification and control to the public at a variety of venues.
WSU Master Gardener training is held every other year for Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties with the next series of classes scheduled for 2018. The training covers 24 topics from the basics of botany and soils to insect identification and control and plant-disease recognition. The training is presented in two formats. The WSU portion of the training is offered exclusively online and may be completed at home on your own computer (required equipment). Practical experience training sessions are also required. They are facilitated by local Veteran Master Gardeners. These sessions are held on alternate Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and will be held in various locations in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties.