By Kathy Flashman
West Central Master
Gardeners Association

Have you found yourself asking any of these questions: When can I start planting? How do I know if my soil is right for what I want to grow? Why won't my roses bloom? What's wrong with my houseplants? Why did my squash vines die halfway into the growing season?

If any of these sound familiar to you, my recommendation is that you take the Master Gardener class currently being offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service in Calhoun and Roane Counties. You'll learn the answers to these questions and many, many more.

I thought about taking the class for a few years before I finally took the plunge and signed up. I thought I could learn just as much by reading books about gardening. Boy, was I wrong. Those books are written for people around the world to read; so by design, they must be vague enough to encompass all climates. Anyone who lives in West Virginia knows that that just won't work for us!

The beauty of the Master Gardener class is that we are taught environmentally sound horticultural practices that are tailored for right here where we live and breathe.

Taking the class was a decision I'll never regret. Not only did I become knowledgeable about a wide array of gardening subjects in the classes that are taught by professionals who are experts in their fields, but it allow me to get to know other gardeners in this area who share the same interests.

If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, please contact Brandy Brabham at your local extension office for an application, today! The Calhoun County Extension Office number is 354-6332; the Roane County Extension Office number is 927-0975.

The next session of classes begins Tuesday, March 31 at the West Fork Community Building in Arnoldsburg. Classes will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through May. The application deadline is Friday, March 20, or until classes are full. The cost of the class is $65. which covers the cost of your manual.

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