Submitted by: Brandy Brabham, WVU-Extension Agent, Roane Co., 304-927-0975

Did you have a tough gardening season in 2020? Enjoy learning more about gardening and working with others? Interested in sharing your gardening knowledge with others? If you answered “yes” to the preceding questions, the Extension Master Gardener course conducted by the West Virginia University Extension Service might be just the program for you. It provides gardeners with the opportunity to improve their horticultural knowledge and skills and then share their experience with the public through organized volunteer activities.

Applications for the Extension Master Gardener course are being accepted now through Tuesday, February 16, 2021. What is different about this course? Instead of needing at least 10 approved applicants to offer the course locally, this course can accept one or two trainees up to 40 trainees from Roane County; because it’s taught online across the state with other Extension Master Gardener trainees.

A course fee of $30 is needed to cover the cost of the electronic manual and $75 to receive a printed copy of the horticultural manual each participant receives. The local West Central Extension Master Gardener Association is offering scholarships to participants interested in taking the course.

Classes will be on Thursdays, beginning February 18 and go June 10; meeting every Thursday online from 6-9 PM. Topics to be covered include: Insect, Weed & Disease Identification and Management, Turfgrass and Lawn Care, Herbs, Plant Science, Plant Propagation, Pest Control, Soil Health, Indoor Plants, Pruning, Grafting, Vegetable Gardening, Tree Fruits, Small Fruits, Landscaping, Herbs Pollinators, Wildlife Management, Woody Ornamentals and Native and Invasive Species.

Applications are available at the WVU-Roane County Extension Office. For an application or more information about the course or the scholarships, contact the WVU-Roane County Extension Office at   304-927-0975 or e-mail  brandy.brabham@mail.wvu.edu

Extension Master Gardeners are volunteers for West Virginia University. To become an Extension Master Gardener, you must complete 40 hours of horticultural training and in return, volunteer 40 hours of time. The basic pre-requisites for becoming an Extension Master Gardener include an approved application, reference check, familiarity with gardening and a commitment to return forty hours of volunteer service.

  Extension Master Gardeners provide gardening information to others. Once you have completed the course, our local WVU-Roane County Agricultural Extension Agent, Brandy Brabham will help provide direction for your volunteer work. Examples of volunteer activities include the following:

*Teaching garden classes
*Working with groups, such as 4-H, horticulture therapy groups and community gardeners
*Staffing garden clinics and displays
*Using your special talents, such as writing and photography to benefit others
*Answering phone inquiries on horticultural topics
*Providing talents in gardening educational activities
*Giving school-age or group presentations
Landscaping, gardening and beautification projects for the community