Dig in with the Master Gardeners
Welcome to the Gazette’s new garden column. Instead of one writer, we have 12 contributors who will all write columns in their respective areas of expertise. Also, we would love to hear from you — if there is a topic you feel we need to cover, let us know by calling the Extension Office at 740–833-2030. This interactive approach allows the voice and perspective of the column to change. With so many different motivations for the modern gardener, we hope to encompass all of our readers’ interests. On our panel of contributors we have herb enthusiasts, long time vegetable growers, gourmet cooks, florists and a lawn care specialist among other very talented individuals.
To some a garden is a place to relax and enjoy beautiful botanicals, for others it works to feed the family that tends it. It can serve as a lush escape of rare exotics or a testament to how beautiful our Ohio natives can be. We encourage you to build the garden that interests you, if you love it and it grows — it’s the perfect garden. This is a new venture we could not be more excited to begin and we all sincerely hope you will enjoy reading it every week and afterward will be just as excited to go outside and garden as we are.
OSU Extension Master Gardeners come from many backgrounds, but what they share is an enthusiasm for gardening. Trainees pay for materials and receive approximately 50 hours of instruction from various speakers/presenters. Upon completion of this course, the Master Gardener trainees must dedicate 50 hours of volunteer time to the Master Gardener program in Delaware County throughout the following year. To maintain Master Gardener status, an additional 20 volunteer hours and 12 hours of advanced education are required annually.
This year, a new class of Master Gardener Interns completed their 50 hour course learning about lawn care, herbs, pruning, vegetables, small fruits, botany, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), composting, plant pathology, weed ID and plant nutrition, to name a few. The OSU Extension Delaware County Master Gardener program held the first class in 1994, with only 15 members. Last year 92 Master Gardeners volunteered more than 4,000 hours in the county through projects and programs. Some included Green Thumbs Gardeners Fair, Ashley Community Garden, Earth Day, speaker’s bureau and the county fair gates and booth. Plans for 2011 include a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Blue Limestone and Genoa Township Community Gardens.
The OSU Extension office Helpline is now open from 8:30 to 4:30 daily, please call 740–833-2030 to discuss your gardening issues with a qualified Master Gardener, or to leave a message and receive a call back.
We would like to thank all the members of the community for their support of our program and the Delaware County Commissioners for all their support over the years.