Finished my Master Gardener training this week

Master Gardener Training – 2014

Fall leaves

I just finished the basic training to become a Snohomish County Master Gardener and wow, was it great.  What is a Master Gardener?  Its a volunteer program under the umbrella of Washington State University (WSU) and the County Extension Services designed to train participants with the basics of horticulture to enable them to go out and answer questions for the public regarding plant identification and diagnosis of problems and pests that affect plants.   As horticulture is such a huge area, the program is really focused on knowing what resources are out there to use to be able to answer peoples questions.

It was 7 hours of training a week for about 12 weeks with quite a bit of outside reading, videos, and testing.  Classes ranged from lectures to hands on viewing of bugs/diseases to experiments on soils.  Many of the classes are taught by local professors as well as Sharon Collman and Dave Pelling from the Snohomish County extension office… and are they ever whizzes when it comes to diagnosis plant problems and knowing their bugs.

And now that I am finished with the basic master gardener training I have 40 more hours of volunteer work to be done over the rest of the year.  To give us a wide range of experiences our hours this first year are split into the various programs the Master Gardener coordinate.  These program includes a big plant sale the first weekend in May, three demonstration gardens around the county, office and community clinics, and continuing education.  I signed up for the office clinics, but there are community clinics where you set up at places like Lowe’s and answer peoples questions.

Identifying pests and pathogens on branches and leaves
Identifying pests and pathogens on branches and leaves

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