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What is the Master Gardener program?
Lincoln County office of OSU Extension Service receives more than 5,000 requests for home gardening information annually. To provide information and answer residents’ questions, Extension enlists the assistance of Master Gardener volunteers. Begun in 1982, the Master Gardener program teaches and trains volunteers to answer questions in person, by phone or by email. Many new residents to Lincoln County experienced and inexperienced gardeners are interested in receiving local gardening advice. The Master Gardener program is designed for volunteers to help home gardeners in diagnosing plant and insect related problems, soil preparation, plant maintenance and propagation, correct pruning methods, identifying plants, and selecting appropriate plant materials for coastal gardening. Volunteers do not need to know all the answers, but where to find them! The program teaches volunteers how to answer questions using sources of gardening information available through state and local publications, education programs and workshops, research conducted at Oregon State University, and the Extension Service. It provides Master Gardeners with tools to become better gardeners, an awareness of sustainable gardening practices, an opportunity to give service to others, and to become part of a network of fellow, like minded gardeners.
In spite of budget constraints and reduced staffing, the Master Gardener program continues to grow. Enthusiastic volunteers serve an increasingly larger audience of home gardeners as more residents enjoy the benefits of home gardening.
Who are Master Gardeners?
Master Gardeners are volunteers who are experienced gardeners, who receive horticultural training from Oregon State University Extension Specialists, agents and other Master Gardeners, and who want to share their gardening skill and training with others.
How can I become a Master Gardener?
Potential Master Gardeners are not required to have a gardening experience but rather the yearning and motivation to garden. However, they must be willing to spend one day a week for ten consecutive weeks during January, February, and March for a total of 70 hours of classroom instruction. They must agree to payback 70 hours in volunteering gardening information, public service, and contribute to social learning with other Master Gardeners.
How much does it cost?
Each new Master Gardener who is accepted for training must pay $195 to cover the cost of the Master Gardener reference notebook, class materials, and class expenses.
A minimum or 30 hours is spent at the Extension office answering gardening questions. Additional 30 hours in the community can be achieved in such activities as staffing information booths and/or giving demonstrations at the the three farmer's markets in Lincoln County, the Spring Garden Sale, and the more than 6 community gardens and 3 demonstration gardens in Yachats, Lincoln City, Waldport, and Newport where Master Gardeners help. There are many other opportunities in the community and each student is encouraged to be creative in ways of helping our community grow.
How do I apply?
The Master Gardener program is a great way to be involved in the enhancement of the community and to meet new friends with the same interests. Follow the links below to know more or to apply to become a Master Gardener.
Alternatively you can call our Lincoln County Extension Office at 541-574-6534 to receive an application by mail. Return it to the LIncoln County Extension Office, 29 SE 2nd St., Newport, OR 97365.
How long may I be a Master Gardener?
You may be a Master Gardener as long as you wish. A few have remained active since the first class was held in 1982. Others have remained active since their training. Many become members of the Lincoln County Master Gardener Association. This association holds monthly meetings to become better acquainted with each other, to have fun, to gain additional knowledge, and to plan community and educational gardening activities.
Click here for videos and information about how to detect, trap and identify the spotted wing drosophila fly
PNW Weed Handbook http://pnwhandbooks.org/weed/
PNW Disease Handbook http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/
PNW Insects http://uspest.org/pnw/insects
OSU Extension Publications Catalog https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/