Master Gardeners


The plant sale is coming!

Have you reserved the times yet? Friday, May 2 from 4 to 7; Saturday, May 3 from 9 to 4; Sunday, May 4 from 11 to 4 - There are only 15 hours to browse and buy, and you may want to spend most of them at the Marion Demonstration Garden. We're easy to find: 3180 Center St in Salem, behind the parking lot at the Marion County Health and Services building.

As always, the plant sale offers an amazing selection for your growing pleasure. Choose from perennials, annuals, fuchsias, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs, native plants, trees, and shrubs.

In the yard sale, check out a treasure trove of yard, garden, and patio items, including garden art, pots, tools, birdhouses, garden books, and much more.

New this year: Garden Delights offer items for your home and garden, both recycled and upcycled. Innovative Master Gardeners have transformed a wide variety of materials into attractive and practical gems, including planters, yard bags, aprons, sachets, children's aprons, and pot holders.

Have a question? Visit the new Information Booth for answers, or inquire from one of the roving Master Gardeners, posted in various locations throughout the garden.

On Saturday, learn how to sharpen tools at our Master Gardener hosted workshops. Times will be posted here as soon as they are established.

Now accepting donations

The annual Plant and Yard Sale is coming May 2-4. We welcome donations for the ever-popular yard sale section.

Check us out on Facebook

A link to our new page is under Social Media, at the right side of this page. "Like" us and keep up with Master Gardener news whereever you are!

Help Desk hours for spring and summer

Master Gardeners are available to assist you Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Fridays from 9 to 1. Please call 503.373.3770, email or stop by with questions. We will reply to phone and email messages as soon as possible on our next duty shift.

2015 Master Gardener class

If you are thinking about becoming a Master Gardener, now is the time to get on the application list. Call the Help Desk, 503-373-3770, and leave your contact information. We will send you an application next fall.

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We get questions...

OSU provides an excellent calendar of tasks for various seasons, helping gardeners plan activities throughout the year. There is also an archive of helpful articles on a wide variety of gardening topics in the OSU Gardening Encyclopedia. Dip into these useful resources for tips and inspiration.

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What is this plant?

This question is usually accompanied by a leaf, a twig, sometimes even a whole plant. Master Gardeners on the Help Desk can usually make an identification, at least after a bit of research. This applies whether the unidentified is a weed or a wanted plant.

For best results, please bring in a good-sized section of the plant, preferably with either blossom or fruit/seeds attached. If possible, a section of root, or a bulb/tuber can also be helpful. Many plants are very similar in appearance, so having several parts to work with definitely improves the result.

Unfortunately, we normally cannot identify a particular cultivar; for example, given the above parts, we can't tell you if a blueberry is Earliblue or Bluecrop.

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If you have a question, call us at 503-373-3770 or drop us an e-mail, We love finding answers!


How can Master Gardeners help you?

Marion County Master Gardeners (MGs) are here to serve our neighbors in a variety of ways:

A large group of dedicated MGs maintain the Marion Garden, located behind the county health services building at 3180 Center St. in Salem. Originally a rubbish dumping ground for the county, it has been transformed in the last 15+ years to an outstanding demonstration garden. Stop by and stroll around for inspiration, information, or just enjoyment. Monday mornings are the regular time for MG work parties, so there’s usually someone on hand then to answer your questions. Garden tours are also available by appointment.

We also staff the MG Help Desk at the OSU Extension Office, located in the county health services building, also at 3180 Center St. Clients call 503.373.3770, send us an e-mail, or come in with questions regarding plant culture; weed, insect and plant disease identification; and a wide variety of other home gardening issues. Experience, training, and an excellent library, as well as knowledge of online resources, help us provide the answers to most questions. For those outside our range of information, we supply referrals to other agencies and organizations, including our Marion Co. horticulturist, Neil Bell. From October through March, the Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. April through September, office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 1 on Friday. Messages left on our voicemail outside those hours will be answered on the next business day.

During much of the year, MGs also sponsor and staff booths at various fairs, garden shows and farmers’ markets. These serve as a mobile form of the Help Desk, and are an opportunity to find answers to your gardening questions and pick up useful information.

MGs also offer workshops to help with some of those gardening tasks that are best learned from hands-on presentations. Pruning in early spring and beneficial insects in April are recurring topics. Check our website for specific information as events draw near.

Many MGs also simply love to talk about gardening. If you have a community group that would like a speaker, please call the Help Desk, 503.373.3770, and leave your name and number for our Speakers’ Bureau coordinator. You also can sample MG information every Thursday morning on Radio KBZY (1490 am) from 8:40 to 9:00 am.

For our younger neighbors, MGs also develop and present gardening programs at area elementary schools in late spring, and host an activity booth at AgFest.

Home gardens come in all shapes, sizes and types of plantings. Please call or stop by to see how Marion County Master Gardeners can help you make yours the garden of your dreams.

Click here for information about the OSU Master Gardener program. Please e-mail Neil Bell, Marion Co. Horticulturist, to be placed on the list for 2014 class information.

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Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities, and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Oregon State University Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

El Servicio de Extensión (Extension Service) de Oregon State University ofrece programas educativos, actividades, y materiales sin discriminación basada sobre edad, color, incapacidades, identidad o expresión de identidad sexual, estado matrimonial, origen nacional, raza, religión, sexo, orientación sexual, o estado de veterano. El Servicio de Extensión de Oregon State University es una institución que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.