Master Gardener classes accepting sign-ups

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Suffolk Master Gardeners group plans its annual series of classes that prospective Master Gardeners must take.

The classes will start in late January and run until late March or early April, depending on the weather, president Wanda Gerard said.

“The location we haven’t determined yet,” she said. “It just depends on scheduling issues.”

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Classes will likely meet from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will cover a vast range of gardening topics, including botany, organic gardening, soil, water quality, annuals and perennials, vegetables, trees and shrubs, pest management, helpful insects such as bees and butterflies, and more.

“We try to offer a well-rounded program,” Gerard said, though she added fruit trees and herbs are not included. There’s not a big demand for fruit trees in this area, she said, and herbs are focused on annually during a monthly meeting.

Classes are taught by Master Gardeners, Extension agents and other guest speakers.

The Master Gardeners are a volunteer group affiliated with Virginia Cooperative Extension. They promote environmentally sound horticulture practices, help educate the community about gardening, perform community service and serve in other vital functions.

After completing the classes, prospective Master Gardeners must do 50 hours of volunteer work at Master Gardener events during a one-year period. Thereafter, Master Gardeners are required to complete 20 hours of volunteer work each year and attend meetings.

The class costs $135, Gerard said. People interested in registering should contact her at 255-4823 or by Dec. 15.