Become a Master Gardener

Are you a gardening enthusiast who:

  • Loves learning about horticulture including best practices based on scientific research?
  • Has a desire to promote environmental stewardship?
  • Is willing to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others?
  • Is dedicated to supporting your local community through volunteering?

If so, consider becoming a Penn State Extension Master Gardener!

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Join a group of like-minded gardeners and have fun volunteering while creating lifelong friendships.  You do not need to be a gardening “expert, just enthusiastic, willing to learn and willing to share your knowledge with others. Penn State Extension provides training and wonderful continuing education opportunities.

“What I love about being a Master Gardener is the combination of great friendly members, ability to learn about and access terrific information about all aspects of gardening, and the willingness of members to share tips and help fellow members resolve “thorny” problems. I’ve been a Master Gardener for 16 years and it’s been nothing short of enjoyable on every level! “

Cynthia

Applications for becoming a Master Gardener will be accepted through April 26, 2019.  Interviews will be held in mid-May, and the Master Gardener Basic Training for Delaware County begins in mid-August.

Basic training includes 15 classes taught by Penn State University and Extension staff and a hard-covered Master Gardener Manual with over 750 pages.  The Basic Training fee is only $200, and a limited number of partial scholarships are also available.

The classes will be held at the Government Services Building, 601 Westtown Rd., West Chester. (Delaware County is jointly training with Chester County). They will be on Thursdays from 12 noon until 3 pm, beginning on August 15th and ending on December 5th. Please contact us if this conflicts with your schedule, as we may be able to make alternate arrangements.

Master Gardener trainees are required to participate in a minimum of forty hours of basic training, score 80% on the final exam, and fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service. More details on qualifications, requirements, and steps to become a certified Penn State Master Gardener can be found on the Penn State Extension website.

For more information or to apply, please contact the Delaware County Master gardener Coordinator – Linda Barry – at lrb16@psu.edu or 610-690-2655.

“What I admire about the Master Gardener program is that it potentially unites people through an interest in gardening, while promoting timely sustainability and responsibility for the environment. “

Gail

“As a Master Gardener, I love sharing the joy of gardening with others and educating the Delco community about research-based best horticulture practices and promoting respect for the environment.”

Kathy

Second Saturday Classes for 2019

Join some Master Gardeners for fun garden themed projects or informative lectures – all for a very reasonable price.

Happy New Year!

We have a great line up of Second Saturday Classes for 2019. Join some Master Gardeners for fun garden themed projects or informative lectures – all for a very reasonable price.

All of the sessions take place on the second Saturday of each month from 10am till noon at the Education Center in Smedley Park in Springfield.

You can register by mailing in this form, or by calling the office at 610-690-7669. Register for any or all of the following sessions.

January 12     Birds in the Winter

Do you know the best ways to care for our feathered friends in the winter?  Find out what different varieties visit  your garden and what to feed them to keep them coming back for your enjoyment. Our speaker is the owner of a Wild Birds Unlimited store and will share his knowledge of our feathered friends.

Cost $10  Instructor: Ben Labovitz.

February 9   Pruning

Take the guesswork out of pruning your trees and shrubs. Learn how, when, and where to correctly prune trees and shrubs on your property. Ray Murphy a horticulturist at the Nemours Estate will share his knowledge of years of pruning.

Cost $10   Ray Murphy, Master Gardener and Professional Horticulturist

March 9    Vegetable Gardening

A baby Trumpet Squash

Expand your home vegetable gardening skills by growing your own fresh vegetables. Learn how to start your own seeds, how to plant and cultivate your vegetable plants for a healthy harvest.

Cost $10   Leslie Trimble, Master Gardener. You can register on line here.

April 13    The Spotted Lantern Fly

Spotted lanternfly on apple
Photo: Erica Smyers, Penn State

Learn the correct facts about the serious invasion of our new insect pest.  Find out how you can help and what are the best steps to controlling this new pest.  The Spotted Lantern Fly has been in our area for a few years but will probably be more of a nuisance this coming year.  Be involved and learn all you can do to help.

Cost:  Free to the public.   Instructor: Dr. Mark Boudreau Penn State Brandywine professor

May 11  Consumer Reports Workshop…..A Sustainable Diet

A healthy diet is better for the environment as well as you and therefore more sustainable. We will be provided tips on buying organic food and learn about comparison shopping between regular and organic food.  We will also do some taste testing and there will also be a give away.

Cost: Free, but limited to 30 people and you must register to attend.   Instructor: Linda Lawson,  Consumer Reports. You can register on-line here.

June 8    Bluebirds and build a Bluebird House

Learn all the facts about bluebirds (courtship, nest building, egg laying, hatching, feeding and more). We will also build a bluebird house. Please bring a portable drill with a Phillips drive.

Cost $20  Instructor: Ken Leister Limited to 15 participants. You can register on-line here.

July 13   Stencil Workshop

Create a garden themed slate hanging decoration using stencils and acrylic paint.  Feel free to bring your own favorite stencil or choose from our array of stencils  Take home and hang the same day.  Supplies included

Cost $15 Instructor: Gerri Eunson, Master Gardener    Limited to 15 participants

August 10     History of Colonial Medicines

Come hear about the history of our medicines from the Colonial Period.”Dr. Mom Colonial Style” to be exact.  Clarissa Dillon will discuss all of the original plant based medicines and some that weren’t plant based, as well as concoctions, tinctures and will also give examples of distilled and infused meds.  She will have many examples to view and find out how they were made.

Cost $10 Instructor: Clarissa Dillon, PhD Garden Historian

September 14   Tool Sharpening

Participants will learn simple sharpening techniques suitable for a variety of gardening tools, using a sharpening stone.  Each participant will receive a sharpening stone and illustrated instructions. Bring gloves, 2 dull gardening tools, safety goggles or glasses and a pencil or pen.

Cost $20  Instructor: Liana Bauerle, Master Gardener.  Limited to 18 participants

October 12    Barred Owls

Barred Owls are known for their call “Who cooks for who”. In this multi-media program you will learn about their secretive, unique, and very inquisitive ways.  Find out about their behaviors and the close encounter Pam had with them at a local park.

Cost $10   Instructor: Pam Dimeler, photographer, bird lover and naturalist

November 9   Origami

Join us for another fun workshop on the art of Japanese paper folding.  We will be making a holiday tree centerpiece, as well as a gift box that can be kept or given as a great holiday surprise.            

Cost $10   Instructor  Jesse Crew:  Master Gardener. Limited to 15 participants