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

Greens and Gifts Event

Deck your halls With fresh, fragrant greens!

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The Delaware County Master Gardeners will be offering handcrafted, fresh-cut evergreen wreaths and holiday floral creations on Saturday, December 8 from 10 am to 2 pm at Smedley Park in Springfield.

Choose from an artful selection of gorgeous wreaths with assorted evergreens, berries, and natural accents; hanging baskets of greens; and mailbox swags.

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Also available for sale are table arrangements with and without candles, bundles of mixed greens, and lots of other unique holiday creations to celebrate the season.

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All of the items are handcrafted using fresh, natural greens and are priced well below market prices. Proceeds from the sale are used to support the Master Gardeners’ volunteer educational activities.

 

Pre-order for best selection

You can ensure your choice of greens with a pre-order. Simply print and submit this form with payment.

Orders will be accepted through December 3 for decorated wreaths, table arrangements, and hanging baskets. Your pre-ordered greens and gifts can be picked up on Saturday, December 8, starting at 10:00 am. Special arrangements can be made for pick-up on Friday, December 7, from noon to 3 pm.

Don’t forget the gifts!

Stop by Smedley Park on Greens and Gifts Saturday and browse the array of crafts, gifts and stocking-stuffers made by Master Gardeners. We hope to see you there!

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Want to see more samples?

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The Spotted Lanternfly Invasion

Spotted lanternfly on tree
Photo courtesy of Penn State Extension

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that has spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania in recent years, arriving in Delaware County in 2017.  It poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania agriculture, including the grape, tree fruit, hardwood, and nursery industries, ​and can become a significant problem pest to homeowners and residents.

Stopping the spread is a community effort, and we need your help!

The public can do a great deal to stop the spread of this invasive insect.

The extension service is asking homeowners to report sightings of spotted lanternfly to help with management and control.  There is extensive information about spotted lanternfly on the Penn Slate Extension website.  Information includes:

  • How to identify and report Spotted lanternfly
  • Signs, symptoms and potential damage
  • Management techniques for both homeowners and businesses
  • How to comply with the state Spotted Lanternfly quarantine

Informational Sessions

Penn State extension is also offering free Spotted Lanternfly Information Sessions to help inform the public about this threat. To find a session near you, visit the extension website here. Click on “Where and When” to find a session close to you.

Don’t see a meeting coming up in your community? Call your local Penn State Extension office to request a meeting.

Spotted lanternfly on apple
Spotted lanternfly on apple in Berks County, PA in October 2017. Photo: Erica Smyers, Penn State

Fall Fest 2018

The 15th Annual Fall Fest Gardening Symposium, Plant Sale & Marketplace is Saturday, September 29 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the Education Center in Smedley Park in Springfield, PA.ff2018-wreath

Join us for a fun filled day of gardening workshops, lectures and shopping. Choose from a variety of activities to create your perfect day!

You can register for an activity in each session. Choose and register for only  the lectures and workshops that interest you.

9:00 – 10:15 am Session Choices

Lecture A – Plants That Like Wet Feet

Nancy Bell, Gateway Garden Nursery: After all the rain we experienced this past season, do you have a soggy area in your garden? Well, Nancy will reveal which native plants thrive in moisture-laden soil, tolerate sun or shade, provide seasonal interest, and attract water-loving birds and amphibians. Fee: $20

Workshop A – Create a Terrarium

Ronie Connor, Master Gardener: Dreading those long, cold, stark winter months where you see a ho-hum, uneventful landscape outside your window?  We have a remedy for that. Build your own unique terrarium to take home and ward off those upcoming winter blues. All Supplies provided. Bring gloves. Limited to 15. Fee: $20

Workshop AA  – Making Stepping Stones

Mt Lopata & Liz Dalrymple, Master Gardeners:  Keep your feet dry while adding art to the garden! Make a customized stepping stone with Master Gardeners, Mt Lopata and Liz Dalrymple. All supplies provided but wear clothing protection if desired. Bring special mementos to add and make it your own. Limited to 15. Fee: $20

10:45 am – Noon Session Choices

Lecture B – The Double Life of Pollinators

Connie Schmotzer, Consumer Horticulture Educator, York Co. Ext.:  Did you know pollinators have a “dark” but beneficial side to their existence? Many are predators or parasitoids of our most annoying garden pests. Connie will show you how to recognize these garden allies in their different life stages, highlight the primary plants that support them and identify horticultural techniques that foster them in your garden. Fee: $20

Workshop B – Wreaths for Birds

Joe Daniels, Master Gardener:  Make an edible wreath to help our feathered friends endure the long cooler months ahead. This is a hands-on workshop using loads of goodies that birds enjoy. Suitable for both children and adults. Supplies included. Limited to 15. Fee: $20 (This class if full)

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12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM

  • Lunch (you can purchase a boxed lunch with registration if you wish)
  • DelCo Garden Contest Awards
  • Shopping

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Session Choices

Workshop C – Gardening & Cooking

 Jane Nyiri, Master Gardener:  This is a hands-on workshop where parent(s)/guardian(s) can take an active part in introducing a child to the world of gardening and cooking. Participants will plant seeds to take home, and will practice basic cooking skills to create a healthy recipe. Tips for gardening, cooking and recipes will be given. This workshop is geared for an adult with 1 to 2 children, age 6 and up. Fee: $3.00 per person.

Workshop CC – Stencil Workshop

Gerri Eunson, Master Gardener:  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. Limited to 15. Fee: $20

Workshop CCC – Wreaths for Birds

Joe Daniels, Master Gardener:  Make an edible wreath to help our feathered friends endure the long cooler months ahead. This is a hands-on workshop using loads of goodies that birds enjoy. Suitable for both children and adults. Supplies included. Limited to 15. Fee: $20

Don’t forget the Marketplace

The Marketplace will be open all day (Checks, Cash, or Visa/MC accepted).

  • MG Plant Sale – Our spectacular plant sale features native plants and other perennials sourced locally.
  • Frugal Gardeners Marketplace –  The marketplace offers gently used tools and other gently used garden items at very low prices.
  • Bake Sale – Wonderful home-baked  goods, featuring original recipes from the Master Gardener Cookbook (also for sale!).

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Register soon – space is limited

Registration Deadline is September 24, 2018.  We will refund your registration fee if notified by phone at 610-690-7669 before September 26, 2018.

For more information or questions contact: Linda Barry, Master Gardener Coordinator, 610-690-7669 or lrb16@psu.edu

 

 

Second Saturday Fun

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Have you heard about Second Saturdays?

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

There is still time to get in on the action.  Check out the summary of remaining Second Saturday sessions below.

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.


May 12 – Heavenly Hydrangeas

hydr-webHow do I know which Hydrangea is which? Should I go with the new cultivars or the old standbys? How do I get my Hydrangea to bloom, and what color will it be? Get answers to these questions and more, as we discuss this classic and easy-to grow group of ornamental shrubs and vines.

Cost $10 – Ray Murphy, Master Gardener and Gardener at Nemours Estate


June 9 – Bluebirds in Your Garden

birdhouse-webFind out the best ways to attract bluebirds to your garden. Learn more about them from naturalist, photographer, and videographer Pam Dimeler who has built and installed many bluebird houses at Linvilla Orchards and has kept them coming back from year to year at that site. Her informative and interesting presentation will have you as enthused as she is about our native bluebirds.

Cost $10 – Pam Dimeler, Naturalist, bird enthusiast, photographer, and videographer


July 14 – Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

monarchLearn about the multitude of interesting insects, birds, and butterflies that visit our gardens. Find out how to attract them by planting the plants they love to visit over and over again and helping our environment at the same time.

Cost $10 – Kathy Hornberger, Master Gardener


August 11 – The History of Kitchen Gardening

kitgard-webLocal garden historian, Clarissa Dillon will explain the background of Colonial Kitchen gardening, how it has developed over the years, and why it is still pertinent to use today. Clarissa will entertain and enthrall you with her fact filled, hands-on procedures she still maintains at the Thomas Massey House Garden in Broomall. Enjoy a summer reprieve from working in your own garden and find out how our Colonial forefathers set the tone for our kitchen gardens.

Cost $10 – Clarissa Dillon, PhD Garden Historian


September 8 – Fall Foraging

path-webTaking a walk in the woods anytime soon? Getting hungry? Learn to identify edible and tasty wild plants. This interesting and fun-filled workshop will teach you about foraging for these local wild plants in the fall forest. We will take a stroll in the woods at Smedley Park to find what plants we can snack on. Come Hungry!

Cost $10 – Dylan DeViliger, Red Hill Farm Co-op Farmer


October 13 – Tool Sharpening for Effective Pruning

tool-webParticipants 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 – Liana Bauerle, Master Gardener (Limited to 18 participants)


November 10 – Native Owls of Pennsylvania

Do you know how many owls are native to Pennsylvania? Have you seen any in your area? Come find out more about the lifestyles of our Pennsylvania Owls from naturalist Pam Dimeler. Her presentation of live footage and photos of our native owls will enthrall you and peak your interest to learn more about the bird that is at the top of the food chain in Pennsylvania.

Cost $10 – Pam Dimeler, Naturalist, bird enthusiast, photographer, and videographer

Home Gardeners School

hgs-2-webSave the date!

The 22nd annual Home Gardener’s School will be Saturday, June 2 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The Home Gardeners’ School is a day of gardening inspiration, learning from top regional gardening experts, and an opportunity to meet with fellow gardeners.  This event is hosted by the Master Gardeners of Delaware County at the Education Center in Smedley Park in Springfield, Pa.

hgs-4-webYou don’t have to be an experienced gardener to attend this event.  You just need to be curious about some aspect of gardening that you may want to try in your own back yard.

You can even plan your own day based on your interests.

We are featuring a selection of workshops and lectures. Create the perfect day by choosing one of the following combinations:

  •             2 Lectures and 1 Workshop
  •             1 Lecture and 2 Workshops
  •             3 Lectures

The day is broken into 3 sessions, just choose one from each session:

Session 1 at 9:00 am:

Lecture: Common Plant Problems – Emelie Swackhamer, Extension Educator – Montgomery Co. – Find out what may be ailing your favorites and what remedies to employ. In this session we will learn how to identify and manage some of the more common problems found in your vegetables and ornamental plants.

Workshop: Pruning: When and How – Ray Murphy, Master Gardener – Sharpen your pruning skills with Nemours Estate gardener, Ray Murphy.  Ray will discuss pruning tools and types, and the best times to prune.  Then go out in the field and find pruning opportunities to practice your skills!

Workshop -Vegetable Seed Starting  – Cynthia Sabatini, Master Gardener – Learn to grow cool weather vegetables from seed in the summer. We’ll cover timing, soil conditions, germination rates, fertilization and water requirements, controlling pests and diseases, and other cultural needs to ensure healthy crops.

Session 2 at 10:30 am:

Lecture – Planting Your Rain Garden – Constance Schmotzer, Consumer Horticulture Educator, York Co. Ext. – Rain gardens do double duty in our landscapes.  As they function to clean and infiltrate storm water they can also become an oasis for wildlife with wonderful colors and the sights and sounds of butterflies and songbirds.  Learn how to choose plants that “work” in your rain garden.

Workshop- Painted Leaf Impression Tote Bags – Carol Stahle & Jeanne Quintavalla, Master Gardeners – Create a unique canvas bag, hand painted with real leaf impressions.  Supplies, technique, and creative support are all included.  Bring clothes protection, if desired.

Workshop – Plant Propagation – A Hands On Approach – Sinclair Adam, Extension Educator & Horticulturist – Lebanon Co. – This course will be an applied practicum in plant propagation.  Students will experience propagation of woody and herbaceous plants by cuttings, by division, by seed, and by tissue culture. Stock plants will be provided, as well as all required planting materials.

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Session 3 at 1:00 pm:

Lecture – Surefire Trees for the Home Landscape – Dave Sanford, PhD, Ornamental Horticulture, PSU – Berks Co. – Considering the pest and disease problems affecting our more popular trees, we will look at better choices for today’s home landscapes.  We will consider how to select the best trees for both the small and larger properties to reduce long-term maintenance as well as provide the desired ornamental and environmental qualities.

Workshop – Foam Trough Planters – Mary Teresa Lopata & Elisabeth Dalrymple, Master Gardeners – In this session, we will make lightweight planters for your garden from recycled Styrofoam that looks like stone.  Learn this technique to create fairy gardens for your garden and more.  Bring clothes protection, if desired.  This is a fun re-purposing craft!

Workshop – Plant Propagation – A Hands On Approach – Sinclair Adam, Extension Educator & Horticulturist – Lebanon Co. – Repeat of above.

hgs-3-webDon’t forget the Master Gardener Marketplace.

Have fun shopping for fun, funky, and practical garden art, MG-recommended tools, pre-planted planters, Master Gardener-made creations, and locally sourced perennials and woody plants. Our selection is different every year so come early for the best selection!  All sales support our many community programs.

Gardening Questions? Ask our on-site Master Gardener Hot Line experts about your everyday garden and plant questions. Let us help you with “How To” tips for some of the most common situations.

The cost of the day’s programs including lunch is $65.

For more information or questions contact: Linda Barry, Master Gardener Coordinator, 610-690-7669 or lrb16@psu.edu