N.D. Master Gardener course starts Oct. 2

Farm Forum

If you love gardening and sharing your knowledge with others, consider becoming a North Dakota Master Gardener volunteer in collaboration with the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

This year’s Master Gardener training program will run for 10 weeks beginning Oct. 2 and ending Dec. 11.

The course will be offered online and in a traditional classroom setting. Classroom training will be held Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No classes will be held the week of Thanksgiving.

“If weekday morning classes conflict with your schedule, watch online lectures in the comfort of your home on your own schedule,” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and North Dakota Master Gardener director. “For those who prefer traditional learning, classroom training will be conducted in Bismarck, Cooperstown, Ellendale, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, Rugby, Steele, Watford City and Williston.”

Course topics include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, plant diseases and pests, and vegetable and fruit production. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.

Once participants complete the training, they are known as Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in their home counties. After that, they will earn a Master Gardener certificate.

Projects include answering questions at county fairs, organizing horticultural workshops, and managing school and community gardens.

Tuition for the 2015 class is $150 for those wishing to become a certified master gardener or $400 for those just interested in taking the class. Computer knowledge, Internet access and an email account are required.

Class size is limited; the class will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is Sept. 11. A registration form is available at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener/. For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service office or McGinnis at (701) 231-7406 or esther.mcginnis@ndsu.edu.