Extension master gardener program available

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Boyle County Extension 

The Extension Master Gardener Program is a nationwide program that was created to meet an increase in requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. Master Gardeners have become a vital part of Cooperative Extension’s ability to provide consumers with up-to-date, reliable knowledge so they can enjoy and protect the plantings around their homes. 

Email newsletter signup

Master Gardening also has become a fun and useful volunteer activity that has given its participants a sense of community spirit, accomplishment, and intellectual stimulation.

To start, participants undergo a rigorous 12-15 week program, learning all about botany, insects, pathology, pesticides, soil, growing fruits and vegetables, and many other horticulture topics. In return for the training you receive, participants volunteer a predetermined number of hours back to Extension. 

For the Boyle/Mercer county program, 40 hours are required the first year. Failure to complete this obligation means you are not entitled to wear a Master Gardener badge, nor participate in Master Gardener activities.

After you complete your payback time, you may choose to continue with the Extension Master Gardener Program. Numerous people have worked as Master Gardeners for years and contributed substantial amounts of time to Extension. To be considered an active Master Gardener, however, you must agree to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours a year.

Boyle and Mercer counties do a joint Master Gardener program through the local Horticulture Agents. Within just the past year, a total of 228 volunteer hours were given back to the Boyle and Mercer County communities. 

Projects such as management of flower trials and demonstration gardens, installation of native plants during the Community Day of Sharing,and clearing of invasive species were among some of the volunteer tasks. Local Master Gardeners also taught classes on botany, beekeeping, native plants, herbs and ecosystems at the local libraries, extension offices, and kid’s Plant Camp.

The next training offered for Boyle and Mercer counties will be in fall of 2018. For more information on the program visit www2.ca.uky.edu and search for “Master Gardener introduction,” or call the Boyle County Extension Office at (859) 236-4484; or the Mercer County Extension Office at  (859) 734-4378.