Gardener program aims to ‘give back’

Published 12:01 am Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dora Williamson tends to her flowers. File photo

Gardeners interested in a variety of different horticulture topics, while having the opportunity to give back to the community afterward, may be interested in taking part in a master gardener volunteer training course.

The course, sponsored by the Covington County Extension office, will be held from August to November.

Organizer Rachel Dykes said it’s a great way for gardeners to brush up on old skills while learning new ones.

“On top of getting garden and land information, it’s great because you have the opportunity to give back,” she said. “A lot of times, you just learn skills for yourself, but through this program you have to educate others. It’s a two-fold process.”

The training course will provide 50 hours of instruction in plant science and horticulture subjects, she said.

Specialists from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University will teach the course.

Dykes said topics include soils and plant nutrition, plant physiology, entomology, herbaceous plants, plant pathology, care of landscape plants, landscape design, plant selection, lawn care, weed identification and control and fruit and vegetable gardening.

After completing the 50-hour course, master gardener interns will be required to give 50 hours of volunteer service to the extension office and their communities through beautification projects, horticultural workshops and demonstrations, Dykes said.

The program will begin Aug. 16 and will run through Nov. 1 and be held on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost of the program is $90, and deadline to sign up is July 15.

To sign up, call 222-1125.