Master Gardener: Orientation program set
BY BRIAN JERVIS Ask a Master Gardener
Saturday, August 04, 2012
8/04/12 at 5:18 AM
Q. What is the Master Gardener Program and how can I get into it? Anne, Tulsa
A. The Oklahoma State Tulsa County Master Gardeners are volunteers from our community who enjoy gardening and sharing that information with others. A new class of Master Gardeners is trained yearly. For those interested, orientation lectures to explain the program will be held at the OSU Extension Center (4116 E. 15th St. located at gate 6 into the fairgrounds) at 10 a.m. Wednesday and repeated at 1 p.m. Aug. 15. You do not have to register to attend.
Interviews are scheduled following orientation. If you are selected, your first class begins Sept. 5 and continues each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for 15 weeks. This amounts to about 70 hours of instruction, giving the new Master Gardeners a solid background of gardening and horticultural information.
There are no educational requirements, and one does not have to be an experienced gardener to be in the new class. The classes are taught by OSU horticulture faculty and extension center horticulturists. A wide range of basic information is covered on topics such as lawns, ornamental trees and shrubs, annual and perennial flowers, insect and disease management, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, organic gardening and much more. After completing the training, new members are expected to contribute 70 volunteer hours the first year and 30 hours yearly thereafter.
There are many ways to contribute volunteer hours. They all involve educating people in the Tulsa area about gardening and horticulture. The options for participation include the following:
Three telephone help-lines are manned every weekday to assist up to 2,000 callers and walk-ins per month with diagnosis and recommendations for gardening problems.
The school program makes about 500 elementary school visits a year, and teaches more than 11,000 students about gardening.
About 25 retirement homes are visited each year, as gardeners interact with seniors and construct gardens for some homes.
Tulsa Blooms! is an exciting, new, ongoing program to beautify the Brookside area on Peoria with seasonal plantings in permanent pots.
Community outreach educational projects include exhibits at home and garden shows and other venues, including putting out a monthly gardening newsletter.
All Habitat for Humanity homes in the Tulsa area are landscaped by Master Gardeners.
The demonstration garden at the extension center contains hundreds of interesting varieties of labeled plants.
Both the annual garden tour and bedding plant sale are important events, allowing us to financially support all our volunteer educational activities.
There are about 95,000 Master Gardeners in the U.S. and Canada, and Tulsa has about 340 of them who would welcome you into the fold. Should you decide to enter the program, you are guaranteed to learn a lot and be rewarded with satisfaction that comes from helping others.
Original Print Headline: You, too, can be a Master Gardener
The Tulsa Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who help provide information and support to home gardeners and the community. For more, go to tulsaworld.com/mastergardener. If you have a garden-related question you would like the Master Gardeners to answer in a future column, call 918-746-3701.
Master Gardener classes are taught by OSU horticulture faculty and extension center horticulturists. BILL SEVIER/Courtesy