Don’t Miss Master Gardener Training in 2016

— Written By and last updated by Sue Nichols

Cyndi Lauderdale, Ext. Agent
December 21, 2015

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, a joint effort of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and volunteers, was created to meet requests from home gardeners for horticultural information. The Wilson County program has been successful for 23 years and has 33 people who volunteered in 2015.

Due to the continued demand for gardening information, we will hold an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training in spring of 2016. Training classes will begin on March 2. Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon through May 4. Training is planned to be multi-county with Wilson, Edgecombe, and Pitt. There is an estimated $125 fee for the class to cover local and state training materials.

How do you know if the Master Gardener program is for you?
*Do you want to learn more about plants?
*Can you commit to ride with a group in a van for multi-county training classes?
*Are you eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
*Are you willing to take a practical exam at the end of class?
*Do you look forward to sharing your knowledge with people in the community?
*Do you have time to attend all training classes?
*Do you have time to volunteer at least 40 hours in 2016 with a majority of those hours during weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.?

If you answered yes to all these questions, then you are a prime candidate to be a Master Gardener.

The Wilson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer students receive 40 hours of training in many areas related to horticulture such as botany, soils, fertilizers, insects, diseases, pesticides, pruning, vegetable gardening, fruits, lawns, trees, shrubs, and flowers. In order to graduate from the class you must complete a take home exam and a practical exam. The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer graduates are required to give to Cooperative Extension those 40 hours in volunteer service in county horticultural programs within one year.

Duties include assisting in responding to gardening questions by answering telephone calls and emails, garden work in the Wilson Botanical Gardens, setting up and conducting classes, meetings, clinics, tours, demonstrations, manning displays and speaking to outside groups.
Some of the projects the Wilson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers participate in are a garden telephone helpline, newsletter writing, youth classes, speeches to civic groups, fact sheet distribution, garden tours, fairs, and landscape demonstrations in the Wilson Botanical Gardens located at the Wilson County Agricultural Center. The Wilson Botanical Gardens has an arboretum, culinary and medicinal herb garden, mixed planting/display garden, Children’s Secret Garden, Heritage garden, pondside garden, container gardens, composting demonstration, greenhouse, daylily/ornamental grass collections, native plant garden and much more. New volunteer opportunities are available every year as our program expands.

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer is a true asset to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and county residents. We are delighted to continue the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Wilson County and look forward to working with community members in this exciting gardening experience. I personally appreciate all the hard work these devoted folks put in each year (over 2,880 hours in 2015). I am looking forward to continue working with them and you in the future.
To receive more information or an application for Extension Master Gardener Volunteer training call 252.237.0113. You can find more information on the Wilson County NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Wilson Botanical Gardens Facebook pages including a volunteer application that can be printed and mailed in. To speak directly to a volunteer who can tell you more about the program or answer any other gardening questions, call 252.237.0113 between 1-3 p.m. Wednesday or email