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Close-up of red and green caladium foliage.

Highlands County Master Gardener class starting January 26th

Sharpen your gardening skills!

Highlands County Master Gardener Class is getting ready to start. Every year, the last Saturday in January, the class begins. The classes are every Wednesday after opening day until the last Wednesday in March. The main aim of the class is to train Master Gardener volunteers to work throughout the community promoting horticulture and helping residents with their plant issues. The class runs 9-4 each day and includes two field trips. The group will tour Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach for one morning and attend a class there in the afternoon. Another field-trip will take them down to Archbold Biological Station south of Lake Placid where they will learn about the Lake Wales Ecosystem. Other classes in propagation, soils and fertilizers, vegetable gardening are a few subjects they will cover.

Keeping busy!
Instructor teaches as class looks on

Instructor John Gose of Lykes Brothers Citrus teaches Master Gardener Trainees about budding Citrus. Photo by David Austin

Master Gardeners do a lot of work throughout the community. Last Year the Highlands County Master Gardener volunteers contributed 4500 hours of service to  the community. They operate a help desk at the extension office helping resident solve their gardening issues. They can also be found at local events and festivals operating a mobile help desk.  Behind the Agriculture center they grow plants to sell at their annual Let it Grow Garden Festival where they raise money for local scholarships and community projects. They can also be found maintaining a demonstration butterfly garden behind the Agriculture Center.  Whether working with school gardens, or helping residents keep their yards beautiful, there is always something fun to do. That’s the news from the Hometown Gardener.

Do you want to be a Master Gardener volunteer?  Class is starting soon.                                            Email me at davidaustin@ufl.edu for details! 

Like my Hometown Gardener page on Facebook and stay up with the latest gardening info in Florida’s Heartland.   Sign up for our Master Gardener Newsletter Here. 

Need answers?
esidential Horticulture Agent, David Austin clowns around with Master Gardener Rockabilly at the Master Gardner Help Desk

Residential Horticulture Agent, David Austin clowns around with Master Gardener Rockabilly at the Master Gardener Help Desk

Have a plant problem, a bug to ID, or any other horticulture related problem? Come see us at the Master Gardener help desk in the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension office. We are at 4509 George Blvd., Sebring in the Bert Harris Agricultural Civic Center. Master Gardeners are on duty from 9:30 to 3:30, Monday through Friday.

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