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University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Science logo over the Florida Master Gardener Logo

Master Gardener training begins January 25th

Sharpen your gardening skills!

Highlands County Master Gardener Class is getting ready to start. Every year, the last Saturday in January, the class kicks off. After that first Saturday class, classes will be on Wednesdays until the last Wednesday in March. The main goal of Master Gardener training is to teach Master Gardener volunteers to work throughout the community promoting horticulture and helping residents with their plant issues. Participants will be instructed on many horticulture techniques but the real learning starts after the class when they ply their skills while volunteering.  The 10 classes runs 9 am-4 pm each day and include 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. On a second field trip, participants will learn about the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem. Classes in propagation, soils and fertilizers, citrus, plant maintenance and pruning and  vegetable gardening are just a few subjects they will cover.

Master Gardeners discuss different plants at a Botanical Garden Fieldtrip

Master Gardeners trainees discuss different plants at a Botanical Garden field trip. Photo by David Austin

Keeping busy!

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.

A group of Gardeners pose in their community garden with Master Gardener Volunteers. t th

Master Gardeners work with schools and throughout the community to promote horticulture  in Highlands County.

You can email David Austin at davidaustin@ufl.edu for more information. Please like my Hometown Gardener page on Facebook and stay up with the latest gardening info in Florida’s Heartland.

Need answers?

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. You can also call us at 863 402-6540

Keep in touch!

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Highlands County Master Gardener Class starts January 25th. Email me to learn more.

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