Q: How do I become involved with the Master Gardener program?
The first step to becoming a Master Gardener is to call your county’s cooperative extension center to find out whether it offers a Master Gardener program.
About 30 counties in Oklahoma offer the program, and if your county doesn’t, perhaps one in your area will.
In Oklahoma County, applications are being accepted for 2009 Master Gardener training until May 8.
Love of gardening
To become a Master Gardener, you must love gardening and be willing to share that love with others.
You also must attend a series of classes that begins in early September and continues through November. The classes meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and offer instruction in gardening, lawn care, fruit production, landscaping, tree planting and care, pruning, insect and disease control, soil improvement, and a long list of other horticultural subjects.
Willingness to share
In exchange for the education, Master Gardeners must donate 60 hours of their time to assisting others in their community by helping answer gardening and landscaping questions from people who call or come by the extension service office. Most Master Gardeners find that answering these requests becomes one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Last year, Oklahoma County Master Gardeners assisted more than 20,000 area residents with gardening questions.