Area gardeners can dig deeper with Master Gardener class

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Area residents interested in gardening will have the opportunity to become Master Gardeners this January when Extension Specialists with the Marengo County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System teach the basics of gardening in a Master Gardener class.

After the class’s highly successful debut in March, Kathryn Friday, county extension coordinator, said the next class will be held in January to give participants ample time to prepare for the spring.

The Master Gardener class is a certification course which, when paired with 40 hours of community volunteer work, will give participants a Master Gardener qualification.

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Friday said the class teaches topics spanning “the whole gamut of gardening” — from soil, fertilizers and composting to growing fruits, vegetables and house plants.

The college-level class is taught by Extension Specialists from Auburn University and within the community. It takes 40 hours over 10 weeks to complete.

The location of January’s class depends on the interest expressed in various area communities. Friday said the first class was given at the Demopolis University branch of Alabama Southern.

“I enjoyed the class so much that, if I were younger, I’d go to Auburn and get a degree in horticulture,” Friday said.

With such strong backing and 100 percent completion by those enrolled in its first year, the Master Gardener class is sure to educate, prepare and satisfy any interested gardener.

The registration fee is $65, covering the cost of the course textbook and other course-related expenses. At least 15 people must enroll to have the class. For more information, contact the Marengo County Extension office at (334) 295-5959.