The Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners are starting new certification classes on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The classes are open to anyone interested in being certified as a Master Gardener and require no previous training. The series of ten three-hour classes are held every Tuesday evening (plus two Saturday classes) for 10 weeks. The classes take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the West Virginia Building next to the Demonstration Garden at the north end of the West Virginia State fairgrounds. Classes are instructed by a number of experts who are specialists in various topics of interest to gardeners including organic gardening, pest management, growing fruit trees, pruning, composting, soils and fertilizers, and many other gardening subjects.
Being certified as a Master Gardener, in addition to completing classes, requires 40 hours of volunteer work, during the year after completing classes, in one of the many projects being managed by the Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners. Many Master Gardeners chose to work in the demonstration garden at the WV state fairgrounds; other projects involve working with students in one of three local school gardening programs or in other planting/landscaping projects throughout the county.
Maintaining Master Gardener certification requires yearly completion of 20 hours of volunteer work plus 10 hours of continuing education. There are many opportunities for earning continuing education hours including attending monthly Master Gardener meetings, participating in various field trips, and attending the annual State Master Gardening Conference.
Cost of the series of Master Gardener Certification Classes is $85 which includes an extensive loose-leaf manual of gardening topics. For more information about the Greenbrier Valley Master Gardeners and to sign up for the classes which start on September 4, call the WVU Extension Office at 304-647-7408. The classes are limited to about 20 participants, so sign up soon if you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener!