AgCenter: ‘Master Gardener’ course now available

Residents of St. Charles and St. John parishes who are interested in becoming a Louisiana Master Gardener volunteer, are invited to participate in the 2015 LMG certification program beginning April 7.

The 12-week course costs $150 and will meet weekly on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., as well as meeting for three Saturday session to be announced.

The Louisiana Master Gardener certification program is designed to recruit and train volunteers to help meet the needs of home gardeners while providing an enjoyable and worthwhile experience as gardening educators. The volunteer aspect of the master gardener program allows individuals to dedicate their time and talents to helping the public improve their knowledge regarding best management practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship.Class participants are not required to have an extensive horticulture background or knowledge as the course work is tailored to beginner and experienced gardeners.

The twelve-week certification course will involve one class session per week held each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Included will be three Saturday sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Classes will alternate between the St. Charles Parish County Agent’s office of the LSU AgCenter located at 1313 Paul Maillard Road in Luling, and the St. John Parish Library located at 2920 Hwy. 51 in Laplace. Additionally there will be two class field trips to the LSU Ag Center’s Hammond Research station in Hammond, and Burden Center in Baton Rouge.

Classes will include basic training on specific horticulture subject matter areas involving soils and plant nutrition; botany; plant propagation; plant pathology; entomology; vegetable gardening; fruit culture, woody ornamentals; annuals & perennials; lawn management & weeds; diagnostics and problem solving.

Class instruction will be provided by Ph.D. specialists and parish-level agents of the LSU AgCenter.  Additional instruction will be provided by certified horticulturalists, Master Gardeners, and other green industry professionals.  The $150 program covers the costs for the training manual and teaching supplies, and is due the the first day of class on April 7.  Class size will be limited to a maximum of 20 participants.  To qualify for selection, a Louisiana Master Gardener application must be submitted and received at the St. Charles or the St. John Parish Extension County Agent’s office no later than Mar. 6.

To request an application for participation in the 2015 LMG Certification training program call the St. Charles Parish Extension office at (985) 785-4473 or the St. John Parish Extension office at (985) 497-3261. The Louisiana Master Gardener program is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and is open to all adults.Rene’ Schmit is the LSU AgCenter County Agent for St. Charles Parish and can be reached at 985-785-4473.

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