Master Gardeners Gene Harrell and Karin Casner work in the demonstration garden at Schoolhouse 18 near Marshall.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension has opened registration for the 2019 Master Gardener Program.
Residents of Fauquier and Rappahannock counties can apply for the program, which will include 16 weeks of classes in Warrenton.
The Master Gardener program educates and trains participants on emerging and proven gardening and landscaping practices that preserve and protect the environment. Master Gardeners also volunteer in more than a dozen community projects related to organic gardening, native plants and trees, vegetable gardening, healthy lawns, youth education, senior horticultural therapy and more.
Information sessions will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11, for potential class members in the extension office at 24 Pelham St., Warrenton.
A session session also will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Rappahannock office at 311 J Gay St., Washington, Va.
“I am excited to have a class that will allow those that work a traditional job to attend,” Fauquier Horticultural Extension Agent Tim Ohlwiler said. “The program offers residents the opportunity to learn and grow as gardeners, and volunteer to make a positive impact on the environment and the quality of life in our area of Virginia.”
The Master Gardener classes will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 8 through mid-April. M. Ohlwiler and other experts will teach the classes, meeting primarily in Warrenton extension office. Virginia Tech and Virginia State University developed the curriculum covering horticultural topics including:
• Botany and flowers.
• Soils and fertilizers.
• Trees and shrubs.
• Integrated pest management.
• Fruit and vegetable gardening.
• Plant diseases.
• Plant propagation.
• Lawn care.
• New trends in horticulture.
• Community volunteer training.
In addition to the classroom sessions, each participant also will complete 50 hours of community volunteering in 2019. Participants can choose from a range of Master Gardener community programs to select volunteer opportunities that best matches their interests.
In Fauquier and Rappahannock counties, more than 110 Master Gardeners volunteer approximately 5,000 hours annually in local programs.
The cost of the program is $200 — and $250 after Dec. 11.
The feed covers all study materials and instructor fees. For questions or information on available scholarship assistance, call Mr. Ohlwiler at 540-341-7950, ext. 3.