Did working from home and staring at your yard ignite the desire to learn more about gardening? If so, now is the time to apply for the Arkansas Master Gardener program, the state’s largest horticulture volunteer and education organization.

On-line training is slated to begin on March 1. It is a self-paced training that lasts until May 15, 2021.

The deadline to have your applications in their office is February 22, 2021. Applications are available through your Miller County Extension Service, located in Room 215 of the Miller County Courthouse, 400 Laurel, or the application is available online. If you have any questions or would like an application mailed or emailed to you, please call 870-779-3609 or email jsmallwood@uaex.edu. The cost of the training is $100 and covers your book, training materials, name badge, and first year’s dues. The fee should be remitted along with the application.

“This program would be of interest to anyone who would like to sharpen their horticulture knowledge and skills,” Berni Kurz, extension educator-consumer horticulture for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said.

“Individuals will be able to complete an online horticulture training program designed for homeowners who are interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer through their local County Extension office,” he said.

Trainees will learn about basic botany, soils and fertilizer, pest control, and pesticide use. In addition, there will be classes on landscape design, vegetable and fruit gardening, annuals and perennials, and other topics of interest to homeowners.

“Once the participant completes the course, they will be immersed in Master Gardener volunteer projects where they will be able to put newly learned skills to action and learn gardening secrets from other Master Gardeners,” Kurz said.

For general information about the Master Gardener program in Arkansas, visit their website.

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