The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Mark Amara
WSU Grant-Adams Master Gardener 

Get your gardening questions answered, master program

 

Last updated 8/18/2020 at 11:26am

Barbara Guilland

WSU Grant-Adams Master Gardeners are a diverse group of individuals who can answer questions and can conduct educational outreach on a wide range of gardening topics.

GRANT-ADAMS COUNTY – With the current emphasis on staying at or close to home with the conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, gardening has become a more popular activity for individuals and families. The Washington State University Master Gardeners are eager to help. There are lots of publications and services available.

Master Gardeners have been providing public outreach in Washington state for almost 50 years. Washington State University Cooperative Extension started the first Master Gardener program in 1973 in the greater Seattle area to provide assistance with urban horticulture and gardening advice. The program has grown to offer Master Gardener programs in all 50 states as well as in eight Canadian provinces.

The WSU Master Gardener program came to Grant County, Washington, in 1982 when four interns were certified after completing rigorous training through the Cooperative Extension office. By the third year of the program, the number of certified Master Gardeners had grown to 32. Numbers have fluctuated over the years because to remain certified, Master Gardeners must take annual educational training to expand their knowledge and keep current on gardening issues. In addition, Master Gardeners are required to annually volunteer in a variety of public outreach activities that support the program.

Currently, there are about 20 Master Gardeners and interns here in Grant-Adams Counties under the auspices of the WSU Grant County Extension office who can help you with your home gardening questions. The Master Gardeners have been trained by WSU Extension and local industry specialists in subjects such as taxonomy, plant pathology, soil health, entomology, cultural growing requirements, sustainable gardening, nuisance wildlife management, and integrated pest management.

How do you find local Master Gardeners?

WSU Grant-Adams Master Gardeners are available to answer your questions through a free online service. Our answers are based on using science-based research produced by Washington State University or other university extension programs.

Right now, we offer a year-round email helpline: [email protected] WSU Master Gardeners staff the helpline via email and phone. Individuals may contact us through this medium with questions, and if digital pictures of their gardening and landscape issues or of plants or insects are provided, we can identify them and offer recommendations for controls or management. Additional information can be accessed by going to: https://extension.wsu.edu/grant/gardening/master_gardeners. We are available via phone (509) 754-2011 extension 4313, email (above), and videoconference, when available.

We hope that plant clinics at farmers markets or other venues will resume and that Master Gardeners will be available to speak at public events after the health emergency has passed. Currently, only virtual classes, clinics or online services are offered (in addition to distribution of our quarterly newsletter).

 

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