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Cultivate Your Gardening Interest with Master Gardener Program

Burlington--Calling all gardeners. Whether you are into food production, fruits or flowers, the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener Program can help broaden your knowledge of home horticulture.

Beginning Feb.4, the program will offer an informative 13-week course at Vermont Interactive Technologies (VIT) sites throughout the state. It's open to everyone from aspiring to experienced gardeners and provides graduates with the opportunity to give back to their communities by becoming a certified Extension Master Gardener.

Classes will be held Tuesday evenings from Feb. 4 through April 29 from 6:15 to 9 p.m. The first class starts at 5:45 p.m. for a brief student orientation.

VIT sites in Bennington, Brattleboro, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Randolph Center, Rutland, St. Albans, Springfield, White River Junction and Williston will be used for the course. Early registration is advised as some sites fill up quickly.

What will you learn?

The course, which is taught by UVM Extension faculty and staff and horticulture industry experts, covers a diverse range of topics including home vegetable gardening, pest and disease management, soil fertility, botany basics, rain gardens, weed control and small fruit production.

You'll also learn about sustainable landscape practices, as well as turf management and how to grow annuals, perennials and herbs. An added benefit is that you will have the opportunity to network with other gardeners and horticultural professionals.

How can you sign up?

Go to http://www.uvm.edu/mastergardener to download the registration form. Or you may contact the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program Office at (802) 656-9562 or master.gardener@uvm.edu. If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate, please call by Jan. 3.

The course fee is $395, which covers all classes and materials including the required course textbook. To avoid the late fee, be sure to sign up before Jan. 17.

If you want to become a certified Extension Master Gardener, in addition to the course, you will need to complete a 40-hour volunteer internship. You can fulfill that commitment over a two-year period by giving gardening talks to local groups, writing gardening articles, staffing exhibits at fairs or farmers' markets or participating in ongoing UVM Extension Master Gardener service projects in your area.

For more information, contact the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program Office at (802) 656-9562.

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