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What is a Master Gardener? What do they do? Is the program for everyone? Master Gardener program goals are to provide instruction and science-based information to individuals who will, in turn, volunteer in the community to share that knowledge with the public. Florida’s Master
Gardener program is part of the Extension Service of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).

To be considered for the Hernando County Master Gardener program, attend the orientation program from 6 to 7:30 PM, February 12, 2019.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite:


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Then submit a completed application form with background information and
references and the tuition fee of $140 which covers the cost of books and University of Florida Press instructional materials. This is an eleven-week on-line course about horticultural practices in Florida. Many topics are covered including, but not limited to irrigation, fertilization, pest and
disease identification, pesticides, insecticides, plant propagation, turf grasses, invasive plant species, forestry, and Florida’s ecosystem. The class meets for hands-on activities each Tuesday evening beginning on February 24 for ten weeks, with a final exam in early May. It is important
to attend every class.

If your objective is to learn how to care for your own garden, but not to share or teach; then this program is not for you. For your own edification, attend UF/IFAS Extension and Florida-friendly Landscaping classes in our community.

During the first year in the program, a Master Gardener trainee must commit to 75 hours of volunteer activities and 10 hours of continuing education in extension approved classes. After the first year, the volunteer requirement is 50 hours/year. Continuing education remains constant
at 10 hours/year. It is a big commitment, but it is easy to earn those required hours. 

Master Gardeners volunteer at extension programs in Hernando County,  staff information desks at garden centers and the extension service office. They also volunteer at the Master Gardener nursery and offer advice for gardening programs in the community.  They monitor and care for plants in the atrium at the Government Center in Brooksville. Master Gardeners do presentations and lectures for the public at community centers, libraries and at local schools.  They provide a resource for the public in Hernando County for Florida-friendly horticultural practices, identification of weeds or plant pests and disease. They staff information booths at local events. There are many ways to volunteer, based on interests, skills, and availability.

Continuing Education is available through classes and webinars on a variety of subjects.  This year, Master Gardeners had the opportunity to attend seminars about turf grasses, palm trees, vegetable gardening, green industries best management practices, existing wildlife & invasive species, as well as a first detector class on potential invasive pest insect species.  The programs were presented by advanced degreed lecturers with extensive knowledge in their fields of study. Master Gardeners are life-long learners.

Master Gardeners don’t always know the answers to every question but have the resources to find them.  If you decide that you want to join our dedicated group of Hernando County Master Gardeners, or just want more information; sign up for our orientation program on February 12th.  Call (352) 754-4433 for more information with a $5.00 fee or go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ufifas-extension-master-gardener-orientation-tickets-53308346700?aff=erelexpmlt


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