Hancock County Master Gardeners
The WVU Extension Master Gardener Program provides people interested in gardening with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills by taking part in Basic/Level 1 and Advanced/Level 2 training programs that provide in-depth training in various aspects of horticulture.
The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.
How do you join?
The first step is to see if your county offers the program. Many of those in West Virginia do, so even if yours doesn’t, a neighboring county may. Call the Hancock County office for information and watch for meetings in your area.
Once you’ve found a program, you’ll get 40 hours of training during a 12-week program where you’ll learn about a variety of things including: botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil and fertilizers, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, gardening equipment, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants, garden animals and teaching methods.
From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener!
Tri-State Master Gardeners Association
A combination of perfect spring weather and masses of plants drew a larger than usual crowd to TAMGA’s annual plant sale. Our Master Gardeners provided plants, both vegetable and flowering, along with planting advice and tips. They also gave a mini-class in making fairy gardens.
Kevin and Dawna Kale volunteered to spend several hours on a busy day at Trax Farm where they answered general gardening questions for the public.
Approximately 60 students were reached at New Manchester Elementary School when Bud Simmons, Shelly Anderson, Becky Walker, Doris Musselman, and Bob Brew presented Meet the Plants to the entire 3rd grade class.
TAMGA members continue to be involved, to varying degrees, with several community gardens in New Cumberland, Weirton, New Manchester, and Beech Bottom. Some of those involved are Bob Marino, Becky Walker, Bud and Marla Simmons, Bob Brew, and Ilene Davis.
Bob Marino reports that, in Weirton, several beds have been planted by local families, and more raised beds are being constructed.
Ilene Davis remains involved in Brooke County gardens, having taken row covers to the garden in Beech Bottom, three loads of “organic fertilizer” to one in Wellsburg, and helping to organize a new one at Franklin School.
Bud Simmons notes that all but five beds at the Magic Tree garden have been claimed by area families. The remaining five have been filled with plants donated by Dale Brandt of 4-Seasons Veggie Farm. Hoops have been moved to provide support for grapevines, and a shelter is being erected so classes can be conducted out of the sun.
Bud also reports that all six beds at New Manchester have been constructed, filled with soil, and are ready to plant.