A new Master Gardener program will begin on Thursday, Jan. 25. The class will meet every Thursday through April 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center on Highway 281.

Cost to enroll in the program is $150. For more information on becoming a Master Gardener, and to submit your application for this upcoming class, contact the Erath Extension Office at 254-965-1460 or erath-tx@tamu.edu.

Members of the master gardener program will be required to attend over 50 hours in specialized training courses.  The program offers instruction in lawn care; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; perennials and annuals; and water conservation. 

The Texas Master Gardener Program aims to:

Disseminate horticultural information to individuals and groups in Texas communities Develop and enhance community projects related to horticulture, including demonstration gardens and community gardens Develop a network to help administer local Master Gardener programs Enhance 4-H and youth programs by establishing 4-H horticultural clubs and Junior Master Gardener groups. Is the Master Gardener program for me?

Do you want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? Are you eager to participate in a practical and intense training program? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with people? Do you have enough time to attend training and complete volunteer service hour requirements within the 1st year (50 hours/12 hours annually) Do you have special interests that could benefit the community or an interest in developing one? (i.e. bird or butterfly knowledge, native gardens, wildflowers, etc.) Do you have a sincere interest in nature or gardening? Lonnie Jenschke is an Erath County extension agent.