Training for extension master gardeners in Franklin County will begin in February.

This training will be computer-based and self-paced with several laboratory activities planned for hands-on application of knowledge. Participants will receive more than 50 hours of education in all areas of gardening: plant science, soil science, insects, fruits, trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials, plant diseases and problems, vegetables, wildlife habitats, water quality, landscaping, lawns and plant propagation.

The master gardener program is designed to support Cooperative Extension in serving the community through education in horticulture for Franklin County homeowners.

Projects currently being conducted by master gardeners include the Heritage Garden and the Giving Garden at Booker T. Washington National Monument, Habitat for Humanity landscaping, directory of local food producers, children’s programs at Dudley Elementary and Callaway Elementary schools, buffer landscaping demonstration garden at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center, buffer landscaping support for Smith Mountain Lake property owners and the Holocaust Memorial Garden at Ferrum College.

Master gardeners also serve as resources at the Franklin County Agricultural Fair and for programs at Franklin County Public Library branches and other organizations upon request.

Trainees are expected to perform 50 hours of service in one or more of these projects to become certified as extension master gardeners.

For more information, call Virginia Cooperative Extension office at 483-5161.

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