Benefitting Gardening and Community

The PSU Master Gardener Program

Mary Ann Ryan
Adams County Master Gardener

Have a love for gardening? Want to meet like-minded people with many of the same gardening interests? If the answer to either or both of these questions is yes, the PSU Master Gardener Program might be just what you are looking for. A Penn State Master Gardener not only learns research-based horticultural practices and environmental stewardship, but also meets new people with the same gardening interests and develops life-long friendships.

As a Penn State Master Gardener, you will be trained in horticulture by Penn State Extension educators. The training covers related topics like Botany, Plant Propagation, Plant Diseases and Insects, Soils and Composting, Pruning, Plant Identification, Integrated Pest Management, Native Plants, Vegetables, and other horticulture topics totaling 16 classes. Upon completion of the course, the Master Gardener trainees must dedicate 50 hours of volunteer hours to the Penn State Master Gardener program in Adams County during the following year and 20 hours thereafter to maintain their Master Gardener status.

The mission of the program is to teach people proper gardening practices and to be good stewards of our environment. As a Master Gardener, you have the opportunity to engage in activities that show and teach others about these practices. Some volunteer opportunities include teaching youth about gardening, presenting adult gardening classes, maintaining garden plots in the demonstration gardens, participating in the Penn State pollinator research program, and many more.

Our Trial and Demonstration Gardens are located at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg. As with most gardens, our garden is ever-changing. Beginning as a site for trialing plants for Penn State University, it has now developed into a garden of our own trials, as well as a research plot for monitoring pollinators. Monthly Garden Chats are offered in the gardens, beginning Wednesday, June 29 and continuing throughout the summer: Wednesday, July 13, Wednesday, August 3, and Wednesday, September 14. All chats begin at 6pm in the garden for no charge.

The month of May brings us our Spring Craft Series. Classes take place each Monday evening in May beginning at 6:30pm. Fun workshops this year include making a terrarium, designing a spring wreath, developing a bulb garden and planting a basket. All classes are $25 each for supplies and instruction. Contact Penn State Extension, 717-334-6271,, or stop by Penn State Extension, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg for more information.

In addition to our Spring Craft Series, stop by our plant sale on Saturday, May 21 from 9am 1pm where perennials, annuals and vegetables will be sold. We will also have slightly used garden books, pots, tools and other fun gardening items. Visit us and you may just be treated to a bake sale as well. All proceeds support Master Gardener programs. This event will take place in conjunction with the Gettysburg Green Gathering, a celebration of nature.

Becoming a Master Gardener is a fun and educational adventure. New training classes begin Wednesday evenings August 10, 2016 through January 18, 2017 from 6pm 9pm. The first nine classes are located at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg with the last seven at the Franklin County Extension, Franklin Farm Road, Chambersburg. The fee for this course is $200.00, which includes the training manual, handouts and worksheets as well as the expertise of Penn State educators.

If you are interesting in becoming a Penn State Master Gardener or want to learn more, contact Mary Ann Ryan,, 717-334-6271, ext. 319 or stop by Penn State Extension, 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg for more information. We look forward to seeing you.

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