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UCCE looking for a few master gardeners
master gardener
Master Gardeners are community members with a penchant for learning and teaching others (Photo contributed).

It’s almost time to begin planting fall gardens and the University of California Cooperative Extension wants to help you have a bumper crop.

The UCCE will conduct classes at Stanislaus County library branches this month, designed to provide basic gardening information to the home gardener, such as pest management, low-water use plants, and composting.

 A class will be held at the Turlock Public Library on Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. If you’re unable to attend that class, there will also be classes on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Empire, 98 I St.; Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Oakdale, 151 S. 1st Ave.; Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. in Patterson, 46 N. Salado Ave.; Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. in Riverbank, 3442 Santa Fe St.; Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. in Ceres, 2250 Magnolia St.; and Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Modesto, 1500 I St.

“Our role is to give basic gardening information to the normal, home gardener,” said Anne Schellman, UCCE Master Gardener Coordinator for Stanislaus County. “The classes are geared toward adults. We do have kids that attend, and some might be interested, but they’re geared toward adults.”

Beyond basic gardening, the UCCE is looking for interested applicants to become Master Gardeners for 2024. The application process ends Aug. 18.

According to a UCCE press release, Master Gardeners are community members with a penchant for learning and teaching others. 

“Every two years we offer training — like a boot camp for horticulture school,” said Schellman. “We learn about soil, horticulture, botany, etc.”

Master Gardener classes are once a week from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting Jan. 24 and ending May 22. Registration is $200.

After the 18-week term, new Master Gardeners will be ready to volunteer to teach others about gardening, work in the UCCE’s Pollinator Demonstration Garden, staff a booth at a community event, start a school garden program, help with hospitality for trainings, write articles for the Stanislaus Sprout blog, answer Help Line calls, organize material, enter data and conduct other office work.

For more information about becoming a Master Gardener, visit