Master Gardeners – A Volunteer Program Sponsored by Penn State Extension

Master Gardeners are community volunteers trained by county extension agricultural agents. Once they complete their training, Master Gardeners begin volunteer service. They cooperate with service agencies and community groups on a wide range of gardening projects. They often provide hands-on training through demonstrations for home gardeners, clubs, and organizations.

Gardening with Kids

When I was a teen, my young nephews Bill and James asked my father if they could have a vegetable garden “just like Grandpa’s.” My dad, who raised much of the family’s food, obligingly turned over two small patches of good, fertile soil; located rakes and hoes and other implements of gardening suitable for small hands; and provided enough seeds to plant the most basic of gardens – beans, carrots, and lettuce.

Watering Tips

July is often a warm month and this summer is no exception. With our mild winter and lack of rain, many areas are experiencing drought conditions, making it even more important to practice good watering habits. Here are a few watering tips. Applying a layer of mulch to your gardens will hold in moisture. It will also help control weeds.

Plant Hardiness Zone Maps

With autumn passing through our area, signifying winter’s approach, I paused to think about the plant hardiness zone map. In particular, I was remembering how those “hardy in zone 5” crepe myrtles my mother planted last year were not hardy. Wondering where the hardiness zones originated, I did some research, only to find that hardiness zones are not an exact science, are often misunderstood, and have caused caustic debate among gardeners.