Guest Author: Robin Young, Archuleta County Extension Director
Gardening is a popular hobby and leisure activity that provides outdoor physical activity, contact with nature and sharing with others. For many gardeners, digging in the soil, pulling weeds and harvesting fresh fruits and vegetables is comforting to the soul and makes the taste buds happy. Nurturing the plants can help you unwind and turn a stressful day into one that can be quite rewarding. Spending quality time in the garden allows the gardener a chance to slow down, be creative and enjoy simple pleasures.
If you have a love of gardening and would enjoy sharing your passion with others, perhaps you should begin thinking about becoming a Colorado Master Gardener.
As our state continues to grow with an influx of people moving to Colorado from around the country, many of these new transplants may find gardening at altitude a challenge. New Coloradans are not the only ones who may struggle, however. The widely differing climates across the state present a challenge even for seasoned Colorado gardeners, testing both skills and patience. But do not despair, the Master Gardener Program will help you gain the knowledge, skills and ideas necessary to turn your yard into a fantastic home garden.
Become a Master Gardener
To become a Master Gardener, your only prerequisite is to have a passion for gardening. The term “Master Gardener” does not mean that you have expertise in all subject matters related to gardening. The hands-on expertise comes from the 50-plus-hour apprenticeship. The apprentice program furthers your knowledge with continuing education opportunities, information provided by Colorado State University (CSU) Extension and from the knowledge shared by other Master Gardeners. If you are interested in learning without the volunteer commitment, you can complete the program with a Colorado Gardener Certificate.
Make an impact in your community
The Colorado Master Gardener program is specifically designed to use the services of trained volunteers who have horticultural knowledge gained through the program and a willingness to share that knowledge with their community. Many newcomers and inexperienced gardeners in Colorado are in great need of gardening advice. The Master Gardener training will give you the skills needed to diagnose and solve gardening problems and give you the confidence to share your expertise with others.
As a Master Gardener, you will:
- Answer gardening questions and share gardening expertise.
- Serve as a community resource and knowledge source.
- Design programs related to gardening.
- Participate at County Fairs and events.
- Demonstrate new gardening techniques.
- Help educate children about gardening.
- Participate in many other exciting community gardening projects.
The Master Gardener program and training is conducted by CSU Extension professionals and local experts via distance technology and face-to-face learning. The program covers the challenges specific to gardening in Colorado. A sample of topics covered includes:
- Soils, fertilizers and soil amendments.
- How plants grow.
- Mountain gardening.
- The science of planting trees.
- Lawn care.
- Weed management.
To register for the 2022 Colorado Master Gardener Program beginning mid-January, go to www.cmg.extension.colostate.edu.
The Master Gardener program is innovative and flexible in its outreach and works to match volunteer skills and schedules. Each year, Colorado Master Gardeners all over the state help people make the right choices for their garden care. Anyone who would like to play an active role in the education of gardeners of all ages is invited to join our Colorado Master Gardener team. Apply today.
About the Colorado Master Gardener Program
Colorado Master Gardeners work to enhance Coloradans’ quality of life by extending knowledge-based education to local communities, helping individuals make informed decisions about plants and fostering successful gardeners while protecting neighborhood environments. Learn more at cmg.extension.colostate.edu.