Master Gardener volunteers can help the advanced and the novice gardener deal with everything from spiders and snakes to weeds and seeds.
The Master Gardener Program, of the Virginia Cooperative Extension-Prince William, has more than 200 volunteers trained to help. “Master Gardeners go through a period of about 75 hours in the classroom of college-level instruction to train them in horticulture and how to be advocates for the environment,” said Nancy Lengyel Berlin, a Natural Resource Specialist with the Master Gardener Program. “The Master Gardener Program is a program for volunteering in environmental education in Prince William County.”
Berlin said the Master Gardeners can collectively come up with answers to just about any gardening question and offer suggestions on what to do to fix problems.
People can call the Horticulture Help Desk at 703-792-7747, and leave a message with their question and a contact number; or they can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
. A Master Gardner will research the question and get back in touch with an answer.
Sometimes, Berlin said people simply bring their questions and problems right to the Virginia Cooperative Extension office at 8033 Ashton Avenue in Manassas.
“We get walk-ins with people bringing us plants, insects and snakes to identify, and we help people to learn all of the controls. We’re educators, not enforcers. We’re here to help citizens in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park, with their yard and gardening needs.”
Berlin’s suggestions to help people get ready for spring include evaluating gardens before the leaves come in and cleaning up gardening beds. “People should be looking at their landscapes in the winter time when they can see the bones of their garden – split branches, irregularities in crossing branches – and do some good pruning to make the tree healthier come spring when it’s ready to leaf out. Another good thing to do is clean up debris in the garden beds. Some of the dead leaves may harbor insects or fungal spores. Cleaning those up will reduce the amount of disease you have in you landscape.”
Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension-Prince William webpage
for upcoming classes or Master Gardener volunteering opportunities.