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Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices.

Master Gardeners workshops

UD Cooperative Extension offers Master Gardener workshops to Delaware community

The University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will offer a series of workshops throughout the spring across all three counties to help educate Delawareans with an interest in gardening.

The Master Gardeners recently celebrated 30 years of service to Delaware and year 32 continues with a diverse and interesting series of spring workshops. 

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. 

New Castle County

March to the Garden: Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 461 Wyoming Rd. in Newark. The March to the Garden is designed for novice and experienced gardeners alike. The day features a variety of workshops, giveaways, food and an opportunity to network with other gardeners. The Master Gardeners will focus on gardening essentials to help participants with everything from plant selection to garden harvest.


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Beginner Vegetable Gardening: Monday, Feb. 12 and Thursday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sign up is for two sessions and costs $25. In two fun and informative sessions, the Master Gardeners will cover the essentials for success: soils, siting, amendments, and of course all the individual vegetables, from arugula to zucchini.

Pest Management - Stress Relief for you and your Garden: Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $15. From critters to slugs, bugs to grubs, weeds, seeds, spores and more, pests can cause stress to garden plants and frustrate carefully prepared garden plans. This workshop will offer tips on how to deal with these problems. Participants will learn about the variety of pests that can attack their plants and the clues they leave that will help to identify the likely culprit. Participants will also consider strategies, practices, tools and a little philosophy of managing pests so that they and their plants can reduce the stress from pests.

Shade Garden Success: Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $15. Participants are invited to learn how to transform a shady spot into a lush, peaceful, calm and relaxing oasis.

Pruning Basics: Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $15. This workshop will cover the basics of pruning common plants, including shrubs and trees, for the health of the plant and the desired shape. Master Gardeners will discuss height, form and function, future growth, and the overall health of each plant to help participants develop the landscape they’ll enjoy.

Containia Mania: Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost is $25. A hands-on, messy workshop, where participants can keep the plants. Bring gardening gloves and a 12-inch (diameter) container to learn the basics for container planting with annual ornamental plants.

Click here to sign up for any of the New Castle County workshops.

Kent County

The Kent County Master Gardeners are planning a series of workshops for the community through February. Classes are held at the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Office, Paradee Center, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, unless otherwise stated.  Contact the Extension Office at 302-730-4000 to register. The schedule is as follows:

Claude E. Phillips Herbarium: Friday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. No cost, but space is limited to 20 participants at the Delaware State University Herbarium. The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium, located at Delaware State university, is the only public herbarium on the Delmarva peninsula. It is a botanical resource center that houses a diverse collection of more than 210,000 plant materials from around the world. In this event, Cynthia Hong-Wa, curator, will share the functions of the Herbarium and provide an overview of the scientific collections that include mounted plant specimens as far back as 1799. Participants will also receive an exclusive look at other collections that highlight the importance of plants in general.

Time to Multiply Greenery – Propagation Workshop: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is free, at Delaware State University Greenhouse. Spring is a great time to start plants or nurture them in readiness for the growing season. During this workshop, Rose Ogutu, DSU Horticulture Specialist, will explore the many ways used to propagate plants. Participants will learn the basic principles for propagation. Together, they will explore the best way one can determine how best to propagate a plant that one might not be familiar with. Participants are encouraged to bring plant materials that they wish to propagate.

Sussex County

The Sussex County Master Gardener Workshop schedule includes a wide variety topics. Of special note, the Master Gardeners are hosting a presentation and book signing by Author Ruth Clausen.  The classes are free, unless otherwise specified, and held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown 19947.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.:  Master Gardener Judy Pfizer will talk about Growing Native Plants from Seed. Learn how to grow native plants from seed – a great way to populate a garden with native plants without breaking the garden budget.  Participants will learn tips and techniques for seed starting indoors and outside, requirements for germination and will take home native seeds to start their own plants.

Tuesday, March 6, 6:30 p.m.:  Michele Walfred, University of Delaware Communication Specialist, will present Snap It and App It, a presentation on photography and creating gorgeous garden portraits and photo journals. This session will examine DSLRs, smart phones, lenses, apps and software as well as an array of gadgets and techniques to turn garden portraits into works of art. Participants are asked to bring their devices to this session.

Tuesday, March 20, 1 p.m.:  Master Gardener, Penny Deiner will share The Idea Garden. Participants will look back on last year’s garden to see whether they want to make small changes or big ones, subtle or profound, a larger garden or a smaller one, primarily annuals or perennials, vegetables or flowers. Deiner will share ideas that have worked in the Extension demonstration garden and in her personal garden.

Tuesday, April 3, 1 p.m.:  Master Gardener Betty Layton will present a workshop on Accessible Gardening entitled Garden Smart, Garden Easy. Learn what tools and techniques are available for the gardener as we age or develop mobility issues. 

Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.:  Author Ruth Clausen will speak on her book, 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants. Keeping a beautiful garden safe from deer is as simple as choosing the right plants. Clausen introduces the most versatile options: white snowdrops that bloom in the spring; shade-loving, electric gold hakone grass; long-blooming Texas sage in vibrant reds, peaches, and pinks; and the feathery foliage of Arkansas blue stars that glows golden in the autumn. Books will be available for purchase at about $20 and Clausen will be available to sign books after the presentation.

Tuesday, April 24, 1 p.m.:  Master Gardener Bill Huxtable will talk about Shade Gardening.  This workshop will help participants decide what plant or plants to use in their garden’s shady areas. There are a number of plants that love the shade from which to choose. Handouts will be available to assist in picking the perfect plant.

Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 p.m.: Master Gardener Tracy Mulvaney will hold a craft workshop called Making Seed Tape Cards and Other Items for Gifting to gardening friends.  Bring your children and grandchildren to this fun workshop. Limit to 25 participants. Fee $5.

Tuesday, May 15, 1 p.m.:  Master Gardener Terry Plummer will present Landscaping with Native Perennials. Make garden life easier with less watering and less fuss. Plant native perennials for a delightful landscape. Plummer will introduce you to a wide variety of native plant materials that will draw insects and the birds that love to eat them.

Pre-register for workshops by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585, ext. 544 or by email at tammys@udel.edu.  

It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

For assistance with home lawn, garden and pest questions, contact:
Sussex County Garden Helpline (302) 856-2585 ext. 535.


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