April’s Ag Advice

April's Ag Advice by April Borders Do you love to garden? Do you have one of those perpetual green thumbs that no matter what you touch, it grows? Well, if you are a gardening buff and you love to share your experience with others, we invite you to come and join the Clay County Master Gardeners.

On Jan. 27 the Clay County Master Gardeners will hold their monthly meeting. The public is welcome to join us at 7:30 p.m. and listen to our guest speaker, Dave Roetman. Dave will be speaking on vegetable varieties that are good for our climate.

The Master Gardener Program is quite active in South Dakota and the Clay County Master Gardeners are planning for a fun filled year. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardeners classes will be starting in mid-May. We don't have an exact location yet but information will be coming soon.

Participants in the program will receive eight days of extensive training (over 60 hours) in topic areas such as lawn care, fruit and vegetable gardening, flowers and perennials, tree and shrub establishment and care, soils and fertilizers, disease and insect control, safe use of pesticides, and plant diagnosis. Participants also receive a large ring binder full of information covering these topics for South Dakota and surrounding states.

In exchange for the training, participants are required to return 50 hours of volunteer time to their county Extension program over the next two years. The type of service done by the Master Gardeners varies. Some answer telephone requests for information related to gardening. Others host plant clinics and build displays, speak to local groups, assist with the 4-H program, and work on city beautification projects.

Master Gardeners also help establish and maintain community garden plots, write local gardening news articles, or help with the horticulture exhibits at county achievement days and at the State Fair.

If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener you can contact Dr. David Graper at SDSU or you can contact the local Extension office at 677-7111. The Master Gardener program is a great way to share your knowledge and your love for gardening with people in the community. We hope that anyone interested in gardening will join us for our January meeting. It is open to the public and free. Watch for other upcoming Master Gardener programs and events.

Other upcoming programs:

Jan. 26 � Farmers Market Meeting � 2 p.m. at the Extension Offic.

Jan. 28 � SE Farms Annual Meeting � 9:30 a.m.

Jan 31 � Commercial Applicators Re-certification � Yankton.

Feb. 10 � C-Y Irrigators Annual Dinner � Volin.

Feb. 11 � Private Applicator Training � Parker 1 p.m. and

6 p.m.

Feb. 12 � Range and Pasture Meeting � Parker.

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