The Master Gardeners are volunteers, who have received training through a Florida Master Gardener Program, by the faculty of the University of Florida, through the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The program offers 60 hours of classes in areas such as basic plant science, soils and fertilizers, plant diseases, insect and pest problems, fruit culture, vegetable gardening, landscape care, and nematology. They are supported by, and work under the direction of the County Extension Agent (Horticulture) of the University of Florida’s Department of Environmental Horticulture as part of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
In return for instruction, volunteers agree to give at least 75 hours of service back to the Osceola County Extension. Master Gardeners volunteer in many ways. They help to maintain demonstration gardens, man plant clinics, test soil pH, assist in teaching classes, give speeches to local community groups on gardening, and help run 4-H and other community programs. They produce a newsletter, "Roots & Shoots", giving current gardening information. They also participate in the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods program, where homeowner’s yards can be certified as protecting and enhancing Florida’s natural environment.
Master Gardeners are motivated by several reasons, among them:
- to participate in a quality horticulture course.
- to get gardening questions answered.
- to interact with other people who have common horticultural interests.
- to help others, particularly to enjoy gardening.
- to further an already keen interest in horticulture.
Plant clinics are held daily Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Osceola County Extension Office, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, in the Osceola Heritage Park. Come in or call at (321) 697-3000.
Master Gardeners are available to help the homeowner in solving gardening problems. Any question that the Master Gardener is not trained to answer, is referred to the Horticulture Agent. Free bulletins are available that give detailed information on soil preparation and planting. There is also information on growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, shrubs, and trees.
Check out the various gardening handbooks in the links at the left, and the EDIS Home Page (The University of Florida database for publications) for special items on horticulture.
Check our Frequently Asked Questions link for answers to common gardening questions. Ask a Master Gardener a question on your wilting begonias, or how much water to put on your lawn. Send your E-mail to email@example.com
Cynthia "Cindy" Rutherford
"Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees."
-- The Glory of the Garden, Rudyard Kipling
- Beneficial Insects
- Florida Master Gardener Program
- Master Gardener Notebook
- Florida Lawn Handbook
- Home Citrus Handbook
- Vegetable Gardening Handbook
- EDIS Home Page
- Florida Yards & Neighborhoods
- The Gardening Launchpad
- Project Learning Tree