Master Gardener Monday

A while ago, fellow blogger Jan at Quiltify, asked if I’d explain the Master Gardener program.

Here in New Hampshire it is under the umbrella of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. They offer two classes each year with interviews being held for potential community-minded candidates from all ten counties. Each individual then attends class for one day a week for twelve weeks.

Once class and field time are finished, the intern is required to contribute 55 hours of service on community related gardening projects that contain an educational component. Subsequent years require 15 hours or 25 if you are an Advanced Master Gardener.


UNH Bee Hotel

Throughout the year, but especially during summer months, there are numerous Continuing Education programs offered.

For instance, my recent visit to Roger Swain’s property was part of this program as was a visit to the UNH Woodman Horticultural Research Farm last week to see and hear about their pollinator program and view their bee hotel.

Today, I went on a greenhouse tour and flower arranging workshop at Blue Bell Greenhouse.

Blue Bell has been offering a CSA program for 29 years, has thirty shares this year, and also sells cut flowers to local florists as well as those in the Boston area.

We were treated to rows of gorgeous vegetables and beautiful flowers. There were several take aways from today’s visit including the fact that they don’t do a lot of weeding. They have a system of leaving trenches for planting, soaker hose laid in the trench with the plant, and landscape fabric on both sides.


They also had the usual tomato stakes with the pipes across the top and strings tied to the branches. But, there were two other types that were really interesting. One row had regular tomato cages lined up with small PVC pipes woven in and out for support and to tie up branches. And another row had the tomatoes growing in between two vinyl coated fences which were attached to regular metal fence poles. (If you’re interested but need more photos, let me know and I’ll email some others.)


I completed the MG program in the spring of 2007 and achieved Advanced MG in 2008 which required additional educational credits and more community hours.

If you like gardening, enjoy meeting like minded folks, want to participate on community gardening projects and appreciate opportunities for continuing gardening education, the MG program may be something to look into.

MG designation or not, we’re all master gardeners in our own gardens and that’s the way it should be. Garden on, summer is fading. 🙂


About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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31 Responses to Master Gardener Monday

  1. Joyce says:

    This is the best way to pass knowledge from one generation to the next, and to keep research and development alive. The program provides a valuable service, too. Your work at local churches is certainly appreciated. Specialized skill is hard to come by “at that price!” 🙂
    My neighbor is a Master Gardener, but I had no idea how selective the process is and how much of a commitment was required. You must find a lot of satisfaction in the company of your fellow members!


    • It is pretty interesting when you gather together gardeners from all over the state who have individual gardening interests. Some only grow veggies or flowers, some both, others prefer water features, while others are retired landscapers or have nursery experience – it is definitely a learning experience. 🙂


  2. quiltify says:

    That sounds like a wonderful program! Congrats to you for being able to enjoy that program. I will say though, we are not all master gardeners in our own yards! At least I’m not…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the non-weeding idea with the trenches. Always something to learn.


  4. Cool. UMass has an almost identical program. My best friend lives (sort of) in the middle of the UMass model farm. They raise buffalo, among many other things.


  5. Ann Bailey says:

    Love the Master Gardener Program – and your blog!



  6. Dan Antion says:

    My neighbor is a Master Gardener but he never explained the program this well. Thanks for leting us know about the program. I doubt it’s something I would pursue, but it’s very interesting and the photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dawn says:

    It’s so interesting to learn about the Master Gardener requirements and ways of giving back to the local gardening community, schools, churches,… Congratulations on your success and hours of community service, Judy! It must be so wonderful to spend time learning with other gardeners. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    I also got my plastic MG name pass in 2008. It is a wonderful program. If you want to learn more about gardening and love to volunteer, this is a great opportunity!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Denzil says:

    That’s the 5-star Hilton Deluxe Bee Hotel!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gillian says:

    In a garden it’s a good idea to use landscape fabric to suppress weeds sometimes but if you leave it in place for a long time the ground becomes compacted, stale and airless underneath. I use mine in weedy spots so that my young plants can get going. When the annual flowers are over up comes the fabric and the earth is allowed to breath again, if you add compost/organic matter then you’ll see the worms return too.


    • You are correct, and they either take it up in the fall, or leave it down one winter and add compost to the planting area. They have a lot of people in and out of the area so it helps provide walkways as well. I have a love/hate relationship with regular landscape fabric. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great experience , Judy… much to learn and so many ways to learn these things. I love the idea of visiting other gardeners and growers to learn about their experiences.Love the volunteer component.


  12. this was interesting …I was not sure what-all you had to do! 🙂


  13. Your master gardening program sounds similar to the one in Georgia. I never took the course but have friends who are Master Gardeners and I always go to them when I have gardening questions. Love the Bee Hotel!


  14. Grandma Kc says:

    I often mention the fact that you are a master gardener but I had no idea what that really meant or what you had gone through and continue to do to keep that designation. You also take amazing photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Robert Edler says:

    I admire your gardening efforts. For years I planted a 20 X 20 veggie garden of mostly tomatoes and peppers in several different varieties that provided all the veggies for myself and my three brothers families. I made the best sweet red pepper relish ever. Then I discovered four eastern cedar seedlings growing in one of the old flowerbeds. I replanted them in a row along the south side of my back yard. They grew and prospered, and today I have a fantastic shade garden visited by a lot of cardinals, bluejays and many Eurasian Tree Sparrows. They’re nearly extinct in Europe and Asia, but thanks to German immigrants in the mid-1800s we have several colonies located around the St. Louis area. And apparently they really like my shady yard and trees. I miss the red pepper relish, but in my old age the shady yard is really nice too.


    • Your red pepper relish sounds wonderful. One thing about shade gardens is you don’t have to fight the blight and there are great farmers’ markets in most areas where you can take advantage of fresh veggies. When we lived in St. Louis and Kansas City, we really enjoyed the Cardinals that visited, but we don’t see near as many up here in New England. I’ve never seen an Eurasian Tree Sparrow so I’m off to google a photo. Thanks for stopping. 🙂


  16. Please don’t say summer is fading! Not ready yet.


  17. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed reading about your MG program Judy. IT’s fun to be around other gardeners.


  18. Congratulations (belated!) on completing the Master Gardener program and sharing your wisdom with others! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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