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Master Gardener Training

The first Master Gardener training in Rusk County was held in 2003. Since that time, we have added new members to the association each year. A love of gardening and search for knowledge is central to why Master Gardeners join the program. They remain Master Gardeners to enjoy the camaraderie and friendship of others who share their interests, to gain and share horticulture knowledge, and to give back to the community.

Master Gardeners go through an intensive training course consisting of topics including; lawn care; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; and soils and plant nutrition.

In addition, Master Gardeners also receive instruction in vegetable gardening; home fruit production, and many other relevant topics. Rusk County Master Gardeners also have toured numerous plant farms, rose nurseries, university gardens, and other horticulture oriented enterprises in the East Texas area.

In 2005, 115 County Extension Master Gardener programs trained 1,243 Master Gardener Interns in the state of Texas. To gain certification, each intern must attend 50 hours of class training, pass a test and contribute a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service. To retain certification, each Master Gardener must take 12 Certified Educatonal units and contribute a minimum of 12 volunteer hours per year. In 2005, the corps of Texas Master Gardeners totaled 4,724 Master Gardeners, providing 353,774 hours of their time to Extension educational projects statewide.

To find out more about becoming involved in the next Master Gardener training,
contact the Rusk County Extension office at 903-657-0376 or e-mail me at and be sure to type Master Gardeners in the subject line.


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