Who are the Master Gardeners?

We are your neighbors who love to garden, have extensive training, and want to share this environmentally responsible and sustainable knowledge with you. Master Gardeners are volunteers who answer horticultural questions from the public, speak to local groups, present monthly brown bag lectures, conduct workshops, create landscape designs for non-profits, work with youth at school gardens and write articles for local newspapers.

Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced pro, our goal is to help you with the latest and greatest science-based information on gardening for our unique environmental conditions.

What to plant?  Take a look at “In Our Coastal Gardens” under PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES at the top of the page.  This booklet is available free (thank you San Patricio Water District) at the AgriLife Extension Office and covers trees, shrubs, palms, tropicals, and even what not to plant.  If vegetables and herbs are your cup of tea, stop by our office, we’ve got a wall full of handouts on the when and how for our area.

When plants have problems.  Contact our help desk, either by phone or come in to the Agrilife Extension Office.  We have experienced gardeners available as well as printed articles on plant diseases, soil conditioning, insects, and all topics garden-related.  Bring in a sample of the problem (in a zip-locked bag) and we’ll put our best detectives to work on it.  We also come to you – request a visit from our “Tree Team” to sleuth out what ails your prized arboreal specimen.

Meet and learn from other gardeners.  Throughout the year we have talks by local and area experts.  Our monthly Brown Bag talks are one hour long at noon – take a break at lunch and find out what’s new and exciting.  Seminars are held at various times of the year and are a more in-depth look at timely topics.

Master Gardeners is a non-profit program of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Services. Started at Washington State University in the early 1970s, the Master Gardeners program spread to Texas A&M University in 1978 and then to all 50 states and 4 Canadian provinces.  Currently, the program has almost 100,000 members who volunteer 5 million hours of service per year to their communities.  Master Gardeners is a federal and state non-profit program and depends totally on donations and fund-raising for its programs and activities.

Locally, the program is led by Ginger Easton Smith, County Extension Agent for Aransas County.  To join Master Gardeners, we offer a 3-month training course starting in August, with an Introduction & Registration session in mid-July.  Please contact the Extension Office, 892 Airport Road, Rockport, Texas, 78382, 361-790-0103, for more information.

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