Archive of ‘Master Gardeners’ category

Sussex County Master Gardeners annouce summer/fall workshop schedule

Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce their summer/fall schedule of workshops for 2011. Pre-registration is required for all Master Gardener workshops.  Please email or contact Tammy Schirmer at 856-2585 ext 544 to register.  Click here to register online! If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Download the Master Gardener brochure here for summer/fall 2011

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. In 2010 Sussex County Master Gardeners provided outreach to 5, 315 participants via 59 workshops.  Collectively, in 2010 Master Gardeners donated 5,631 hours of expertise to local Sussex communities.

Delaware State Fair, July 21-30, 2011 – Visit us at the Fair!

Cost: Free. Every year we make ourselves available to meeting with fair goers and answer any gardening questions they may have. Please visit us at our gazebo near the grandstand…even if it’s just to stop and say, “Hello.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 – Tomatoes

Presenter -Ingrid Hetfield
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3
Cost: Free. Tomatoes; the vegetable gardener’ favorite, but real prima donnas when it comes to growing them successfully!  Join us to learn the “how” of a good start and the “why” of the problems that can plague tomatoes.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011 – Butterfly Gardening

Presenter-Linda Peters
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. Learn the basics of gardening to attract these creatures to your garden. We will talk about the food, water and habitat requirements they need to thrive. Join us for a Butterfly Walk in the garden following the workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 – The Harvest

Presenters-Linda Peters and Ana Dittel
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. We planted a wide variety of vegetables in our demonstration garden. come to the harvest workshop to learn about what was planted and what worked and what didn’t. We will also sample some of the vegetables that have been harvested.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – Composting

Presenter-Fred Silva
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3.

Cost: Free. Learn how to make your yard and garden waste work for you as a home compost or pay to have someone else deal with clippings and sell them back to you as compost.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 – Putting Your Garden to Bed

Presenter-Cherie Dorfman
Noon, Carvel Meeting Room 3.

Cost: Free. “Get rid of debris; get rid of disease.” Learn how to clean up your garden and prepare for the next growing season.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 – Garden Information Resources

7:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: Free. Master Gardeners will share their favorite resources for gardening information including books, journals and websites. Bring your favorites to share!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 – Gifts from the Garden

Presenter-Tracy Mulveny   LIMIT 25 PARTICIPANTS
1:00 p.m.,
Carvel Meeting Room 3.
Cost: $5.00 per person. We will demonstrate several simple crafts you can do using materials from your garden. The results will make thoughtful gifts for your garden-loving friends. Materials will be provided for a project you can take home.


Register for any or all workshops here!

UD Master Gardener’s “A Day in the Garden” and plant sale returns on Sat. July 16.

Where: Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. 19947. Look for the blue and gold tent behind the Carvel Center.  Carvel is one quarter mile west of Sussex Tech H.S. and on the same side of the road.
When: Saturday, July 16, 2011
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
Parking: Ample and free
Website: For more details about A Day at the Garden

Sussex County Master Gardeners, of Delaware Cooperative Extension for both Delaware State University and University of Delaware, invite the public to their Open House on Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sussex County Extension Office in Georgetown. Admission is FREE. Visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the event and join Master Gardeners in supporting the Delaware Does More Program – growing food and funds for neighbors in need. Visit the Open House website here.

This year’s highlights include:

Plant Sale: Back by popular demand, Master Gardeners will have a plant sale with proceeds benefiting their educational outreach programs

Accessible Gardening.Tour our gardens to get ideas for quick and easy ways to make gardening enjoyable for all. See tools and gardening aids, raised beds, containers and much more.  Receive tips from a visiting physical therapist for staying fit and working in the garden at any age.

Farmer McGregor explains how he and Peter Rabbit get along. Showtimes are 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand! Sussex Master Gardeners will have annuals and perennials for sale!

Children’s Garden. Enjoy the garden drama “Peter Rabbit’s Adventures in Farmer McGregor’s Vegetable Garden.” Meet Farmer McGregor and Peter and hear their story.  Go on a scavenger hunt or enjoy our butterflies, frogs and goldfish. What’s it like being inside a teepee trellis? Come and find out! Bring your camera for great photo opportunities.  Come enjoy all our children’s activities – from learning about insects, to potting your own plant and more!

New to Vegetable Gardening? Learn about Square Foot Gardening, using raised beds and containers for growing vegetables.

Save your Harvest! Learn how to easily preserve what you have grown in your garden!  Demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

New to Vegetable Gardening? Learn from years of Master Gardener experience and tour our vegetable garden. Learn about the Plant A Row Program to help those in need enjoy fresh produce

Rain barrels are great ways to catch rainwater for use in the garden… Learn how to make your own!

Tool Sharpening. Bring yours and learn how to sharpen them properly.

Sussex County Master Gardeners share gardening tips with participants. Master Gardeners donate fresh produce to the Plant A Row For the Hungry Program from their garden each year.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. Visit our native plant, herb, shade, bog, annual, perennial, pond, butterfly and children’s gardens.  Get ideas for gardening with limited space using raised beds and containers. What varieties grow well in Sussex County?  Tour our azalea, hydrangea and annual trial gardens to find out.  Plus…container gardening, vertical gardening, square foot gardening, raised beds, native plants, backyard habitat, soil testing, composting, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs!  Have a plant problem? Bring it to our plant clinic for identification and recommendations.

Have a plant problem? Bring it to our plant clinic for identification and recommendations.

For More Information: Contact Tracy Wootten at 302-856-2585, ext. 538, or Tammy Schirmer at ext. 544, Please visit our website for detailed directions, photo gallery and more information:

Update: See photos from the 2011 A Day at the Garden!


UD demonstration and woodland gardens offer opportunities for little hands to explore

This past May, when Delaware’s flora and fauna were expanding and showing off their diverse vibrancy, the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension staff and volunteers invited pre-school and elementary students to explore their outdoor classrooms. Located on the Carvel Research & Education Center’s grounds in Georgetown, Dot Abbott, state extension agent in Renewable Natural Resources, and Tracy Wootten, Sussex County horticultural agent and liaison for the

Farmer McGregor explains how he and Peter Rabbit get along!

Sussex County Master Gardeners, hosted a variety of outdoor classrooms available to informally teach curious minds. Staffed by volunteer Master Gardeners, the Demonstration Garden and woodland outdoor classroom became a fresh-air venue for everything green and growing – a day of adventure, investigation and hands-on learning that included getting friendly with Delaware garden soil. There’s just no better way to get one’s hands dirty…er…we mean soily!  You can view all the pictures of May’s outdoor classroom activity here!

May is not the only opportunity to explore nature’s garden bounty! Although the Demonstration Garden is open throughout the growing season, Sussex Master Gardeners schedule and highlight specific days catering to parents, teachers, homeowners and students. On these occasions, Master Gardener volunteers and Extension staff are on hand to offer more detailed information, advice and insights into successful gardening in Delaware.  A very popular section of the garden has been especially designed for children to enjoy and participate in the rewards of gardening.

Who knew Delaware soil could be this interesting!

The Children’s Garden welcomes little hands to explore the soil, crawl under a teepee trellis, stick their heads through a blooming photo prop, watch butterflies land on a pink or purple petal and view  splashing goldfish and hear croaking frogs in a pond near the shade garden. Their annual open house,  A Day in the Garden, features opportunities to mix potting soil, plant flowers and vegetables, search for items in a scavenger hunt, and watch a command performance of “Peter Rabbit’s Adventures in Farmer McGregor’s Vegetable Garden,” featuring the voices, puppets and talents of many Sussex County volunteer Master Gardeners.

And while the children explore, learn and enjoy the colors of the garden, adults too, can have an opportunity to learn about what grows best in Delaware. An Accessible Garden area demonstrates that gardening can be enjoyed at any age – even with some physical limitations. Native plants, grown to encourage beneficial insects and songbirds, are clearly identified. Ornamental shrubs and trees, annual and perennial flowers, plants that thrive in shade or sun, are featured and marked with signs. Bring your camera! Back by popular demand, the Master Gardeners will again be holding a plant sale.

Sussex County Master Gardeners welcome the public to this very special, educational, family-friendly day. Let us demonstrate how rewarding any level of gardening can be!

Where: Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. 19947.  Look for the blue and gold tent behind the Carvel Center.
When: Saturday, July 16, 2011
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free
Parking: Ample and free
Website: For more details about A Day at the Garden

Article by Michele Walfred

Sussex Master Gardeners invite public June 16 to evening garden walk

Daylilies in bloom in the garden. Photo by Bobbie Ranney

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to invite the public to a Garden Walk at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on Thursday, June 16, 2011, 5 – 7 p.m.   The garden is located behind the county Extension office, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown. The event is free.

Master Gardeners will feature a look at a June garden filled with flowers.  In addition to enjoying the garden, a number of Master Gardeners will be available to provide information and help on a wide variety of gardening topics including an exhibit of Accessible Gardening Tips and Tools.

Following the Garden Walk, Master Gardener Vicki Thompson will be presenting a workshop on ‘Hostas’ at 7 p.m. in Conference Room 3 of the Extension Office.  Pre-register for this workshop by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585 ext. 544 or

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Garden Smart, Garden Easy with Accessible Gardening

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Accessible Gardening – Garden Smart, Garden Easy

Presenter-Bob Williams
10:00 a.m., Carvel Research and Education Center. Click here for directions.
Cost: Free.

Do you  catch yourself ever saying, “If only I could!” when thinking about tending to your flower or vegetable garden? Do you wish you could garden more, if only an aching back, sore knee or other physical limitation weren’t in the way? Don’t let a physical limitation prevent you from communing and creating with nature!  There are tools that can make a difference and techniques in design and materials that allow gardening to “be accessible!”

It’s true! By using Garden Smart-Garden Easy techniques and resources presented at this workshop, you will discover that less is more! Less bending and less watering can mean more beauty and enjoyment! Sussex County Master Gardeners welcome you to attend this seminar and learn all about Accessible Gardening.  You can be an active gardener, regardless of age or mobility. Weather permitting,  visit our Demonstration Garden and see how accessible gardening techniques are put to beautiful and productive use!  Garden Smart -Garden Easy Accessible Garden workshop will make garden enjoyable for all. Register here. Or contact Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585 ext 544 to register.

Master Gardeners are highly trained, working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension. In 2010, Sussex County Master Gardeners volunteered more than 5,600 hours to the community.

Sussex Master Gardeners offer a variety of garden workshops this spring

In case you didn’t hear, a rather famous groundhog did not see his shadow this year, meaning that Spring 2011 is just around the corner! That news sits well with Sussex County Master Gardener volunteers, who planned in advance of the Punxsutawney rodent’s long -awaited prediction! Sussex Master Gardeners are pleased to present the opportunity for the public to get their spring garden in gear and in style! Are you new to Delaware? Are you curious what can grow well here? Can your home garden be an economics asset?  Can you easily access and harvest the great vegetables you have grown from seed to produce?   All these topics and more await at the Carvel Research and Education Center, home to Sussex County Cooperative Extension and our dedicated gardening expert volunteers.

Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free. They fill up fast, so pre-registration is required.  Come with a family member or friend and learn together how much fun a productive garden in southern Delaware can be! All are welcome. For directions and any special needs you may have, please visit the page links adjacent to the “home” page above our header.

Thursday, February 17, 2011 – Planning/Journaling in the Garden

Presenter-Jessica Clark
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Planning your physical garden is more than obtaining a soil sample, adding compost and fertilizer, planting in the right seasons. Your garden should be a place where the feeling of your hands in the dirt offers a deep, primordial connection with the earth, where you learn what can work for you in the physical garden and where it can work for you in your emotional garden as you journal your thoughts and feelings in the peaceful oasis that you create. Bring a notebook, some photos of your garden, and some ideas. We will be using some ideas from Digging Deep by Fran Sorin. Register here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011 – Vegetable Gardening

Presenter-Linda Peters
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. We will discuss the basics of starting the garden from scratch and will cover topics such as: location, soil, fertilizing, watering, etc. This workshop is a good basic discussion for new gardeners and a good review for experienced gardeners. Register here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – More Bloom for Your Buck  (This workshop is full. Thank you!)

Presenter- Tracy Mulveny
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 1

Cost: $5.00 per person. LIMIT 30 PARTICIPANTS. A hands-on class to demonstrate simple techniques to grow more plants for your garden from seeds and cuttings. Please bring clippers or heavy scissors and gloves. Register here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 – Gardening on the Cheap

Presenter-Miguel Pirez-Faber
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Who does not want to learn some money-saving ideas for gardening in Delaware? Register here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 – Native Plants

Presenter-Brent Marsh
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. Songbird populations have been declining for years because habitat is declining. You can help by adding native plants to yards and gardens. Non-native plants do not nourish local birds and beneficial insects. Native plants do nourish the habitat and they are attractive and interesting additions to the garden. Register here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011 – Water Wise Container Gardening

Presenter-Marjorie Lewis
11:00 a.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. The spring is too wet and the summer is too dry. Do you want to know how to really plant attractive containers? Then attend this workshop to find out! Register here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 – New Gardener in Delaware?

Presenter-Panel of Master Gardeners
1:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. New to Delaware? Ask about gardening in the sand, salt air, humidity and heat in Delaware. Register here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011 – Accessible Gardening

Presenter-Bob Williams
10:00 a.m., Carvel

Cost: Free. Do you enjoy nature? Do you think all gardening tools are the same? Learn what tools and techniques are available for the gardener as we age or develop mobility issues, and visit our garden to see how they are used. Make garden enjoyable for all. Register here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011 – Hostas

Presenter-Vickie Thompson
7:00 p.m., Carvel Meeting Room 3

Cost: Free. A perennial favorite workshop (no pun intended). If you want to learn about Hostas, this is the time and place! Register here.

Master Gardeners are people who enjoy gardening, have gardening experience, want to learn more about gardening, and have a desire to help others in their community. They have all completed an intensive training program and volunteered a minimum of 45 hours during their first year of membership. Please visit the link to learn more information about the Master Gardening Program in Sussex County, where you may also download a PDF brochure of the upcoming workshops.

A little more garlic please!

Do you like to cook with garlic? Is the Mediterranean bulb a must-have ingredient in your pantry or kitchen counter? Have you ever thought about growing it in your garden?  The next workshop in the Sussex County Master Gardener’s series of garden-themed classes will show you how to enjoy home-grown garlic!  Mark Thursday, Feb. 10,2011 at 11 a.m. on your calendar and take a look at the full list of workshops that our highly trained volunteers offer to the public, most often free of charge (or very low cost). The garlic workshop is free, but space is limited. Register now to guarantee your spot!  All workshops are located at the Carvel Research and Education Center on Route 9, just west of Sussex Tech High School.

Registration is easy and online! Take a look at what is in store in organizing your garden, encouraging native plants and beneficial insects, making your garden work for your budget, and how to be a successful gardener in Delaware.   Or if you prefer, download the PDF brochure and call in your registration to Tammy Schirmer, 302-856-2585 ext 540.

To learn more about the Sussex County Master Gardeners, its programs and volunteers – and for detailed directions please visit their website:

Sussex Master Gardeners announce 2011 winter and spring workshops

Despite the cold weather and arrival of winter’s snow, now is a good time to turn your thoughts to your house plants, which still need attention. The Care and Feeding of Houseplants is the first in the 2011 winter/spring offering of Master Gardener workshops. Learn how to grow garlic, plan and write a garden journal, create a Delaware vegetable garden and much, much more!

Please bookmark and visit our site again soon as more workshops are finalized!  Yes, it’s cold outside…but spring is right around the corner!

Happy Holidays and a big thank you to the wonderful, dedicated volunteers who donate their time and talent and share it with the public. You help to make our gardens and homes productive and beautiful! Collectively you donate thousands of hours for the public good and offer professional quality classes for free or a nominal cost.

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