Students Graduate With Green Thumbs


Twenty-five avid gardeners from Payson, Pine, Star Valley and Globe gathered at Manzanita Manor last week for a final exam -- the last step in a 13-week course to become master gardeners.

Some also received certificates that qualify them as master composters.

Terry Mikel, who taught a number of the classes sponsored by Gila County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture, commended the graduating gardeners on their success.

"Now, with this moniker of master gardener attached to your name, your neighbors will invite you over and ask you questions," Mikel said.

The sponsors of the course expect the master gardeners to volunteer at least 50 hours each of educational service within a year of completing the course.

Other presenters during the course, which began July 6, were Cayci Vuksanovich, Carl Olsen, Barb Bourscheidt, Jeff Schalau and David Kopec.

Topics included: soils and composting, botany, soil, plant and water relationships, beneficial and harmful insects, vegetables, landscape and xeriscape design, fruits and nuts, plant materials and wildlife, planting, pruning and staking, house plants, lawns and weeds, and diseases and plant problems.

The final exam included some 75 questions on pests and diseases, the nature and composition of plants and the effects of weather and location.

For information on upcoming master gardener volunteer training courses, call Chris Jones, agriculture and natural resources extension agent, at 520-425-7179 in Globe.

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