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Sussex County Master Gardener Workshops

The Master Gardeners recently celebrated 30 years of service to Delaware!  Year 32 continues with a  diverse and interesting series of workshops this fall.   As space is limited in some classes, please take a moment soon to register.

Classes are free unless otherwise specified (one), and all will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. The center is just down the street from Sussex Tech.

Pre-registration is required. Register Online Here

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cooperating. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

2018 Sussex County Master Gardener Workshops:

Time to start thinking of the coming gardening season!   Our schedule includes a wide variety topics which will help you have a fabulous garden this year.  Of special note, the Master Gardeners are hosting a presentation and book signing by Author Ruth Clausen.  The classes are free, unless otherwise specified, and held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown 19947

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 1 p.m.  Master Gardener Lucy Fleming will present a hands-on workshop entitled Winter Seed Sowing.  Attendees will start their summer garden making a miniature greenhouse using plastic milk jugs and the planting seeds in the jugs.  The class will take their planted jugs home and place outside to germinate and grow.  The workshop is limited to 25 participants.  Bring gloves and scissors!

Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m.  Master Gardener Gaye Mara will talk about Gardening by the Numbers.  Decades of research and testing by Cooperative Extensions and others have given even the most experienced gardeners useful numeric measures to help garden success. Gaye  will explain the numbers about such things as optimum soil conditions for seed germination and plant growth,  how long seeds last in storage, how hot is too hot for plant health, when and how much to water, the meaning of full sun and part shade.   The workshop materials will include helpful charts and other takeaways for you to use in your own gardening.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.  Master Gardener Judy Pfizer will talk about Growing Native Plants from Seed. Learn how to grow native plants from seed – a great way to populate your garden with native plants without breaking the garden budget.  You will learn tips and techniques for seed starting indoors and outside, requirements for germination and you will take home native seeds to start your own plants. Presentation will be PowerPoint and hands on with ample opportunity for questions and examining exhibits.

Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m.  University of Delaware Communication Specialist, Michele Walfred will present Snap It and App It, a presentation on photography and creating gorgeous garden portraits and photo journals!  The Flora and Fauna in our gardens make the perfect posers for photographs, don’t they? So much has changed with digital photography allowing anyone with a camera to capture amazing images! This session will examine DSLRs, smart phones, lenses, apps and software as well as an array of gadgets and techniques to turn your garden portraits into works of art! Bring your device to this session.  We recommend downloading free “SnapSeed” app on iOs or Android before the session.

Tuesday, March 20, 1 p.m.  Master Gardener, Penny Deiner will share The Idea Garden.The planting season is almost here, however, there is still time to do some planning. Look back on last year’s garden to see whether you want to make small changes or big ones, subtle or profound, a larger garden or a smaller one, primarily annuals or perennials, vegetables or flowers. Penny will share ideas that have worked for in our demonstration garden and in our personal gardens. Some of them will inspire you, others may make you groan.  But most will give you an idea that you can personalize and make it part of planning for your idea garden!

Tuesday, April 3, 1 p.m.  Master Gardener Betty Layton will present a workshop on Accessible Gardening entitled Garden Smart, Garden Easy. Learn what tools and techniques are available for the gardener as we age or develop mobility issues.  Make gardening enjoyable again!

Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 p.m.  Author and plants woman Ruth Clausen will speak on her book 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants. Keeping your beautiful garden safe from deer is as simple as choosing the right plants. Ruth introduces the most versatile and drool-worthy options: white snowdrops that bloom in the spring; shade-loving, electric gold hakone grass; long-blooming Texas sage in vibrant reds, peaches, and pinks; and the feathery foliage of Arkansas blue stars that glows golden in the autumn. Books will be available for purchase at about $20.  Ruth will be available to sign books after the presentation.

Tuesday, April 24, 1 p.m.  Master Gardener Bill Huxtable will talk about Shade Gardening.  Wondering what plant or plants to use in that shady area of your garden; there are a number of plants that love the shade from which to choose. This workshop will help you decide.  Handouts will be available to assist in picking the perfect plant.

Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 p.m.   Master Gardener Tracy Mulvaney will hold a craft workshop Making Seed Tape Cards and Other Items for Gifting to your gardening friends.  Bring your children and grandchildren to this fun workshop.  Limit to 25 participants.  Fee $5.

Tuesday, May 15, 1 p.m.   Master Gardener Terry Plummer will present Landscaping with Native Perennials. Make your garden life easier with less watering and less fuss. Plant native perennials for a delightful landscape.  Terry will introduce you to a wide variety of native plant materials, that will draw insects and the birds that love to eat them to your garden.

Pre-register for workshops by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585, ext. 544 or by email at tammys@udel.edu.  

Pre-register for workshops by contacting Tammy Schirmer at (302) 856-2585, ext. 544 or by email at tammys@udel.edu. You can also register online at

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.

The workshops will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del. Pre-registration is required. You may register online or contact Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, ext 544.

For assistance with home lawn, garden and pest questions, contact:
Sussex County Garden Helpline (302) 856-2585 ext. 535