Sussex County Master Gardener Workshops

Time to start thinking of the coming gardening season! Our 2019 schedule includes a wide variety of topics which will help you have a fabulous garden this year.

Classes are free unless otherwise specified, 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!

2019 Sussex County Master Gardener Workshops:

Tuesday, January 29, 1 p.m.
Master Gardener Judy Pfister 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. Learn tips and techniques for seed starting indoors and outside, requirements for germination and 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, February 12, 1 p.m.
Master Gardeners Gaye Mara and Maureen Ryan share their knowledge with a presentation Plant, Eat, and Be Merry. Maureen and Gaye, long-time co-managers of the Master Gardener Demonstration Vegetable Garden, will share their basics of vegetable gardening. They will also acquaint you with a few fun vegetables that have done well in the garden.

Two dates: Tuesday, February 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. or Tuesday March 5, 10 a.m. – 2p.m.
Artist Kelly Sverduk will teach a class, Winter Watercoloring Journaling – The Garden at Rest. Watercolor journaling is a creative way to document the life of your garden and backyard, the little details of life changing through the seasons. This workshop will get you started with this practice, beginning with the basics of paper choice and sketching from life. Instruction will also cover page design and ideas, adding waterproof ink, and various watercolor techniques for bringing your drawings to life. Limited to 12 Participants for each date. Fee $25. Bring your lunch, a white plate to use as a palette, pencil/eraser, ruler, painting rag, and a small container for water. Brushes, paint, pen and paper, will be provided.

Tuesday, March 12, 1 p.m.
Master Gardener Bob Williams will present a workshop on Raised Beds and Table Gardens. We will discuss the advantages of gardening in raised beds and the use of table gardens.  Bob will discuss types of raised beds, of plans to build these structures, materials to use. Soils to use and plants to plant will be gone over as well as maintenance issues such as watering and tools installing, filling, and irrigating build raised garden beds and save your back, including tips on planning, installing, filling, and irrigating

Two dates: Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m., or Tuesday April 2, 1 p.m.
Master Gardeners Bob Dougherty and Linda Peters will present a talk on the Master Gardener Program. We will talk about Who the Master Gardeners Are, the Master Gardener Training, Volunteer Opportunities and the application process. Come just for information about the Master Gardeners, or come if you want to explore the program to see if it is a good fit for you!

Tuesday March 26, 6:30 p.m.
Horticulturist Holly Shimizu will speak on The Best of Flavor and Fragrance. Plants used for their flavor can be confusing, things such as oregano – how do you know which one to buy? Here we focus on which plants are best for culinary uses as well as some of the best plants to use for their fragrance in Delaware gardens.

Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.
Master Gardener Penny Deiner will present a workshop entitled Gardening in Squares and Circles. This method of gardening focuses on growing vegetables and flowers in small spaces. It emphasizes designing a garden based on your personal needs and location, preparing the soil, selecting plants, planting and replanting. Garden squares take 80%less space than traditional row gardening, there are fewer weeds to pull and more flowers to enjoy. Gardening in squares is viewed in the context of accessibility and making outdoor spaces inviting, productive and enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 30, 1 p.m.
Master Gardeners Tracy Mulveny and Susan Trone will lead a discussion titled New to Delaware which will address the gardening challenge newcomers to the state face. Learn the do’s and don’ts of gardening in Delaware from some Master Gardeners who learned the hard way. We’ll discuss soil, hardiness, salt, plants that do well and plant we don’t recommend.

Tuesday, May 14, 1 p.m. 
Master Gardener Gainor Urian will present Succulents for the Laid Back Gardener. Succulents are plants that store water in their stems or leaves. Because of their ability to exist in a variety of environments and their shallow root system, there is no limit to the fun planting them in unique containers.

Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 P p.m.
Master Gardener Bob Dougherty will present a workshop on Bluebirds and Songbirds of Delmarva. This interesting PowerPoint presentation will cover our songbirds, their nesting boxes, types of feeders, seed mixes, and accessories. Placement of nesting boxes and feeders. A discussion, question and answer period at the end of the presentation.

Wednesday, June 12, 6:30 p.m.
Master Gardeners Sandi Dew and Judy Pfister will present Establishing a Meadow, the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful. Learn about some of the challenges, successes and failures experienced in establishing the new demonstration meadow in our Demonstration Garden. We will tour our Meadow. The evening will end with the movie Five Seasons, The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. Oudolf is a renowned landscape designer, this films highlights his creative process and the resulting gardens.

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

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.

Request a Master Gardener Speaker

Master Gardeners also develop and deliver a wide variety of workshops, demonstrations, and lectures throughout the year for adults, either at our facility or in the community. Programming for youth is also available upon request. Contact our office to schedule a workshop or demonstration for your group. Topics are found below. Please direct questions to Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, ext 544. For suggested topics and additional details, check out our Master Gardener Speaker Bureau Brochure.

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.

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