If you have ever dreamed of becoming a Texas Certified Master Gardener and just never had the time, 2015 may be your year. An orientation for Nueces Master Gardener training will be held on Wednesday July 22nd, from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at the Johnny S. Calderon County Building located at 710 East Main Street in Robstown.

Each year Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Nueces Master Gardeners train volunteers with an interest in serving their community as they learn about Texas gardening. No previous experience in gardening is needed to become a Master Gardener. In fact, many people join the Master Gardener program to learn how to create and maintain a beautiful garden of their own.

You will soon discover that the Texas Master Gardener program is about much more than gardening. Texas Master Gardeners provide advocacy and assistance to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and its educational programs by volunteering to serve in the community.

To become a certified Nueces Master Gardener, trainees attend fifty-six hours of classroom instruction and fifty community volunteer hours. The classes are taught by University professors, regional horticulture experts and Master Gardener specialists. Volunteer time can be earned in a variety of ways such as working in community gardens, serving on committees and answering questions from the public via email, phone calls or walk-ins at the Nueces County Extension office.

You will be trained in subjects such as basic botany, insect identification, plant selection, landscape design, soil fertility and many other horticultural topics. Volunteers then have an opportunity to enrich the lives of local residents by sharing their valuable science-based knowledge with the community at local schools, county fairs, home and garden shows, horticulture seminars and a host of other AgriLife events.

After the orientation, the majority of the classes will be held at the South Texas Botanical Garden and Nature Center from 1:00 pm. until 4:30 pm. on Wednesdays. For more information or to receive an application packet, contact the Nueces County Extension office at 361.767.5217 or drop me an email at jeff.floyd@ag.tamu.edu.