Master Gardeners educate public on planting practices
Spring has sprung, so lawns are growing and flowers are blooming. But if your plants aren’t thriving, the Aiken Master Gardener Association is ready to help.
The organization’s members will be spreading their knowledge during two events this month at the Aiken County Farmers Market. The Meet a Master Gardener program will take place Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. Then, on April 20, Spring Education Day will be held from 8 a.m. until noon.
Meet a Master Gardener programs are scheduled for the first Saturday of each month, from March until October, at the Farmers Market, which is located at 115 Williamsburg St. between Richland and Park Avenues. Planned for April 6 is a demonstration on plant propagation, according to Master Gardener Richard Mark.
“We’ll also have grass samples there so that people who are considering what kind of lawn they want to put in can look at the four varieties of southern turf grass that work very well in this area,” Mark said. “We’ll have common weeds for them to look at, too, if they want to be able to identify something that is growing in their lawn. We’ll tell them about the typical weeds they will encounter and the best way to treat them given the lawn that they have.”
Six to 10 Master Gardeners are expected to participate in the program and they will be available to answer questions.
“The most important thing we are there for is to help people who are having difficulty with gardening,” Mark said. “They can discuss problem plants with us, and they can bring us samples. We’ll answer any questions they have. This time of year, we get a lot of questions about lawns and flowers and starting vegetable gardens.”
The Meet a Master Gardener program’s location at the Farmers Market can change from month to month “because the manager moves us around,” Mark said. But, he added: “It’s easy to find us. We have a large tablecloth with ‘Meet a Master Gardener’ on it and all of us have on purple shirts with the Master Gardener Association logo on them.”
There will be a variety of speakers and booths at Spring Education Day on April 20. Participants in addition to the Master Gardener Association will include the Aiken Beekeepers Association and Aiken Camellia Society, according to Mark. A plant sale and swap will be held.
“You’ll be able to learn how to use horticulture to encourage birds to come to your yard and bees to pollinate your fruit trees,” he said.