The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service, 500 Idaho St., is set to begin its Master Gardener training sessions.

The Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service, 500 Idaho St., is set to begin its Master Gardener training sessions.

Participants must attend a five-day training session that begins March 3, and continues for each Saturday through the month of March. The five-day training covers many different topics. Participants will have a chance to learn about biology of plants and growth habits, small fruit pruning and growing, vegetable gardening cool and warm season as well as how to properly prune trees, shrubs and bushes or roses and other flowering plants.

The 2012 class will also learn about disease, insect and weed control. There will be a session on how to properly take soil test samples and how to fertilize properly for specific crops/plants. For those wanting to learn about water gardens, there will be a session on constructing water gardens. For those wanting to know how to control pesky wildlife, there will be a session on that as well. A session on proper watering/irrigating of crops and lawns so as to meet water requirements without causing disease problems will also be offered.

The 2012 Master Gardener training requires a payback of 40 hours of volunteer labor and 20 hours of educational training during the first year after being trained. The class fee is $60 per person. This fee includes a MG manual, refreshments and meals as well as some supplies needed for the class.

Master Gardeners, who wish to continue as a Master Gardener after the first year, must recertify each year with a minimum of 20 hours of educational training and 20 hours of manual work hours.

Those interested in becoming a member of the Master Gardeners, should contact Anthony Whittington, county Extension agent-agriculture, at 870-534-1033 or e-mail him at: awhittington@uaex.edu

This activity is open to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) should notify the county Extension office as soon as possible prior to the activity.