The new class of Riley County, K-State Research and Extension Master will begin in a little over a month from now. Classes start on Sept. 5 and go through Oct. 31. Over 300 community members have taken the course which spans eight Thursday sessions. Currently, 64 members reach out and teach the joys and advantages of gardening to their neighbors.

Sign up today to become one of these gardening enthusiasts. You can do that by going to our website at www.riley.ksu.edu. Extension Master Gardeners have them at their booth at the Riley County Fair. Applications are also available at the Extension office, which is on the second floor of the Riley County Office Building, 110 Courthouse Plaza. The cost is $100 for the handbook and instruction.

Learn about growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, turfgrasses and woody plants. Other sessions will be on plant growth and development, the care of plants, and their pests. Wildlife management is also covered.

Giving back is the best part of the program. One of the earliest projects started by the first class is the annual garden tour. There were 379 ticket holders viewing the five private landscapes showcased this June. Proceeds support the Gardens at Kansas State University and local gardening education.

Butterfly garden habitat is a passion for many gardeners. The Master Gardeners continue to care for their demonstration garden at the Sunset Zoo. It provides a living demonstration all year. Earth Day is a special event where the gardeners grow and give out butterfly milkweed and other butterfly loving plants and information.

Riley County, K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners meet every other month for an educational program and to keep abreast of any community program request. The optional pot-luck begins the event.

Please consider joining in on the fun of being a local volunteer with the Master Gardener program. Your yard and neighbors will thank you.

You can find out more information on this and other horticulture topics by going to the Riley County, K-State Research and Extension website at www.riley.ksu.edu.

Gregg may be contacted by calling 785-537-6350 or stopping by 110 Courthouse Plaza in Manhattan or e-mail: geyestone@ksu.edu.

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