The Purdue Master Gardener Program is an integral part of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and provides Porter County Gardeners a chance to grow. The program provides a basis for folks to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects. In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University. They help others grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within Porter County.
The Indiana Master Gardener Program began in 1978 with four participating counties. Currently, over 70 Indiana counties have active Master Gardener programs as part of the Purdue Master Gardener Program.
After acceptance into the Master Gardener Program, participants receive training in the following areas: plant science, plant nutrition, soil science, plant disease diagnosis/control, insect pest diagnosis/control, weed identification/control, pesticide safety/pesticide alternatives, woody ornamentals, vegetables, herbaceous ornamentals, home lawns, and animal pests. In addition, training may include these areas: principles of landscape design, home fruit production, indoor gardening, and yard waste management.
Purdue University Extension county and state staff provide instruction free of charge. Materials and expenses for the series of classes in Porter County is $200. The participant receives $100 of this back upon completion of 35 hours of volunteer service within one year of successfully completing the class. The Porter County Master Gardener Association is such a large and active group that the completion of those 35 hours within a year is easily within reach for new members.
So, if after reading all this you are interested in more information, please call the Purdue University Porter County Extension Office at 219-465-3555 to find out when the next class is forming and get your name on the list of people interested. At the time you are applying, complete the application which can be found on this page to the right. Just print it, fill it out and return it with your check or money order to secure a place in the class. It will be on a first come, first serve basis - and class size is limited.