Extension Provides Gardening Expertise

Like many gardeners, Grand Forks County resident Terrie Mann is anxious to get back in the garden. 

NDSU Extension provides people like her with expertise on a variety of gardening topics through annual events such as Gardening Saturday, which includes educational programs, opportunities to talk with gardening vendors and lots of gardening camaraderie. 

“Gardening Saturday has always been a great inspiration and a fun way to get ready for the gardening season,” Mann says. “It’s packed with great speakers and topics to keep you up to date on the latest gardening practices and also the tried and true ones.” 

Mann is among hundreds of gardening enthusiasts who have attended Gardening Saturdays and other Extension programs such as Spring Fever Garden Forums. More than 850 gardeners attended the forums in 2020. 

The Master Gardener (MG) program is another way NDSU Extension helps North Dakotans hone their gardening skills. To become Master Gardeners, participants take 40 hours of training, then volunteer 48 hours on horticultural projects. Master Gardeners help beautify communities, educate the public about gardening and encourage conservation of natural resources. 

 “The program was all that I expected it to be and so very much more,” says Joan Zettel of Breckenridge, Minn. 

The Junior Master Gardener program provides funds for gardening projects, such as establishing school gardens, beautifying parks, growing food for the needy and constructing raised beds for senior citizens. More than 3,300 youth participated in projects in 2020. 

Gardeners also help evaluate promising vegetable, herb and flower varieties though NDSU Extension’s home gardening variety trials program. Their research leads to the development of a list of recommended varieties for the state. 

NDSU Extension also offers many gardening resources, including a website, two newsletters, numerous publications and an ask-an-expert option. 

“Extension provides the reliable, research-based information you need to identify and solve problems with your lawns, gardens and trees,” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist. 

For more information: 

Esther McGinnis, 701-231-7971esther.mcginnis@ndsu.edu 

Tom Kalb, 701-328-9722, tom.kalb@ndsu.edu 



Top of page