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If you love digging in dirt and fussing with seeds, and now are inclined to become better informed, soon you can dive into the 15-week Master Gardener Training offered each winter-spring by Sandoval Extension Master Gardeners, in partnership with New Mexico State University. The training program is expected to start by February and end by early May 2021.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the training will be virtual, in the classroom, along with small group activities guided online by Master Gardener mentors. The training program covers practical horticulture topics including sustainability, botany, plant identification, soil biology, entomology, integrated pest management, arboriculture, perennials, vegetable and fruit production, plant pathology, weeds, pollinators, companion planting, and irrigation.

To be certified as a Sandoval Extension Master Gardener, you must successfully complete the training program, but also complete a 30-hour internship that includes 10 hours of public outreach activity and 20 hours of other community service activities. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the details of the internship are being reassessed. To maintain your status as a Certified Master Gardener, you must volunteer at least 40 hours each year, of which at least 10 hours must be earned in continuing education classes.

Class size for this program is limited to 24 people. To apply for the 2021 Training program, fill out the online application here: http://sandovalmastergardeners.org/intern-application/ You will be contacted when further information becomes available.

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