Consumer Horticulture: Public gardening education to improve lives and communities while protecting Michigan’s natural resourcesDOWNLOAD FILE
December 22, 2016
Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Consumer Horticulture team members collaborate on the following statewide initiatives to maximize impact and deliver environmentally-friendly, science-based gardening practices. These initiatives provide gardeners increased accessibility to MSU Extension resources.
Master Gardener Program
- Extension Master Gardener volunteers undergo a rigorous 14-week training program that provides in-depth education in many aspects of horticulture:
- Plant science, soil science, trees and shrubs, flowers, vegetables, fruit, soil, integrated pest management, diagnostics, indoor plants, lawns, household and nuisance pests, and protecting water resources through environmentally-friendly gardening practices.
- Participants who complete the training showcase what they learned by educating others through community volunteer projects.
- Focus areas include environmental stewardship, improving food security, and improving community and youth development through gardening.
- Annual recertification of volunteers ensures high caliber volunteers equipped to provide solutions for today’s gardening public.
Toll-Free Lawn and Garden Hotline – 1-888-678-3464
- The state toll-free hotline operates five days a week through collaboration of six MSU Extension offices to provide assistance to all Michigan residents.
MSU Extension’s Smart Gardening initiative helps gardeners at any knowledge level to adopt environmentally-friendly practices. Using focused themes of smart plants, smart lawns and smart soils, Smart Gardening leads gardeners along a continuum of learning through educational opportunities from short interactions to intensive training.
- Education is delivered through multiple communication methods including web, video, print, radio and in-person classes.
- Volunteers are equipped and taught how to engage local communities, which exponentially multiplies impact.
- Smart Gardening messages continually adapt to statewide and community needs.
- In 2015, smart gardening for vegetables and gardening to protect and enhance pollinators messages were added.
Gardening in Michigan – www.migarden.msu.edu
- Complete set of downloadable Smart Gardening tip sheets.
- Michigan Fresh tip sheets for using and preserving fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ask an Expert
- Gardeners can search our database, upload pictures and ask University experts a wide variety of questions.
- Users can be confident that research-based solutions are accurate and unbiased.
Soil Test Self-Mailer and Nutrient Interpretation – www.msusoiltest.com
- Tapping into our unique, home gardener, soil test self-mailer and soil test interpretation website allows easy access to affordable soil testing with customized fertilizer recommendations.
- Equipped with this information, an educated gardener can have a healthy, productive garden without over-applying nutrients that may pollute streams, lakes and groundwater.