Training for gardeners who want to grow their skills and help others in the community to do the same  begins February 2nd. Its Master Gardener Training  at the Agricultural  Resource Center in Casper.

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Horticulturalist Donna Cuin at the U-W Extension Ag Resource Center says the Natrona County Master Gardener Training provides the skills needed to guide others in successful gardening.

"We'll be giving about 63 hours of training in basic horticulture to all the trainees and then looking forward to having a group of volunteers to work in the Master Gardener organization through the coming growing season and into the future."

Interviews with applicants for this years classes have begun, Cuin says, and through the interviews, she says, they hope to identify people interested in the volunteer aspect that comes with the training.

Classes are on Wednesday evenings and some Saturdays through to May 7th.

The training ranges from basic botany to what grows well in Wyoming, soil improvement, weed and pest control.  "And quite a bit of xero-scaping, or gardening in a water wise garden, because water is one of our limited resources here in Wyoming.  So water wise gardening is really important."

Trainees are required to volunteer at least 40 hours, upon completion,  before receiving the title of Master Gardener.

Cuin says some people are afraid that to be a Master Gardener you have to be a walking gardening encyclopedia. But, she says that's not the case, rather its some one who understands the basics of good gardening practices and who enjoys sharing that information.

Contact the University Agricultural Resource Center at 2011 Fairgrounds road in Casper for more information.   Call  Donna Cuin at 235 9400 ext 31