Master Gardener Program

Program Contact: Cori Carlton, Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter Program Manager
(360) 867-2162 •



Come Grow with the WSU Master Gardeners of Thurston County

A volunteer service gardening organization – cultivating plants, people, and communities since 1973.


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Spring Greening- Gardening, Composting, Recycling Education Day

Join us for a day filled with gardening, composting, recycling fun and information via workshops and hands-on demonstrations. Stay for one, two or all three sessions.

Saturday, March 25th

9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Westwood Baptist Church-333 Kaiser Rd. NW, Olympia 98502


Admission fee:  $5 (cash or check only, no credit cards please)


No pre-registration but space is filled based on room capacity. Seats are filled on a first come, first served basis.


Workshop Topics:


Session One Workshops: 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

  • Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Growing Fruits and Veggies in Thurston County
  • Attracting Pollinators in Home Gardens
  • Changing Your Turf to Raised Beds


Break: 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Session Two Workshops: 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

  • Container Gardening
  • Gardening Practices-Myth, Miracle or Maybe
  • Yard & Food Waste Composting


Break: 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. (Suggestion- bring a lunch from home if you are staying for the entire day)

  • Visit the demonstration/activity tables in the hallways and gathering spaces
  • Watch the following live demonstrations
    • Proper shrub/tree planting
    • Self-watering container gardens
    • Year round containers

Session Three Workshops: 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

  • Pruning 101
  • Herbs-Growing & Preserving Culinary Herbs
  • Worm Composting

Hallway Demonstrations and Activity Booths:

(All booths will be staffed by WSU Master Gardener and/or Master Recycler Composter volunteers)

  • Gardening/composting/recycling question/answer booth (get your questions answered)
  • Tool care, repair and ergonomics
  • Weed identification
  • Propagation
  • Can this item be recycled?
  • Beneficial bugs


Select plants, upcycled garden art, and handi-crafts will also be for sale.


Refreshments will be served.


Online follow-up information and resources will also be available.


2017 Spring Greening Flier


For further questions please contact, Cori Carlton at (360) 867-2162 or


This event is brought to you by the WSU Extension Master Gardeners of Thurston County, Thurston County Master Recycler Composter program and the Master Gardener Foundation of Thurston County.

WSU Extension workshops/presentations/events are open to all. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Cori Carlton at 5033 Harrison Ave. NW Olympia WA 98502, 360-867-2162 or at least two weeks prior to the event.

WSU Master Gardener Volunteer Program Information




Next to digging in the dirt, there’s nothing gardeners enjoy more than learning about their favorite plants. An easy way to increase your gardening knowledge is to join the next WSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer training course. For forty-three years, WSU Extension has been training Master Gardener volunteers in the science and art of gardening.


Instructors provide an overview of related subjects and environmentally sound practices including: vegetables, ornamentals, soils, pruning, water-wise gardening, weeds, composting, plant disease diagnosis, insects etc. A WSU Master Gardener volunteer gains more than improved gardening skills. The Thurston County WSU Master Gardener volunteer training also focuses on skill building to support volunteers in better serving our community. The fast-paced coursework involves expanding communication skills, team dynamics, problem-solving, project leadership, risk management, technology and more.


There is a misperception that to become a WSU Master Gardener volunteer you must know everything about gardening.


“What really sets them apart from other home gardeners is their commitment to lifelong learning and sharing of accurate gardening information with others. Trainees join more than 200 volunteers who have diverse expertise and interests. As a result volunteers have fun learning from one another while making friendships and a difference in our community,” said Cori Carlton, Program Manager.


On completion of classroom work, graduates volunteer 60 hours on community-based garden service projects before earning the WSU Master Gardener title. You have up to 2 years to complete this service.



2017 WSU Thurston County Master Gardener Training Details



The 2017 WSU Thurston County Master Gardener volunteer training is currently full. To have your name added to the 2018 interest list please email program manager, Cori Carlton at

2018 training information will be posted here on our website after October 1, 2017.


For questions please contact Cori Carlton, Program Manager at 360-867-2162 or email

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Do You Have a Gardening Question?

Do you have a plant eaten-up by bugs or diseases? Maybe you have a plant or weed you cannot identify? Or, you have a spot in your garden and you need advice on what to plant? That’s where the WSU Master Gardener volunteers of Thurston County can help. Come visit one of our Gardens or Clinics for the answers.

West Olympia Gardening Question/Answer Clinic
5033 Harrison Ave. NW
Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 867-2163

Hours of Operation:

  • February – May and September – November the clinic is open Tuesday & Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • June – August the clinic is open Tuesday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • The clinic is closed December and January



Before dropping by the clinic please call ahead to make sure a volunteer is there to assist you.

The Gardens and Clinics are operated by WSU trained and certified volunteers. These volunteers can only provide information to home gardeners. Commercial farms and businesses need to contact Extension office for help, (360) 867-2162.


Do You Have a Composting Question?

Call our rot-line at (360) 867-2163 or email

A list of the 2017 free HOME COMPOSTING workshops will be listed here soon, so please check back.



Directions to WSU Thurston County Extension Office:

The WSU Extension office is located at 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia, WA 98502. Our office is located inside the old McLane firehouse. The City of Olympia renamed their portion of Mud Bay Road to Harrison Avenue. Some of the street signs still say Mud Bay while others have been changed to Harrison. You can Map Quest or Google our office location OR you can follow these directions:

From I-5 take HWY 101 towards Shelton. Get off at Evergreen State College/Evergreen Parkway exit. Once you exit the highway keep right and follow the sign and ramp to Mud Bay Road. At the bottom of the ramp turn right onto Mud Bay Road/Harrison Ave. and immediately right into the parking lot of the Extension office.

The office entrance is the door to the right of the fire bays. Parking is available in the small lot or all along the front of the building in non-posted spots. Parking is also available behind the building. Look for the driveway at the far end of the building and follow it to the parking lot behind the building. To enter the building follow signs through the courtyard and into the building.

For questions please contact Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator at 360-867-2162 or


WSU Extension workshops/presentations/events are open to all. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs who contact Cori Carlton at 5033 Harrison Ave. NW Olympia WA 98502, 360-867-2162 or at least two weeks prior to the event.[/textblock][/column][/row][/section]