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WSU Master Gardeners

Program Contact: Caitlin Blethen, Master Gardener Program Coordinator
(360) 370-7663 • mg.sanjuancounty@wsu.edu

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Need gardening help or advice?

Contact WSU Master Gardener volunteers with questions! WSU Master Gardeners are the go-to resource for communities seeking research-based, innovative solutions for their ever-changing horticultural and environmental stewardship needs.

WSU Master Gardeners are available throughout the year on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez islands to answer your gardening questions. Whether you have questions about your soil, have a problem with your fruit trees, or are thinking about starting a garden, volunteers will be happy to provide you with the research-based information you need. Master Gardener are available to speak to garden clubs, horticulture classes, and workshops, and they conduct diagnostic labs and tours.

Visit the Master Gardeners

You’ll find the Master Gardeners at the Q&A Tables around the county, May through September. View our WSU Extension calendar for dates and locations.

You can also see the Master Gardener projects in action:

  • San Juan Island Demonstration Garden
  • Orcas Island School Garden, native plant garden
  • Lopez Island Heritage Apple Orchard

For more information, visit the Master Gardener Foundation of San Juan County website.

Get help with a plant problem or plant/insect identification

WSU Master Gardeners volunteer their time to diagnose plant problems and to identity plants and insects, and are available year-round to help you. You must first fill out an informational sheet, and submit it along with photos and/or physical samples to help accurately diagnose the plant problem.

Submit an online form with photos

  1. Download and fill out one of these forms:
  2. Take photos of the plant (a close-up of the affected area and of the entire plant) or of the insect.
  3. Email the form and photos to mg.sanjuancounty@wsu.edu.

Drop off a printed form with a sample

  1. Print and complete one of these forms:
  2. Place a sample of the plant (a good-sized sample that includes both the affected and healthy parts of the plant) or insect in a Ziploc bag and attach it to the form.
  3. Drop off the form and sample at the WSU Extension office M-Th 8:30-4pm in Friday Harbor (look for a cooler outside the door), at the Orcas Island library during open hours, or at any of the Master Gardener Q&A Tables.

General gardening questions

If you have a general gardening question, you can leave a message with the WSU Extension office. Please note that it might take us a few days to respond.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I get native plants for this area?

Native plants are often a good choice because they are adapted to our PNW soils and climate. WSU Master Gardeners hold an annual Native Plant Sale each March. Most plants are native to western Washington and are either bare-root or in small containers. For more information about the Native Plant Sale, see the Master Gardener Foundation of San Juan County website.

How do I start a worm bin?

Getting started composting with worms is easy, and anyone can do it—whether you live in an apartment, or on 10 acres. A worm bin is a great alternative to a compost pile, and food waste decomposes quickly without odors or attracting rodents. You can fill wood or plastic bins with shredded newspaper along with worms and kitchen scraps. Omit oils, meat, and citrus. Worms will eat everything else.

For more information, find informational packets at the WSU Extension Office, read the Worm Compost Fact Sheet, or make your own cheap and easy worm bin.