Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Master Gardener Program

Program Contact: Cori Carlton, Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter Program Manager
(360) 867-2162 • carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us

Come Grow with the WSU Master Gardeners of Thurston County

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

FaceBook-icon    “Like” us on Facebook- WSU Master Gardener Program of Thurston County


2018 Upcoming Events and Activities….

 

Evening Garden Open Houses

Take advantage of the summer light and join us for an evening stroll through our Dirt Works demonstration and learning garden.  From 5pm to 8pm explore 2 acres of inspiring fruit, vegetable, ornamental gardens that use scientifically proven gardening practices. At each of the three evenings we will demonstrate a specific gardening practice. Here is the schedule:

  • June 28th- container gardening alternatives- growing lettuce in a compost sock
  • July 26th- yard and food waste composting
  • August 23rd- fairy and miniature gardening

Take home information will be available.

The garden open house is free, open to all, and no pre-registration needed, just show up.

Directions to Dirt Work Garden:

Dirt Works Garden is located inside Yauger Park in West Olympia. The entrance to Yauger Park is on Alta Drive next to The Park @ Cooper Point Apartments (3200 Capital Mall Dr. S.W. Olympia, WA 98502). Follow Alta Drive into the Yauger Park parking lot. Dirt Works is located at the end of the lot. The easiest way to find us is to Google “Dirt Works Demonstration Garden”.

 

Children’s Garden Program

 

FREE Summer Gardening Programs for children ages 4-12 years old

Join us for summer fun and hands-on learning in the Dirt Works Children’s Garden!

WSU Master Gardener & Master Recycler Composter volunteers teach children gardening and environmental science education through fun and creative activities. Activities are designed to promote a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.

The bounty raised from the garden will be donated to the Thurston County Food Bank and flowers given to local nursing homes.

Parents or guardians must accompany children at all times during the program.

 

2018 Program Schedule & Themes:

Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

July 10th – Plant Parts & Puns & Fun

July 17th – Sensational Seeds

July 24th – Bee-tastic Pollinators

July 31st – Vermi-“wormy”-Compost

August 7th – Rainbow Dye Garden

August 14th – Veggie Superheroes

August 21st – Fairy & Gnome Fest

To Register:

Programs are free but we ask that you please register so we can better prepare and serve you. Space is limited.

This program is designed for individuals, no large groups (i.e. day cares, youth groups, youth camps etc.)

To register please email children-garden@mgftc.org or call (360)867-2162 by the Friday before the program you plan to attend. Please include your name, contact information and age(s) of the children joining us.

Remember to dress for the weather.

When you arrive you will be asked to sign-in and complete/turn in a participation form. The participation form can be downloaded by clicking on the below link. Either complete the form ahead of time and bring it with you OR complete the form at the garden before the program begins. Each child must have a completed form on file to participate.

Dirt Works Children’s Garden Participation Form 2018

Parents or guardians must accompany children at all times.

Download the Children’s Brochure here. Children Garden at Dirt Works Brochure 2018

 

Directions to Dirt Work Garden:

Dirt Works Garden is located inside Yauger Park in West Olympia. The entrance to Yauger Park is on Alta Drive next to The Park @ Cooper Point Apartments (3200 Capital Mall Dr. S.W. Olympia, WA 98502). Follow Alta Drive into the Yauger Park parking lot. Dirt Works is located at the end of the lot. The easiest way to find us is to Google “Dirt Works Demonstration Garden”.

 

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 and Master Recycler Composter volunteers of Thurston County can help. Come visit one of our Gardens or Clinics for the answers.

Gardening/Composting/Recycling Question/Answer Clinic –

Located inside the WSU Thurston County Extension office
3054 Carpenter Rd. SE
Benoscheck Building
Olympia, WA 98503
Phone: (360) 867-2163
Email: master@co.thurston.wa.us

NOTE: The clinic will be closed from July 30th through August 6th. WSU Master Gardener volunteers will be staffing a question/answer booth at the Thurston County Fair. Our booth will be located inside the Sharp Building and will be staffed from 10am to 10pm.  We look forward to serving you at the Fair or when we reopen our office based clinic on August 7th at 9am.

 

Volunteers are scheduled to staff our question/answer clinic during the current hours of operation:

  • June through August the clinic is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • The Extension office is closed on Mondays.

You have three options for asking your question:

  • Email us anytime day or night
  • Call us and speak to a certified volunteer during our office hours or leave a message and we’ll get back to you.
  • Visit us at our clinic located inside the WSU Extension office at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. We just ask that before showing up you call ahead to make sure a volunteer is there to assist you. Plant/insect samples may be dropped off anytime between 9am and 5pm Tuesday through Friday. Volunteers will process the samples during the next staffed shift.

The Gardens and Clinics are operated by WSU trained and certified volunteers. All services provided by Thurston County WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteers are free to Thurston County residents. These volunteers can only provide information to home gardeners. Commercial farms and businesses need to contact Extension office for help, (360) 867-2162.

Learning/Demonstration Gardens

Dirt Works Demonstration and Composting Garden  Closed Loop Park  Olympia Farmers Market Garden                                                                            In Thurston County, WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteers create and maintain three learning/demonstration gardens. These gardens provide inspiration and showcase scientifically proven gardening practices. For complete details visit our demonstration gardens page. https://extension.wsu.edu/thurston/gardening/demonstration-gardens/

 

WSU Thurston County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training Information

Next to digging in the dirt, there’s almost nothing gardeners enjoy more than learning about their favorite plants. One of the easiest ways to increase your gardening knowledge is to enroll in WSU Extension’s Master Gardener course next spring. For forty four years, Washington State University Extension has been training Master Gardener volunteers in the science and art of gardening.

The WSU Master Gardener course provides WSU research-based information on how to improve soil, identify common plant pest problems including insects and diseases and weed problems, as well as honing your gardening skills. “Hands-on” workshops provide advanced training on pruning, composting, plant propagation and a host of other practical gardening skills.

There is a misperception that to become a WSU Master Gardener you must know everything about gardening. To be a WSU Thurston County Master Gardener you must have gardening experience, but more importantly you must commit to sharing accurate gardening information with our community.

The purpose of the WSU Master Gardener training program is to prepare you to do gardening-related volunteer service in our local communities. Volunteers who are part of the comprehensive core training course will learn the latest information on how to successfully grow their favorite ornamentals, veggies, fruit, and a whole lot more. After completing WSU Master Gardener core training, graduates agree to perform 60 hours of approved volunteer activities before earning the WSU Master Gardener title. Volunteers can choose from a wide array of activities, suited to individual tastes and talents, to satisfy this requirement.

WSU Thurston County Master Gardener Training Details

Applicants accepted into the WSU Master Gardener volunteer training program participate in 21 weeks of classes in person and at home by using the on-line training program. Our in person trainings will happen from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on alternating Friday’s. The location will either be a training room in Lacey or we will be on a field trip. Exact dates, location and further details will be given once training details are posted.

The 2018 training program is complete. We only train once a year from January-June. Applications and training information for the 2019 training course will be posted here after October 1st. For more information or to be placed on the interest list (we’ll email you a reminder when training information becomes available) contact:

Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator at 360-867-2162 or carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us

 

Do You Have a Composting Question?

Call our rot-line at (360) 867-2163 or email master@co.thurston.wa.us or attend one of the following workshops.

 2018 Composting Workshop Flier

Directions to WSU Thurston County Extension Office:

The WSU Extension office is located at 3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Olympia, WA 98503. Our office is located inside the Thurston County Fairgrounds.

 

Directions – Heading to Lacey on I-5 South:  Take Exit 109, turn left onto Martin Way. Take Martin Way to Carpenter Road. Turn right onto Carpenter and follow approximately 3 miles to the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds will be on your left.
Directions – Heading to Lacey on I-5 North:  Take Exit 109, turn right onto Martin Way. Take Martin to Carpenter Road. Turn right onto Carpenter and follow approximately 3 miles to the fairgrounds. The fairgrounds will be on your left.

 

Upon entering the Fairgrounds continue straight and drive past Heritage Hall on your right and the Expo Center on your left. The WSU Extension office is the brown building located behind the building painted like a cow. “Benoschek” is the name on the building where the WSU Extension office is located. The office entrance is located on the right side of the building closest to the east area field. Parking is available on the backside of Heritage Hall.

 

 

For questions please contact Cori Carlton, Program Coordinator at 360-867-2162 or carltoc@co.thurston.wa.us

 

WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Persons will disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information or reasonable accommodation need to contact Cori Carlton at 3054 Carpenter Rd. SE, Olympia WA 98503, 360-867-2162, at least two weeks prior to the beginning of training.