Valley’s Master Gardener classes moving to cooler times


SAN BENITO — This year’s Master Gardener classes in Hidalgo and Cameron counties will move to the fall to avoid the area’s blistering heat, organizers said.

“This is the first time Master Gardener classes will be held later in the year so we can take advantage of the cooler temperatures that provide our best growing season,” said Jennifer Herrera, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulture agent in San Benito and coordinator of the Cameron County Master Gardener Association.

“We get inquiries about our Master Gardener classes year-round from throughout the Valley and from people of all ages,” she said. “We like that, but class size is limited so we’re urging anybody interested in becoming a Master Gardener this year to apply as soon as possible.”

The application deadline is Sept. 1, she said. Classes begin Sept. 6 and will meet each Tuesday through Oct. 25.

Classes will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in both Hidalgo and Cameron counties. The Cameron County classes will be held at the County Annex Building, 1390 W. Expressway 83 in San Benito. The Hidalgo County classes will be held at the Master Gardener Clubhouse, 509 E. Earling Road in San Juan.

An orientation will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 30 at each county’s respective classroom location.

“We hold these orientation meetings prior to the beginning of classes to discuss the Master Gardener program and to introduce other Master Gardeners and association officers,” Herrera said.

The cost of the Master Gardener training is $200 and includes the Master Gardener manual and several field trips. Acceptance into the program is by application.

For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Hidalgo County at 956-383-1026 and in Cameron County at 956-361-8236.

Rod Santa Ana III is a Texas A&M AgriLife communications specialist.